After successfully installing 3 OS partitions on a multi-boot laptop with the 4th OS destroyed the GRUB multi-boot menu

coderlen

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I successfully installed Windows 10, antiX Linux, and SparkyLinux in separate partitions on my laptop. I was able to selectively boot into each of the 3 operating systems.

Then I installed SparkyLinux Game Over in the 4th partition. When I reboot, the only OS showing in the GRUB selection menu is SparkyLinux Game Over.

Using Boot-Repair-Disk, I was able to determine that all the partitions are still there. Apparently, I did something wrong when I installed Game Over, which messed up the GRUB menu.

I think this is an easy fix. Here is the pastebin entry generated by Boot-Repair-Disk:

Please let me know how to get my multi-boot GRUB menu back. Thanks!
 
Last edited:


sp331yi

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@coderlen -- you probably need to login as root and enter
Code:
update-grub
 

coderlen

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Login where? The only way I can get the laptop working is with a live USB. Should I log in, like I am now, from a live Linux? Please elaborate. Thanks.
 

captain-sensible

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if you select SparkyLinux from splash , will it boot up ?

if yes @sp331yi means, i think just get any OS up and log into it. Then as root, or using sudo

in a terminal try to run the command as suggested:
Code:
sudo update-grub
if that works it just updates the other OS's so they appear and hopfully can be booted from the updates splash

looking at the pastbin ; i think there is a clash between bios and secure boot. To my understanding (limited) the gpt /secure boot /efi are the elements of uefi firmware
and mbr is old style none uefi.
I see you have .cfg efi in there so my guess is the ones before sparky uses uefi and then Sparky messed it up using mbr .

if you can get : super_grub2_disk_hybrid_2.04s1.iso

i played with it and it even booted slackware which doesn't even use grub.
 

coderlen

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captain-sensible, thanks for your suggestions!

super_grub2_disk_hybrid_2.04s1.iso works wonderfully. I was finally able to get at some of the OSes to boot, but alas, not all. Sparky Linux Game Over booted initially. In fact, yesterday I went into it and began the suggested updates. But it later froze, and I was never able to get it to boot.

antiX boots very well, but Windows does not. I think I got Mandaro to boot also, but only by using super_grub2.

But at least I can get antiX up and running, which to me was the most important OS.

And I was finally able to get update-grub to execute, via the antiX command line. It all looked very hopeful, as it said it found 3 of my installed OSes. But when I booted the computer, it only showed the SparkyLinux Game Over, which failed to boot.

Now, do you have any suggestions on how to fix my Grub so I can get all 4 OSes to boot?
 

captain-sensible

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there are a few things you can do which i think will help and probably will be asked for. It would be nice to see a screen shot of your partitions from gparted perspective.

& confirm for sure architecture :


$ uname -m

and output of :

# fdisk -l

// sudo fdisk -l for you


also maybe look in bios and see if it says anything about secure boot, legacy etc that should do for starters. Also make sure you have one live OS via ventoy to fix things if necessary Mint Cinamon works with ventoy and with persisitence
 

coderlen

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Thanks so much, captain-sensible. Yes, you did good, not being a Grub user youself!

I'll investigate all the suggestions you gave me later on. I'll get back when I've had time to digest it all.

Thanks again!
 

wizardfromoz

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? I think @wizardfromoz or other Debian child users will have to come in.
You rang?



@coderlen - G'day Len and welcome to linux.org :)

So is there actually a Grub Menu appearing that features only SparkyLinux Game Over on it?

Does it have a second line for Advanced Options?

Or can you take a phone pic and attach it up to us? If attaching, choose full size over thumbnail.

I am changing ISP's at the moment and have Saturday morning shopping to do but will be back when I can.

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

coderlen

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Sorry it took me so long to get back to you guys. I have all the information gathered.

captain-sensible, I don't need Ventoy because I am able to boot into antiX Linux with the Super Grub 2 USB you told me about.

I will post the 13 pics I took of various screens, as you two requested.

Curiously, I find that the only way I can boot with a USB is to go into the BIOS and change it to CSM Boot. Conversely, if I want to boot from the hard disk, I must change the BIOS back to UEFI Boot. This seems to go against everything others have advised me in another forum, but that's the way it is on my machine.

I look forward to your suggestions, wizardfromoz and captain-sensible.Thanks for helping me!
View attachment 6943View attachment 6944View attachment 6945

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IMG_20200725_161926656.jpg
IMG_20200725_161938596.jpg
 

wizardfromoz

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Looks like I've just missed you, Len :)

That's great with the pix, they are worth a thousand words.

I suspected from the Pastebin report that there were a few anomalies, and the above have clarified and confirmed those thoughts.

I have a bunch of suggestions I can put together and put to you that will likely be of assistance to you. This is a bit of a mess, but that is no reflection on you, and it is workable.

The Linux roadtrip can have bumps and potholes in it, and if we can negotiate those without breaking an axle or getting a flat tire, we can consider ourselves lucky. Perseverance and planning can make us better drivers. :)

I'll take a liberty and edit those Posts with the pix to allow a bit of space, and I'll label those screenshots and we can work through them together.

Could take me a couple of hours to type things up, my typing is improving, coming back from a shoulder injury, but I still need to take breaks.

If you are patient and allow for timezones (I am in Australia), I believe we can have you up and running in 1 to 2 days, hopefully less.

Meantime, if you can give us the specs on the Toshiba, that will assist, too.

Cheers

Wizard
 

coderlen

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OK! Nice of you to work with me on my laptop. Sorry about your shoulder injury, but I'm glad you're getting better.

I'm posting info on my laptop. It's about 7 years old, but it just keeps on running, so I won't let it go.

I'll be patient with the time zone wait. Good to be working with an Aussie.

Thanks! Looking forward to getting this laptop up and running again. Take care.
screenshot6.jpg
 

wizardfromoz

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...it just keeps on running, so I won't let it go.
And why would you want to? That's where Linux comes into its own. :)

You are likely catching zzz's by now, so I'll go ahead. I run about 70 to 80 Linux typically, over 2 rigs, but I haven't had a Sparky for a while, and antiX even longer.

When you are back on deck you could tell us the version number and desktop environment of each of the Sparkys and antiX.

I am going to download the .iso for, and install,

sparkylinux-2020.02-x86_64-mate.iso

Because I like MATE, and this release from February is the closest in kernel below yours.

In case I get run over by a Mack truck, I'll briefly outline my plan, but don't do these steps yet!

I'll list it arse-end about, and we'll be working from Sparky because it has a Grub Menu.


STEP 3

You'll go, in the Grub Menu to advanced options and from there you choose Recovery Mode.

That will generate a menu which should feature being able to drop to a shell as root and that is the one to choose.

When you are in the shell, you can type in and enter each of the following

Code:
grub-install /dev/sda

update-grub

reboot
and that should sort us.

STEP 2

The only partitions which should have the flags

boot, esp

is /dev/sda2

The others need have no flag/s at all, and you can remove those using GParted.

This is one of the reasons why you are getting an error that says you need to load the kernel first. Linux is getting confused as to where the bootloader actually resides and where the (U)EFI System Partition, or ESP, resides, which is in /dev/sda2.

An ESP must be in FAT32 or VFAT form, not in Linux's EXT4.

STEP 1

Probably most important before undertaking this plan is to safeguard your Windows. If not already done, you should use its built-in tool to burn a recovery or rescue DVD or USB stick.

I'm working on a few things currently, and then I'll get back to editing that Post.

Cheers

Wizard
 

captain-sensible

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in many ways its an ideal situation ; it wasn't a complete disaster and you salvaged the situation to get an OS back up. That should give you confidence that Linux is maybe quite robust you can work with it and fix things if you know how.. and now your learning how to ...
 

coderlen

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wizardfromoz and captain-sensible, thanks for your help. I'm responding right now on my wife's Windows machine, while my laptop dries. Let me explain. The receivers for the screws which hold the thing together have stripped, so I put some silicone in the receivers so the screws will have something to grab onto. It will take another day before the silicone dries, and then I'll screw it back together and test with the wonderful suggestions from wizard. I can't wait until tomorrow to try it out!

captain. you're right, Linux is the answer. I've spent so many years with Windows, puking at every single release, as the software just got bigger and bigger, taking more and more resources. I can't stand waiting, but in Windows you have to wait forever for anything, especially if they're cramming another update down your throat.

wizard, you say you work with over 80 distros of Linux. Wow! Which ones have you found to be really fast, and which are slow? In my limited experience, I find that Ubuntu is by far the slowest. Its been called the Windows of the Linux world. But I find antiX very fast, and so far it's my favorite.

I'll let you guys know when I put everything together tomorrow. Meanwhile, g'day Mates!
 

coderlen

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wizardfromoz, I got my laptop screwed back together. It's working just fine.

You mentioned in your last post that you were listing the things for me to do, in reverse order, but that I was not to actually execute the steps yet. Since I am able to boot the computer through the super_grub2_disk_hybrid_2.04s1.iso that captain-sensible told me about, I am able to do my work. So I can wait for your further instructions.

Thanks so much!

Anxiously awaiting for your commands, I am,

Sincerely,
coderlen
 


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