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I can use Grub-Customizer to edit which options appear in the Grub menu. I was thinking of removing everything except the option to boot into Ubuntu and into Windows.

If I was to do this how could I boot into the recovery modes of these two operating systems if I needed to?

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To start Ubuntu in Recovery Mode

You can do so from the Grub menu.

1 - Show the menu

  • If the menu is displayed during boot, the automatic countdown may be stopped by pressing any key other than the Enter key.
  • If the menu is not normally displayed during boot, hold down the Shift key as the computer attempts to boot to display the GRUB 2 menu. In certain circumstances, if holding the Shift key method does not display the menu pressing the Esc key repeatedly may display the menu.

2 - Edit the menu

  • With the menu displayed, press any key (except Enter) to halt the countdown timer and select the Ubuntu entry with the up/down arrow keys.

  • Press the E key to edit that entry's settings.

    Note: Do not use Enter to move between lines.

  • Delete the line that looks something like set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode

  • Go to the line that starts with linux and delete everything after ro. (In my case, that would mean to delete quiet splash vt.handoff=7.)

  • Now, append the following to the line (after ro): recovery nomodeset

    The final line looks like this for me: linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.0.0-19-generic root=UUID=74d6aa6a-5170-4a36-b5b8-72e9c3db3989 ro recovery nomodeset

  • When that's done, hit CTRL-X to boot with the temporarily changed settings.

    Note: Edits made to the menu in this manner are non-persistent. They remain in effect only for the current boot.

  • Ubuntu will now load in Recovery mode.

    More info on editing the Grub menu during boot can be found here.

To start Windows in Safe Mode

This is actually really simple.

  • Select Windows from the Grub menu.
  • Once your selection is made, repeatedly hit F8 until a menu appears.
  • From here, you will be able to choose which mode to start Windows in, such as Safe Mode or Command Prompt.
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