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I had installed Ubuntu 13.04. The installation went on smoothly. But, after the installation was over, there was no grub that let me decide between Ubuntu and Windows 8. So, I used EasyBCD. The grub appeared at the startup now. However, it would only run Windows 8. On running Ubuntu, it would say something like, "a recent hardware and software change has caused this... use system repair etc.. and it will also mention something abut BCD."

Hence, I experimented some more, but unfortunately, I ended up deleting BCD entries (or something else related mbr), because of which neither Windows nor Ubuntu would start. After reading a lot about how Microsoft ships laptops that recognize only Windows 8, I disabled secured boot, used Ubuntu repair and Windows 8 repair. In the process, I ended up using commands like bootrec.exe and also encountered grub-rescue and what not.

After all this nightmare, I am now back to square one. I do not want to do something stupid again. Can anyone tell me what is the simplest way to set up a grub that would allow me to choose the OS at the startup ?

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marked as duplicate by Luis Alvarado Jul 6 '13 at 19:15

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1 Answer 1

The current state of your system is quite unclear, so it's hard to say what the best way to proceed is, except to run additional diagnostics. The Boot Info Script will provide at least some of the relevant information -- but given the number of things you've tried, there will still be some uncertainty about what that script returns. If you run this script and need advice, edit your post to include a link to the RESULTS.txt file that the Boot Info Script returns, and add a comment to this reply to alert me to the new information.

If Windows is booting right now, then there is at least one thing you could try that stands a good chance of working: Install my rEFInd boot manager in Windows. Be sure to install the ext4fs driver (or the driver for whatever filesystem you used for Ubuntu). Depending on your configuration, that may enable you to boot Linux directly by using a rEFInd icon that refers to the Linux kernel (a file with a name that includes the string vmlinuz). If Windows is not booting, you could try rEFInd from a CD-R or USB flash drive. (The rEFInd downloads page includes links to images for both these media.) That might get Windows and/or Linux booting, but I can't make any promises of that.

Another comment: The Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is a Windows-specific boot loader construct. Thus, the fact that you got messages about BCD when attempting to boot Linux is a clear indication that you were not booting Linux. Furthermore, the last I heard EasyBCD was pretty much useless for assisting in dual-boot configurations on EFI systems. Thus, you shouldn't bother with that software. Instead, use the firmware's own boot manager, GRUB, rEFInd, or another boot manager to select which OS to boot.

Right now, the easiest way to deal with Secure Boot is to disable it. If you must boot with Secure Boot enabled, though, it can be done. Theoretically, Ubuntu supports Secure Boot, but I've seen enough problem reports that it's clear that this support is far from perfect. If you use a third-party tool like rEFInd, you'll need to take extra steps to get it working with Secure Boot. The rEFInd documentation includes a page on Secure Boot, so consult it if you want to use rEFInd with Secure Boot. For other boot loaders, I've written a more general page on Secure Boot.

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