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After installing Ubuntu, I used the tool boot-repair to get my laptop to load grub upon startup. Unfortunately, after a while, I have noticed that I can no longer boot from a flash drive (to reinstall windows or another linux distro) because the boot menu is filled up with Ubuntu entries. The UEFI firmware is behaving oddly and I'm scared that I will end up with a brick unable to boot any OS.

Boot-repair info

enter image description here

All options including "OS Boot Manager" take me to grub. The list does not scroll. From looking at the Windows 8 advanced reboot menus I know there are more options hidden down there. My settings indicate that secure boot is disabled. However, when I boot the flash drive from Windows 8's advanced reboot menu I get a message indicating that my computer will not boot from it (if you need the exact text I can try that again).

I imagine fixing this involves removing those extra entries from some EFI boot partition or something. Thanks in advance for your help.

My laptop is a HP Envy Spectre XT.

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1 Answer 1

The extra Ubuntu entries probably aren't related to your problem, but I could be wrong. Certainly I've heard of weirder EFI problems. Thus, you might as well address it. To do so, first type sudo efibootmgr in Ubuntu. This should produce a list like this:

BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 0 seconds
BootOrder: 0000,0002,0003,0001
Boot0000* rEFInd Boot Manager
Boot0001* fedora
Boot0002* rEFInd (via PreLoader)
Boot0003* ubuntu

These entries are from one of my systems, and of course yours will be different -- it will probably have a large number of ubuntu entries. Take note of the BootOrder list -- it identifies the order in which entries are tried. Chances are one of your ubuntu entries will be first on that list, or at least very early on it. You can delete all of the other ubuntu entries with efibootmgr, as in:

sudo efibootmgr -b 0003 -B

That command deletes entry Boot0003 (which is the only ubuntu entry in my example).

Once that's done, try again to boot a USB flash drive. If you can't do it, try using the Boot From EFI File option shown in your screen shot; that may enable you to select a file on your USB flash drive.

It's also conceivable that there's a setting in your firmware that's disabling USB flash drive access. On one of my computers, for instance, there's an option to do a quick USB initialization that prepares USB keyboards but not USB storage devices. If that option is enabled, it becomes impossible to boot from a USB flash drive. Thus, such options must be set to do a full USB initialization at boot time. (Check your USB flash drive's access lights as you boot; if they don't flash, chances are the firmware is not initializing the device.)

If all this fails, it's conceivable that installing rEFInd will help; in theory, it should produce a list of bootable USB devices. This will only work if the USB devices are initialized, though.

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This is my output: paste.ubuntu.com/5892822 Any more insight before I try to run those commands you suggested? –  derpert Jul 20 '13 at 2:45
    
None your Ubuntu entries is in the BootOrder. My guess is that you're booting through a copy of GRUB installed as EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi on the ESP and accessed through the Boot3000 entry. You've also got a lot of (apparently duplicated) EFI Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk entries. I recommend removing all but the first of the Ubuntu entries and all but the first of the EFI Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk entries. You do have an entry labelled USB Hard Drive - KingstonDT 101 G2. My guess is it appears on a second screen of options in your boot manager. –  Rod Smith Jul 20 '13 at 15:23
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