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I will try to make this as quick as I can, while still being as in depth as possible. I have a Gateway laptop running Windows 8. I tried to install Ubuntu 13.04 side-by-side with Windows, and I can not seem to boot into Ubuntu (or see GRUB at all), no matter what I do.

First I went into Windows Disc Management, and shrunk my Hard Drive (C:) by 120GB.

I downloaded the 64bit Ubuntu 13.04 ISO and used a Disc Image creator to burn the ISO to a disc creating an Ubuntu LiveCD. I then disabled FastBoot in Windows 8 through the Power Options in Control Panel (basically disables Hibernation, and doesn't save a Windows state to the HardDrive for faster bootup) and booted to the UEFI settings. I disabled Secure Boot inside of the UEFI firmware settings and changed boot priority to boot off of the DVD drive first, and inserted the disc, and booted into the LiveCD. I selected Install Ubuntu and continued to the installation. When the installation started up, Ubuntu did not find/recognize my Windows 8 installation. I selected Something Else from the menu and created two partitions on the Free Space portion of my HDD. I used 115GB as Primary, ext4 journaling file system, mount point set to root. I then created a 5GB swap partition (also set to primary I believe). The installation finished without a hitch.

Since finishing the install, I am unable to see GRUB on boot up, and am launched straight to Windows 8. I tried using EasyBCD to add Ubuntu to the Windows boot menu, which worked in adding Ubuntu, but when I select it, I get a "Windows is unable to load" error, and listed NST/NeoGrub.mbr as corrupt or missing. I have since restored the EasyBCD backup I made before changing anything, and uninstalled EasyBCD altogether. I then booted into the LiveCD again, this time selecting "Try Ubuntu Without Installing" and ran the following commands in terminal: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair followed by sudo apt-get install boot-repair I then ran a command to update Boot Repair (can't remember the exact command, maybe sudo apt-get update boot-repair) and then sudo run boot-repair.

I ran Boot Repair and the paste from that can be found at: http://paste.ubuntu.com/6156885/

It said that my kernel was "buggy" and should be backed up and replaced. I selected no, because I had read a lot about WINDOWS not booting once that is done, and I certainly didn't want to make matters worse than they already were.

I need to know how to fix my booting issues. I have a theory that the reason it will not work, is because my computer already had 3 partitions on it when I started (Recovery, C:/, and another Recovery). Could this cause the boot problems I am describing? Can I format the partition containing Ubuntu (would this completely uninstall Ubuntu?) and start over after backing up the Recovery partitions and formatting them? Would it even make a difference? I am mad, because I love my laptop. It's fast, its got a beautiful display, and plenty of bells and whistles, but I NEED Ubuntu. If I didn't RELY on Windows for work software that can't run inside of a VM, I would scrap Windows altogether. Please help me.

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Reenable secure boot in windows, only disable fast boot. Ubuntu should be able to install and boot with secure boot activated. –  Braiam Sep 26 '13 at 16:00
    
Actually, with Secure Boot on, Windows blocks the LiveCD every single time you try to run it. Apparently, you can somehow sign the LiveCD to look like a Windows repair disc, but I have no idea how to do that ;) –  Mario Saltalamacchia Sep 29 '13 at 16:44

2 Answers 2

If you have Windows 8 on it on UEFI, then you have a GPT Partitioned Disk :)

This can have more than 4 primary partitions( infact upto 128 !) So thats not the problem :)

From your pastebin, this is what grub-repair is suggesting

Recommended-Repair This setting will reinstall the grub-efi of sda6, using the following options: sda2/boot/efi, Additional repair will be performed: unhide-bootmenu-10s fix-windows-boot backup-and-rename-efi-files

I think its safe to do what grub repair is suggesting.

But I would suggest you to have a Windows repair disk, just like you have your Ubuntu instll disk, in case things go wrong :)

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2855-system-repair-disc-create-windows-8-a.html

Edit- Formatting your Ubuntu partition will delete your current Ubuntu installation and you would have to reinstall!

Also I would not recommend formatting any other partition, even after backing up, becuase it could lead to unforseen circumstances! and Windows being what it is, you probably wouldnt have a installation disk for it.

So do not format/remove any other partition!

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If I have Windows 8, and UEFI, then Windows is obviously installed in UEFI mode, correct? Because I know in order to play nice together they must be both be installed in UEFI mode (the mode which I installed Ubuntu). I'm lost, and defeated right now :\ –  Mario Saltalamacchia Sep 26 '13 at 15:42
    
Yes, and your Ubuntu is also booting in UEFi mode :) your pastebin confirms this :) "/boot/efi detected in the fstab of sda6: UUID=F8A7-B546 (sda2) =================== UEFI/Legacy mode: BIOS is EFI-compatible, and is setup in EFI-mode for this live-session. SecureBoot disabled." –  Aaditya Bagga Sep 26 '13 at 15:46
    
Thank you for the comments. I have seen quite a few other people having these same issues, but I haven't seem anyone post a clear cut, definitive fix for it... super frustrating. –  Mario Saltalamacchia Sep 26 '13 at 16:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

OK, I FINALLY SOLVED THIS! YAY!

OK, so for ANYONE that is having this problem, this is what I did:

I re-formatted the partitions that I had installed Ubuntu on. After I was done, I re-created the partitions. This time I allocated 200GB as free space (for use with Ubuntu). I then inserted the LiveCD and rebooted my computer. Once the Ubuntu LiveCD booted, I chose "Install Ubuntu". As usual, Ubuntu failed to recognize my Windows 8 installation. I chose the bottom option: Something Else. I then set up 2 partitions. I made a 2GB swap partition (set up as Logical, beginning of area, set to Swap Area), I then allocated the rest of the free space to the Ubuntu install (Primary, ext4 journalling, beginning of area, Mount point set to root (/)). I then selected the primary 198GB partition I had allocated, and selected Install. I installed Ubuntu and then rebooted.

Low and behold, it boot directly into Windows 8 (damn you Microsoft!). I then re-inserted the LiveCD, and rebooted. Once rebooted, I chose 'Try Ubuntu Without Installing'. Once Ubuntu launched, I opened up the Terminal. Once in the Terminal, I entered the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository yannubuntu/boot-repair (make sure you connect to the internet first)

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair

boot-repair

Once Boot Repair opens, select Recommended Repair, and let it do it's thing. You should receive two pop-ups. The first one will say something about EFI being detected, just hit OK. Then it will go through some steps, and it will pop up again, saying 'Buggy Kernel detected.' and say something about backing up and replacing the Windows EFI files. SELECT YES. It will then re-install and update GRUB. Once it is done, type this into Terminal: 'sudo reboot'. Your computer will reboot.

Now, when GRUB comes up, you will see no option for Windows. By default you will be launched right back into Ubuntu... Don't fret.. When Ubuntu reboots, re-open the terminal, and run the Boot Repair commands a second time to permanently install it inside of Ubuntu:

sudo apt-add-repository yannubuntu/boot-repair (make sure you connect to the internet first)

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair

boot-repair

Now, when Boot Repair opens, click on Advanced Settings. Next click on GRUB LOCATION, and you will see "OS to boot by default" and it will be set to "Current OS, Ubuntu 13.04". Change that to Windows and hit APPLY. Now, when the thing pops up about a Buggy Kernel, select NO. When it completes, type this into the Terminal "sudo reboot". You will be rebooted back into Windows.

I am not sure if I will have to do this every time I want to get back into Windows, but even if I do, it only takes about a minute to do, so that is fine with me. Now, if you want to get back into Ubuntu (at least this is how it works on my Laptop) when you are in Windows, REBOOT your computer, and when the OEM splash screen pops up, press whatever button you must press to open the BOOT MENU. On my computer, it is F12. You should see three entries: Windows Boot Manager(XXXXX)(XXX will be the name of your hard drive), and two other entries (one may say Ubuntu, one may say Windows, or they may both just be the name of your hard drive, e.g. HITACHI345XX434UI), number 1 is Windows Boot Manager, number 2 is Windows, number 3 is Ubuntu. Select number 3 to get into Ubuntu, or number 1 or 2 to boot into Windows.

This is a pretty round-about method to dual boot, but until I can figure something else out, this is what I have to do for now ;)

Thanks to those who commented, you pointed me in the right direction, and I am writing this reply from Ubuntu 13.04 and loving it ;)

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+1 - But it would be great if you could come back and say whether or not switching to the other OS involves just rebooting it and selecting the OS from the boot menu or if you have to use boot repair every time.... With that said, I miss the good ole days when dual-booting was simpler... –  jmort253 Sep 28 '13 at 22:39
1  
I can now, with a huge degree of certainty, say that I only had to do the Boot Repair for the first time. Once I ran it to get back into Windows once, I can now boot into Ubuntu or Windows by opening the Boot Menu during boot and selecting Windows Boot Manager to open Windows, or choosing either of the other two options to open GRUB which gives me the option to launch Ubuntu, or I can even choose Windows UEFI Manager from the GRUB menu, which will boot me into Windows from GRUB. 100% fixed. –  Mario Saltalamacchia Sep 29 '13 at 16:34

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