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I'm a long-time windows user trying to convert to Ubuntu. I think I messed up the installation pretty badly and I'm not sure how to fix it. I will try to be as detailed as possible:

I recently bought an Acer aspire netbook that came pre-loaded with windows 8. I wanted to have a dual-booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu set up. I followed these instructions to install Ubuntu alongside Windows.

As per the article, I shrunk the main partition in Windows 8, and downloaded Ubuntu 12.04 onto a USB stick. I changed my boot settings to go into Legacy Mode, so as to turn off secure boot (I can't turn it off in UEFI mode), and instructed it to boot from the USB stick.

Opening the live version, I installed Ubuntu on manually created partitions, as the installer didn't recognize windows 8. Again following the article's instructions, I created 2 ext4 partitions and a swap partition using the free space.

I got an error saying something about needing a ~1MB partition (was either for boot or bios, I forget the exact wording) for Ubuntu to run properly. I had 1MB of free space in my list of disk partitions, so I assigned 1MB partition to that and moved along.

After fully installing Ubuntu, I rebooted and unplugged the USB stick, and the computer directly booted into Ubuntu. No big deal, the article said this could happen, and I just needed to tinker with the boot settings. I ran boot repair, and followed the instructions in the boot repair report its instructions.

After rebooting, I can't access either Ubuntu or Windows 8, from legacy mode or UEFI mode. I get error: invalid arch independent ELF magic. The only thing I can do is load the live version from the USB stick in Legacy Mode.

How I can resolve this Issue ?

I know that there's a lot of threads about this error message, but there are so many variables with the installation I have a hard time telling which solutions are applicable, and I don't want to mess anything up further.

Please pardon any ignorance, this is my first experience with Linux and I feel like I'm not off to a great start.

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try this post askubuntu.com/questions/94511/… –  Avinash Raj Nov 20 '13 at 16:06

2 Answers 2

First, I suggest you look harder for options to disable Secure Boot without activating BIOS/CSM/legacy mode. Such an option should be present. If it's not, the manufacturer is pushing pretty hard at the limits of their contract with Microsoft, and possibly violating it. Personally, I would return any computer that doesn't enable me to disable Secure Boot, and I strongly recommend you do the same, if that's the case for you. (Note that a firmware update might help on this score, although some manufacturers require you to boot Windows to install such updates, which puts you in a bind.)

Trying to manage Ubuntu booting in BIOS mode and Windows booting in EFI mode is a tricky proposition, so your goal should be to get both OSes installed in a single mode. This is usually easier with EFI mode, assuming you're starting with a working pre-installed Windows 8; however, BIOS mode may be easier if you've got a Windows 8 retail disc.

You may want to read my Web site on EFI-mode Linux installations. It's got assorted tips on how to prepare to install, install, and manage Linux on an EFI-based computer. This won't help you directly with your problem, but it's useful background information, and it may be helpful if you decide to start over from scratch.

Which brings me to your current recovery options. Starting from scratch is one of them, and it may be worth considering. Unfortunately, most manufacturers don't provide recovery CDs; instead, they rely on a recovery partition on the hard disk. You may be able to get that started, but you'll have to find your firmware's boot manager to launch it. When you run it, you can restore the computer to its factory defaults and start over from scratch, doing an EFI-based installation. Given your experience, I'd avoid using Boot Repair on your computer.

Another option is to try booting my rEFInd boot manager. Grab the CD-R or USB flash drive image, create a boot medium, and boot with it. Ideally, it will give you options to boot both Linux and Windows, both of which will work. Unfortunately, the images I've provided don't directly support Secure Boot, so you'll need to figure out how to disable it before using them. Alternatively, you could add Secure Boot support to the USB flash drive image by adding the shim program -- you'd need to rename EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi on the USB flash drive to EFI/BOOT/grubx64.efi and then put shim.efi on it as EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi. See the rEFInd Secure Boot documentation for more on this topic.

Addition: You may want to file a bug report against Boot Repair, since it actually damaged a working installation.

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FYI:Boot-Repair bugs, its not part of Ubuntu bugs.launchpad.net/boot-repair –  oldfred Nov 20 '13 at 22:22
    
Thanks for the correction, oldfred. I've updated the link in my answer. –  Rod Smith Nov 20 '13 at 23:21
    
Rod, thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I cannot disable secure boot without switching to Legacy mode, at least not from the boot settings menu. Now that I am back into windows I will see if I can make changes from there. Unfortunately, returning the computer is no longer an option. –  user217655 Nov 21 '13 at 0:56
    
Check your manufacturer's Web site for a firmware update; that may provide more or fixed firmware options. One more point: Most EFIs don't actually disable EFI mode; they just enable legacy mode support in addition to EFI support. Thus, your "legacy" option might in fact be legacy and EFI, so you may still be able to boot in EFI mode with legacy support enabled. You can test this with rEFInd or some other EFI-only boot program. –  Rod Smith Nov 21 '13 at 3:15

You originally installed in BIOS mode. Boot-Repair then converted your install to UEFI, but also renamed files.

You need to undo the Boot-Repair rename. It does that for "buggy" UEFI but often is not required. But then if you cannot boot ubuntu/grub then you cannot directly boot Windows from UEFI.

To undo & to rename files to their original names, you just need to tick the "Restore EFI backups" option of Boot-Repair.

Restore backup of WinEFI or UEFI (not sure) that boot-repair made

That should get you back to booting Windows.

Some details from a user with an Aspire. He says to run Boot-Repair but do not run the rename & backup. It seems your system will boot in UEFI or BIOS mode just depending on what you select from menu. How to install Ubuntu for dual-boot with Windows 8 on Acer Aspire V5-551G. Post #3

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2176273

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Thanks! I re-installed Ubuntu in legacy mode and then restored efi backups using boot repair and now I can get back into windows (although I do have to switch back into UEFI mode). Now I just need to get dual-booting to work properly... –  user217655 Nov 21 '13 at 0:58

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