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I am trying to get linux back running on my laptop that has Win8.

It used to run before I upgraded to Win8.1 but now, whenever I choose Linux in the boot menu it just returns some messages saying that it failed to mount. The errors are the following:

errors (Sorry for the crappy pic)

I then tried to boot Ubuntu from a USB drive to recover it. However, Ubuntu never loads and either: freezes in a blank screen with a blinking _ or loads Win8 instead if I boot from a Ubuntu DVD. (I took care to see the boot priorities in BIOS)

So my questions are the following:

  1. Do you have any idea of what might have broken Ubuntu in the first place? I didn't remember messing around with it. Would the upgrade to Win8.1 really break it?
  2. Is there any way to recover it, without breaking Win8 and without having to reinstall it? Or would you just advise me to reinstall it fresh?


I was able to run the LiveUSB by having UEFI enabled.

Running Boot-Repair from a LiveUSB now rendered the laptop unusable since none of the OS work. The log from the Boot-Repair is in here: Ran Boot-Repair again, still to no avail:

Note that Boot-Repair is selecting /sdb in Restore the MBR of: sdb (generic mbr). I have no other option to choose in here besides others for sdb, although linux is installed in sda3, sda5 and sda6 as you can see from this screen

gparted screenshot

I can, however, enter GRUB. I have

GNU GRUB version 2.00-13ubuntu3 Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported. For the first word, TAB lists possible command completions. Anywhere else TAB lists possible device or file completions.

I appreciate all the help

share|improve this question
There is possibly some help for you in this post which discusses some of the issues surrounding a windows upgrade. – Charles Green Jun 23 '14 at 17:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Upgrading Windows 8 to 8.1 will do the following to your boot loader:

  • Depending on what hardware Windows is working on, the boot loader for Linux might work or it might throw that error you are showing. This is because grub is no longer the boot manager but rather the Windows 8 one. I have had laptops boot correctly using the Windows bootloader (Which is blue with several light blue options) and some that have completely failed, forcing me to install the Live USB and recover the boot loader from within the Ubuntu Live System or doing it everything from zero.

  • Again, depending on the hardware and system configuration (Like Fastboot enabled) the boot loader might simply fail forcing you to either recover the boot part from an Ubuntu Live system or install it from scratch.

There are several points you really need to worry when you are at this point:

  1. Do not enable fast boot. Leave it disabled. For more information see Installing Ubuntu on a Pre-Installed Windows 8 (64-bit) System (UEFI Supported) because this will create some issues when trying to registered the boot changes on the new boot manager (Windows based) and even detecting correctly the boot parameters and partitions with grub-repair or GRUB.

  2. Sometimes boot-repair from the Ubuntu Live system will fail on this cases. This problem put together with the fact that the upgrade to 8.1 creates even more issues to any non-windows system (Go Microsoft you are the best!) GRUB might even suffer from 8.1. Please see this answer for a guide to fix this: Cannot Restore Grub After Windows 8.1 Upgrade It is the only one that has worked so far for me.

  3. To solve many of the issues coming from Windows 8.1 please disable fast boot and follow Grub not showing on startup for Windows 8.1 Ubuntu 13.10 Dual boot which might help.

In the end, to solve boot issues from Ubuntu's side, first disable fast boot (hibernation mode) and then try to boot-repair the system or follow any of the advices here. I can only imagine what Windows 9 or 8.2 will bring to the whole compatibility table. Sorry you had to suffer this.

share|improve this answer
That's kind of funny, because I upgraded from 8 to 8.1 and then 8.1 update 1 and never had an issue.. But my computer is a bit old and never had UEFI enabled.. – Seth Jun 23 '14 at 23:16
@Seth Exactly. I have tested ones that worked, others that went O.o' – Luis Alvarado Jun 24 '14 at 1:12
Well, this is strange: when I follow the instructions on the first reply in here as you suggested, I get to the point where I am told that there should be no problem in installing Ubuntu alongside Win8. Then, why did the upgrade break ubuntu? It shouldn't, right? Or do these things simply have nothing to do with eachother? – Sosi Jun 24 '14 at 10:39
Remember that installing Ubuntu alongside Windows is not the same as upgrading Windows. The former will try to create a boot loader for both systems (Assuming UEFI is enabled). The latter will try to create a boot loader for both systems using the Windows equivalent. In both cases as you can see and on the latter as you have it right now, bring many problems that could arise, some very random. So while there is work to do to stop Microsoft's sabotage on other systems with EFI, all we can do right now is solve issues like this that might or might not have nothing to do with each other. – Luis Alvarado Jun 24 '14 at 13:33

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