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I have two GPT SSDs, from which I intend dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10. Windows is installed first:

  • 970 Pro(NVME) with Windows 10
  • MX500(SATA) where I want to install Ubuntu 18.10

When installing Ubuntu, I choose to customise my install, and create 3 partitions on the MX500 drive:

  • sda1 650 MB EFI partition
  • sda2 root partition
  • sda3 swap partition

I select dev/sda1 as "Device for boot loader installation"

After the install is completed, I find that the boot loader was installed on the EFI partition created by the Windows installation and the EFI partition I created is empty.

I attempted the process again, with a Win10 install on the NVME drive followed by Ubuntu 18.10, and got the same behaviour. Is this a bug, or a limitation with NVME drives needing the host both bootloaders?

SecureBoot is disabled in case it matters.

  • @PRATAP that fixes the missing GRUB from the sda1 partition, but why is the Ubuntu installer ignoring my selection? I'll retry a clean install with both Win and Ubuntu, this time choosing the sda drive instead of the sda1 partition – Alexander Pope Dec 22 '18 at 15:08
  • Would be surprised if this works any better. sda1 is listed as a child of sda in the Device for boot loader installation tree list. – Alexander Pope Dec 22 '18 at 15:09
  • Yes. I can fix that by installing GRUB explicitly once I boot into Ubuntu, but I want the Windows EFI partition untouched during the Ubuntu install. I know I can remove the Ubuntu GRUB files from it, but that's clunky. – Alexander Pope Dec 22 '18 at 15:15
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    I regularly put a second install on sdb or flash drive. And every time it overwrites my /EFI/ubuntu folder in my sda drive. They do not seem to want to fix bug. Ubuntu Installer uses wrong bootloader location for USB UEFI installs bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubiquity/+bug/1173457 & bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubiquity/+bug/1396379 If flash drive, I just copy all of /EFI/ubuntu to flash drive & again to /EFI/Boot and rename shimx64.efi to bootx64.efi. If sdb, or second drive and first is NVMe, you can copy files to second drive's ESP. – oldfred Dec 22 '18 at 15:21
  • That is quite normal behaviour You don't need to create an EFI partition. This is automatically dealt with by grub at installation which re-configures your UEFI for that purpose. It doesn't matter which disk the ESP ends up on, but normally if Windows is installed first it will be on the Windows disk and you should leave it there. – Paul Benson Dec 22 '18 at 15:42
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As shown by @oldfred in a comment, the Ubuntu installer is bugged. It ignores user input in the "Device for boot loader installation" combobox, and clobbers up the fist EFI partition if finds. Selecting sda instead of sda1 makes no difference (at least on my machine).

The bug is old, first reported in 2013 here https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubiquity/+bug/1173457 and here https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubiquity/+bug/1396379. There are a few workarounds to be found in the reports, but I chose to move to another distribution(openSuse).

Thank you for the support!

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