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I was dual-booting Windows 10 and Ubuntu on my laptop for some time. A while back, my laptop died and had to be sent in for repair. Turns out there was some bug in the BIOS so that it had to be reinstalled. My SSD is untouched, though. It has not been wiped, and Windows has not been reinstalled.

The only problem is that I no longer get the purple boot screen where I can pick what OS to start. It just goes straight to Windows. My Ubuntu installation is probably still there, or at least my Windows partition is still smaller than the complete drive.

What do I need to do to be able to boot Linux again? My skill level is very low here, no idea how bootloaders or anything like that works.

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You'll need to do one of two things...

  • boot-repair
  • bcdedit in Windows

To install and run boot repair when running from a Ubuntu Live DVD/USB, see:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair

To install, open a new terminal, then type the following commands (press Enter after each line):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair

If that doesn't fix the problem, you'll have to use bcdedit in Windows, either with the CLI bcdedit command, or after installing Visual BCD Editor (https://www.boyans.net/). see:

Windows 10 upgrade kills grub and boot-repair doesn't help

Where they call out the use of CLI bcdedit as:

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi

Note: when I had a similar problem, I used:

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi
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Turns out there was a very simple reason why it was always booting straight to Windows. The boot order had been changed so that Windows was the first option.

The solution for me was to go into the BIOS settings, and move Ubuntu to the top of the boot order. So no need for any external programs or complicated procedure in this case.

More details on how to do this are available here.

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