I'm trying to install Ubuntu 12.04.3 on my Sony Vaio with Windows 8 pre-installed. I want to have a dual boot setup. If boot is set to UEFI mode, I cannot boot from the LiveCD. So I set it to Legacy mode and I could boot from the Live CD and install it. The setup went fine. I could allocate 100GB for Ubuntu. Eventually I had to restart after installation. Now it happens that:

  • If boot to Legacy mode, an error message appears when I switch on the notebook. The error says Operationg system not found. So neither can I boot Windows 8 nor Ubuntu.
  • If boot is in UEFI mode, Windows 8 boots normally. There is no request to choose between Windows or Ubuntu

If I try to install Ubuntu again, it recognizes the installation. I tried to reinstall over it, but the system still behaves as described above

What I should do to have my dual boot working well with both Windows and Ubuntu?

Note: Ubuntu works perfectly from the LiveCD


First, I recommend you disable Secure Boot. Although Ubuntu theoretically supports Secure Boot, in practice it sometimes causes problems. Given the way you installed, though, this step alone won't solve your problem. I have two recommendations for how to proceed:

  • Download the USB flash drive or CD-R version of my rEFInd boot manager. You should be able to boot from it, and with any luck it will give you an option to boot Linux via an entry whose description includes the string vmlinuz. If this works, install the Debian-package version of rEFInd, which should make it your default EFI boot manager. If you can't boot to Linux from the rEFInd USB flash drive or CD-R, you may still be able to use it (see below), but try this only if the next suggestion doesn't help.
  • Run the Boot Repair tool from an emergency disc. This often fixes the problem, but sometimes it doesn't do any good, and on occasion it can even make matters worse. If it doesn't help, and if rEFInd also doesn't help, post the URL that Boot Repair gives you; this will give us detailed diagnostic information about your system.

If an EFI-mode boot is impossible, you may be able to use rEFInd to manage a switch between EFI-mode and BIOS-mode booting. You can test this with the USB flash drive version of rEFInd: Mount it and open the EFI/BOOT/refind.conf file in a text editor. Locate the line that begins #scanfor. Uncomment it (by removing the lading #) and add hdbios to the options. When you restart with rEFInd, you should see a new option with a grayscale diamond-shaped icon. This should launch your BIOS-mode version of GRUB. If this works, you can install rEFInd on the hard disk from Windows and change the disk-based version of refind.conf to get it working.

  • What do you mean by "on occasion it can even make matters worse" ? – LovinBuntu Oct 31 '13 at 23:32
  • I've seen a few reports where a default Ubuntu GRUB installation boots Ubuntu but not Windows, and where running Boot Repair then renders nothing bootable. Such problems seem to be fairly rare, but I've seen more than one such report. Unfortunately, GRUB is very finicky, EFIs are quite variable (and often buggy), and Windows/Ubuntu installations are quite variable. This combination makes it virtually impossible to write a tool that's 100% reliable. – Rod Smith Nov 1 '13 at 16:19
  • Please could you indicate these reports? – LovinBuntu Nov 1 '13 at 21:11
  • I'm afraid I don't save and index URLs for everything I read on the Internet. – Rod Smith Nov 2 '13 at 2:08
  • if you find such a report, please indicate it on the tracker ( bugs.launchpad.net/boot-repair ). Until so, please don't spread bad words without proof (FUD?). We understand you want to promote Refind, but please do it in a fair way. – LovinBuntu Nov 3 '13 at 1:14

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