I installed windows 8.1 on my new laptop (which came with freedos), I later tried to dual boot the pc with ubuntu 14.04 (with legacy mode). I didn't get an option to install alongside windows 8 so I went with "something else" option. I created the root and swap partitions and then installed ubuntu. Everything went fine while installation. But after rebooting it directly boots into ubuntu, it does not show the GRUB menu for choosing between ubuntu and windows.

After using 'fixmbr' in the windows installation disc, I can now boot into windows but cannot boot to ubuntu. I deleted the linux partition and tried to the above again but I ended with the same problem.

So I was thinking if there was a solution like a command or something which could make GRUB identify the windows partition and give an option to boot to it.

(if it may help, my windows is installed in legacy mode(as in BIOS mode).. if I disable legacy mode the laptop does not boot into any os and it asks for an EFI file to boot from. Also my liveusb boots only through UEFI mode. When I boot it in normal/BIOS mode it shows a blinking '_' )

Please help guys.. I need both the OSes for my projects. And I need them fast.

Thanx in advance..


I really dont know a lot about Linux, but i fixed the same problem by:

  1. Check if grub is installed

    grub-install --version

    or even

    sudo dd bs=512 count=1 if=/dev/sda 2>/dev/null | strings
  2. If it is installed, probably he is not recognizing windows boot, so it directly boots into ubuntu and wont show the grub screen. So, if your windows boot file was not deleted, this should make grub appear and recognize windows as a boot option.

    sudo -H gedit /etc/default/grub

    Insert # at the start of the line GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0.

    Now save then run:

    sudo update-grub

This should be fine to make Grub menu appears on every boot.

( Grub menu won't show on dual Boot )

  • Hi, can't see the option GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT= on Ubuntu 20.04, but there is an option called GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE=hidden should I comment that instead? thanks in advance
    – Bilal
    Apr 20 at 7:20

As You said that after fixing mbr from windows you are directly booting to windows. You should try "Easy-BCD" software for windows in which you can add the grub 2.0 which is favourable for Ubuntu as well as Linux and after adding the grub 2.0 in that software by selecting the Linux partition (obviously) you will have options for booting in Edit boot menu settings.

Choose whatever You wish. Hope this does fine for you.

  • Easy-BCD was my first option.. In fact, it used to be my go-to option.. The program identified a Linux partition and it even apparently added the partition to the boot record. But while booting it never showed the grub menu. I even increased the timeout of the menu from the program, but it was in vain. Jul 29 '16 at 3:16
  • Did you install windows after installing Ubuntu? If you did then try installing Ubuntu after windows as windows boot loader i.e., NT loader doesn't recognise Ubuntu active partition thus It may directly be booting to Windows... Try it...
    – Moksh
    Jul 30 '16 at 19:31
  • or You can also update grub manually in ubuntu if you can login there...
    – Moksh
    Jul 30 '16 at 19:34
  • I installed Linux on a Windows machine.. Aug 1 '16 at 9:57
  • Did you try updating grub manually
    – Moksh
    Aug 1 '16 at 10:42

I was about to suggest boot-repair when I saw it had already been suggested. Having opened that link I wish to add a word of caution; Please do not take the second option and "install" boot repair. I've tried that. It screwed up the installation beyond repair.

Instead I would advice either using the first option or a heretofore not documented third option which is to use a utility such as unetbootin to make a bootable image of the boot-repair utility onto a USB flashdrive resulting in a self-booting boot repair tool. That's how I run boot-repair currently. It's actually faster than CD, and as ever few computers made today even have optical media drives, having a self-booting boot-repair flash drive in my toolkit is just that much more practical.

I currently carry two versions of boot-repair on flash media, one being a bulkier Ubuntu distro containing it, I think it is called "rescue remix" or something. I like it because it includes important tools such as gparted. I also carry a more stripped down version which appears to be based on Lubuntu. It is handy when servicing older computers which have booting issues and simply cannot handle full-fledged Ubuntu.

  • what is the first option? Sep 26 '14 at 13:40
  • I made a bootable Boot-Repair live USB using Ubuntu's built-in Startup Disk Creator application.
    – karel
    Jul 20 '19 at 8:15

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