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When I turn on my computer, I see the grub2.02 command line. It says "GNU GRUB version 2.02~beta2-15 Minimal BASH-like editing is supported. For the first word, TAB lists possible command completions... " etc.

After much googling and trying different chainloading commands, I still couldn't find a way to boot back into windows. I also tried booting from an ubuntu recovery usb, but I couldn't figure out how to get GRUB to recognize/boot the usb.

Is there a way to get back to my laptops BIOS/UEFI so I can change the boot settings? I would hate to loose my memory; my music isn't backed up anywhere.

My laptop: ASUS x550-la, intel i7, preinstalled with windows 8 64bit.

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    You just need to go into UEFI/BIOS and reset Windows as first to boot. Or use the one time boot key, often f10 or f12. Or did you leave fast boot in UEFI on, and then do not have time to press a key? Then a full cold boot including removing battery and holding power switch for 10 sec or so may work. But you must press correct key to get into UEFI or you have to repeat procedure. Others have to jumper pins on motherboard. Not sure if possible on laptop.
    – oldfred
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 22:34
  • That is a Windows/BIOS/UEFI problem (you need to fix this from within Windows/BIOS/UEFI). Since you removed Ubuntu we can't fix this from Ubuntu.
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 22:35
  • The problem was caused by Ubuntu, and exists because a tiny part of Ubuntu still exists on the disk. It can also be fixed in an Ubuntu emergency disk. IMHO, closing the question as "off topic" because (most of) Ubuntu is no longer installed is wrong.
    – Rod Smith
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:16

1 Answer 1

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The problem is caused by the fact that a part of the GRUB boot loader remains installed on the computer, and is being launched by default. Unfortunately, the way Ubuntu sets up GRUB causes it to rely on files located on the Ubuntu partition, and since you've deleted that partition, those files effectively no longer exist.

There are several possible solutions to this problem:

  • You may be able to launch your firmware setup utility and use it to delete the Ubuntu entry or re-order the entries so that the Windows entry comes first. Unfortunately, the details of how to enter the firmware setup utility vary from one machine to another. Most use Del or a function key early in the boot process, but details vary. Some make this very hard. Furthermore, the details of how to modify the boot order vary from one to another. Thus, you'll just have to poke around or ask on a manufacturer forum to learn how to do it this way.
  • There is a way to exit from GRUB, but I don't recall the precise command -- try exit, quit, or synonyms of that. Exiting from GRUB should cause the next boot loader in the NVRAM list to launch. This will probably be the Windows boot loader, so you should be able to get into Windows in this way. This won't solve the problem permanently, but can be a step to a solution.
  • The firmware's built-in boot manager should be able to bypass GRUB. As with the firmware setup utility, this is accessed by a system-specific keypress -- usually Esc or a function key.
  • If you can boot to Windows by exiting GRUB or by using the firmware's own boot manager, you can launch an Administrator Command Prompt window (by right-clicking the Command Prompt icon and selecting "Run as Administrator" from the options). Typing bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\Microsoft\boot\bootmgfw.efi should then reset the Windows boot loader as the default.
  • If you can boot Windows, you can try using the third-party EasyUEFI tool to adjust your boot priority list. Move the Windows option to the top of the list.
  • You can boot a Linux emergency disk (such as an Ubuntu installer) and use efibootmgr to set the default boot loader and/or delete the Ubuntu entry. Type sudo efibootmgr, then use sudo efibootmgr -o ####,####,#### to set the boot order. For instance, if Windows is Boot0003, you'd type sudo efibootmgr -o 0003 (and optionally add others in a comma-delimited list) to set Windows first.
  • You can boot to any OS, mount the EFI System Partition, and delete GRUB, which resides in EFI/ubuntu -- delete that entire directory, in fact.
    • In a Linux emergency disk, you'll need to figure out which partition your ESP is by using gdisk, parted, or some other tool. It's usually the first or second partition on the disk, and it always uses the FAT filesystem. In gdisk, it's got a type code of EF00; and in parted, it has its "boot flag" set. Mount it with mount, as in sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt.
    • In Windows, typing mountvol S: /S in an Administrator Command Prompt window should mount the ESP at S: -- but only from within that window, so you'll need to use text-mode commands to delete the directory.

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