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I have a HP laptop with Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.04 dual booted. I used to use F9 key to enter boot menu and chose Ubuntu and then GRUB would appear where I would chose Ubuntu again. This was working fine all this while. Either a hardware change or a Windows update has caused the Ubuntu option to go missing from the boot menu itself.

How do I fix this and boot into Ubuntu again?

  • Are you sure that the BIOS bootmenu showed an option "ubuntu" ? I would surpised if. – cmks Mar 14 '16 at 18:51
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    cmks, older BIOS-based computers were more primitive and would only display a description of a boot disk; but under EFI, Ubuntu registers its boot loader with the NVRAM as ubuntu, and it shows up by that name in the EFI boot menu. Thus, there's nothing strange about that detail. – Rod Smith Mar 14 '16 at 19:24
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I fixed it by making a live USB, selecting try ubuntu, and reinstalling grub by using boot repair. Boot repair worked like magic. All I had to do was to select the option 'Recommended Repair'. Thanks for the answers

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If you can boot into Windows, try using the EasyUEFI program. If it shows the ubuntu entry, you should be able to activate it and move it to the top of the list. If it does not show that entry, you might still be able to use EasyUEFI to re-create it, but I'm not sure of the details of how to do this with EasyUEFI. You'd want to create an entry for EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi on the EFI System Partition (ESP). With any luck the user interface will make it obvious how to do this.

If the entry is completely missing and EasyUEFI doesn't do the trick, you should be able to do it with bcdedit in Windows:

  1. Locate Command Prompt in the Start menu, right-click it, and select Run as Administrator. This action opens a Command Prompt window with administrative privileges.
  2. Type bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi.
  3. Type bcdedit /set {bootmgr} description "ubuntu".
  4. Reboot.

GRUB should come up as the default boot entry; or at the very least, you should see a new ubuntu entry in the EFI's boot manager.

Note that some HPs, especially older ones, have flaky EFIs that can ignore or forget EFI boot manager entries. You may be running into problems related to this -- but the fact that it used to work for you means it should be possible to get it working again. If you continue to have problems after using EasyUEFI and/or bcdedit, you might want to try entering the firmware setup utility and locating the option to reset all values to their defaults. With any luck, that will clear away whatever cruft is causing problems. The down side to this is that you'll probably need to re-register GRUB (using EasyUEFI or bcdedit, as just described; or the Linux tool efibootmgr) after it's done.

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on windows try installing partition wizard .. open it .. select your entire hard drive! then from the options bar on the left select: rebuilt MBR

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