I clean installed windows 7 in legacy BIOS mode on a primary partition. I created two logical partitions for file storage. Ubuntu 16.10 was installed later using bootable USB by selecting the option 'Install alongside windows'. I think the setup created an ext4 partition to install Ubuntu.

Now when I switch on, Grub2 offers options to boot 'Ubuntu' and 'Windows 7 loader'. When I select 'Windows 7 loader' sometimes the black loader appears properly with options to boot Windows 7 or Ubuntu. But sometimes the screen just displays slanting dashed lines through. Slanted dashed lines. However instead of pressing 'Enter' on 'Windows 7 loader' option if I press 'E' I am presented with a code that can be modified.

setparams 'Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)'
   insmod part1_msdos
   insmod ntfs
   set root='hd0,msdos1'
if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd-,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1 2210A74B10A7252F
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 2210A74B10A7252F
parttool ${root} hidden-
chainloader +1

If I press F10 without modifying anything the 'Windows 7 loader' appears. This problem occurs randomly without a pattern.

After somehow reaching the 'Windows 7 loader', selecting the Ubuntu option does not take me to Grub menu. I am presented with a screen with grub at the command prompt. Grub command prompt.

Solutions attempted: Windows7 : Installed 'EasyBCD2.3' and selected 'Recreate all boot files' option Ubuntu : sudo update-grub sudo update-grub2 and 'Ubuntu boot-repair'

Problem still persists. Advance apologies for the low res photos.

  • Post Link to Summary Report from Boot-Repair. If not posted to pastebin site, manually copy & post that link. Do not know EasyBCD but that is only for Windows repairs. If trying to use it to boot Windows it uses grub4dos which is extremely old to chain to grub2 in a partition which is unreliable. – oldfred Sep 17 '17 at 15:51
  • paste.ubuntu.com/25558538 – tom sawyer Sep 17 '17 at 17:05
  • Issue may be that when you boot the Windows entry in sda1, you are getting errors from the EasyBCD grub, not Ubuntu's grub2. Do not know details of EasyBCD, a few do use it. But others uninstall EasyBCD and resolve issues. Separately it shows you have an UEFI system but all installs are BIOS/MBR. And you have a newer 4K drive but partitions are not aligned which reduces performance. Having the extended partition not aligned is ok as you do not write into it directly, but other partitions need to be aligned.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/… – oldfred Sep 17 '17 at 18:39
  • Can you dumb it down for me? From what I understand, you are saying EasyBCD is causing the problem. But the slanting lines started before using EasyBCD. – tom sawyer Sep 17 '17 at 19:09
  • What video card/chip do you have? But video issues with Windows booting are a Windows issue as Ubuntu video drivers are only after grub menu has loaded and you start to boot Ubuntu. This is where UEFI boot has an advantage as you can directly boot Windows to isolate issues. But you would have to totally install everything to convert to UEFI now. – oldfred Sep 17 '17 at 20:18

I found a workaround.

Used EasyBCD and rewrote MBR.

Created a entry for Ubuntu in the loader and selected Syslinux as the type. Works. But it takes some additional time while booting to get into Ubuntu. (My diskmanagement tool shows that windows doesn't recognize the partitions Ubuntu was installed in. Probably because it recognizes only four partitions)

Will update if I can find a way to access windows loader properly from the grub boot menu.

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