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kcaldwel
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Solved!

Bios boot order changes by itself

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HP Compaq Elite 8300 Ultra Slim C7H80US
Linux

I have been using this computer for some time with a dual-boot Linux Mint 20 and W10 OS, although 99% Linux.  I have an external HD I use as an automated back-up.  Lately, it sometimes changes the boot order in the BIOS/EFI all by itself, and attempts to boot from the back-up drive which does not have an operating system, which of course leads nowhere.  I can change the boot order in the BIOS, and it boots normally for a few mornings, and then changes the order again.

 

I changed the CMOS battery early on when this started happening, even though it hasn't lost the time, and that didn't make any difference.  There haven't been any hardware changes, other than a camera or USB drive being plugged in occasionally.  I have never had anything like this happen before, it is very strange and starting to get frustrating.  I really like this little computer, but this one has me stumped.

 

There are a few other reports in of the boot order changing on this site, but no real solutions I can see.

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kcaldwel
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I think I've finally figured out what is happening.  My hard drive is getting old. and after sitting turned off over night, it takes a little longer than it should coming up to speed. The HP bios/UEFI doesn't wait for the hard drive, it just immediately decides the internal hard drive no longer exists, and goes to the next possible boot source.  It actually deletes the internal SATA drive from the available boot sources, with no notification the configuration has changed, or asking for permission. 

 

When I re-boot by going into the UEFI set-up, the internal SATA drive has reappeared, but dropped down the boot order.  I then have to move the internal SATA drive to the top of the order.  I guess because it is now spun up, the BIOS sees the drive early enough and boots from it.

 

I obviously have to replace the internal SATA HD, although it checks out fine in all the diagnostics.

 

Since when did the BIOS/UEFI start just changing the configuration without notification or permission, other than the failure to boot?  This seems like an unwanted and unneeded "feature".   It sure makes for confusing problems.  If it had just indicated the drive configuration had changed, I might have been able to see the internal drive wasn't showing up on the initial boot attempt.  Instead I could only see that it it was still there, but the boot order was changed.

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WAWood
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@kcaldwel 

I've been using both Ubuntu and Mint, on a daily basis, for well over 10 years -- until last year, when I quit in frustration.

 

I rebooted the PC daily and for years, had no problems at all, then, both Ubuntu and Mint would stop booting.  Problems were similar to yours -- except in my case, the Linux distros have their own physical drive so they do not interfere with the Windows devices, and those do not interfere with the Linux devices.

 

While I also have external drives, once again, the ones used for Linux were not shared with the ones used for Windows.

 

Every few days, the boot would fail (like yours). Each time, I would go in and manually edit the GRUB files and eventually get the distros booting again.  But this kept happening again and again and again -- so by the end of the year, I got so fed up with doing this, I quit using them.

 

I'm telling you all this so you don't just think I'm just "blaming Linux" when I say this is likely a Linux distro issue.

 

Since we don't provide Linux support here, you will need to post on the Ubuntu and or Mint forums to address this issue.

 

Good Luck in finding a solution.



I am a volunteer and I do not work for, nor represent, HP
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kcaldwel
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That seems an odd response to me.  The boot order problem has nothing to do with running Linux, since it is at the BIOS/EFI stage of the boot, before I would have thought the computer has any idea what operating system it is trying to start.  This seems to be a problem with the EFI, not Linux.

 

The other two cases of this problem that I found in this forum were both from people with what sound like single OS Windows systems, but the EFI kept changing the boot order on them too.  I see now why there are no solutions in those threads.

 

Sorry you have had problems with Linux, because I've had exactly the opposite experience.  I've had a hundred fold fewer issues since I switched to Linux about 7 years ago, and I even switched my sister over because I got tired of trying to remotely solve the endless Windows problems.  I very rarely have to deal with any computer issues now.

 

Thanks so much for all the help.  I realize this is an old computer now, but it works fine on Linux.

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kcaldwel
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I think I have fixed the issue, although I am not sure why it made a difference.  In one of the older threads in this forum about this problem on a single-boot Windows computer with an external drive , someone suggested doing a re-set on the BIOS/EFI to stock settings.  I have never changed much in the settings, other than to occasionally change it to boot off a USB stick, and then changed it back to the internal hard drive afterwards.  I did a re-set, and the computer has not tried to boot off the external back-up drive since.  There was no indication in the other thread whether re-setting the EFI was a fix or not.

 

It was a random thing, so it is still possible that I've just been lucky for the past week or so, time will tell.  At the moment, the re-set seems to have cured it.

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kcaldwel
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Nope, re-setting the BIOS/EFI did not fix the problem.  For some reason, occasionally the external USB drive moves up the boot order in the BIOS/EFI boot order settings, above the internal SATA drive, and it tries to boot from it first. 

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kcaldwel
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I think I've finally figured out what is happening.  My hard drive is getting old. and after sitting turned off over night, it takes a little longer than it should coming up to speed. The HP bios/UEFI doesn't wait for the hard drive, it just immediately decides the internal hard drive no longer exists, and goes to the next possible boot source.  It actually deletes the internal SATA drive from the available boot sources, with no notification the configuration has changed, or asking for permission. 

 

When I re-boot by going into the UEFI set-up, the internal SATA drive has reappeared, but dropped down the boot order.  I then have to move the internal SATA drive to the top of the order.  I guess because it is now spun up, the BIOS sees the drive early enough and boots from it.

 

I obviously have to replace the internal SATA HD, although it checks out fine in all the diagnostics.

 

Since when did the BIOS/UEFI start just changing the configuration without notification or permission, other than the failure to boot?  This seems like an unwanted and unneeded "feature".   It sure makes for confusing problems.  If it had just indicated the drive configuration had changed, I might have been able to see the internal drive wasn't showing up on the initial boot attempt.  Instead I could only see that it it was still there, but the boot order was changed.

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