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foo1
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Unable to consistently boot ubuntu from a second drive

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Pavilion 690-00xx
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I recently bought a Pavilion 690-00xx which comes with Windows 10. I'm not really a Windows user but I need it occasionally and wanted to keep the factory stuff unaltered.

 

I installed a second drive through the M.2 expansion port. I installed ubuntu MATE 18.04 on this second drive, installing grub in this drive as well, thus keeping the factory drive intact. It installed perfectly fine. Then I entered in the BIOS and placed ubuntu as the first entry in the UEFI boot order. So far so good.

 

However, very frequently, though not always, when turning on the computer the grub minimal bash screen appears, instead of the grub boot menu, meaning that grub couldn't find grub.cfg. Then I need to either load grub via commands or reboot and then press quickly F9 for the boot menu to show up and then select ubuntu to boot to grub correctly. It is extremely annoying.

 

Surfed a lot on the internet and didn't find a solution. I'm pretty sure it is a HP specific issue. I'm reluctant to mess around with booting configuration files unless I'm sure of what I'm doing.

 

How can it be so difficult to boot cleanly from a second drive?

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Lil_Boy_Blue
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Hi

So Windows Fast Start-Up is disabled?

W10 is installed on Secure Boot?

Grub is a Secure or Legacy Boot Loader?

 

 

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foo1
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Thanks for your reply.

I tried every possible combination. It didn't make any difference.

I finally settled on Windows fast startup turned off, and secure boot turned off as well, based on the recommendations I found on the internet.

The weird thing it that the UEFI boot order is correctly set. If I press F9 on startup and I select manually the first entry on top of the list grub runs always fine. However, if I don’t select it manually sometimes it works, but most of the times it doesn’t.

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Lil_Boy_Blue
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Hi

So you haven't tried Windows and Ubuntu in Secure Boot mode?

https://www.aioboot.com/en/secure-boot/

https://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/secureboot.html

Grub is a poor piece of software IMHO, files scattered over at least 3 directories etc etc.

 

F5/F6 may re-arrrange the sequence.

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foo1
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@Lil_Boy_Blue wrote:

So you haven't tried Windows and Ubuntu in Secure Boot mode? 

 


Yes. This was my first attempt. I first installed ubuntu with secure boot turned on in the BIOS. So during installation I was prompted of that.

Then I first experienced the problem, turned secure boot off, reformatted the drive and installed ubuntu again. Same result.

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foo1
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I would like to update what my current situation is:

When I turn the computer on, the grub minimal bash screen almost always shows up.

To boot correctly, I figured out two ways:

  1. Press rapidly F9 and select ubuntu, which paradoxically is on top of the list.
  2. Press F10 to access the BIOS configuration and do nothing, and simply exit without saving changes.

If I'm not quick enough pressing then relevant key, then I type "reboot" and repeat. It ususally takes me two or three trials.

I cannot understand this behaviour, and is driving me crazy. My use of my new PC has mostly been trying to solve this problem.

I'm even considering getting rid of the Windows partition, despite I paid for it and I need Windows from time to time.

 

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Lil_Boy_Blue
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Hi

I use the OpenSuSE version.

rEFIt  and  rEFInd are also possible contenders.

 

Obviously you know that the grub version is likely to create a faux MBR boot area, and if it does I would want that close to the beginning of the disk as practicable. So you have a Secure Boot EFI and an MBR.

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/archlinux/comments/8wwywr/creating_a_dual_boot_efi_grub/

 

foo1
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@Lil_Boy_Blue wrote:

rEFIt  and  rEFInd are also possible contenders.

 


Thanks for your input. Yes. Maybe rEFInd deserves a trial.

If I use it I will get another level of indirection, right? refind will in turn call grub, correct?

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Lil_Boy_Blue
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Yes.

 

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foo1
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rEFInd worked like a charm.

A very nice piece of software.

I only had to type

sudo apt-get install refind

and that's it! It even stablished correctly the boot order.

I'm using 18.04 and refind is in the official repos. In case somebody uses an older version, she will need to add the ppa.

rEFInd added two ubuntus to the booting menu: one for grub (so that I can boot to grub correcly and consistently) and another one for the linux kernel (to boot directly to the mate desktop environment).


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