Question GRUB stopped working on different systems

GuiRitter

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Hi everyone.

Refer to this thread for context.

In 2020's Black Friday I purchased an Intel NUC8i7HNK. In it, I installed 2 250 GB Samsung 860 EVO SATA M.2 V-NAND SSDs. In the first one, I installed Windows 10. In the second one, Xubuntu 20.04. All using UEFI and GPT.

All worked wonders for the first few times but how surprised was I when this system started having the same issue as the laptop in the previously linked thread. Hopefully I also still could boot using a pen drive with Super Grub2 Disk so I left it at that.

However, some time ago the same laptop stopped to boot from the pen drive. All it says is

Code:
No Boot Device Found. Press any key to reboot the machine_
or

Code:
No bootable devices found.
Press F1 key to retry boot.
Press F2 key to reboot into setup.
Press F5 key to run onboard diagnostics.
I messed with the boot options and found someting out that worked. First I changed Boot List Option from UEFI to Legacy. Then, whenever I wanted to boot, I had to press F12 and select the pen drive from the options listed under UEFI. Then it would boot into Super Grub2 Disk which allowed me to boot into the OS that I wanted. Ok, it's an additional annoying step but I can live with it.

However, as if that wasn't enough, about 2 weeks ago that stopped working too. Now I really can't boot into Windows or Linux anymore. So I want to fix it once and for all before it happens with the NUC...

Today I decided to do some more tests. I installed Xubuntu 20.04 in another pen drive and tried to boot the live distro. At least that is still working! From there I tried to reinstall/update GRUB. I followed these steps and despite executing them successfully nothing changed.

What else can I do?

Thanks in advance.
 
I can't solve the problem directly, but I can give an idea for what to try next:
  • First attempt : remove/disable second M.2 leaving just windows.
    • Make it to boot either windows or use the windows boot media and try to repair the disk (I haven't done that for a while so look it up online for guidelines) and make sure you're able to boot into windows without help from any boot tool.
  • Then remove/disable first M.2 and insert/enable second M.2.
    • First - try to see if it's bootable of itself. If no:
    • Try use the Boot repair tool <tutorial> (ps: Haven't used that myself, and if you decide to use it, please give some words back if it worked or not)
    • Try to see if it boot now)
  • insert/enable first M.2.
  • In BIOS - set up boot priority so that it boot up on whatever OS you use most often.
  • If you can boot from both OS from boot menu (look at mobo manual to find hotkey for that), I'd recommend you use that method as a work-around (probably slightly more effective than Super-grub).
 

GuiRitter

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I can't solve the problem directly, but I can give an idea for what to try next:
  • First attempt : remove/disable second M.2 leaving just windows.
    • Make it to boot either windows or use the windows boot media and try to repair the disk (I haven't done that for a while so look it up online for guidelines) and make sure you're able to boot into windows without help from any boot tool.
  • Then remove/disable first M.2 and insert/enable second M.2.
    • First - try to see if it's bootable of itself. If no:
    • Try use the Boot repair tool <tutorial> (ps: Haven't used that myself, and if you decide to use it, please give some words back if it worked or not)
    • Try to see if it boot now)
  • insert/enable first M.2.
  • In BIOS - set up boot priority so that it boot up on whatever OS you use most often.
  • If you can boot from both OS from boot menu (look at mobo manual to find hotkey for that), I'd recommend you use that method as a work-around (probably slightly more effective than Super-grub).
Thanks for your reply! I followed your steps. Here's what I got:

Windows: I ran the boot repair tool in the installation media. It failed to repair and saved a log at C:\Windows\System32\Logfiles\Srt\SrtTrail.txt.

In the log, it says that everything ran successfully and that it should be able to boot. It didn't.

Linux: I couldn't install the Boot-Repair in the way that was explained in the tutorial you mentioned. I looked at the tools' PPA and manually added the correct addresses to /etc/apt/sources.list. I still had to follow these instructions because the PPA lacked signing. Then I was able to install the tool.

I ran the tool and got this message:
GPT detected. Please create a BIOS-Boot partition (>1MB, unformatted filesystem, bios_grub flag). This can be performed via tools such as Gparted. Then try again.
I did that, ran the tool again and got the same message.

I also tried these instructions on the notebook. Mind you, I am trying to fix the same problem on both systems.

In this case, I couldn't remove/disable one OS at a time because they are merely different partitions in the same SSD. I also skipped the Windows part and went straight to Linux, as for as long as GRUB is working I can boot into both.

The same message as above appeared when I ran Boot-Repair. I also followed that instruction. The next time I ran the tool, I got a message that I had to enable UEFI boot, as it was setup as Legacy in the BIOS.

I changed that in the BIOS and, lo and behold, it's working again! However, I can almost bet that the issue will come back after a while, as I don't feel like I've made any significant change.

Besides, the issue still persists in the NUC. Just for curiosity, I looked into enabling Legacy mode in the NUC's BIOS. It does have a checkbox labelled "UEFI Boot" but I can't uncheck it. So no luck there.

Thanks so far.
 
Besides, the issue still persists in the NUC. Just for curiosity, I looked into enabling Legacy mode in the NUC's BIOS. It does have a checkbox labelled "UEFI Boot" but I can't uncheck it. So no luck there.
I don't know the particular system, but there should be a setting resembling something like "safe boot" that you need to disable first.
 

GuiRitter

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I don't know the particular system, but there should be a setting resembling something like "safe boot" that you need to disable first.
Every setting that could hinder the boot somehow, including Safe/Secure Boot, is disabled. I assure you there's nothing like a Legacy Boot option.

Also, I forgot to mention earlier. When the notebook started working again, I had just disassembled it to fix the power button. The first time that this issue appeared was also right after disconnecting the SSD.

Maybe there's a relation. However, the same is not true for the NUC, where the issue appeared between boots without any change of hardware.
 
This make me believe there is some issue with the bios, or that there are some fault that cause the bios to behave wrong.

Just read your old thread once again and cannot see you mention anything about upgrading the bios, so - have you upgraded the bios lately ?
 

GuiRitter

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This make me believe there is some issue with the bios, or that there are some fault that cause the bios to behave wrong.

Just read your old thread once again and cannot see you mention anything about upgrading the bios, so - have you upgraded the bios lately ?
Never, on either system.
 

GuiRitter

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Then I'd suggest you visit the home page for your mobo, have a look after recent bios updates, and look into the list of changes, are there mentioned fixed issues that seems familiar to your issue ?
There was an update, but it only covered the Intel Management Engine firmware. I updated anyway to no change.

EDIT: this is regarding the NUC.
 
Last edited:

GuiRitter

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Have you tried contacting Dell regarding this issue ?
No, I haven't. I doubt they would offer help given:
  1. It's a customized dual boot with Windows and Linux;
  2. It's not an issue exclusive to Dell devices as it also happened to the NUC;
  3. Which makes me believe it's a GRUB issue.
Also, just to make clear, my previous comment about updating the BIOS referred to the NUC. I'm not pursuing anything related to the Dell notebook for now as it started working again out of the blue. I'll edit the post to make it clear.
 

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