Question Installed dual-boot, now unable to boot from either of the operating systems ?

Jamould

Distinguished
May 29, 2012
24
0
18,520
1
Hi there,

I have a laptop with windows 8.1 on it, and I recently decided to install Kubuntu 20.04.3 as a dual-boot, in two seperate partitions on the same hard drive.
I created the new partition through the Kubuntu installer. There were no errors during the installation process.

Ever since installing it, I'm unable to boot to either Windows or Kubuntu.

The grub boot loader loads up fine. If I pick Kubuntu, it goes to the black screen with flashing blue "Kubuntu", but it just hangs there on a loop, never booting
to Kubuntu, and it doesn't give any errors. If I pick windows 8.1, it goes to the black screen with the windows 8 logo and rotating loading circle, but it also
stays there on a loop, never booting to Windows but shows no errors messages ?
 

avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
399
92
1,790
20
At this stage, I would back up your data first before doing anything else.
Your data is still safe, stored inside your hard drive. You will need to get an external hard drive enclosure to USB and mount your hard drive there.
Connect it to a working computer and then access it from there, then do a back up.

Alternatively (and this is the easier way if you want to avoid opening up your laptop to extract the 2.5" hard drive), you can make a live Windows USB image via the Windows 10 installation media or with rufus, and then set your BIOS to boot from there.

Video demonstration, but with using a free program called Hasleo WinToUsb Free

You will then be booting to a live installation of Windows 10 straight from your USB instead of your hard drive.
Since your hard drive is still connected to your system, It should be able to access it.
You can then start copying files towards an external USB hard disk drive.

Fixing dual boot problems can be a pain.
It is always advised to turn off Windows automatic updates before setting up a dual boot because if Windows updates, it can cause issues with dual boot setup such as the one you describe
I have a dual boot setup with Windows and Linux myself on my laptop and have done the above first.
 
Last edited:

Jamould

Distinguished
May 29, 2012
24
0
18,520
1
I don't have room to backup my entire hard drive, but I've backed up as many files as I can.

I don't have windows 10. Is it possible to do this with the windows 8.1 installation disc?

I also have a Kubuntu disc that can do a live installation, will that do the job?
 
Last edited:

avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
399
92
1,790
20
I haven't tried windows 8.1 installation disk or Kubuntu live installation to be honest, but practically, any live OS installation via booting it from USB will do - as long as when you boot into it, you can detect your drives and extract all of your data/relevant data before proceeding further.

I'm pretty sure even if you have Windows 8.1 installed, you can boot to a Windows 10 live installation from USB. The only possible hurdle is if the motherboard of your laptop refuses to boot it on a software level (aka BIOS), but there's no harm done in trying.

Then after you are done backing up your drive, we can attempt this dual boot repair:
Note: You'll need another USB for this procedure.

Boot-Repair Linux Program: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
Actual Instructions for Boot-Repair Linux Program: https://sourceforge.net/p/boot-repair-cd/home/Home/

(1) DOWNLOAD BOOT-REPAIR-DISK,
(2) Then burn it on a live-USB key via Rufus or Unetbootin. (do not burn it on CD/DVD if your PC came with Windows8/10)
(3) Insert the Boot-Repair-Disk, reboot the PC and set the BIOS to boot onto your USB. You should then reboot and it will then boot onto a live install of Linux
(4) Choose your language,
(5) Connect internet if possible
(6) Run the "Boot-Repair" program. Click "Recommended repair"
(7) Reboot the pc --> solves the majority of bootsector/GRUB/MBR problems
Alternative Guide from How-To-Geek: https://www.howtogeek.com/114884/how-to-repair-grub2-when-ubuntu-wont-boot/

Important Edit: What is your laptop model by the way?
 
Last edited:

Jamould

Distinguished
May 29, 2012
24
0
18,520
1
Forgot to mention, I noticed with the Kubuntu 20.04.3 installation disc, that sometimes it would load the Kubuntu desktop background, but not load up the installation dialog window - "Try Kubuntu", "Install Kubuntu" etc. and other times it would load up the background, and the install window would appear.
I wonder if the disc didn't burn properly and has led to a corrupted install, but the verify process on the disc burning software showed no problems, and the Kubuntu installer gave no errors as well.

Does creating a live usb format the contents of my usb stick, or am I able to have a live usb co-exist with pre-existing files?
Am I better off with Rufus or Unetbootin?
Is it necessary to connect to the internet in order to use boot-repair-disk?
Do you recommend using the live-usb method of boot-repair-disk, or the terminal method on a live installation?

Not sure of the exact model, but it's a Toshiba, and old. Much chunkier than newer laptops.
 

avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
399
92
1,790
20
Does creating a live usb format the contents of my usb stick
Yes it does format them, use rufus (Windows program) to make a live usb stick
Unetbootin is for linux.

Is it necessary to connect to the internet in order to use boot-repair-disk?
Not necessarily. It just sends statistics. Connecting to the internet shouldn't harm the repair process in any way.

Do you recommend using the live-usb method of boot-repair-disk
GUI is recommended for beginners, hence this method.
Terminal if you want the manual method.

Again, make sure you have backed up first your files via booting to a Windows Live installation media (aka - booting into Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 from a USB) before doing boot-repair-disk. We never know if boot-repair-disk will be a success or a failure.
 
Last edited:

Jamould

Distinguished
May 29, 2012
24
0
18,520
1
After copying as much of my files as I could to another device, Kubuntu and windows magically started working, but I noticed firefox constantly freezes up and crashes on Kubuntu, and on windows, the error "windows detected a hard drive problem. Backup your files immediately to avoid information loss" keeps popping up.

I scanned my hard drive with HDtune, and it shows 0.4% damaged blocks at the end of the hard drive.

So I decided to run boot-repair anyway, in case it fixes these problems, but they still persist.
 

avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
399
92
1,790
20
Well at least we copied the files now, such is the importance of doing a back up first before making any other move.
Post a screenshot from HD Tune for anyone else to examine.

It could be that the hard drive is on its way out, especially if you start hearing "clicking sounds" on your laptop.
How old is your laptop?

I forgot to mention, partly the reason why I asked what your specific model of laptop is, is because there have been some "rare" cases of laptops being bricked when linux is installed to them. This only happens though on some models , particularly Dell. I haven't seen yet for such a case on a Toshiba laptop though.


A laptop's 2.5" hard drive is replaceable, but I would advise having it serviced instead if you don't have any experience opening up a laptop. It is a tad more delicate and complex compared to installing one from a PC.
 

Jamould

Distinguished
May 29, 2012
24
0
18,520
1
I see boot-repair-disk has a "repair filesystem" option, is that worth trying? Or would I be better off with fsck? Or a completely different method?

Laptop's pretty old, but I recently installed the hard drive, although it is a second hand drive.
It's not making any clicking noises, and I didn't have any problems with it before I installed the dual-boot.
 

avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
399
92
1,790
20
I see boot-repair-disk has a "repair filesystem" option, is that worth trying? Or would I be better off with fsck?
chkdsk is Windows counter part tool for Linux's fsck, both accomplish the same thing - check the drives for errors and attempt to auto fix them.
You can run chkdsk on Windows to attempt to fix it.


Repair file system, as the name implies, only targets to repair any errors found in the file system. Windows uses NTFS file system while Linux can use exfat2, exfat3, exfat 4 and many other file systems.

It is recommended to run Linux tools only for Linux and Windows tools for Windows.

Laptop's pretty old, but I recently installed the hard drive, although it is a second hand drive.
I scanned my hard drive with HDtune, and it shows 0.4% damaged blocks at the end of the hard drive.
I noticed firefox constantly freezes up and crashes on Kubuntu, and on windows, the error "windows detected a hard drive problem. Backup your files immediately to avoid information loss" keeps popping up.
If the drive isn't fixed after running the chkdsk command, I wouldn't be surprised if the drive is failing given mentioned conditions. If a software fix fails, the ultimate solution would be to replace the 2.5" hard disk drive of your laptop.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY