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windows bootloader corrupted when installing linux

hi,

when i install any variant of linux (arch, fedora, manjaro, etc), my windows bootloader becomes unreadable by the uefi bios on my pc despite me not having touched the windows disk during install. i usually end up reinstalling windows because it's the easiest way to fix that, although it's annoying. is there a reason this happens or a way to fix it?

some chill gamer

 

 

setup:

core i7 9700f

16gb 2666mhz ram (dual channel)

512gb sandisk sata boot ssd i salvaged from my broken laptop (lenovo doesn't seem to have great quality ideapad laptops)

480gb sata ssd that came with my system

2tb hdd

msi geforce rtx 2060 super

asrock b365m ib-r mobo

logitech g513 rgb keyboard

logitech m720 triathlon wireless mouse

logitech g935 wireless rgb headset

fifine k669b usb mic

some old samsung 1080p60hz monitor (upgrading it soon)

some cheap "rgb" mousepad i got for christmas

and the most important part, real rgb inside the case

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The reason is because a computers BIOS won't allow an OS to install a bootloader on 2 connected drives, I know that sounds dumb but its real. If you have Windows on Drive A and you put Linux on Drive B, even if you specifically tell Linux to put the bootloader on Drive B it will still end up on Drive A.

 

Since you're using Arch based distros I'd guess the corruption happened because Arch uses systemd to Boot rather than a traditional bootloader and AFAIK systemd doesn't respect existing installs. It boots itself and everything else gets ignored, since bug 1 is a thing, if you try to dual boot Arch with Windows systemd just overwrites the existing Windows boot partition with its own data.

 

The workaround is to simply unplug the Windows drive while installing Linux. I recommend that you always unplug every drive except the one you're installing too unless you specifically want 2 bootloaders on a single drive.

Main Rig:-

Ryzen 7 3800X | Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming | 16GB Team Group Dark Pro 3600Mhz | Corsair MP600 1TB PCIe Gen 4 | Sapphire 5700 XT Pulse | Corsair H115i Platinum | WD Black 1TB | WD Green 4TB | EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650W | Asus TUF GT501 | Samsung C27HG70 1440p 144hz HDR FreeSync 2 | Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS |

 

Server:-

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2 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

The reason is because a computers BIOS won't allow an OS to install a bootloader on 2 connected drives, I know that sounds dumb but its real. If you have Windows on Drive A and you put Linux on Drive B, even if you specifically tell Linux to put the bootloader on Drive B it will still end up on Drive A.

 

Since you're using Arch based distros I'd guess the corruption happened because Arch uses systemd to Boot rather than a traditional bootloader and AFAIK systemd doesn't respect existing installs. It boots itself and everything else gets ignored, since bug 1 is a thing, if you try to dual boot Arch with Windows systemd just overwrites the existing Windows boot partition with its own data.

 

The workaround is to simply unplug the Windows drive while installing Linux. I recommend that you always unplug every drive except the one you're installing too unless you specifically want 2 bootloaders on a single drive.

can i repair the current boot partition for windows so i don't have to reinstall? it's always a hassle when i have to reinstall whatever software i forgot to install when i reinstalled windows.

some chill gamer

 

 

setup:

core i7 9700f

16gb 2666mhz ram (dual channel)

512gb sandisk sata boot ssd i salvaged from my broken laptop (lenovo doesn't seem to have great quality ideapad laptops)

480gb sata ssd that came with my system

2tb hdd

msi geforce rtx 2060 super

asrock b365m ib-r mobo

logitech g513 rgb keyboard

logitech m720 triathlon wireless mouse

logitech g935 wireless rgb headset

fifine k669b usb mic

some old samsung 1080p60hz monitor (upgrading it soon)

some cheap "rgb" mousepad i got for christmas

and the most important part, real rgb inside the case

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Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, OrangeTurtle said:

can i repair the current boot partition for windows so i don't have to reinstall? it's always a hassle when i have to reinstall whatever software i forgot to install when i reinstalled windows.

Impossible to say, it really depends on what Linux has done to the Windows bootloader and I'm not familiar enough with the problem to know the answer.

 

I can say that EasyBCD have a special WinRE boot utility designed to rebuild corrupted Windows bootloaders, I've never used it but hey, its not like it can make it any worse since it already doesn't boot. You just have to be mindful that messing with the boot partition to fix Windows might end up corrupting Linux.

Main Rig:-

Ryzen 7 3800X | Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming | 16GB Team Group Dark Pro 3600Mhz | Corsair MP600 1TB PCIe Gen 4 | Sapphire 5700 XT Pulse | Corsair H115i Platinum | WD Black 1TB | WD Green 4TB | EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650W | Asus TUF GT501 | Samsung C27HG70 1440p 144hz HDR FreeSync 2 | Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS |

 

Server:-

Intel NUC running Server 2019 + Synology DSM218+ with 2 x 4TB Toshiba NAS Ready HDDs (RAID0)

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46 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

The reason is because a computers BIOS won't allow an OS to install a bootloader on 2 connected drives, I know that sounds dumb but its real. If you have Windows on Drive A and you put Linux on Drive B, even if you specifically tell Linux to put the bootloader on Drive B it will still end up on Drive A.

Thats not true. I installed Manjaro to my second ssd, during install it asked where to install grub I chose the second ssd. In bios I set my second ssd as main boot drive so I can choose to boot between Windows or Linux from grub.

Windows bootloader still exists on my main nvme.

 

 

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