removing grub, switch to linux mint

Asked by lreidgrassia on 2015-07-06

I've found a number of similar issues but those solutions either don't work or I have not understood them. Sorry to start a new request but I need help.

I installed Ubuntu latest version dual boot with windows 8.1 on my toshiba satellite. I should have just tried it out first, but after spending a few hours with it I decided that I prefered linux mint, which I have used before on another machine. I found instructions somewhere which just said delete the partitions Ubuntu was using from the windows disk manager. Did so. Then I put linux mint onto my flash drive, went to install it.

A grub menu appears upon startup, and no matter what I do I just end up on the same screen, except sometimes it manages to load windows and I go back to my normal system. Cannot boot from usb.

I have no Windows installation cds, and all the solutions involving booting live from a usb etc don't work.

I want to remove it, but I also want to put linux mint on my machine anyway, which I assume uses grub for dual boot. Help.

Thanks.

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu grub Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
lreidgrassia
Solved:
2015-07-06
Last query:
2015-07-06
Last reply:
2015-07-06

Mint is not supported by the Ubuntu community in any way. It's support community is entirely separate from Ubuntu's. I suggest you post here
http://forums.linuxmint.com/

Thank you for the link to mint support; I'm sure it will be useful.
However, I would still like to know the recommended method for removing
grub from my 2013 Toshiba satellite, as grub was part of the Ubuntu
installation.
On Jul 6, 2015 2:16 AM, "actionparsnip" <
<email address hidden>> wrote:

> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
> Mint is not supported by the Ubuntu community in any way. It's support
> community is entirely separate from Ubuntu's. I suggest you post here
> http://forums.linuxmint.com/
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
>
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=0
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>

The Mint installer will remove Ubuntu for you, it wil also install Grub as required

As stated above, I cannot run the installer because grub will not allow USB
booting. Likely I caused the problem by following a tutorial which
recommended direct deleting of the Ubuntu partitions.
On Jul 6, 2015 9:07 AM, "actionparsnip" <
<email address hidden>> wrote:

> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
> The Mint installer will remove Ubuntu for you, it wil also install Grub
> as required
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
>
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=2
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>

Using the command line on grub I can type boot to achieve replies that the
colonel is missing for obvious reasons.
On Jul 6, 2015 9:11 AM, "Luke Reid-Grassia" <email address hidden>
wrote:

> As stated above, I cannot run the installer because grub will not allow
> USB booting. Likely I caused the problem by following a tutorial which
> recommended direct deleting of the Ubuntu partitions.
> On Jul 6, 2015 9:07 AM, "actionparsnip" <
> <email address hidden>> wrote:
>
>> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>>
>> Status: Open => Answered
>>
>> actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
>> The Mint installer will remove Ubuntu for you, it wil also install Grub
>> as required
>>
>> --
>> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
>> know that it is solved:
>>
>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=2
>>
>> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
>> following page to enter your feedback:
>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>>
>> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>>
>

Yes, I am still having problems. I am unable to install mins, or to
reinstall a boon to, or to simply remove what's left of grub. I think that
because of the method I used to remove the bone too, I remove something
necessary for grub to function properly. As a result I cannot boot from an
external drive. Recommendations to return to Windows boot loader all
involve loading recovery disks from external drives. I was hoping to find
an officially recommended method as many different tutorials suggest
radically different courses of action. Thank you.
On Jul 6, 2015 9:17 AM, "Luke Reid-Grassia" <email address hidden>
wrote:

> Using the command line on grub I can type boot to achieve replies that the
> colonel is missing for obvious reasons.
> On Jul 6, 2015 9:11 AM, "Luke Reid-Grassia" <email address hidden>
> wrote:
>
>> As stated above, I cannot run the installer because grub will not allow
>> USB booting. Likely I caused the problem by following a tutorial which
>> recommended direct deleting of the Ubuntu partitions.
>> On Jul 6, 2015 9:07 AM, "actionparsnip" <
>> <email address hidden>> wrote:
>>
>>> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
>>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>>>
>>> Status: Open => Answered
>>>
>>> actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
>>> The Mint installer will remove Ubuntu for you, it wil also install Grub
>>> as required
>>>
>>> --
>>> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
>>> know that it is solved:
>>>
>>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=2
>>>
>>> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
>>> following page to enter your feedback:
>>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>>>
>>> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>>>
>>

Was using speech to text, I apologize for the typos. Actions leading to
issue: installed ubuntu, deleted ubuntu partitions, result: looping broken
grub booter and inability to boot from usb, install mint, or even reinstall
ubuntu. Goal: remove what's left of grub and return to standard windows
booting. Reason for asking on this support site: applicable and trustworthy
source, as I respect Ubuntu community despite wishing to uninstall.
Boot-level systems are well beyond my knowledge.
On Jul 6, 2015 9:21 AM, "lreidgrassia" <email address hidden>
wrote:

> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> You gave more information on the question:
> Yes, I am still having problems. I am unable to install mins, or to
> reinstall a boon to, or to simply remove what's left of grub. I think that
> because of the method I used to remove the bone too, I remove something
> necessary for grub to function properly. As a result I cannot boot from an
> external drive. Recommendations to return to Windows boot loader all
> involve loading recovery disks from external drives. I was hoping to find
> an officially recommended method as many different tutorials suggest
> radically different courses of action. Thank you.
> On Jul 6, 2015 9:17 AM, "Luke Reid-Grassia" <email address hidden>
> wrote:
>
> > Using the command line on grub I can type boot to achieve replies that
> the
> > colonel is missing for obvious reasons.
> > On Jul 6, 2015 9:11 AM, "Luke Reid-Grassia" <email address hidden>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> As stated above, I cannot run the installer because grub will not allow
> >> USB booting. Likely I caused the problem by following a tutorial which
> >> recommended direct deleting of the Ubuntu partitions.
> >> On Jul 6, 2015 9:07 AM, "actionparsnip" <
> >> <email address hidden>> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> >>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
> >>>
> >>> Status: Open => Answered
> >>>
> >>> actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
> >>> The Mint installer will remove Ubuntu for you, it wil also install Grub
> >>> as required
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let
> us
> >>> know that it is solved:
> >>>
> >>>
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=2
> >>>
> >>> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> >>> following page to enter your feedback:
> >>> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
> >>>
> >>> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
> >>>
> >>
>
> --
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>

The Windows installer will manage your booting

Obviously backups are recommended, but should I expect that this will wipe
my hard drive or is it simply repairing the boot loader? I will attempt and
update this evening. Thanks.
On Jul 6, 2015 10:11 AM, "actionparsnip" <
<email address hidden>> wrote:

> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
> The Windows installer will manage your booting
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
>
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=7
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #10

You have to instruct your BIOS to boot from USB. That has nothing to do with grub and Ubuntu.

Through bios I chose USB. Then I am returned to grub. Endless loop.
On Jul 6, 2015 11:06 AM, "Manfred Hampl" <
<email address hidden>> wrote:

> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> Manfred Hampl proposed the following answer:
> You have to instruct your BIOS to boot from USB. That has nothing to do
> with grub and Ubuntu.
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
>
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=9
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>

Then that is nothing to do with Ubuntu, that is a BIOS setting.

My machine uses efi/uefi. Point is, if removing Ubuntu partitions did not
remove everything Ubuntu installed, does Ubuntu not attempt to support that
removal? I am simply looking for a way to remove grub. Booting from USB
obviously worked before. If it is a windows booting setting, perhaps this
fix is knows as it would not be an issue had I not installed Ubuntu.
Windows support explains how to restore boot settings, but this requires
booting from a 16+ gig USB. Before I purchase and attempt this to find
that, surprise, grub blocks booting from USB, I want to know if an Ubuntu
fix exists for a system with grub and deleted Ubuntu partitions. I'm not
blaming Ubuntu, I simply cannot see what other support is better suited to
the task. Recommending the mint support is unhelpful, I didn't install
mint. Recommending bios settings implies that the issue lies in windows,
but skirts around the fact that Ubuntu installation has overridden bios in
the first place, and that BIOS is apparently not the only boot system, and
not what I have. I'm happy to provide more information but would prefer the
chance to do so before having to defend why I think Ubuntu support might be
able to answer this question.
Let me try this way, what would have been the proper way to uninstall
Ubuntu other than deleting partitions from windows disk manager? Perhaps
that could help us to find out what went wrong.
On Jul 6, 2015 12:07 PM, "actionparsnip" <
<email address hidden>> wrote:

> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
> Then that is nothing to do with Ubuntu, that is a BIOS setting.
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
>
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=11
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>

Apologies: got frustrated. I will attempt windows recovery and update soon.
On Jul 6, 2015 1:16 PM, "lreidgrassia" <email address hidden>
wrote:

> Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
>
> Status: Answered => Open
>
> You are still having a problem:
> My machine uses efi/uefi. Point is, if removing Ubuntu partitions did not
> remove everything Ubuntu installed, does Ubuntu not attempt to support that
> removal? I am simply looking for a way to remove grub. Booting from USB
> obviously worked before. If it is a windows booting setting, perhaps this
> fix is knows as it would not be an issue had I not installed Ubuntu.
> Windows support explains how to restore boot settings, but this requires
> booting from a 16+ gig USB. Before I purchase and attempt this to find
> that, surprise, grub blocks booting from USB, I want to know if an Ubuntu
> fix exists for a system with grub and deleted Ubuntu partitions. I'm not
> blaming Ubuntu, I simply cannot see what other support is better suited to
> the task. Recommending the mint support is unhelpful, I didn't install
> mint. Recommending bios settings implies that the issue lies in windows,
> but skirts around the fact that Ubuntu installation has overridden bios in
> the first place, and that BIOS is apparently not the only boot system, and
> not what I have. I'm happy to provide more information but would prefer the
> chance to do so before having to defend why I think Ubuntu support might be
> able to answer this question.
> Let me try this way, what would have been the proper way to uninstall
> Ubuntu other than deleting partitions from windows disk manager? Perhaps
> that could help us to find out what went wrong.
> On Jul 6, 2015 12:07 PM, "actionparsnip" <
> <email address hidden>> wrote:
>
> > Your question #268910 on grub in Ubuntu changed:
> > https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
> >
> > Status: Open => Answered
> >
> > actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
> > Then that is nothing to do with Ubuntu, that is a BIOS setting.
> >
> > --
> > If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> > know that it is solved:
> >
> >
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910/+confirm?answer_id=11
> >
> > If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> > following page to enter your feedback:
> > https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub/+question/268910
> >
> > You received this question notification because you asked the question.
> >
>
> --
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.
>

Ok the problem is resolved, here is what I learned:

The issue arises from Efi/uefi bootloaders, where Ubuntu installs some information in the efi partition, which of course remains after removing the ubuntu partitions. This keeps grub in the boot process, and Windows makes editing the efi partition files nearly impossible.

So, I went and purchased a large capacity flash drive, used the windows utility to make it the recovery disk, rebooted with that (i had already changed my boot priorities to run from usb). While I had not been able to install linux mint or reinstall ubuntu from usb, i was able to run the windows utilities. Troubleshooting->advanced->command prompt, used bootrec.exe /FixMbr and /FixBoot.

This didn't fix the problem as the ubuntu files were still in the efi partition so grub interrupted startup again, but at least it somehow enabled me to chose to boot from my other flash drive, which had linux. Installing linux alongside windows was not a possibility, as the issue in the bootloader seems to have prevented linux installer from recognizing windows as existing, but, running linux from the usb, I was able to install efibootmgr. From here, 'sudo efibootmgr -v' listed the contents of the efi partition, and 'sudo efibootmgr -b [numbers of the ubuntu files] -B deleted them.

Rebooted, used the windows utility again, used the cmd bootrec fixmbr and fixboot utilities again, restarted, and finally had my system back to the way it had been.

Basically many of the linux tutorials i was reading simply had nothing to mention about this potential issue. I would love to link to where I got help, but this was a process of piecing together a solution from a million different searches. Such seems to be the risk of dabbling in linux as a newbie.

I'd like to posit that the solution ended up involving windows and ubuntu, and therefore is not one which should only be supported by windows forums. Windows makes efi editing intentionally difficult, and the efibootmgr is a linux fix. PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG if others make the mistake of trying to uninstall ubuntu without accounting for their windows bootloader! It would have saved so much time to REMOVE UBUNTU FILES FROM EFI PARTITION BEFORE DELETING UBUNTU PARTITIONS.

Thanks.