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  • EFI Partition issues?

    Home Forums AskWoody blog EFI Partition issues?

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      • #2377906
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        Passing this along as a heads up… now mind you I have installed this patch on several machines with zero issues.  And point number two – remember AN
        [See the full post at: EFI Partition issues?]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2377911
        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        Macrium Reflect’s Rescue Media should be able to solve this problem. A couple of years ago I bricked a Win7 installation by configuring Windows to allow the installation of unsigned drivers. Upon reboot, I found that Win7 EFI boot was bricked. I tried everything under the sun to fix it.

        Then I had the bright idea to boot with Reflect’s Rescue Media. I then chose to have Reflect repair any detected boot issues. Reflect worked like magic by fixing the problem.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2378952
          glnz
          AskWoody Plus

          GoneToPlaid is correct.  Definitely have a Macrium Reflect Rescue Media (and access to its instructions) handy before you do anything that might affect your boot loading.  And I’ve only ever had the Free version of Macrium.

          I moved an entire PC from smaller HDD to larger HDD twice (once with I-don’t-remember and once with Macrium Reflect), both times the booting was borked, and both times the Macrium Rescue Media fixed it very quickly.

          Cheers.

      • #2377923
        b
        AskWoody MVP

        I wonder how often this person restarts each month.

        If you only ever restart when Patch Tuesday updates demand it, and that reboot fails, it seems too easy to assume that a windows update has caused the boot failure, rather than anything else during the preceding weeks.

        Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1237 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2377942
          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          Good point. There is malware out there which tries to modify the EFI boot partition.

          • #2378120
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            It doesn’t take malware. Sometimes an EFI Partition for some reason goes haywire, especially in a dual-boot. I’ve been dual-booting for many years, and find this can happen for (at the time) unknown reasons. Never from an errant OS or software update. But can happen after a Feature Upgrade or an in-place Linux Upgrade.

            Linux also has kernel updates. These can have unpredictable side-effects.

            -- rc primak

            2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2377947
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          I wonder how often this person restarts each month.

          My NAS only reboots when an update requires it, runs 24/7 otherwise, and I’ve had no issues with EFI there or on my dual boot daily driver.

          I have a full drive image of my NAS OS, and I could restore the EFI partition in a couple minutes if it ever became necessary.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378122
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            And I’m not saying this is common, but it can happen.

            Macrium Reflect or GRUB Repair Disk can fix most boot issues, including EFI problems, in minutes.

            -- rc primak

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2377943
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Just installed KB5004237 on 21H1. Re-booted twice (required second re-boot for touchpad driver). No problems.
        Installed the new Intel GPU DCH driver ‘igfx_win_100.9684.exe’. Re-booted.
        No boot or EFI problem.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2377946
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        When you have two EFI partitions that typically means you dual boot and I always consider a dual booting machine an advanced setup that you should consider a bit more carefully and ensure it’s backed up.

        Dual booting only requires a bootloader and a menu, not two EFI partitions.  I have only one EFI partition (and I keep an up-to-date drive image of it) and dual boot Windows.  Linux can boot from Grub with a menu option to dual boot Windows from EFI.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2377949
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Dual booting only requires a bootloader and a menu, not two EFI partitions

        I suppose the user has two drives with two OSs and two EFI partitions.

        • #2377976
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          I suppose the user has two drives with two OSs and two EFI partitions.

          Unnecessary.  I’ve got six drives, dual boot (plus Recovery Environment), only one EFI partition is necessary regardless of the number of OS’s.  The EFI partition contains the BCD store, the boot menu (which in Windows is bootmgr), which can have several items with the capability of booting several OS’s.  Mine has three menu items:

          Windows Boot Manager
          ——————–
          identifier {bootmgr}
          device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume17
          path \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi
          description Windows Boot Manager
          locale en-US
          inherit {globalsettings}
          default {current}
          resumeobject {f29ecede-e33b-11eb-a19b-00224db0e3fa}
          displayorder {current}
          {cc210e8f-d26f-11e9-8049-00224db0e3fa}
          {06b464b1-8ecc-11e9-931d-ed7d6d74d09b}
          toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
          timeout 10
          displaybootmenu Yes

          Windows Boot Loader
          ——————-
          identifier {current}
          device partition=C:
          path \WINDOWS\system32\winload.efi
          description Win10 ProA
          locale en-US
          inherit {bootloadersettings}
          recoverysequence {c25eed68-e367-11eb-a19c-00224db0e3fa}
          displaymessageoverride Recovery
          recoveryenabled Yes
          isolatedcontext Yes
          allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
          osdevice partition=C:
          systemroot \WINDOWS
          resumeobject {f29ecede-e33b-11eb-a19b-00224db0e3fa}
          nx OptIn
          bootmenupolicy Standard

          Windows Boot Loader
          ——————-
          identifier {cc210e8f-d26f-11e9-8049-00224db0e3fa}
          device partition=B:
          path \WINDOWS\system32\winload.efi
          description Win10 ProB
          locale en-US
          inherit {bootloadersettings}
          recoverysequence {7abbfa11-e35c-11eb-81d4-00224db0e3fa}
          displaymessageoverride CommandPrompt
          recoveryenabled Yes
          isolatedcontext Yes
          allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
          osdevice partition=B:
          systemroot \WINDOWS
          resumeobject {614d2df5-de72-11eb-81ce-806e6f6e6963}
          nx OptIn
          bootmenupolicy Standard

          Windows Boot Loader
          ——————-
          identifier {06b464b1-8ecc-11e9-931d-ed7d6d74d09b}
          device ramdisk=[\Device\HarddiskVolume6]\Recovery\WindowsRE\Winre.wim,{06b464b2-8ecc-11e9-931d-ed7d6d74d09b}
          path \windows\system32\winload.efi
          description Windows RE
          locale en-US
          inherit {bootloadersettings}
          displaymessage Recovery
          osdevice ramdisk=[\Device\HarddiskVolume6]\Recovery\WindowsRE\Winre.wim,{06b464b2-8ecc-11e9-931d-ed7d6d74d09b}
          systemroot \windows
          nx OptIn
          bootmenupolicy Standard
          winpe Yes

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378123
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            Essentially the GRUB Boot Menu list has the same multiple boot options, and uses only one EFI partition.

            -- rc primak

            2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2378193
            Ascaris
            AskWoody MVP

            As you said, you don’t need more than one EFI partition.

            On my desktop PC, I have three SSDs and one HDD, and the OSes include KDE Neon, Kubuntu, Fedora, and Windows 8.1, in a quad boot setup. All of the drives are GPT, but only the first one has an EFI System Partition (ESP). The ESP contains the bootloaders for each of the Linux versions and for Windows.

            The Linux root partitions are all on the first SSD, while the second is for Linux /home. The third contains Windows 8.1 (OS itself and program files), while the HDD (encrypted by LUKS) contains all of the data files (pictures, videos, documents, stuff like that), as well as the browser and email client profiles and such.

            I have had similar (but with fewer physical drives) setup on my other PCs, and each has had only one ESP. The only legacy/BIOS/MBR boot systems I have are those that lack UEFI (the newest being from 2008). The desktop itself is from about 2012, when UEFI was still young, but it works well. No secure boot, though.

            Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
            Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
            Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

      • #2377968
        R
        AskWoody Plus

        Had this problem with one laptop in the JuNe round, never experienced anything like that before. Solved the problem by restoring an image made before updating. No time (and energy anymore) to figure out what went wrong this time…

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2378066
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          What sort of Windows configuration do you have ?

          • #2378205
            R
            AskWoody Plus

            Very basic system, single EFI, single OS with basically only Office, Firefox, Thunderbird etc installed. That’s also why I don’t bother even anymore to waste my precious time to figure out Windows troubles anymore. Restoring an image takes about 10…15 minutes, much more efficient. In 99.9% the problem is solved then, this time also.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2378074
        anonymous
        Guest

        When you have two EFI partitions that typically means you dual boot and I always consider a dual booting machine an advanced setup that you should consider a bit more carefully and ensure it’s backed up.

        Dual booting only requires a bootloader and a menu, not two EFI partitions.  I have only one EFI partition (and I keep an up-to-date drive image of it) and dual boot Windows.  Linux can boot from Grub with a menu option to dual boot Windows from EFI.

        Although multiple EFI System Partitions (ESPs) are not required for multi-booting, neither is such an arrangement impossible.  The “hunch” of the poster under discussion in this case may, in fact, be within the realm of contributing factors, but insufficient information is provided to be certain.  Much depends on the mobo OEM’s UEFI implementation and on its Firmware Boot Manager handing of the boot configuration data (BCD) {fwbootmgr} section.

        The other contributing factor is the boot loader/manager used by each operating system in a multi-boot setup.  Grub is certainly capable of handling ESPs on more than a single drive.  The Windows boot loader, on the other hand, isn’t.

         

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2378090
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          The Windows boot loader, on the other hand, isn’t.

          For the Windows bootloader, it is completely unnecessary.  In Linux, one must use Grub as a bootloader, and the Windows EFI partition path can be in the Grub bootloader.

          One can boot multiple Windows versions using a single EFI partition.  The relevant information is in the BCD Store and handled by bootmgr to point to the correct path to load the selected version of Windows.

          So even dual booting Linux, one needs only Grub containing the path to a single EFI partition to be able to boot Linux and multiple versions/configurations of Windows.  There is absolutely no need for more than one EFI partition.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378195
            Ascaris
            AskWoody MVP

            In Linux, one must use Grub as a bootloader, and the Windows EFI partition path can be in the Grub bootloader.

            You don’t need to use GRUB. There are other bootloaders, including the kernel itself. I set it up to use the kernel itself to boot just for giggles on my XPS, but GRUB is just too convenient for me to want to keep it that way for long. I like being able to select the kernel and edit the boot parameters on the fly (for a single boot, for testing purposes).

            When you install or update GRUB, it will (on most distros) use os-prober or equivalent to find other OSes on the system, and GRUB will automatically add each of them to its menu to be presented at boot time. It can chainload Windows from a different ESP than the one Linux/GRUB booted from, and if I am not mistaken, I think it can even chainload a MBR Windows setup (though don’t quote me on that).

             

             

             

             

             

            Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
            Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
            Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

        • #2378134
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          Much depends on the mobo OEM’s UEFI implementation and on its Firmware Boot Manager handing of the boot configuration data (BCD) {fwbootmgr} section.

          Not necessarily true.  The motherboard firmware EFI has to be selected by entering UEFI settings.  Multiple scripting opportunities are available in firmware, but not needed in any normal OS installation(s).  It is not normally used when booting an OS.  Linux does not need/use EFI.

          When installing a version of Windows in a UEFI system, the installation routine will first look for an EFI partition.  If one exists, the new installation will add its own entries to that single EFI partition.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          • #2378199
            Ascaris
            AskWoody MVP

            Linux does not need/use EFI.

            I am not sure what you mean by that. Linux does not need to perform an EFI boot, since there are no restrictions on where a legacy/MBR/BIOS boot can be used, but it is certainly advisable to use EFI, for all of the same reasons that apply to Windows (where it gives you the choice). I (sometimes) use Secure Boot on my Linux laptops, and secure boot requires UEFI.

            Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
            Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
            Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

      • #2378131
        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        This thread:

        https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16261237

        and several other similar threads, lead me to believe that more than one EFI partition on a single device is not a normal or acceptable condition.

        While the exact causes are not discovered in any of these threads, it seems quite obvious that more than one EFI partition is not normal, and is not desirable.

        It is also not something that any Windows update or upgrade should be causing.

        That is, unless the original questioner mistook System Reserved partitions for EFI partitions, which did happen in some of the threads I’ve read.

        These threads also definitively say that extra EFI partitions are NOT the result of dual-booting. Nor are they the result of having Linux on the device.

        -- rc primak

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2378200
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          That link was about multiple ESPs on the same drive, not on different drives in the same PC. Multiple ESPs on the same drive would not occur outside of some kind of bug or glitch by any normal OS installation, but it could happen quite easily (and the Linux installer provides this as an option) if you mean having an ESP on more than one physical disk.

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
          Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378759
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            So we have to know if the original complaint was in a system with more than one physical drive. Got it.

            -- rc primak

      • #2378210
        unstablecomic
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hi to everyone. My first post here.

        I wanted to mention I updated my windows 10 20h2 tonight to KB5004237. Everything seemed ok after reboot. I did some maintenance, ran “disk cleanup”, then did what I normally do after an update, I used an elevated command prompt to schedule a “chkdsk” for drive C and my other partition D.

        It rebooted fine, ran through the chkdsk as it normally does, then rebooted and spent the next about half hour with a screen saying “Attempting repairs”. After that ran, it rebooted finally and I saw in the notification box it stated it had a “Start up failure” and removed some recently installed updates.

        I have no idea what happened but thought I would let everyone know. My disk is healthy, no issues, but after doing my routine maintenance and after running a scheduled chkdsk, it had a start up failure. never had that happen before. It fixed itself by removing the KB5004237 latest cumulative update. So, apparently, something went wrong with either the latest update, OR during the chkdsk.

         

        I went ahead and restored to a previous backup I had and computer is fine. I didn’t even bother checking the log files, I just restarted and restored a drive image from July 11 to make sure I got rid of any other potential issues. Everything is fine now. My advice after wasting 1.5 hours is to wait on KB5004237. Just sharing my experience…first time this has ever happened.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2378248
        anonymous
        Guest

        I am not mistaken, I think it can even chainload a MBR Windows setup (though don’t quote me on that).

        It is certainly possible to include multiple Grub2 modules (i386-pc, i386-efi, x86_64-efi) so that it is capable of handling whichever configuration is employed for any given system startup.  Can be handy for booting up portable “rescue” utilities on a USB thumb drive, for example, and that can even be done from Windows.  (Details here if interested.)

      • #2378253
        anonymous
        Guest

        These threads also definitively say that extra EFI partitions are NOT the result of dual-booting. Nor are they the result of having Linux on the device.

        Generally true that multiple ESPs are neither “normal” nor desirable.  Adam Williamson’s article (here) on the subject, while somewhat dated, provides a good explanation of why not.  On the other hand, such arrangements are not unheard of and can even be useful in some circumstances such as the creation of independently bootable portables.  In fact, Grub boot loader placement anomalies can result from the behavioral “quirks” of some Linux distro installers (Ubiquity is notorious) that may sometimes override specific user instructions.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2378265
        anonymous
        Guest

        For the Windows bootloader, it is completely unnecessary.

        Yes, I stipulated quite clearly that multiple ESPs are not required for multibooting.  Not for the Windows boot loader and not for the Grub boot loader either.  A single ESP can allow either to boot multiple OSes.

        As I also said, however, and as the poster in question speculates, situations involving multiple ESPs can and do arise for various reasons.  In that case Grub can handle it, but the Windows boot loader/manager can’t.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2378284
        anonymous
        Guest

        anonymous wrote: Much depends on the mobo OEM’s UEFI implementation and on its Firmware Boot Manager handing of the boot configuration data (BCD) {fwbootmgr} section. — Not necessarily true.

        Sorry, but I’m not really sure what you are saying is not necessarily true.  OEM implementations of the UEFI protocol and their impacts on multi-booting setups vary widely.  In fact, in some recent cases, they are increasingly making anything other than booting to Windows nearly impossible.  In which case, if the default /EFI/boot/bootx64.efi entry gets messed up somehow, it’s an “up the creek without a paddle” situation for many users who venture into multi-booting without any very clear understanding of their own OEM’s UEFI implementation.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2378360
          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          Please join AskWoody. It is obvious that your knowledge would be very helpful for others!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378373
            anonymous
            Guest

            Thanks for the invite.  I’ll consider it, but Linux is my main interest these days.  So I’d have very little to contribute to most discussions here and I tend to prefer anonymity in any case.

            • #2378376
              Susan Bradley
              Manager

              Every month we have Linux topics in the newsletter.  I doubt you’d have very little to contribute.

              Susan Bradley Patch Lady

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2378441
              Ascaris
              AskWoody MVP

              Creating a user ID here doesn’t mean you lose your anonymity. Just don’t use your real name for a user ID!

              Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
              Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
              Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2378763
              rc primak
              AskWoody_MVP

              Can you at least dream up a unique signature line, so we’ll know it’s you and not some other “Anonymous”? Or is that also too much info to share?

              -- rc primak

              • #2378876
                anonymous
                Guest

                I suppose I could use my own multi-boot menu as a signature line. I’m not sure that it’s actually unique, but it may be sufficiently unusual to serve as a forum identifier. Just a little bit too overstated perhaps? 🙂
                ___

                My Grub boot menu

      • #2378378
        anonymous
        Guest

        Susan:  “t monthly patches don’t move a EFI partition”  — a word of history on that point, the Win 10 1709 version update did cause partition issues for a number of people, preventing Windows boot up (as on several Win 10 machines here).   So to be a bit more accurate, there have been some past issues with Win 10 handling of existing partition layouts.

         

        • #2378382
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          As I get old the patch issues blur and I forget some of the issues.  Microsoft withdraws AMD driver that causes INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error in Windows 10 (betanews.com)  You talking about that?  They do react when partitions aren’t big enough, but typically patches don’t move existing partitions.  That’s a “under the OS” kind of thing that patches don’t touch.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          • #2378385
            anonymous
            Guest

            Are you perhaps referring to the way in which major Windows updates install newer (larger) versions of its recovery image (WinRE.wim) file.  In that case, if the existing dedicated recovery partition is not large enough to accommodate the newer image, it is handled according to the procedure described here under the heading Updating the On-disk Windows Recovery Environment.

            Note that, in some circumstances, this may result in creating a new WinRE partition and “orphaning” the old one.  But, as you say, I’m not aware of any other similar Windows patching process that affects partitioning as such.

            • #2378389
              anonymous
              Guest

              Ooops, sorry!  Forgot the link.  It’s here.

            • #2378391
              anonymous
              Guest

              Geez.  Talk about getting old and forgetting things.  Link here.

              3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2378393
              Susan Bradley
              Manager

              Also I use the term “patches” for these monthly updates.  They shouldn’t touch a recovery partition.  Feature updates and service packs do blow up stuff.  Monthly updates in theory shouldn’t.  Now I do see that patches – or rather rebooting do expose underlying issues.

              Susan Bradley Patch Lady

              1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2378463
          oldfry
          AskWoody Plus

          In the old days, I ran an NT update that trashed my hard drive rendering it unbootable upon reboot, a well known issue for that Windows NT 3.x update.  I spent painful hours on the phone with support together editing my partition table byte by byte. The edits eventually worked for my unbacked-up multi-boot Windows only test PC.

          So even backing up a carefully crafted test machine can be worthwhile before running Windows Update.   I also like to start off with a fresh reboot before starting a Windows Update, if any hint of these issues, for problem isolation.

      • #2378445
        Fred
        AskWoody Plus

        Creating a user ID here doesn’t mean you lose your anonymity. Just don’t use your real name for a user ID!

        So , Askwoody.com is GDPR and/or BDSG compliant right now?

         

        ~
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2378723
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          No idea. I wasn’t talking about regulatory compliance. I was talking about how having a user account on AskWoody.com doesn’t reveal anything more about you than posting anonymously.

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
          Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2378766
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          A unique signature line would not remove the anonymity of the person posting. Not in any way that could be hacked or traced, if that was a concern for “Anonymous”.

          -- rc primak

      • #2378553
        anonymous
        Guest

        Windows/Linux dual boot configurations and the Linux Live USB Image on the flash stick is always accompanying the laptop in case things get messed up there. And I had that happen after a DDU uninstaller session booted into Windows 7 on an Win 7/Linux Mint dual boot laptop but I just booted the laptop with the Linux Live image on the USB Stick and from that session mounted my proper filesystem/directory and upgraded GRUB and that fixed that so the laptop could boot Mint again!

         

        But full system Image Backups are always done on a regular basis especially if any dangerous things are attempted!

        • #2378578
          anonymous
          Guest

          Generally speaking, any new OS or major update that is installed to a UFI-GPT multi-boot setup will replace the default /EFI/boot/bootx64.efi entry with a copy of its own boot loader.  For example, a copy of the bootmgfw.efi loader for Windows or a copy of the grubx64.efi (or shimx64.efi) loader for Linux may overwrite the /EFI/boot/bootx64.efi file that is most often set as the default boot entry in UEFI firmware configurations.

          Correcting that problem can be as straightforward as simply copying the desired boot loader back to the default /EFI/boot/bootx64.efi EFI System Partition (ESP) again.  Or else modifying the UEFI firmware setup so that its specifies the desired OS boot loader as the default boot option.  The biggest difficulty faced by many users is knowing exactly what problem has occurred and how to get to it for correction.  And, of course, backup image restoration is almost always a “surefire” solution provided that the ESP was included in the image.

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378769
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            So does any of this create a new EFI or ESP Partition? In other words, is this relevant to the issue originally posted?

            My favorite Windows backup program, Macrium Reflect, allows an option to back all partitions needed to boot Windows, which should include the ESP or EFI Partition and the Reserved Partition(s).

            But could such backup software get fooled if there are multiple EFI Partitions present on one disk? Maybe…

            -- rc primak

            • #2378789
              anonymous
              Guest

              Never having dealt with multiple ESPs on the same physical drive myself, I can’t really answer your question about the possibility of its fooling Macrium Reflect. When I was using reflect (now switched to Terabyte with native Linux support) I always told it to back up the selected drive(s) entirely so that it wasn’t really an issue in any case.  At least not unless and until one needed to restore one or more individual partitions.

              As for multiple ESPs on multiple drives, I have created that arrangement quite deliberately for some portable drive setups.  And I’ve also encountered situations where the OS installer insists on populating an ESP other than the one it was told to use.  Ubiquity, for example relies entirely on whatever efi-boot flag it happens to find first, even despite any specific user instructions to the contrary.  Unfortunately, the information provided by the poster in question is insufficient to sat with any certainty whether multiple ESPs are actually involved in that situation, let alone whether an OS update was actually all or part of the underlying issue.  So relevance is an open question at best.

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      • #2379729
        glnz
        AskWoody Plus

        What tool should I use to determine absolutely positively what each partition on my three hard disks is?

        My Dell Optiplex 7010 dual-boots Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit (currently version 21H2).  I must have been lucky when I first set that up maybe eight years ago (and what is now the 10 originally started as 8 and 8.1).  I’m pretty sure I’m using UEFI exclusively without Legacy and NOT Secure Boot, but I have no idea which EFI or ESP partitions I have.

        Thanks.

        • #2379760
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          MiniTool Partition Wizard gives you a nice overview of your partitions. Let us know if it works for you?

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2379793
        glnz
        AskWoody Plus

        Paul T –   Your good suggestion shows that I have two EFI partitions in my dual-booting PC.  (I am dual-booting Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit v 20H2.  I added the dual-boot years ago, and what is now the Win 10 originally started as Win 8.)

        The first one is at the very beginning of my C:/ drive and has many more subfolders, some of which have been very recently updated.  The C:/ drive holds both my Win 10 and my Win 7 OSes.

        The second EFI partition is on my G:/ drive but not at the beginning.  (The G:/ drive is what I I try to use for data files only.)  This EFI partition has fewer folders than the first and none of those folders show a date past 2015.

        I shall leave them both alone, as the dual-booting has never been a problem, and I have been able to do the Win 10 version upgrades from time to time without a problem.

        FWIW, I also have NeoSmart’s iReboot function running at all times, which has been hugely helpful.  It comes with NeoSmart’s EasyBCD.  Maybe these two apps have kept me “regular” all these years.

        Also, on at least one occasion when I moved my system from a single smaller HDD to the current larger three HDDs using Macrium Reflect Free, I had a boot problem and used the Macrium Reflect Rescue Media to fix that (very quckly).  Maybe that also helped keep things going.

        Thanks.

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