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  • GRUB boot issue and Macrium Backup

    Posted on LHiggins Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 GRUB boot issue and Macrium Backup

    This topic contains 47 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  LHiggins 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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    • #1984237 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Hello!

      Well, I seem to have created a hopefully fixable issue with my Win 7 laptop. I was attempting to do a full install of Linux Mint on an external SSD drive, and after going through the process, I find that not only can’t I boot into the SSD drive, I am also getting a GRUB rescue error when trying to boot into Windows. My question here  – I had created a full backup of Windows using Macrium just before I started this – and thought that restoring to that backup might solve this GRUB boot issue in WIndows – does that seem likely?

      I am now running Mint from a thumb drive so that I can ask this question – and I need a little help in restoring to that backup if that might be a solution. I think I can boot back into Windows through the GRUB choices on the Mint thumb drive. Once there – how would I go about restoring using Macrium?

      Thanks for the help – I have done this before with the full install and never ran into this, so I’m not quite sure what my next steps would be.

    • #1984321 Reply

      anonymous

      You don’t provide enough info to give you anything more than hand-wavy advice.  What do you see when you try to boot?  What do you see when you use a function key (f12?) at boot time to get into your bios/uefi boot menu?   Is that how you are booting from the mint install usb?

      Hopefully, when you installed macrium you created a rescue usb or dvd.  If so, you can boot from that and re-image your disk from your backup media.  Or, maybe you created a rescue partition on your hard drive when you installed macrium and you’ll find that in your bios boot menu.  Or, if you have a win7 install usb/dvd, try booting that, selecting the “repair” option, and see if it can fix the boot problem.

      I don’t know how you could use the mint live/install usb to re-image your disk.  You can probably use it to install grub on your hard drive, but that’s involved enough that you should exhaust the above suggestions first, and it’s not guaranteed to find your original win7 boot loader.

      When installing linux onto an external drive, it’s usually best to tell the installer to put grub onto that same drive.

      • #1984361 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the reply. OK – I understand that I haven’t given you enough to really go on, but I’ll add what I can.

        What do you see when you try to boot?  What do you see when you use a function key (f12?) at boot time to get into your bios/uefi boot menu?   Is that how you are booting from the mint install usb?

        First – I have been able to boot into Windows using the Linux full install USB Drive. Initially I could see the following:

        error: no such device with the long string of the device name
        :unknow file system
        grub rescue>

        This was on both the USB SSD and the Windows side.

        When I rebooted,  I tapped F12, and then I can see a GRUB menu that lists to either boot into Linux or into Windows, so when I choose Windows, I can boot to it. If I choose Linux, I can boot there.

        I am booting from a full install of Linux Mint on a USB thumb drive – not a live USB.

        I was hoping that booting into Windows and then restoring the latest backup I did with Macrium would turn the whole thing back to where it will boot to Windows without needing and “help” from the Linux side.

        I don’t know how you could use the mint live/install usb to re-image your disk.

        I’m not trying to use the Mint live install to re-imagine the drive. My question  – poorly asked – was once I can boot into Windows – will the Macrium backup be able to restore the boot capability? Before I attempted this – Windows booted automatically if I didn’t press F12. When I wanted to boot into Mint, then I used the F12/GRUB choices. Now I need to do that for either OS.

        When installing linux onto an external drive, it’s usually best to tell the installer to put grub onto that same drive.

        I just followed the steps from a tutorial about installing Linux to run from an external USB drive. The grub should have been on that drive – when I did this on a USB thumb drive, which I am still able to use, there was not problem with the boot. This seemed to be the same set-up, but obviously not.

        Hope some of that helps. All I want to be able to do now is to restore the boot capability for the Windows side – and have it work the way it did this morning before I attempted to put Mint on the USB SSD drive. Not sure why it even happened, but I am hoping that Macrium can restore it. Then I’ll worry about what happened with the Linux side.

        Thanks!

        • #1984397 Reply

          anonymous

          It does sound like grub was installed to your windows drive instead of to the external linux drive.

          Pretty sure Macrium will restore everything for you.   But, if you have a win7 install usb, it might be faster and easier to boot from that.  After the first “language selection” screen, click on “Repair your computer.”  It should find your win7 installation.  Click “Next” and then click “Startup Repair.”

           

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        • #1984414 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          If your backup is an “image” backup rather than a “files” backup, then restoring it should fix the boot problem, because an “image” backup simply replicates, bit by bit, what was on the drive before, regardless of what it was. However, a “files” backup rewrites the files to the drive that it backed up. The “files” backup is not a low-level, bare-metal backup like the “image” backup is.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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          • #1984577 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            If your backup is an “image” backup rather than a “files” backup, then restoring it should fix the boot problem, because an “image” backup simply replicates, bit by bit, what was on the drive before, regardless of what it was.

            I’ve always done an image backup – so hopefully that will work. But since this boot issue has happened – is it still possible to go into Macrium and create a rescue disk – will Macrium create one with the correct Windows boot info – or will it copy whatever has now replaced that? Thanks!

            • #1984688 Reply

              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody_MVP

              You can pretty much use one Macrium boot disk on another computer. I don’t think you’ll have any problem with creating a usable Macrium boot disk.

              Just to be safe, if you have an available hard drive, do the restore to that drive, then boot from that drive. You will know immediately if it will work, and you won’t have to risk overwriting your current drive to do so.

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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            • #1984692 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              You can pretty much use one Macrium boot disk on another computer. I don’t think you’ll have any problem with creating a usable Macrium boot disk.

              Just to be safe, if you have an available hard drive, do the restore to that drive, then boot from that drive. You will know immediately if it will work, and you won’t have to risk overwriting your current drive to do so.

              OK – I have several external drives that I use for backups so they have data on them. Can I use one of those? Not sure just how to do that, but a good idea as a test. Thanks.

            • #1984753 Reply

              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              Do you have a USB thumb drive which you can use to make another Macrium recovery disk?

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            • #1984763 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              I made one, but I could make another if I need to. There are some good suggestions throughout this thread – and my follow up here.

              Thanks!

    • #1984360 Reply

      anonymous

      Also, if you can manage to boot into win7, see this article.

       

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    • #1984405 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      If it is a UEFI PC, you may be able to go into the setup for the PC (UEFI/”BIOS” settings, not the OS) and change to use the Windows boot manager instead of anything Linux-ish, like Ubuntu.  A UEFI boot can have a number of bootloaders that one may select from the boot override menu. If your system is UEFI, it may have the Windows one already there and usable, and you would just have to tell the UEFI to boot from that one instead of Ubuntu (which is how the bootloader reports itself on Mint).

      If that does not work, or if it is a legacy/BIOS boot setup, I would suggest booting a Macrium USB rescue drive on the affected PC, then using the “Fix Windows boot issues” (or whatever the actual text is) option to restore the Windows bootloader.  It’s my standard go-to “when I don’t want to mess around” Windows boot fixer… it works nearly all the time.  How it manages to fix Windows installations that the Windows WinRE boot restore cannot kind of amazes me.

      What probably happened is that the Linux installer somehow got pointed at the hard drive for installation of the bootloader during the installation of Linux on the SSD.  If the installation on that external SSD was functional, it would all work as long as the SSD was plugged in.  As you said, figuring out why that did not work is the next issue, but first things first.

      When you hit F12 to get the boot menu, that’s the UEFI or BIOS boot override menu,  not GRUB.  You said you can boot Windows or Linux successfully from there, but also that you had to use your Linux USB thumb drive to get online to ask this, so I am not really sure what the real situation is, but the suggestions I made here apply either way.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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      • #1984545 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Good morning and thanks for the suggestions! I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, and hopefully Macrium will fix it!

        What probably happened is that the Linux installer somehow got pointed at the hard drive for installation of the bootloader during the installation of Linux on the SSD.  If the installation on that external SSD was functional, it would all work as long as the SSD was plugged in.  As you said, figuring out why that did not work is the next issue, but first things first.

        Here is the inxi -SM code –  it is a UEFI[Legacy] – so I guess I’ll need a rescue drive which I don’t have. I do have one for the Win 10 laptop that we have – would that work on this? Or is there another method with that type of set-up?

        System:
        Host: computer Kernel: 4.15.0-65-generic x86_64 bits: 64
        Desktop: Cinnamon 4.0.10 Distro: Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa
        Machine:
        Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 2306CTO v: ThinkPad X230
        serial: <root required>
        Mobo: LENOVO model: 2306CTO serial: <root required> UEFI [Legacy]: LENOVO
        v: G2ETA1WW (2.61 ) date: 04/22/2014

        If your backup is an “image” backup rather than a “files” backup, then restoring it should fix the boot problem, because an “image” backup simply replicates, bit by bit, what was on the drive before, regardless of what it was.

        I do have an image backup so I can try that.

        Also, if you can manage to boot into win7, see this article.

        Thanks – that’s very helpful as well. That looks like it can be done from the image, not a rescue drive?

        I’ll follow your suggestions and see what happens and post back. Hopefully I can get the Win 7 boot working and then tackle what happened to the external drive.

        Much appreciated!

        • #1984711 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          I do have one for the Win 10 laptop that we have – would that work on this? Or is there another method with that type of set-up?

          If you’re talking about a Macrium Reflect rescue USB drive, that will work for the Win 7 machine.  If it is not a Macrium rescue, you can make one using Macrium Reflect.  You can do this on any PC; it does not have to be the one you are trying to fix.  Your older BIOS Win 7 machine should do fine for this.

          Boot the Macrium rescue USB by pressing the boot override key (F12, based on what you wrote before), and boot that.  Once it starts, look for an option to fix Windows boot issues or something similar (I forget the exact wording they used), and point it to your Win 7 drive.

          The boot override menu is a function of the UEFI in the PC, and will always be available, even if Linux had never been installed on the PC.  The GRUB menu is part of the Linux installation, and would not exist on a PC that had never run Linux.  GRUB will usually state GRUB and the version of GRUB at the top of the screen, while the boot menu will not.  They both allow you to pick operating systems, but they function in different ways.

          F12 is a typical key for bringing up the boot override menu if you press it during the time before initial boot-up (called POST, for Power On Self Test).  GRUB comes up after the initial boot, but before the OS is loaded (obviously!).

          It sounds like you are talking about the boot override menu when you say GRUB, and I want to make sure that we are on the same page.

          A little bit about the terminology:

          BIOS machines use MBR exclusively to boot Windows.  UEFI machines can perform either a UEFI boot, using a GPT disk, or a legacy boot, using MBR.  The legacy boot is exactly the same as the boot from the BIOS machine.  It’s most likely this is what you are dealing with in Windows 7.  I have never seen your PC’s particular UEFI setup before, but I am guessing that when it says UEFI [Legacy], it is telling you that it is performing a legacy boot, and we already know it is a UEFI PC.

          An easy way to verify this would be to start Linux Mint from your USB thumb drive, then go into the main menu (the equivalent of the Windows start) and type “disks”.  This will make GNOME disks (simply called “Disks” in the menu) appear in the search results.  Start that, and click on the hard disk on the left panel if it is not already selected.  On the right side, near the top of the window, it will tell you Master Boot Record, which is what MBR stands for, or GUID Partition Table, which is what GPT means.  In the image, I drew a red box around where it says GUID Partition Table on my Dell G3.

          Screenshot_20191019_101726

          If it says Master Boot Record, which it probably does, that means you have a UEFI PC that is set to perform a BIOS mode boot, compatibility mode boot, legacy boot… they all mean the same thing.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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          • #1984725 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks – you always have so much info to share! OK – here’s what I am seeing:

            When I boot, I see the Thinkpad splash screen and when I tap F12, I get a 2 page response. The first says how to enter the set-up menu, which is followed by a GNU GRUB Version 2.02 screen where I can choose which OS I want – the default is Cinnamon, which it will go to if I do nothing. It also has 2 test choices, and 2 Windows choices and here is where I boot into Windows. Thankfully I can do that – or otherwise Windows would be unavailable right now. This actually wouldn’t be the worst thing – but I am concerned that if something happens to the thumb drive – which was my concern all along and prompted me to attempt this SSD route – then I’d have no way to boot into Windows at all.

            Start that, and click on the hard disk on the left panel if it is not already selected.  On the right side, near the top of the window, it will tell you Master Boot Record, which is what MBR stands for, or GUID Partition Table, which is what GPT means.

            Here is what the Windows hard drive looks like:

            Screenshot-from-2019-10-19-14-06-07

            And here is what the Linux thumb drive looks like:

            Screenshot-from-2019-10-02-15-48-42

            So – it looks like Windows is MBR. That is also what it says at the top of my Macrium – MBR disk 1 – there’s a screenshot here somewhere.

            f it says Master Boot Record, which it probably does, that means you have a UEFI PC that is set to perform a BIOS mode boot, compatibility mode boot, legacy boot… they all mean the same thing.

            OK – so does that affect the Macrium restore? I made a recovery USB that I haven’t yet tried – but that should be a way to also boot into Windows should all else fail. And the procedure described by GoneToPlaid sounds like it will work – thoughMrJimPhelps had a good suggestion to try it out on another drive first.

            The upshot is that after creating a new Macrium rescue disk on another thumb drive, you can boot from the rescue disk and then choose to restore only the small unnamed partitions (whatever they are) which are shown to the left of your OS partition in the red box. Try this method first, since you can do it literally in a few minutes.

            In any case – it seems that there are workable options, so I will read through all of this and see if I have any other questions before I give it a try!

            After all of this help – I am going to owe Woody a nice donation in thanks for providing this place where you all can be so helpful! I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate it!

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            • #1984752 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              OK – so does that affect the Macrium restore? I made a recovery USB that I haven’t yet tried – but that should be a way to also boot into Windows should all else fail.

              Reflect is aware of MBR and GPT disks and will handle them appropriately.

              What you need is to get rid of the GRUB bootloader on the Win 7 drive and replace it with a Windows one.  The boot repair option in Reflect will do that with the minimum of fuss.  You can restore the MBR in your backup image if you’d rather do it that way too.  As long as the restore operation includes the bootloader, it should be fine, but a restore of any given partition alone won’t fix the bootloader on a MBR disk.  On a GPT disk, restoring the efi partition would probably work, but on a MBR disk, the bootloader is not in any of the partitions, but in a reserved area of the disk called the boot sector.

              It only takes a minute or so to perform the Reflect boot repair, and if you’re going to restore using Macrium anyway, you’re still going to be booting from the rescue USB just the same.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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            • #1984762 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              OK – so what would my steps be?

              First, I boot into Windows using the rescue disk. (I tried it and saw how it looked already)

              Next:

              The boot repair option in Reflect will do that with the minimum of fuss.

              – so is there something to choose to do that? Is it Restore>Fix Boot Problems wizard? Or some other way? Or is a full restore better?

              Thanks! Getting close, and I think I just need to get up the nerve to do it.

            • #1984913 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              – so is there something to choose to do that? Is it Restore>Fix Boot Problems wizard? Or some other way? Or is a full restore better?

              Yes, that’s what I am suggesting.  Don’t be afraid of trying it– you have the full backup anyway if anything goes wrong.  If all that is wrong is that the boot sector is overwritten, it won’t help anything to restore the entire hard disk (including the boot sector) compared to just fixing the boot sector.  The goal is to get that boot sector restored, and the Reflect option you highlighted is very effective in accomplishing that– better even than the Windows install disk’s option to do the same.

              As far as the option above: If it works, you’re good… if not, you’re no worse off.  The same is true of the option GoneToPlaid suggested… it will either work or not work, but it won’t make things worse.

              You can always do a full restore no matter what has happened to the data on the disk in the meantime.  That’s the nice thing about having a full drive image… it gives you the means to go back to a known good state no matter what happens as a last resort.  We’re far from being at the last resort point, though.  If you had Linux installed on the drive in a dual-boot setup, this would be a fairly trivial thing to fix, and it is pretty trivial now too (simple and fast to fix).

              Unless the actual hardware of the hard drive is damaged somehow, a full restore of an image will get you back to where you were, so you might as well try some simpler, less time-consuming things first.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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            • #1985289 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              We’re far from being at the last resort point, though… Unless the actual hardware of the hard drive is damaged somehow, a full restore of an image will get you back to where you were, so you might as well try some simpler, less time-consuming things first.

              Thanks! I’m getting ready to give it a try now – will post back and let you know! I really don’t think it is a hardware issue – and hopefully the Fix Boot Problems will work! Fingers crossed!!

        • #1985536 Reply

          wavy
          AskWoody Plus

          LHiggins
          Don’t feel bad about this it is easy to do, the guy sitting next to me at work was one of those Linux go-to guys and he trashed a company laptop trying to run Linux from an external drive, he had to send it in to the IT dept. 😯
          I did the same on a desktop but managed to restore it myself (the laptop drive was encrypted and locked so much easier for me)
          Unfortunately a Linux install does have options that are not fully understandable at install time from the install prompts. It is still a learning experience, that is why everyone says : “make an IMAGE” before you pillage! (ok the last was mine )

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  wavy.
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          • #1985548 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            It is still a learning experience, that is why everyone says : “make an IMAGE” before you pillage! (ok the last was mine )

            Love it!!

            Thanks so much! Yes, I guess it is easy to do – especially when a lot of this Linux stuff is a bit unknown. I am so glad I had the backup and that things look like they are back to normal! Now I guess I need to try to retrace my steps to figure out where that full install process went awry and hopefully I’ll do better this time. I may try to do it all on my old Vista laptop – at least that way I won’t trash my Win 7 right off the bat!

            Thanks again!

             

    • #1984574 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      OK – to add to this – can I create a Win 7 Macrium rescue USB on a different Win 7 computer and then use it to restore this one? I have an older Win 7 – but it is probably not UEFI/Legacy. It is most likely BIOS since it is about 11 years old. Is there a way to check within Windows?

      • #1984579 Reply

        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Yes.

        Macrium boot USB works on most hardware, but may be an issue on “special” disk controllers. I suspect you have fairly standard hardware.

        Boot information / type is set in the BIOS. You probably have MBR on a W7 laptop.
        In Windows you can see this in System Information.
        Win R
        msinfo32
        Look under “BIOS mode” in the right pane.

        cheers, Paul

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        • #1984616 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi Paul,

          OK I think this is where I ran into a question earlier. I don’t see BIOS mode or MBR.

          My BIOS entries are these:

          Capture-1

          I also have these from the Set up boot  menu for this laptop:

          UEFI/Legacy Boot [both]

          -UEFI/Legacy Boot Priority  [Legacy First]

          -CSM Support [Yes]

          Network Boot [PCI LAN:IBAGE]

          The  BIOS related entries on the older desktop are these:

          BIOS

          So – would these be the steps:

          1. Start Macrium on the older Win 7
          2. Use a USB and create rescue media
          3. Use that USB on the newer Win 7 to boot (and cross fingers LOL)
          4. Then what? Restore the image or just see if it continues to boot correctly?

          I also have a question about the USB hub that I am using – could that have affected anything? The Mint thumb drive that I am using to be able to boot into Windows is attached – can I turn that off or disconnect it while in Windows – or will that somehow cause Windows to also shut down?

          Hope this gives you something to go on and some suggestions. I’ll go ahead and crate the rescue USB on the old machine in case we think that is something to try. But – if I can already boot into Windows using the Linux boot choices, is that the same thing and I can just use the Macrium restore from here?

          Sorry to have so many questions – all really above my head and totally unexpected, since the first time I did this to create that Linux Mint USB install, it all worked fine.

          Thanks!!

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      • #1984607 Reply

        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        Since you can get into Windows after booting with the thumb drive, you can create a new Macrium rescue disk on another thumb drive. Go ahead and get this done.

        Now see my attached screen capture and look at what is in the red box.

        When you made your latest Macrium backup in Windows, did you back up the entire Windows drive, as in also backing up any tiny 100MB and/or 128MB unnamed partitions which are shown before the Windows partition in the red box? You probably did since this would be the default in Macrium. Note the checked boxes for what I always back up in Macrium for my OS drive.

        The upshot is that after creating a new Macrium rescue disk on another thumb drive, you can boot from the rescue disk and then choose to restore only the small unnamed partitions (whatever they are) which are shown to the left of your OS partition in the red box. Try this method first, since you can do it literally in a few minutes. When you are in Macrium’s rescue disk environment, take the time to double check and then triple check not only what you are going to restore, but also to where your selections will be restored to. If you have only one hard drive, then double or triple checking really isn’t necessary. In my attached screen capture, you can see that I have 3 hard drives. This requires me to be very careful when choosing the correct hard drive to restore to.

        If the above quick method does not fix your issue, then you can once again boot from your newly created Macrium rescue disk and instead choose to perform a full restore of your latest backup. I am pretty sure that the above method will resolve your issues rather quickly.

         

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  GoneToPlaid. Reason: tweak provided information
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        • #1984637 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Great – thanks so much for this info. So I can create the rescue USB right here on the same laptop that is having the issue?

          Here’s how mine looks when I backup:

          Macrium

          I just choose “image this disk” and the three that are checked are backed up.

          So what I would be restoring is the System Drive partition?

          When you are in Macrium’s rescue disk environment, take the time to double check and then triple check not only what you are going to restore, but also to where your selections will be restored to. If you have only one hard drive, then double or triple checking really isn’t necessary.

          I do only have the one hard drive – so that should be OK. I’ll create the rescue disk and check back.

          Thanks so much!

           

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          • #1984649 Reply

            GoneToPlaid
            AskWoody Plus

            I assume that Windows doesn’t boot properly when the external USB drive is not connected? If so, then the only thing which you need to restore is the partition which I have marked with a red box in the attached image. This should work. If it doesn’t then the next thing to check would be the boot settings in BIOS, before spending a lot of time performing a full restore in Macrium.

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            • #1984660 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              I assume that Windows doesn’t boot properly when the external USB drive is not connected?

              Well, sort of. Usually, if I don’t press F12 to get into the Mint install, even when the thumb drive is connected, it will boot right into Windows. Now, if I don’t press F12 and then choose the Windows boot choice on the boot menu – there are choices for both Mint and Windows there – then it goes to that error screen and the grub rescue command line.

              I haven’t actually unplugged the USB to see what happens – I’m guessing the same thing.

              If it doesn’t then the next thing to check would be the boot settings in BIOS, before spending a lot of time performing a full restore in Macrium.

              I had looked at the boot settings in the BIOS – this is what I see in the set up menu:

              UEFI/Legacy Boot [both]

              -UEFI/Legacy Boot Priority [Legacy First]

              -CSM Support [Yes]

              Network Boot [PCI LAN:IBAGE]

              Are those what I would be looking at, and what should they be?

              Thanks!!

            • #1984662 Reply

              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              Those BIOS settings look okay for the time being. What happens when neither the external USB drive and the thumb drive are connected? I will be away for an hour or so, yet I will get back to your posts when I return.

              • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  GoneToPlaid.
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            • #1984691 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              What happens when neither the external USB drive and the thumb drive are connected?

              Not sure yet how it will boot – but just for information – when I was still in Windows, and disconnected the thumb drive – nothing happened, so Windows isn’t somehow dependent on that drive, even though it seems to need it to boot.

            • #1984744 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              OK – and it is the same situation when I try to boot without the thumb drive in – I get the same error message and it won’t boot.

            • #1984756 Reply

              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              I am back for a bit. Okay, so I see that both your Windows 7 and your Cinnamon are using MBR. Good. All you need is to boot to the Macrium recovery console and then restore the “1 – SYSTEM DRV (None) partition” which I marked with a red box in your posted screen capture. That should restore really quick since it is only 379.4MB. After restoring and making sure that all hard drive activity has ceased, simply reboot. That should fix it.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #1984770 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks! I am just a bit concerned about this though:

              As long as the restore operation includes the bootloader, it should be fine, but a restore of any given partition alone won’t fix the bootloader on a MBR disk.  On a GPT disk, restoring the efi partition would probably work, but on a MBR disk, the bootloader is not in any of the partitions, but in a reserved area of the disk called the boot sector.

              If I restore the “1 – SYSTEM DRV (None)” partition. and there is an issue, will I still be able to boot into Windows from the Linux USB? Or would I then need to do a full restore?

            • #1984909 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              It won’t harm anything to try it. I know you’re getting advice from a bunch of different angles, and it can be hard to sort through it.  If you would like to try restoring the first partition first, it won’t cause any additional harm.  It also won’t help anything, as the GRUB bootloader stub is in the boot sector, and you will have to remove that and replace it with the Windows bootloader in order to get back to where you were before.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

    • #1984757 Reply

      anonymous

      Well, I certainly wasn’t aware that Windows 7 had grub?

      • #1984765 Reply

        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        Windows 7 doesn’t have grub. That is a Unix or Linux thing. What has happened is that your Cinnamon installation installed its grub bootloader into your Windows 7 boot partition which is seen as “1 – SYSTEM DRV (None)” in Macrium. Simply boot using the Macrium recovery media. In Macrium’s recovery console, you will chose to only restore this “1 – SYSTEM DRV (None)” partition. That should fix your issue.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1984771 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          The anonymous poster isn’t me – LOL! Thanks for the clarification. I did also post a bit further up in response to your earlier post.

    • #1985387 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Update!

      OK – I used the boot repair wizard first, with the partition restore idea and a full restore as my next options. So far – the boot repair wizard has worked! It booted into Windows and I have since shut down and restarted twice and it all seems OK. Very slow though – maybe it needs to wake up – LOL!

      I think I’m going to give it a little bit and test it a few more times and then create another backup at this point in case something happens again!

      Can’t thank you all enough for the many suggestions, help and hand holding! This, as always, is a great forum, and I am always amazed at how willing folks are to keep at it till you do find a solution. So – thanks to everyone! I literally could not have done it without you! And fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen again -but at least I’ll have some ideas of what to do if it does! 🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1985500 Reply

        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi LHiggins,

        I am glad to hear that you were able to fix your issue.

        The slowness probably is caused by a lot of new Prefetch and Superfetch files being created by your Windows 7 OS since the OS saw that its bootloader has been changed after Macrium repaired it. Simply use your computer as you normally do. Do not reboot your computer within 15 minutes after logging into Windows. Why? Because you want to make sure that the OS has had enough time to run all programs which launch during the various stages of the boot process, and that the OS has had enough time to create any new Prefetch and Superfetch files.

        Best regards,

        –GTP

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1985539 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks for that tip! I will reboot and let it run a while. Since I have been using Mint, I really haven’t had a need for Windows a whloe lot, but I am so glad to have it “back” and working the way it should!

          Your advice and help is much appreciated!

          • #1985563 Reply

            GoneToPlaid
            AskWoody Plus

            I thank you for your kind remarks. I am mighty glad that, once again, you are up an running.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #1985589 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Me too! You folks are all great in this forum! I still want to pursue the full install of Linux on my external SSD, but I think I need to take a break from trying anything that will possibly compromise my system for a little while at least! 🙂

      • #1985991 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Glad to hear it works (to the extent that I can hear by reading text)!

        Now you know a little bit more about how to fix things in the event that something goes wrong.  Little bit by little bit, you gain experience, and confidence along with it.  You learn more from something going wrong than from it going right!

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1986337 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Indeed – it is a learning process! Some lessons are a bit more shocking, but I think that I am ready to give it another go.

          A question for you – seems I recall something you said in one of my older discussions on making the transition to Mint about using Rufus/YUMI to burn the iso and install from there (in my case first to the dual boot on my Vista laptop). My question then – and again now – is that there was a question in the installer asking if I wanted the installer to unmount partitions. At that time – I said “no” but this time I said “yes” – and I am wondering if that may have contributed to the problem.

          I’ve been trying to find that discussion again, but might as well just ask here. Could saying “yes” to that unmount question somehow allow the hard drive to be unmounted so that the boot loader to be overwritten? Maybe “no” was a better answer – since it seems that it is running OK both in the old dual boot, and on my thumb drive full install – pretty sure I said “no” then, too.

          Sorry – convoluted, but that was something that I got think might have had an effect.

          In any case – I’m going to start from scratch – new thumb drive for Rufus this time to burn the iso and try it all again. I will post back with my progress, but at least this time I have a better idea of how to repair the damage!

          Thanks again for all of the help!

    • #1986009 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Why don’t you put the SSD in the laptop?

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1986348 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi Paul,

        Good question! At this point, doing anything like that would be far above my ability – or confidence level – LOL! This external SSD kind of set up seems to be a good option for keeping my Win 7 and Mint separate – though as we’ve seen – that isn’t a guarantee. And wouldn’t that involve actually replacing my current hard drive?

        I think that right now, this set up – once I get it running – will suffice till I can decide what my next move will be after Jan 2020. I have, as everyone here probably knows, waffled back and forth between a new computer, keeping Win 7 with some patching option like 0Patch,  a dual boot, a refurbished Win 8, giving up Windows completely, or possibly just throwing it all out the window, as I felt over the weekend.

        I do have to say that compared to the drama around Win 10 – and the headaches new Win 10 laptop that my husband has – I am always so relieved to return to Mint and its ease of use. So – that is probably going to be the way I go – in one form or another.

        I appreciate the suggestion – and maybe down the road that will be something to consider to renew this current laptop!

        Thanks for all of the help and support!

        • #1986381 Reply

          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          I would do the following given your situation:

          1. Backup your laptop – again.
          2. Bite the bullet and swap the SSD into the laptop.
          3. Boot from your Macrium USB and restore to the SSD, making sure you “align” the restore.
          4. Follow these instructions to “install” the SSD.
          5. Backup again – a separate backup.
          6. Enjoy the new speed of your old machine.
          7. Backup regularly.

          Now you can sit back and relax while saving for that nice new laptop in a year or two. 🙂

          cheers, Paul

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #1990397 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Hi Paul,

            Sorry I haven’t gotten back to thank you for the instructions about that SSD. At this point, I don’t think that is going to be an option – and it is an actual external drive, so I am not sure how it would be able to fit inside the laptop anyway.

            In any case – I am exploring options, and have certainly learned a few lessons from this experience!

            Thanks for the suggestions though – much appreciated!

             

            1 user thanked author for this post.

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