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Thread: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Washington St.
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    65
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    Ubuntu Mate

    Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    I put in a fresh HD in my Lenovo Laptop and installed the latest Ubuntu LTS. I had a few problems like it wouldn't shut down on it's own, or won't go into the BIOS or boot menu. After a day I remembered I had to do some conferences on Zoom. I hadn't set everything up yet, so I pulled the drive and put back in my Windows HD with all my stuff on it.

    Even with my windows HD in, I can't get into the BIOS or Boot menu.

    What can I do to get it back the way it was before?

    I got into the boot menu, changed it to boot from DVD-RW as #1, then HD as #2. Installed Ubuntu LTS, Rebooted, wouldn't shut down so I did manually. Booted up (F2) to get back into the boot order to change it to HD as the first and it booted into linux ignoring my F commands for start up or BIOS.

    Put the HD with Windows and it still bypasses the boot order or getting into the BIOS.

    I've had this laptop for 10 years so no it's not delete to get in. It shows up at the bottom of the screen F2 for boot order or F12 for BIOS. Even Lenovo says it. Even so I tried delete anyways.

    What can I do to fix this? What happened?

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    It is probably a BIOS problem. Linux doesn't touch the BIOS.

    I have a problem where it takes 4-10 reboots to get into the BIOS. The motherboard is from a company known to be slightly hostile towards non-Windows OSes. If I attempt to get any support from the that company, they assume Windows and if I say anything about not using Windows, they say "we don't support non-Windows installs" and close the issue.

    The BIOS wasn't always this way. It was my first UEFI BIOS, but I run Linux in the Legacy mode - personal choice. I always assumed it was the hardware that had the issue. I should check if there is a BIOS update next reboot. I seldom power off/reboot my systems. This problem machine only gets rebooted every 2-4 weeks. The BIOS is AMI vFA from 12/01/2014. There's a 2015 version available. I've set a reminder to install it during the next maintenance window.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    When I booted Windows the first time, I got to boot order. It listed;

    1.Ubuntu
    2.HD
    3.DVD-RW

    This was in Windows.

    Install Linux, can't get into BIOS. BIOS changes. Boot order name changes. Install Windows, still problem. What happened? Installed Linux.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    Quote Originally Posted by happydog500 View Post
    When I booted Windows the first time, I got to boot order. It listed;

    1.Ubuntu
    2.HD
    3.DVD-RW

    This was in Windows.

    Install Linux, can't get into BIOS. BIOS changes. Boot order name changes. Install Windows, still problem. What happened? Installed Linux.
    That isn't what I've seen, but again, I don't have UEFI. There are other tools to manage UEFI stuff. I think efibootmgr is one, but I've never used it.

    So, I connected to a laptop that DOES use EFI booting and ran
    Code:
    $ sudo efibootmgr 
    BootCurrent: 0000
    Timeout: 1 seconds
    BootOrder: 0000,0001,0002,0003
    Boot0000* ubuntu
    Boot0001* UEFI:CD/DVD Drive
    Boot0002* UEFI:Removable Device
    Boot0003* UEFI:Network Device
    I don't have any dual boot systems. I prefer to use virtual machines when that is desired. Made the switch to VMs around 2006 and completely switched, even my main desktop, around 2010.

    There is a manpage for that tool. It appears to be non-trivial.
    Code:
    DESCRIPTION
           efibootmgr is a userspace application used to modify the  Intel  Extensible  Firmware
           Interface  (EFI) Boot Manager.  This application can create and destroy boot entries,
           change the boot order, change the next running boot option, and more.
    There might be a GUI tool to manage boot stuff in EFI systems. Google found this: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI
    There is a warning about what happens with people have Windows installed in EFI mode, then install Ubuntu in Legacy-BIOS mode. That is bad. Could that have happened?

    There are a few threads here about UEFI/EFI installs. Could be worth a search.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    There is something that I do not understand. We set the boot order in the BIOS/UEFI and that instructs the BIOS/UEFI to search for an operating system on the first drive in the list. If it does not find one it will search the next drive in the list. And so on.

    With only one hard drive in the machine the OS on that drive should be loading without you needing to call up the UEFI settings utility or the boot order by pressing F2 or F12. So, why are you doing that?

    With two drives in the machine you would need to use boot order to select the drive if Windows was installed in UEFI mode and Ubuntu installed in legacy mode. When both Windows and Ubuntu are installed in UEFI mode and with both drives in the machine you can set the boot order to Ubuntu and when it loads you then open a terminal and type

    Code:
    sudo update-grub
    The printout should show both Ubuntu and Windows detected. Then, when you switch on the machine you should get the Grub boot menu where you can select either Windows or Ubuntu. No need to set the boot order or to enter the UEFI settings utility.

    Regards
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    Is Ubuntu and grub the method you are using to boot or have you used bcdedit as discussed at https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=300030?

    I can not comment further as I have not used Windows for 16 years so bcdedit is nothing more than a name to me, but as TheFu has said, Linux doesn't touch the BIOS so this must be something else.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    Quote Originally Posted by happydog500 View Post
    I got into the boot menu, changed it to boot from DVD-RW as #1, then HD as #2. Installed Ubuntu LTS, Rebooted, wouldn't shut down so I did manually. Booted up (F2) to get back into the boot order to change it to HD as the first and it booted into linux ignoring my F commands for start up or BIOS.

    Put the HD with Windows and it still bypasses the boot order or getting into the BIOS.

    I've had this laptop for 10 years so no it's not delete to get in. It shows up at the bottom of the screen F2 for boot order or F12 for BIOS. Even Lenovo says it. Even so I tried delete anyways.

    What can I do to fix this? What happened?

    Thank you,
    If you are in an Ubuntu session, you can reach the UEFI set-up with:-
    Code:
    sudo systemctl reboot --firmware-setup
    From Windows, have a look at this:-
    https://www.windowscentral.com/how-e...windows-10-pcs

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    101

    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    I hate "...I have same problem ..." posts.

    Here is mine - little harsh for people who do not like term "shell-shock" but that is what it is



    BTW
    sudo systemctl reboot --firmware-setup
    created endless string of " asking for cache data failed "

    My 21.04 "upgrade" destroyed my multiboot Ubuntu OS , no Windows, only system.
    I ended up with physically removing my main UEFI "load OS " HDD !!!
    (UEFI recovered nicely Kudos )

    My best uneducated guess is 21.04 fouled my UEFI firmware (??)
    and added garbage to "grub".

    "way to go Idaho..."
    Last edited by wildmanne39; May 25th, 2021 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Corrected misspelling of windows

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Lightbulb Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    Linux doesn't touch the BIOS.
    not sure what exactly you mean by touch.

    every linux distro that i have installed on my system has added the name of the operating system to the bios which shows up in the list of boot devices.

    even after the disk has been wiped clean & the linux distro uninstalled the name of the linux operating system still stays there,

    the only way to remove the name / names of the linux operating system from the list of boot devices is to reset the bios.

    i can 100% confirm that the following linux distros add the name of the linux operating system to the bios :

    alma, arch, clear, debian, endeavour, fedora, manjaro, neon & ubuntu.

    so yes linux does touch the bios.

    windows has never done that, not in xp, vista, 7, 8, & 10.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Beans
    6,222

    Re: Ubuntu messed up my BIOS

    so yes linux does touch the bios.
    I think what the other member meant in that post is that Linux/Ubuntu will not make the changes the OP is talking about, preventing access to the BIOS which is correct. Of course, Linux/Ubuntu puts entries in the BIOS firmware on EFI installs or it would not be able to boot. This is an old (10 years) computer per the OP so likely isn't an EFI install. Best option would have been to run boot rrepair to get some acxtual information on the system.

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