Linux – Kali Linux can’t get past GRUB boot (dual boot with EasyBCD)


As a dedicated mathematician (also interested in computer science) I had a dual boot of Windows 10 and Kali Linux 2016.2 for several months. My first hard drive (hd0) only had 300 GB of space, so I ran out of it quickly, especially while supporting two OS. I recently got a 1 TB disk (hd1), so I wanted to freshly install Kali Linux on this new component (just for the record, I'm using HP Elitebook 8760w with two slots for SSD/HDD; primary and secondary). I deleted the Kali Linux partitions on hd0 and wanted to install it on hd1. I followed this tutorial which sufficed brilliantly for my 2016.2 installation (now I'm trying to install 2017.1). Here's my procedure:

  1. I downloaded ISO image from official Kali Linux webpage
  2. I wrote this image onto a 8 GB Patriot USB with a program called Rufus
  3. I restarted my laptop, chose boot options with F9 key in BIOS
  4. Of course, I managed to start the installation (I chose Graphical installation)
  5. I did everything exactly as it was shown in the video; here are the partitions I created:

    #5 logical 2.0 GB f ext4 /boot
    #6 logical 80.0 GB f ext4 /
    #7 logical 300.0 GB f ext4 /home
    #8 logical 6.0 GB f swap swap

(Note: on hd1 there is also a G: partition where I keep miscellaneous things – movies, music etc. – I think this shouldn't be a problem, but it was worth mentioning, for maybe it will give you a better retrospect of the situation)

  1. In the GRUB install section of installation I specified the path of my boot partition: /dev/sdb5 (/sda = hd0,/sdb = hd1)
  2. I finished up the installation and everything went well. Windows booted up and I was ready to use EasyBCD to dual boot.
  3. From previous experience I know that if I chose Linux type to be GRUB 2 I'd be brought up to the GRUB4DOS bash command line upon trying to boot into Kali Linux (if you check the comment section you'll see many people had the same problem as me), so I chose the type to be SysLinux instead, and I also specified the boot partition (even though it wasn't correctly enumerated in EasyBCD (the number was #2 instead of #5) I couldn't have gotten it wrong as the boot partition was the only partition on hd1 with 2 GB of space.
  4. I restarted and tried to boot into Kali Linux via EasyBCD, but when I did, I saw only a blinking line _ for a few seconds; then, the system automatically rebooted back into Windows; I tried holding Shift to "kill" quiet boot mode, but the only extra thing I saw was GRUB _. Nothing else changed.

I am desperate, I don't know where I did a mistake. my system doesn't run on UEFI, I disabled Secure Boot in BIOS, I have Virtualization Technology enabled, etc. I even tried to install a 32-bit version instead of 64-bit one but without success. After 6 hours of frustration and about 9 reinstallations I gave up and went onto this website to seek help. Perhaps I should boil down my request:

  1. Why can't I boot normally with GRUB 2 (why does GRUB4DOS show up)?
  2. Why does the alternative SysLinux not work anymore (it worked with Kali Linux 2016.2)?
  3. Please tell me your way of resolving the issue and point out my mistakes.

My humble theory is that the version has some modifications that are incompatible with my standard method.

Best Answer

First of all there is no such thing as EasyBCD boot. The mentioned tool uses GRUB4DOS.

GRUB4DOS is a GRUB port to Windows/DOS environment.

MBR booting is well known: (there are tens if not hundreds of sites treating dual-booting Windows/Linux)

Windows boot manager can load Windows (of course) and chainload any boot sector(including GRUB's boot sector).

GRUB can load Linux (of course) and chainload Windows.

The term here is chainload.

For using Windows boot manager as "main" boot manager for chainloading Linux I suggest you read Dual boot Windows 7 and Linux/UNIX

For using GRUB as main boot loader/manager I can suggest official "Dual Boot Kali with Windows"

GRUB4DOS is not necessary at all. Just more code in between.

As you say you are a mathematician it would be not so difficult for you to get complete understanding of boot process and the chainload (this means you can easily solve dual-boot problems in the future if they arise).


There is a third way of dual booting - you install every OS to its own disk and use "one time boot selection key" (usually F12) for selection of disk at BIOS level. Here there is no common boot code, every OS uses its own boot loader/manager so OS's are completely independent of each other, no common MBR boot problems!