Ubuntu – The Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.04 Dual Boot NIghtmare

12.04bootdual-bootgrub2windows 8

I have done some research as to how to go about this dual-boot, and I am close, but I need some guidance with booting into Windows 8 (Ubuntu is installed).

I have a Lenovo Ideapad y510p.

I will go over what I have done to dual-boot this laptop, with windows 8 pre-installed, with Ubuntu 12.04:

  1. I followed every instruction to the letter for the 97-vote response here, and everything worked fine up until after the repair boot section:
    Installing Ubuntu Alongside a Pre-Installed Windows with UEFI

  2. I ran into the following error upon restarting after the repair boot section:
    error: invalid arch independent elf magic. This error (a grub issue) disabled me from booting into Ubuntu ๐Ÿ™

  3. After a little googling, I followed the instructions in the reactivating grub 2 section to resolve the error:
    http://kb.acronis.com/content/1686

  4. I found a possible solution to fixing the Windows 8 boot issue, and tried it:
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:i9JMyXzzRpYJ:askubuntu.com/questions/279275/dual-boot-problem-windows-8-ubuntu-12-04+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=ubuntu

  5. I thought the above solution worked, but when I attempt to boot into Windows 8, I get the following missing file error:

File: \Boot\BCD

Status: 0xc000000e

Info: The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains errors.

Here is some other information that may be useful:

  • I have 3 partitions devoted to Ubuntu.

  • The first, sda8, has a flag bios_grub (1049 kb).

  • The second, sda9, is where everything else is (96.6 GB).

  • The last, sda10, is for swap (8299 MB).

My question is: How do I fix the boot configuration for Windows 8? Any help would be greatly appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

Update 1: When I attempt to boot into UEFI mode, I get the following error: invalid arch independent elf magic (the same error I saw in step 2).

Update 2: A useful link here I found:
Dual booting Ubuntu 12.04: UEFI and Legacy

So, this is my 4th time installing Ubuntu on the laptop, and it looks like I need to install it in UEFI mode. Should I scrap it all again, and reinstall? Or is there ANY way of salvaging my installation? At this point, I can't even boot into Windows (although I have an installation cd to fix the windows boot issue, that would ultimately screw over ubuntu).

Update 3: After doing a little more browsing around, I found a cool way around this messy grub stuff, using rEFInd. Rod Smith's post here saved me!

Installing ubuntu 12.04.02 in uefi mode

Now, I am able to dual-boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu and boot into both operating systems ๐Ÿ™‚

I have another issue (relating to the boot configuration in the bios) that I will post as a separate question ๐Ÿ™‚

Best Answer

Fair disclosure: I don't fully understand the mechanics involved. Still, after experiencing a similar nightmare with my laptop, what finally did it for me was realizing that I can't install grub too far into the drive; You don't say what partitioning scheme you tried, so I figured this might be the issue you're experiencing as well.

What I did was keep the UEFI structure intact (or, rather, allowing the Windows installation disc to create a new one from scratch), but I made sure to have a small (200MB) dedicated partition located relatively close to the beginning of the drive (around 400MB into it) which Windows leaves alone. (I can't stress enough, though, that it should still be Windows that partitions the drive. The way I did it, I completely removed the filesystem, then created a 400MB partition, my dedicated partition after it, then erased the original and let Windows do its thing with what's left. I'm sure you could simplify the process somehow, but I was seeing stars by that stage.)

Then, after Windows was done making a clean install in the rest of the space allotted to it (and, in the process, creating the necessary UEFI structure before my partition, and a Windows partition immediately after), I simply replaced that partition with an ext4 partition during the Ubuntu installation and mounted it as /boot, installing grub to it. Everything worked fine after that (after running boot-repair, that is).

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