I have Debian Wheezy installed on my computer using EFI boot. It used Grub2 as the bootloader. I then decided to install Arch Linux, using EFI as well, on another partition and chose Grub bootloader over Gummiboot.

When I rebooted my computer, the first Grub menu to display was the one that came with Arch Linux. I tried booting off of it but there was an error and Arch wouldn't boot. It was about an unaligned pointer 0x22 and it advised me to press a key to exit. I did that. Then the Grub menu for Debian came up and I was able to boot into it.

I didn't like having 2 grub menus so I searched for a way to remove the arch grub as it wouldn't boot anyway. That's when I found this post. It basically says that Grub is not necessary for booting and it can be handled by efi stub. I'm using the backported 3.11 kernel so I (thought) didn't need to recompile the kernel.

So I reformatted my EFI system partition and followed the instructions posted by Marco and rebooted. I now only get a blinking cursor.

I've removed the Arch partition and I want to boot back into Debian Wheezy. What do I do?


Boot using a livecd or rescue image. Examine your partition table and make note of what your root partition for each of arch and Debian is.

Reinstall grub2 EFI and setup menu entries for both arch and Debian (using boot/root/kernel info you either know or can learn using the rescue image).

Reboot and see if you did it right. Follow a guide for installing grub2 efi. You should only need to do it once and be able to boot both distros from one setup but you might have to manually maintain the boot config that way.

Just noticed you only want to have Debian. You can do the above or just use the Debian install CD to repair. Its been a long time since I ran that CD but I recall you can boot it then mount your system and install the boot loader manually.

  • Thanks for your comment. I was looking for a way to get it booting without using Grub2 EFI (and only using EFI Stub) but I felt it was wasting too much time and I needed to get it up and running. My idea, just like your suggestion, was to chroot into my Debian and re-install Grub2 EFI, which is what I did and now it's booting like before. – baktin Dec 10 '13 at 11:23

I got it up and running now. Originally, I wanted to use the EFI Stub way to boot it but I felt it wasted too much of my time. So I went ahead and re-installed Grub2 EFI in chroot using Mint 16 live USB (UEFI mode).

/dev/sda4 is where my Debian installation resides and /dev/sda1 is my EFS partition.

(mint)$ sudo mount /dev/sda4 /mnt
(mint)$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot/efi
(mint)$ for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys; do sudo mount -B $i /mnt$i; done
(mint)$ sudo chroot /mnt

(chroot)# apt-get install --reinstall grub2-efi-amd64
(chroot)# exit

(mint)$ for i in /sys /proc /dev/pts /dev; do sudo umount /mnt$i; done
(mint)$ sudo umount /mnt/boot/efi
(mint)$ sudo umount /mnt
(mint)$ sudo reboot

I am planning to install another distro into another partition soon so I'm hoping to not mess up the EFI boot again with 2 Grub2 menus, but I'll just ask again once I cross that bridge.

  • You're advised to read the excellent Rod Smith's intro into EFI bootloaders and most probably remove the extra boot entry with efibootmgr; while at that, I maintain ALT Linux Rescue which would also work with SecureBoot left enabled. EFI stub way is either supported by distro or a major PITA to automate locally. – Michael Shigorin Dec 10 '13 at 13:37
  • @MichaelShigorin I was reading Rod Smith's resource on EFI bootloaders while I was looking for a way to get my computer to boot again. But I needed to get my PC back up quickly, as I had important things to do, and Rod's posts were a bit long so I just decided to revert back to using GRUB2. I will take a look at ALT Linux Rescue soon so I can hopefully achieve my desired boot setup. – baktin Dec 10 '13 at 15:56
  • @riclags when you install your second distro, why not share /boot and thus the grub config between them. One grub install can boot every OS on your machine. It seems silly to chainload from one grub to another. – casey Dec 10 '13 at 18:17
  • @casey That's what I was expecting. When I installed Arch following the beginners guide, I did mount my EFI partition to /boot/efi. I just followed the guide till the end and one part involved installing a boot loader, either grub or gummiboot. I just realized that I could've just update-grub from Debian so Arch would be added to that grub menu. – baktin Dec 10 '13 at 23:06

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