This is my first time having a fancy UEFI PC. I partitioned all my drives in GPT using gdisk.

  1. installed Windows 10
  2. installing Debian
  3. at the end of the installation a dialogue box warned me that many EFI implementations are buggy and had I wanted to install GRUB on a removable media (didn't tell what that media was). I clicked "yes"
  4. GRUB didn't detect Windows 10
  5. rebooted my PC
  6. no GRUB. booted straight to Windows 10.

When I picked the drive explicitly from the boot menu (pressing F12):

enter image description here

it did boot into Debian, though I have to do this at every boot. is there a way to make GRUB detect Windows 10 and be the default bootloader like back in the good old days of MBR?

1 Answer 1


As for GRUB detecting Windows, no. GRUB works differently in a UEFI setup, and will only be used to boot Debian.

To be more specific, in an UEFI system a boot manager displays an initial menu of boot loaders; such as GRUB, systemd-boot, an actual Linux kernel, Windows, Mac OSX...

So to create a setup similar to the old MBR days, you can install rEFInd, which is a boot manager. The benefit to rEFInd is that you don't have to mess around with the UEFI firmware to select which boot loader to use, which is effectively what you're doing right now. Instead, rEFInd displays whatever boot loaders you have installed and lets you choose one.

To set it up, boot up Debian and then run apt-get install refind. You'll be prompted with a red text-based dialog whether to install it or not (which means whether to copy some files to /boot/EFI). Choose yes to install it.

When you reboot you should see a graphical menu to choose Windows or Debian.

Note: You may see two options for Debian. One for the Linux kernel itself and one for GRUB. Choose GRUB.

  • i reinstalled the system after proprietary nvidia drivers crashed it. i again chose 'yes' to install GRUB to EFI removable path: vgy.me/Khvdv4.jpg this time around GRUB detected windows boot loader and now i can choose it from the GRUB menu! how this came to be?!
    – şaloma
    Jul 2, 2017 at 14:58

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