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I have used Linux Mint 18 with Windows 10 in dual boot since over a year now and never had a problem. Out of nowhere I was unable to boot Linux, seemingly due to a Windows update, because I didn't use Linux for a while. I thought okay nice, I can easily reinstall Linux (19 this time) and use my Timeshift backup to restore my data.

Well, that didn't quite work: Linux got installed but somehow my mouse didn't work. I couldn't get the drivers to work properly and broke Linux again, so "shit here we go again" and an installed it again. My mouse works fine this time but after restarting Linux, I was unable to log into Cinnamon. I type in my password, the screen flashes, and then the login screen comes back. This loop continues forever. So I reinstalled the Cinnamon desktop. That didn't work either. So I reinstalled Linux again. Now I can't even boot into it, because it doesn't show up in the UEFI as boot entry.

How do you guys handle this kind of situations? Is there an even "cleaner" way to reinstall Linux?

My drive setup is as follows:

  • 1TB HDD for large programs (games etc)
  • 4TB HDD for data
  • 250GB SSD for Linux Mint only, with swap, /, /home, and EFI partition (that is the one used by GRUB I guess?)
  • 500GB SSD for Windows 10 only, with its own EFI partition (I guess it is for the Windows Bootloader only?) enter image description here

As you can see my drives are in a weird order. But that shouldn't matter as far as i know.

One important thing to point out: Before every reinstall of Linux, I deleted, and formated its partitions via Windows, but kept the EFI (GRUB) partition. I just deleted the ubuntu folder from the EFI partition and deleted the old UEFI boot entries. Was that a bad idea?

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It would not have been necessary to reinstall Linux in this situation: Reinstalling grub2 with the help of a live distro would have been sufficient.

That does not help right now, but will save you trouble in the future.

Keep in mind that Windows always wants the first disk.

I have never had an EFI-Partition on any Linux-Disk, so I think you can safely use "whole disk" during installation. Grub will take care of things afterwards.

And maybe have a look at https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/ if you want to solve this from the windows side.

  • So why do I have an EFI partition on my Linux-Disk? I never intentionally created one. Do you suggest I should format the whole Linux-Disk including the EFI partition and reinstall it? Which partition will be used by grub when I do that? – Sandrogo Aug 1 at 8:55
  • Just point your Linux-Installer to your Linux-Disk and let the installer use the entire disk. It will probably ask you where to install grub at some point and you should install to the mbr on the first disk. You could install it to your linux-disk as well, and then use EasyBCD to point the windows-boot-stuff to grub. As always: BACKUPS FIRST! – markgraf Aug 1 at 9:49
  • "you should install to the mbr on the first disk" - So there is an EFI parition on the Windows-Disk, do you mean that partition where i need to install grub? – Sandrogo Aug 1 at 10:12
  • MBR is short for "Master Boot Record". That is the first 512 bytes on a disk, but not a partition. The installer will take care of that. – markgraf Aug 1 at 11:28
  • I tried to install grub on the Windows-Disk this time but the Linux Mint installer fails and says that grub cannot be installed on that disk. A window poped up and asks where i want to install the bootloader instead. – Sandrogo Aug 1 at 12:07

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