I installed windows over debian and i used boot-repair from a ubuntu live because i thought windows would break grub, when i turn on my computer a "grub2" shell (it's like a terminal but the prompt is "grub2") pops out i don't know what that is.

My objective is to have a normal grub menu with the OS options right away. The purpose of the image in this post is to show you there are 2 fat32 partitions on my ssd the original is /dev/sda1 that was ESP when i first installed my debian, but as you can see now it's flagged msftdata, and the ESP was transferred to /dev/sd5 which appeared with the windows install.

I am somewhat a noob and i don't know if this is normal, and what should i do to reach my objective, so please help me.

Tell me if you need more information and thanks in advance.

gparted screenshot


1 Answer 1


Why would you want to use an Ubuntu iso to boot-repair a Debian install ? This makes no sense and made things even worse, your Debian is now too badly hosed. It's even more surprising that this somewhat "worked".

I would suggest you to reinstall everything, and that also means Windows since it really does likes to be the "first" operating system on the hard drive (and avoid any potential weird Windows' bugs).

Also, you seem to not having the required level to use Debian (using it is easy, trying not to break Debian is far harder), so please use Xubuntu 20.04 LTS since it'll be easier to use and do not upgrade it to any half-way/baked version (e.g 20.10, 21.04 and 21.10) until 22.04 LTS lands.

Concerning your new partition scheme:

  • Backup your data then remove EVRYTHING with Gparted.
  • Create a new partition scheme, use GPT. Now on the same order:
  • Create a 2GiB NTFS partition (Windows' "/boot")
  • Another NTFS partition (Windows itself), which should be at the very least 64GiB. I would recommend 125 GiB for instance.
  • A 2GiB Fat32 partition (ESP, boot, will be /boot/EFI)
  • A third NTFS partition (your Windows' datas, or even datas shared with Linux), I would suggest 200 GiB.
  • An Ext4 partition (your linux datas), 515 GiB considering your use case.
  • Another Ext4 partition (Xubuntu, no need to separate "/home" and "/", NO swap partition since swap file is a thing). 50GiB is fine, over 100GiB is useless.

You may create a swap file with gnome-disks, install your software with synaptic or even flatpaks with gnome-software + gnome-software-flatpak so you won't need to type any commands for these basic tasks.

Please also do not use swap on an SSD, this will kill it faster than you using/not using TRIM. If you really need a swap, put a swap file on a spinning hard drive or a throw-away flash-based storage that isn't on a USB 1.x port or something that can't reach USB 2.0 speeds at the very least.

  • Why Xubuntu and not Ubuntu or Kubuntu some may ask: Because someone coming from Windows will mostly not want to deal with Gnome shenanigans (a PC is very mostly not a tablet) or KDE complexity, nor Mate (inherited from Gnome 2) or Cinnamon's (it's Gnome 3 after all) limited capabilities.
    – X.LINK
    Feb 21, 2021 at 7:12

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