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Solved How to remove grub bootloader? – please help!


km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#1
Hello everyone!

Though this issue has been discussed already here, I've been unable to solve this puzzle for the last two days.

So, I have a new ACER Aspire 5600U all-in-one with Windows 8 pre-installed, Intel core i5 3230M, RAM 4 GB DDR3. For some reason I decided to return this PC to the supplier and get another one (this has nothing to do with the OS). Now have to fully restore the factory settings.

My problem is: I tried Fedora 20 Linux on this PC. Grub therefore installed itself as the default bootloader. I restored the factory settings on the Windows drive, manually removed Fedora partitions and extended the Windows partition. Everything fine, except Grub which is still the bootloader and offering to boot Fedora every time. I investigated numerous forums and sites, and tried many ways to remove Grub:


  • using the command prompt in the Windows 8 recovery environment, typing 'bootrec /fixmbr', 'bootrec /fixboot', 'bootrec /scanos', 'bootrec /rebuildbcd' (completed successfully, but no effect on Grub)
  • using the command prompt in the Windows 8 recovery environment, typing 'bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr' (actually, I didn't understand what it did)
  • manually removing fedora boot entries with the bcdedit facility in the command prompt, typing 'bcdedit /delete {UUID of fedora entry} (completed successfully, but no effect on Grub)
  • doing essentially the same with the EasyBCD utility (no effect on Grub)
  • boot-repair CD, Ultimate boot CD and Super Grub CD all did not work, because failed to boot, either from CD or live USB

Grub still appears at every (re)start and offers to boot Fedora. My impression is that Grub sits "on top" Windows and all Windows utilities. If I succeed in removing Fedora entries, they seem to re-emerge at the next restart. I can't "kill" Fedora permanently. Perhaps it should be removed not by Windows but by Linux utilities? i.e. by a live Fedora DVD?

Is there any hope to get rid of GRUB? I'll appreciate your ideas!
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

theog

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#2

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km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#3
Thank you theog! I've never done this, so I will carefully look through the instruction. Windows 8 requires a 16 GB USB for a recovery disk, they don't supply it with the new PC (at least in Russia). So I'll have to buy one tomorrow and will keep you updated on the outcome.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#4
Excuse me theog, just a quick question. If I do a recovery USB disk now, will my ACER recovery facility produce a truly "clean" Windows installation? I am actually afraid it will write Grub again to the USB recovery disk. What do you think? Thanks in advance!
 

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System One

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    Windows 8

SIW2

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Team Member
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5,360
#5
Wiping is a bit drastic.

Have a look on the EFI system partition and see if \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Bootmgfw.efi is there.

Fedora may have renamed it and replaced it with shim.efi ( renamed to bootmgfw.efi).

You should be able to change them manually, if so.
 

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System One

  • OS
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin
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km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#6
Hi SIW2 and thanks for your input! Yes, I agree that for me, wiping the disk is somewhat challenging.

I am not exactly sure how can I look at the EFI system partition. This is a part of the output from '
bcdedit /enum firmware' (sorry some text is in Russian):

--------------------
identifyer {bootmgr}
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {4672126e-7ad0-11e3-be71-806e6f6e6963}
displayorder {current}
{3c0d3aea-7ae3-11e3-8606-806e6f6e6963}
{6b9d2bd8-7b3c-11e3-b72e-806e6f6e6963}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 0
displaybootmenu No

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {108dc9d8-7b82-11e3-91ad-806e6f6e6963}
description Fedora

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {108dc9d9-7b82-11e3-91ad-806e6f6e6963}
description Fedora

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {108dc9da-7b82-11e3-91ad-806e6f6e6963}
description Fedora

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {108dc9db-7b82-11e3-91ad-806e6f6e6963}
description Fedora

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {108dc9dc-7b82-11e3-91ad-806e6f6e6963}
description UEFI: Slimtype DVD A DS8A8SH

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {3c0d3aea-7ae3-11e3-8606-806e6f6e6963}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume3
description UEFI: ST9500325AS

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {7303e52a-7b23-11e3-be7d-806e6f6e6963}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume3
path \EFI\FEDORA\shim.efi
description Fedora

Приложение микропрограммы (101fffff)
-------------------------------
identifyer {90689028-7aea-11e3-be7a-806e6f6e6963}
description Fedora

From the Super Grub2 Disk interface, after choosing "detect any OS", I can see the following list:

(hd1,gpt2)efi/Boot/fallback.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/Boot/bootx64.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/fedora/gcdx64.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/fedora/grubx64.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/fedoraMokManager.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/fedora/shim-fedora.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/fedora/shim.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgr.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/Microsoft/Boot/memtest.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/oem/Boot/bootmgfw.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/oem/Boot/bootmgr.efi
(hd1,gpt2)efi/oem/Boot/memtest.efi

So I guess that you may be right. Then how shall I manually change those? Will indeed appreciate your idea! Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

SIW2

Well-Known Member
Team Member
Posts
5,360
#7
You can try Pguru Pro ( unregistered version ).

Data recovery, partition management and disk utilities - Eassos PartitionGuru. You should be able to get the partition using that and rename stuff.


I don't have efi or fedora, but I would try renaming the fedora efi folder to -e.g. "fed-efi" and see if it picks up the ms efi folder. Not sure why it isn't going for bootmgw.efi first.

If that does it, then you can delete the fedora folders once you are sure all is ok.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#8
I have installed the Partition Guru. Renamed 'fedora' folder in EFI to 'fed-efi'. No effect. Still Grub appears at start and offers to boot either Fedora or Windows. Looks like clean install is the only effective option (?) but I am afraid to make a mistake...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

SIW2

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#9
Not necessarily. The issue is with contents of the esp. I would boot up the install media, format ( not delete) the esp, then use bcdboot to recreate the windows boot files.
bcdboot <windows partition letter>:\windows /s <esp partition letter>: /f ALL

e.g. bcdboot e:\windows /s c: /f ALL

I would be surpised if Fedora is doing that. Perhaps it is an oem implementation in the firmware which keeps reinserting the entries.
 

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    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin
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km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#10
Thanks SIW2! The command you have provided is for formatting the ESP partition, isn't it?
Will you be so kind to also explain how to recreate Windows boot files using bcdboot?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Saltgrass

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Pro User
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1,121
#11
So, I have a new ACER Aspire 5600U all-in-one with Windows 8 pre-installed, Intel core i5 3230M, RAM 4 GB DDR3. For some reason I decided to return this PC to the supplier and get another one (this has nothing to do with the OS). Now have to fully restore the factory settings.
Could you explain this a little? Do you have the Acer model you describe or an identical one? If you got another one from the factory, why is it necessary to restore the factory settings? You do need to run the BCDEDIT command with an all instead of firmware to see if what you need might be present.

If you have a Windows 8 install on the hard drive, booting to the recovery media and running a Bootrec \rebuildBCD command should allow you to add the Windows install to the boot menu, since no Windows Boot Manager currently shows in the BCD store.

If you still need to restore the factory settings, how are you doing that?

If it would help any, the entry for the Windows Boot Manger is below. You do show this in your earlier listing.

\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Home Grown
    CPU
    i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77 -v Pro, Z87-Expert
    Memory
    16 G
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX 680 Classified (2)
    Hard Drives
    Kingston SSD 240 GB

km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#12
Do you have the Acer model you describe or an identical one?
Yes, I have exactly this Acer Aspire all-in-one 5600U. The model P/N is DQ.SNEER003.

why is it necessary to restore the factory settings?
When I was ordering this Acer, the vendor in their website claimed that the HDD is 1000GB. After purchase was made, I discovered that it was 500GB not 1000GB. I decided to return the Acer, and the vendor agreed but requested that the factory settings be restored. That's the actual story. So my task was to uninstall Fedora, restore factory settings. It turned out to be quite easy in Windows 8. But Grub is just hell of a problem!

booting to the recovery media and running a Bootrec \rebuildBCD command should allow you to add the Windows install to the boot menu, since no Windows Boot Manager currently shows in the BCD store
Yes, an attempt to use 'bootrec /rebuildbcd' was successful, and the windows bootloader was fixed. But, again, my problem is not that I can't use a Windows boot manager, but that I can't get rid of Grub manager.

If you still need to restore the factory settings, how are you doing that?
I can go to the Windows 8 recovery console, or – if Windows is not bootable from the HDD, which also happened – boot from the Recovery CD (not equal to the live USB recovery media). Then one of the recovery option in the menu is "Restore factory settings". I can still use it. But I'm scared to wipe the HDD and re-install Windows, because for that purpose I only have that recovery USB which I have just created myself. Not sure how it will work... Thanks for your concern!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Saltgrass

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1,121
#13
You can remove all the Fedora entries from the BCD Store, as I think SIW2 suggested. That should remove any reference to them. Run the full BCDedit /enum all command to see all the entries.

If you need to, you can put a drive letter on the EFI System Partition with Diskpart and then check its contents. It will look something like the following, but yours will show folders for the entries you posted above.

S:\>dir
Volume in drive S has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 0A4E-DB3C

Directory of S:\

10/29/2013 03:05 PM <DIR> EFI
0 File(s) 0 bytes
1 Dir(s) 74,207,232 bytes free

S:\>cd efi

S:\EFI>dir
Volume in drive S has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 0A4E-DB3C

Directory of S:\EFI

10/29/2013 03:05 PM <DIR> .
10/29/2013 03:05 PM <DIR> ..
10/29/2013 03:05 PM <DIR> Microsoft
10/29/2013 03:10 PM <DIR> Boot
0 File(s) 0 bytes
4 Dir(s) 74,207,232 bytes free
If you are still getting GRUB, and I do not know how, a Legacy of Linux on a GPT drive will install a 1 MB partition somewhere on the drive for a MBR. If you show that, you may need to remove it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Home Grown
    CPU
    i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77 -v Pro, Z87-Expert
    Memory
    16 G
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX 680 Classified (2)
    Hard Drives
    Kingston SSD 240 GB

km1975

New Member
Moscow

Posts
8
#14
SIW2 and Saltgrass: many thanks to you!!! So this is the happy end of the story.

First, I experimented with the Partition Guru, without much success. Then I exactly followed your advice with the BCDboot command. In the command prompt (Windows 8 recovery mode) I assigned letter "S" to the ESP partition. Then formatted it with the DiskPart. Then used BCDboot to add a "brand new" boot entry for Windows. It worked fine! The output from dir was correct. No more annoying Grub.

THANKS AGAIN! I learnt a lot. By the way, I wonder: if I decide to install Linux (e.g. Fedora) on my next PC, can I use the EFI bootloader for that.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8