Saturday, January 25, 2020

Not Pretty Day

You don't "fix" computers; there's no such thing.

If hardware is faulty you *replace* it.

If the operating system is wonky, you *reinstall* it.

You don't fix it, ever.

So, for the past 2 days I've been trying to *fix* my primary work horse computer. That's right, I said *"fix"*.

3 days ago Windows booted fine, but Peppermint OS just gave me a black screen with a blinking cursor.

I know why this happened. Windows 10 creates an ESP/boot partition on the hard drive that is 100MB in size. That is generally fine for Windows. But, when you have more than one operating system on the computer, you need that partition to have at least 100 per OS. Otherwise, like I was experiencing, you will eventually have boot issues.

https://www.atnpc.com/2019/02/how-large-should-you-make-uefi-system.html

Generally speaking, reinstalling an OS *"fixes"* everything, but I didn't want to do that. So, even as much as I despise forums, I joined the Peppermint OS forum.

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php

The forum is chock full of great information! I searched, but couldn't find my issue with a cure already posted (no surprise) so I started a thread. Since I was a new user, my thread had to be approved. That took a few hours.

I went ahead and started working on my computer.

I tried Boot Repair several times from a LiveUSB.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair

No dice.

Next, it was time to go ahead and address the undersized ESP/boot partition. It is so easy to make one on a new or newly wiped hard drive, but on one already set up, it isn't fun. I had to resize and move everything to get the partion the size it needed to be. If you've ever done this before, you know it can take hours.

The ESP/boot partition didn't expand the 100MB to fill and utilize the new space even after running the fix tools.

I tried Boot Repair in hopes it would rewrite and fill the partition.

Nope.

I reinstalled Peppermint OS thinking it would rewrite and fill the partition.

Nope.

The only thing left to do was to delete the ESP/boot partition, and create a new one. This means all boot info is lost.

I installed Xubuntu 18.04 over the Pepermint partition. Before restarting I ran efibootmgr. Xubuntu booted fine, but no Windows 10.

Boot Repair?

Nope.

I used my Windows 10 USB drive and ran the repair options. Running the Command Prompt, following all the instructions, it didn't work. Windows was not an available boot option.

With no choice left and no response form the Peppermint forum, I tried to reinstall Windows.

It failed.

I booted into the UEFI/BIOS interface and purged ALL of the boot options.

Windows installed correctly.

I ran a LiveUSB of Xubuntu and Boot Repair and it created a GRUB menu with Windows and Xubuntu, both bootable.

That's not what I wanted. I wanted to make the original Peppermint OS bootable...

And, 2 days later...

So now I have an ESP/boot partition that is big enough it should last longer than I need, a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro, and fresh install of Xubuntu 18.04.



Bye, bye Peppermint

 - -

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