Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
kgrach
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by kgrach »

I tell the installer to use a specific drive for boot loader installation and it installs it on another drive anyway.
I had the same problem using the 19.3 installer.

I booted off a USB thumb drive using the Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Cinnamon iso
Unrelated but it had the same startup error message that the 20 upgrade gave me "" Initramfs unpacking failed: Decoding failed."

I told the installer which device to use for boot loader installation in my case dev/sdd.
I even made sure that there was a grub partition on sdd and it still installed it on my NVME1 drive.
I don't want it on my NVME1 drive I wanted that drive left alone.

Now having every OS tied to a single drive is convenient but it also means I am in a rough time if it fails.
Question is this a bug or am I doing something wrong?

In the past I would just pull the SATA plug or the drive sled. But with multiple NVME drives that's a serious pain.

User avatar
arvy
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 am

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by arvy »

Based on what you've said about it, I am going to assume that your situation involves booting the installation media in UEFI mode in order to install Mint for a UEFI-GPT boot mode system configuration. Please correct that assumption if incorrect and read no further.

The Mint installer (as with most other distros) will completely ignore user instructions for installing the Grub EFI boot loader (/EFI/ubuntu/grubx64.efi) and will stubbornly insist on installing it into the first EFI System Partition (ESP) that it finds with a boot flag. If you want it to be installed to any other ESP, you will need to remove the other drives, or disconnect them or disable their SATA ports. Admittedly that can be a pain with NVMe M.2s and so you might want to try just removing their ESP boot flag temporarily instead. That can often work, but it's less certain. Don't forget to restore the other ESP boot flag after the Mint/Grub installation has been completed.

Alternatively, in my own case, I just got fed up and moved /EFI/ubuntu/grubx64.efi by brute force to the ESP where I wanted it and then adjusted my system UEFI (NVRAM) boot order sequencing accordingly. Good 'ol Asus mobo lets me do all kinds of neat stuff like that. :wink:
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot

User avatar
Kadaitcha Man
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2538
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

kgrach wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:06 pm
Now having every OS tied to a single drive is convenient but it also means I am in a rough time if it fails.
Question is this a bug or am I doing something wrong?
Whether it's a bug or not depends on your perspective. There are very few operating systems that allow multiple EFI boot partitions. In general, only the very first EFI boot partition found is used, but this isn't a hard and fast rule.
kgrach wrote:In the past I would just pull the SATA plug or the drive sled. But with multiple NVME drives that's a serious pain.
You're on the right track. Boot from a live media and use the Disks tool or gparted to remove the boot flag from the existing EFI partition, then do the installation. Afterwards you can set the boot flag back and use your machine's boot drive selection key to choose the disk to boot from.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

kgrach
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by kgrach »

Yes its UEFI mode.
Man either I have manage to kill what brain cells I have left.
Or grub is no longer the same animal it was in the past.
I tried to brute it to another drive all I managed to do was mangle the menu to something real ugly and now my Ulyana drive is labeled Ubuntu.
I don't remember it being this difficult when I had a BIOS machine with multiple window and Linux distros.

Thanks for the help if I figure how this is supposed to work I might just create some proper tools to do this easier for others.

User avatar
arvy
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 am

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by arvy »

kgrach wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:14 pm
... now my Ulyana drive is labeled Ubuntu.
What do you mean by saying that your drive is labelled Ubuntu? You should certainly have a ubuntu entry in your system's UEFI boot order and that's exactly what you want. The Mint boot loader is seen under that name because Mint does, in fact, use the Ubuntu boot loader. Does it boot to Grub/Mint when you select that boot option?

No, of course, BIOS-MBR booting was never so difficult. In fact that's all I use for multibooting my desktop system with Windows 10, 4 Linux distros and a bunch of other stuff besides. But some people must have whatever's "latest and greatest" just because it is.

__
@Kadaitcha Man: Welcome back. Your shift from this point. I'm off to slumber land.
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot

kgrach
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by kgrach »

What do you mean by saying that your drive is labelled Ubuntu?
Sorry that I wasn't clear it was late, I was tired.
What I meant by Ubuntu was in the grub menu Mint twenty was
labeled as Ubuntu in Grub instead of mint 20. Yes I realized that was confusing because in UEFI the drives are
labeled ubuntu for launching grub.

Thank you! The gparted trick worked for me. I now have three Linux drives that can boot independently, unfortunately windows did not fair well in my grub adventures and is now not starting and not listed in the other grubs.

As a side note, this all was a big mistake. while I haven't lost data yet. I mangled several drives to install a version of mint that really is not ready for prime time. It has locked up on just itself rainbows!!!. Getting errors on startup. My hardware while not new is not really old, Ryzen 7 2700X,GTX 1070. and has been running rock solid through long compile sessions for well over a year. Until yesterday morning when I decided to upgrade.
I will have to repair windows, I may have to reinstall. which has the potential to wipe all the Linux drives unless removed. Everything is water cooled and requires disassemble to pull the NVME drives. well whining won't get things back. It may be a while before I can check back in

User avatar
arvy
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 am

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by arvy »

kgrach wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:30 pm
Sorry that I wasn't clear it was late, I was tired.
What I meant by Ubuntu was in the grub menu Mint twenty was
labeled as Ubuntu in Grub instead of mint 20. Yes I realized that was confusing because in UEFI the drives are
labeled ubuntu for launching grub.
You're still not clear. This time I mean that your own understanding seems unclear as it appears to be confused about the actual significance of the system boot order listing versus the Grub boot menu listing. The former shows "ubuntu" for any Ubuntu boot loader which may or may not be Mint's Grub boot loader. The latter should show Mint as Mint, not as Ubuntu, unless Grub has not yet been properly installed and updated within the Mint OS itself.
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot

Ringel05
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by Ringel05 »

arvy wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:01 pm
kgrach wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:30 pm
Sorry that I wasn't clear it was late, I was tired.
What I meant by Ubuntu was in the grub menu Mint twenty was
labeled as Ubuntu in Grub instead of mint 20. Yes I realized that was confusing because in UEFI the drives are
labeled ubuntu for launching grub.
You're still not clear. This time I mean that your own understanding seems unclear as it appears to be confused about the actual significance of the system boot order listing versus the Grub boot menu listing. The former shows "ubuntu" for any Ubuntu boot loader which may or may not be Mint's Grub boot loader. The latter should show Mint as Mint, not as Ubuntu, unless Grub has not yet been properly installed and updated within the Mint OS itself.
I discovered LM 20 doesn't always like to be installed from a thumb drive.
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/bugs.html

Don't know if that's part of the OP's problem.
System:
CPU: Ryzen 5 2600
RAM: GSkill DDR4 8GB
GPU: GeForce GTX 770
Storage: NVMe 500GB
PSU: Roswill HIVE 850W

User avatar
arvy
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 am

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by arvy »

Possibly. Who knows. At this point I'm inclined to suspect a little "water-cooled over-enthusiasm" may have left the wrong Grub in control, but the situation report would require a little more clarification before any proper analysis and final judgement would be possible.

Interesting link you provided BTW. Hadn't seen that one.
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot

kgrach
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by kgrach »

arvy wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:01 pm
[You're still not clear. This time I mean that your own understanding seems unclear as it appears to be confused about the actual significance of the system boot order listing versus the Grub boot menu listing. The former shows "ubuntu" for any Ubuntu boot loader which may or may not be Mint's Grub boot loader. The latter should show Mint as Mint, not as Ubuntu, unless Grub has not yet been properly installed and updated within the Mint OS itself.
hope this picture helps[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IDnn3D ... sp=sharing

that is what happened when I used the Boot repair utility on the install iso

kgrach
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by kgrach »

I spent the last 12 hours trying to figure out what happened to my system and learned some stuff that might help others.
The current mint installer gets a bit buggy if you have a large number of drives and partitions in your system.
Some of the bad things that happens well beside a slightly bugged install (lots of startup and shutdown errors). It will automatically tie all the swap partitions on your other Linux distros together in fstab. It will try and succeed at least once to install grub onto your windows recovery partition. Once that happens windows is no longer is detectable by os-probe, even though a windows boot still works, that particular grub install will work until you try to update it and you can still manually edit grub to boot windows. but grub recovery becomes a bit random and may fail with some strange results.

My problems all went away once I removed all but two drives one windows and one Linux. Then the install created a fully working system.
other than the initramFS crap

The installer really needs a manual mode like the old days. So the users can assign what goes to what partition.

User avatar
arvy
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 am

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by arvy »

kgrach wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:34 pm
hope this picture helps[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IDnn3D ... sp=sharing
Egad! What's that?! The inclusion of "Advanced options for Ubuntu" makes it look like a Grub boot menu, but nothing like any menu I've ever seen for a Grub boot loader/manager configuration installed by any LM distro. Pretty much confirms my suspicion that some other distro's boot loader has taken over default control of your system by replacing Mint's /EFI/ubuntu/grubx64.efi EFI boot loader with its own. You're gonna have to re-install the Mint boot loader. See here for the "official" instructions and here for some UEFI installation specifics.
kgrach wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:57 pm
The installer really needs a manual mode like the old days. So the users can assign what goes to what partition.
Specific partition assignments aren't your problem. For UEFI-GPT booting, the installer will put the EFI boot loader in the EFI System Partition (ESP) even if you tell it to put it elsewhere. Your situation is (was?) due to the fact that whatever EFI boot loader get installed last makes itself the default for booting the system and its Grub configuration is thus in total control of the Grub boot menu until it gets "pre-empted" by some other EFI boot loader. In this case, that issue was compounded by the fact that there can only be one /EFI/ubuntu/grubx64.efi boot loader at a time.
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot

kgrach
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Re: Mint Installer not installing grub on selected hard drive.

Post by kgrach »

I got it now. thanks
Like I said, I pulled every drives from the system. I stuck in two new clean drives installed Ulyana on one and Win10 Pro 2004 on another. Everything went perfect and Ulyana had no problems.
Will continue testing after work. Right now I only got Four drives installed and everybody is happy. Two Windows systems, Sara and Ulyana.
Sara has got my work stuff installed on it for now. I am leaving Stretch and the slightly borked Tricia disconnected for now along with some of the storage drives.

Post Reply

Return to “Installation & Boot”