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Fixing windows dual-booted with linux mint

By Arraveci ·
My laptop currently has both linux and windows installed, but the Windows portion won't boot- I've tried boot-repair through linux and it thought the issue was space, but I deleted various files until it stopped giving that notification and windows still can't boot up.

I installed linux mint on a partition of the same drive, and it boots with grub- I've tried resetting my pc or returning to previous versions but none of those options work.

Can someone please help?

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best answer
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Windows 10 and Mint 18.+

by LepriKaan1 In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

This is what helped me get my rig up and running, and is actually my post.

If you have deleted any major operating system files, you Will need to re'install windows and shouldn't be a big problem. You can download a copy of Windows 10 and buy a key on eBay to make it "genuine", and stop the little popup about authenticity.
Also be sure to keep your copy of Mint or Linux in a safe place so that can be re'installed again if necessary, which I would also advise after you have Windows up and running again.

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All Answers

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Try reverting to Secure Boot mode?

by arocee In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

I have a Dell Inspiron which acts that way. Linux Mint just cannot get its UEFI boot to start the Windows boot loader. What I had to do was to bring up the Dell boot menu with F12 function key, then select the Win boot loader option. Thinking I leave secure boot active with Mint able to work with it, but maybe not, and just toggled back and forth in the BIOS/UEFI settings. I used Windows so rarely on that PC that I deleted Windows, and dedicated it to Linux.

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Start from scratch

by Solog97 In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

I would start from scratch.. make sure the partition table set to GPT ? But of course make your bios partition set to boot. Reformat a partition on your drive with gparted and see how that goes first.

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Good and bad news...

by Depoit In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

I'm going to start with bad news. Unfortunately, this is happened to me too and I had to reinstall my Windows operating system. I personally will not install a Windows operating system and a Linux operating system, like Linux Mint, on the same hard drive. I use two separate hard drives and use the grub2 from Linux Mint in order to boot into my Windows or Linux operating system. This way if anything happens with Linux, which is often considering how unstable it is, I am able to go into the BIOS on my computer and tell it to boot to Windows instead of "Unbuntu", which is what Linux Mint is based off of. Unfortunately, it is hard to do this with a laptop. I would ask yourself if you really need to have Linux Mint on your laptop? Is it worth the risk? If you are able use my suggested boot technique, always install Windows first. After you've done that, disconnect the hard drive for the windows operating system while you're installing the Linux Mint OS. Once you're done installing Linux Mint, connect to the other hard drive and then log into your Linux Mint and install a program called "grub customizer". You can customize the settings for grub2 and also ask you to search for other operating systems installed on the computer and safely use both operating systems.

Now the good news. If you purchased your Windows operating system via disc or purchased it online, you have user rights to the operating system. Feel free to visit the Microsoft website to read about user rights with the operating system. Microsoft will allow you to reinstall the operating system and re-activate it for you as long as it is the same computer. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you say you've only used it on ONE COMPUTER, if you say you've used it on more than one you will forfeit your user rights. I know because this is what I had to do to get my Windows operating system reactivated. You will have to call Microsoft to activate your operating system, it's not that hard and sometimes they have you use an automated system.

I have a little bit more bad news. If the Windows operating system in question came pre-installed on your computer, meaning that you did not purchase the operating system by itself, you do not have user rights and unfortunately will be forced to purchase the operating system. If so, I recommend doing this online because you can find awesome deals on Windows OS. I am sorry that this happened to you, and I hope you're able to fix the issue.

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Linux-Windows no dual-boot, info

by lewishmorgan In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

There's a lot of info on the Web about this. For example, you may have installed grub to the NTFS partition boot sector - a no-no, as it has the Windows boot info. However, NTFS partitions keep a backup of the partition boot sector, so you might be able to use TestDisk to restore it, IF it was only overwritten once. For info look at:

TestDisk itself is at:

Also look at: (Ubuntu instructions generally also work with Linux Mint)

AND, FOR WARNINGS, warnings, check out:

Many people will tell you that dual-booting Windows and Linux can work but is asking for trouble. Personally, given the number of things (hardware/software/malware/clumsy fingerware) that can cause malfunctions or loss, I would never do it, and would rather use separate pluggable-bootable hard drives. Easy in a desktop PC, but for a laptop (unless it has space for 2 internal drives) you would have to use an external hard drive or flash drive connected to a USB 3.0 or better port, and then select the boot order in the BIOS or by keyboard command.

Do you have a restorable image backup for the Windows part? You should assume that while attempting to fix your problem you may lose it altogether or further damage it, so if you don't have a backup you should try copying its partition(s) to an external drive, especially any personal data. Freeware backup programs Like Macrium Reflect and non-free like Acronis may be able to copy just the Windows partitions and/or specific files; if not, you can boot up with a Linux Mint live DVD (or some other distribution) and copy all or part of the Windows files to an external drive or even some DVDs. Linux itself can detect and copy Windows files, but the Windows OS cannot see Linux files (unless something has changed recently). And, in case you don't know, some freeware backup programs will do whole partitions/drives, but not just directories and files - their paid versions will do those.
Be aware that it could happen that you may have wipe your drive and reinstall Windows, so having a whole or even a partial backup will save you a lot of time.

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dual boot windows and linux mint

Go into bios and see what the order of booting is. You can make it Windows Boot Manager (for Windows 10) as the 1st boot device. That way it should go straight to Windows. If you want to boot to Linux, hit a key like F12 (repeatedly) (for Dell) and the option to go to Linux mint will come up.

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Dual boot

by stevebpp In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

I had the reverse problem, couldn't boot linux. Try going to this web site:

Hope it helps, there are also many on Mint Forums who will be glad to help you.

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Your Dual Boot Issue

by LouDamelin1 In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

I had a similar problem in June of 2017 after a series of Windows updates.
Linux would boot up, but Windows would blue screen.

You didn't mention blue screen, but I'll give you two possible fixes that may help you.

Change your Bios setting for HDD from ATA to AHCI (or vice versa).

If that doesn't work I strongly suspect you need to repair GRUB. Specifically the Windows MBR in GRUB.

Boot a live CD of your Linux distribution. Install WIFI; and Google Yannubuntu/boot-repair. The article is in
The article will give you a few lines of code to type at the Linux command terminal to download and install Yannubuntu/boot-repair. Run it; take the defaults; and it should cure your boot problem.

This has worked a couple of times for me when my GRUB got messed up. Even though you ran the utility on a live demo it will repair your installed GRUB.

If boot repair doesn't work (I think it will) be persistent. Keep trying possible solutions. Eventually you will come upon something that works. If you don't have a back up, don't scold yourself. GRUB is pre-environment, so you can't fix it with a back up.

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Not fixed yet?

by Zenith545 In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

You say you have Linux Mint, but do not say which version of Windows you have. Also, you do not mention what the symptoms are when Windows will not boot.
These details may help get you a quick solution.

Are both OS's on the same drive? Is GRUB booting both OS? Have you tried to manually add Widows to GRUB?

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Dual Boot Windows and Linux Mint

by Chasinreno In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

I've been dual booting windows 8.1 and Linux Mint 18.3 for quite some time now. I too tried boot repair etc and nothing worked. I've been retired for several years and it has been some time since I got it to work so I apologize for the lack of details. My issue had to do with windows booting from EFI and Mint booting from the old bios. I would suggest you examine both installs in your bios to make sure they are both booting to EFI.
I hope this helps.

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Dual-boot repair utility for windows

by Hawaiione In reply to Fixing windows dual-boote ...

Dual_boot utility for windows (BCD) can repair windows boot after Linux is removed. Originally intended for window 8/7/Vista, there's a version for windows 10. For more information, please visit

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