Strange issue with EasyBCD, Windows 10 and Kali Linux

#1
Hi,

I have the commercial version of EasyBCD on my lab laptop (Lenovo X230) and followed the Windows before Linux guidance to install Kali Linux alongside Windows 10. All was working fine - dual boot setup with EasyBCD worked OK with the only difference being I had to use the Grub Legacy setting (instead of Grub 2) to get Kali to boot (otherwise I was just dropped into Grub4DOS).

I then needed to test a distro of Security Onion which unfortunately doesn't allow you to easily install Grub onto a partition (like Kali). Instead it overwrites your MBR.

I did my testing with Security Onion, then want to revert back to Kali alongside Windows 10. I thought this would be easy to achieve with EasyBCD.

I repaird the Windows MBR with;
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /ScanOs
bootrec /RebuildBcd

I reinstalled Kali and installed Grub to the partition on /dev/sda6.

I created a new entry in EasyBCD for Kali pointing to the correct partition with the Grub Legacy option.

Now whenever I boot and choose Kali I get a blank screen with a flashing cursor (almost like there is no Grub on /dev/sda6). But there is.

I've tried various different combinations of settings but none of them work. Yet, I have had this working before with no problems!

I'm running out of ideas as to what could be wrong.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,

Darren
 
#2
Hi,

Can one of the board admins advise how I can access the "priority technical support" that was specified with the commercial licence I purchased? All indications on the website say to post here, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of technical support going on. Is there another way of accessing tech support that I'm missing?

Thanks,

Darren
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
#3
The route to that support should be outlined in the Help files I believe. I can't be sure beyond THIS page without purchasing it myself.
Posting here may obtain the right help but that all depends on who sees your post as it is manned by volunteers.
Meanwhile try emailing sales@neosmart.net for more information.
Meanwhile there are more help links to the left of THIS page. I should add that I can't help as I'm not an expert in these matters.
 
#4
The route to that support should be outlined in the Help files I believe. I can't be sure beyond THIS page without purchasing it myself.
Posting here may obtain the right help but that all depends on who sees your post as it is manned by volunteers.
Meanwhile try emailing sales@neosmart.net for more information.
Meanwhile there are more help links to the left of THIS page. I should add that I can't help as I'm not an expert in these matters.
Thanks for your reply Peter.

The "Get Support" option in the program just redirects me to this forum. The link to the download page I received after purchasing doesn't specify an email address for support, neither does the PDF user guide that I downloaded from the same page.

I'll try enquiring via the sales@neosmart.net address you've suggested.

Regards,

Darren
 
#6
Hi Mahmoud,

I've downloaded and installed 2.2 and re-created the entries. Unfortunately I still get the same problem - a flashing cursor if using the Grub legacy option and a Graub4DOS prompt if using the Grub 2 option.

For info, I have attached the results of the Linux Boot Script code which I ran off a live CD to show how the partitions are setup. Does this shed any light on the issue?

Thanks,

Darren
 

Attachments

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
Did you delete the entry and recreate it with EasyBCD 2.2? Simply installing EasyBCD 2.2 won't change anything.
 
#8
Did you delete the entry and recreate it with EasyBCD 2.2? Simply installing EasyBCD 2.2 won't change anything.
Yes I did. These were the steps I took to rule out any residual issues with 2.3;
  1. Deleted old entries from boot menu so I only had Windows 10 left.
  2. Ensured that C:\NST didn't have any files left in it.
  3. Uninstalled 2.3
  4. Removed the C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\NeoSmart_Technologies folder
  5. Rebooted
  6. Installed 2.2
  7. Re-created boot menu items for Linux
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
OK, so you're not being affected by the previously-discussed grub4dos regression.

The "results.txt" file unfortunately does not provide all the information we need to debug this further. While it indicates that the grub2 menu file path is on the ext4fs sda5 boot partition, at /boot/grub/grub.cfg, it does not say where the core grub2 image is located. EasyBCD loads traditional (legacy) grub by reading and executing the grub boot file, but for grub2 it directly runs your installed copy of grub2 and lets it do the loading itself.

Can you please check your /boot/grub/ directory for a file called core.img? If it's not there, can you search for that file in your /boot/ directory and report back with its path?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
EasyBCD does search for that path, so it's not an issue with the location.
In the EasyBCD program files directory, there's a folder called profiles with a file named grldr in it. Can you replace it with the attached and then attempt to re-create the entry (with EasyBCD 2.3).
 

Attachments

#12
Hi Mahmoud,

I think I have figured this out. Your description of how EasyBCD searches for the core.img file got me thinking about how it must be aware of and able to read partitions formatted with extFS. And that reminded me that not long after creating my very first boot menu (which worked) I installed extFS by Paragon Software (Download free trial - ExtFS for Windows) so I could read the Linux partitions within Windows.

Ever since I did that, every entry created in EasyBCD has failed. So, what if the Paragon software is somehow preventing EasyBCD from reading data from the Linux extFS partition, I thought. To prove this I have uninstalled the Paragon extFS for Windows software and then re-created my EasyBCD menu entries. And they now work!

I thought you'd like to know about how this problem has been fixed. You might want to add an entry to the Knowledgbase to help others, and also maybe consider building into a future release of EasyBCD the detection of extFS for Windows.

Best wishes,

Darren
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#13
Hi Darren,

I'm glad that EasyBCD ended up working, and I'm really thrilled that it wasn't an outright bug in EasyBCD's Linux detection routines that was causing the grievances you were experiencing, but in all honesty, I am surprised that the uninstallation of Paragon ExtFs for Windows had that effect. For GRUB2 entries, EasyBCD does not actually perform any detection at the time an entry is added and instead all detection is relegated to EasyBCD's boot time helper.

The only thing I can think of is that Paragon's driver actually somehow modifies the ext4 partition to make it readable to Windows in a way that prevents EasyBCD from loading GRUB from it. This is not as outlandish as it sounds; in fact, it would be par-for-the-course for some of the companies out there.. but I'm just brainstorming aloud.