I had been troubleshooting a bad HD, that was setup with Dual(Tripple) boot (GRUB2) for Fedora, Windows 10, and Ubuntu.

Windows 10 froze one day while installing a VM in Oracle's VirtualBox, and upon reboot, the default (Fedora) went to the grub menu. I rebooted, and used the ESC key (Asus boot key) to get to Windows 10, and kept working, and it eventually Hibernated (which I think may have contributed to the problems.)

I booted into Linux USB, tried a grub repair, but god indication there was a bad HD, verified that there were bad sectors, and my HD needs replacing. However, after that I mistakenly(i don't really know why I did, it was late, and not thinking properly) turned on the Fast Boot in the bios, which I think has allowed windows 10, even in it's partially booting state, to not allow me into the UEFI bios, so I can't even choose my recovery disk. It just boots up, no screen indicators at all, like there is no power going to screen.

Question 1) Is that possible? I assume if not, then I'm dealing with something worse than just a bad HD.

Question 2) Assuming that is possible, how can a UEFI/BIOS be freed from this Windows 10 control?

  • 3 failed attempts to load Windows 10 will result in Advanced Startup to be presented. From there you can boot directly into your UEFI settings. – Ramhound Feb 8 '17 at 19:33
  • Fast boot is like wakeup from hibernate - a previous system state is booted (including open files!). Generally fast-boot and hibernation does not play well when multi-booting! If you power-off computer and then power-on UEFI setup should be accessible and also normal UEFI boot sequence. (Recovering Windows is another issue.) – snayob Feb 9 '17 at 0:45
  • Thank you @Ramhound. So, if I'm concerned that a partially booting Windows 10 OS is stuck in hibernation limbo, and if that even is possible, are you saying that even so, it would after 3 cycles of boot-get do nothing- poke it in the eye, that it should fall back to the Advanced Startup? To my question 1, I'm not really even sure it's trying to boot windows. All I know is that I could get into setup, boot to other drives, until I turned on Fast Startup in the UEFI settings. But maybe that was just a coincidence, something else in the board is out now. – beauk Feb 9 '17 at 3:26
  • Thanks @snayob, I didn't know that multi-boot and Hibernation/Fast-boot was a bad idea. I'll remember that now. I clearly have some topics to dig into. As for your suggestion, my problem is that I can't get to the UEFI setup anymore, after turning Fast-boot on in the BIOS/UEFI. I power cycle, and nothing shows up on the screen at all. – beauk Feb 9 '17 at 3:29
  • I am not sure but then the hibernation state should have been remembered in some NVRAM variable eventually. You can examine NVRAM using Linux LiveCD - in "/sys/firmware/efi/vars/"(boot it using UEFI boot - tap on ESC or F2, F12 to get UEFI boot selection if CD/DVD is not first boot choice). If cannot boot CD/DVD then why not reset NVRAM/firmware to factory? You can add later boot entries again for Windows and for GRUB in NVRAM. – snayob Feb 9 '17 at 3:42

As @snayob suggested, resetting the CMOS helped me get around this. So, I think the answer to question 1 was yes, it's possible to get into this state. And the answer to 2 was reset the CMOS, which is different from machine to machine. My laptop didn't have a CMOS reset, button, or jumper, so I needed to put a penny in the CMOS battery slot (for about 1 minute). I would highly suggest not doing this unless you really understand, and there's no other way.

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