I am struggling with my Thinkpad dual boot setup and fixing one problem might have led to another. I am a complete noob and not sure which piece of info would be relevant to the problem, so I will briefly summarize what I did to the laptop here.
Background: The laptop had a Win10-Ubuntu14.04 dual boot setup. It started showing an SSD detection error randomly during boot since last month, so I made an image of the whole disk using Clonezilla and sent it in for a repair. When I received my laptop back from the repair depot, the motherboard was replaced but the SSD is still the old one. The partitions remained the same but the content in the two partitions that had been created for Ubuntu were erased. My Windows installation seems to have been reset, with some of my custom settings and personal files intact.
I want to install Ubuntu back onto that empty space on my SSD, but Ubuntu installer somehow did not recognize Windows as an existing OS (it did not show an option to install Ubuntu alongside Windows). The installer detected all the GPT partitions correctly, but Gparted did not.
I tried instead to restore my whole dual boot setup from my Clonezilla image. Clonezilla verified the image and showed all partitions inside the image correctly. In the process of restoration, though, it complained about not recognizing certain partition on my SSD and aborted. Since Clonezilla had already begun restoration, I could no longer boot into anything. I then used Win10 installation stick to wipe all partitions and install Windows 10 afresh, which worked perfectly without any sign of software or hardware issue. Now I made a second attempt to restore my Clonezilla image. This time Clonezilla did not complain and I restored the image successfully. I even got the correct boot screen showing the options to either boot into Ubuntu or Windows. I selected Windows and everything seemed good. (Up until this point, the UEFI settings has been working perfectly, allowing me to change boot order every time without problem. Due to the difficulties with partitions, I was playing with the UEFI/Legacy/CSM options a lot too; though, there did not seem to be a problem with this setting so far.) However, from within Windows, when I checked the partitions, it showed that the two Ubuntu partitions were empty. Windows did some auto updates and when I shutdown/restarted, the dual-boot grub screen no longer appeared--it just booted directly into Windows since the second boot onward.
Plugging in the Clonezilla stick to try to restore the image again, it did not boot into the stick. So, I entered the UEFI/BIOS menu, meaning to change the boot order once again. Here is where I don't understand:
Under "Startup" tab >> "Boot", if I press enter when "Boot" is highlighted, the whole thing freezes at that screen (with all the tabs other than "Startup" disappear--picture here. It does not enter the screen that's suppose to list all the drives). The "Item Specific Help" info on the right hand panel never shows up for "Boot" as it does for the other options (not sure if this's normal). I can still navigate or change any other UEFI settings without problem as long as I don't touch the "Boot" option. I held the power button to power off, remove all USB devices, entered the UEFI settings again, and it still froze at the same place.
Having no other choices, I booted into Windows and played with its recovery menu. To my surprise, I found that Windows 10's recovery tool has an interface to set a reboot from a specific drive. The recovery menu also listed all my drives correctly. So, I used this tool instead of UEFI interface to reboot to my Windows 10 USB installation stick. I wiped out all partitions and did a fresh Windows install, which goes perfectly. Currently, my laptop works normally with only Windows 10, single-boot, but the UEFI menu still hangs the same way every time I try to enter "boot order" menu. My goal here is to fix UEFI menu from hanging and then do a fresh installation of Ubuntu alongside Windows. Without understanding what is wrong with my laptop, I fear of making further changes on it.
Additional info: I did not touch any other UEFI settings except 1) Boot order 2) UEFI/Legacy/CSM 3) Secured boot and fast boot: disabled long time ago.
What could possibly cause UEFI menu to freeze at the "Boot" order options? Does this sound like a software of hardware problem? (I have just replaced the motherboard, so hopefully it's not the motherboard again.. :() If software, could Clonezilla image restoration or Windows 10 mess up with the UEFI? Or maybe it is caused by me changing between UEFI/Legacy/CSM settings? Or could the messed up SSD partitions confuse UEFI boot order utility? (Though, it did not confuse Windows 10's recovery utility.)
What should I do to diagnose or fix this? Since I am a noob and this is dealing with motherboard, less risky tricks are preferred, if possible. Or I could take it to a repair shop for help.
When the UEFI menu freezes, what is the best thing to do? Is holding power button the best thing to do in my scenario?
Thanks so much for reading! I am at my wit's end. Any help is highly appreciated!