Firstly, I would like to apologize, for this post/inquiry would be long. I figured that it might be helpful for you guys to know the background. Fairly new to Linux, the last time I tried it was back in 2012 with a Ubuntu-Windows dual boot setup on a PC.
I have a Samsung NP300E4A laptop with the ff specs:
- 2nd gen Intel i3 processor
- 2GB RAM
- 1TB HDD
- Phoenix BIOS (forgot the version)
- Has UEFI but can't find if there is a secure boot option -- I assume there is none
During the course of last week, I have tried to install 4 Linux distros:
- Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
- Elementary OS Loki
- Deepin (did not actually installed, just played around with the live usb)
- Manjaro KDE
All of these were installed using a live usb prepared from Rufus
BIOS/Legacy setup - every install, I completely wipe the HDD
Ubuntu, Elementary, and SolusOS failed me, with the common problem of:
- After installation and reboot. I am prompted with just a split-second screen showing
Grub loadingand a blinking
_under it, after this a split-second black screen. This two screens goes on-and-on up until I power off the laptop. I retried the install for the 3 distros several times while fixing grub via
chrootmethod but no luck.
After getting tired of this, I tried the dual boot approach that worked for me in the past.
First, I partitioned the HDD and installed Ubuntu first. I chose to install the bootloader on the Ubuntu partition instead of /dev/sda. After this, I installed Windows and of course, the laptop would boot to Windows every time. I installed EasyBCD and added a Ubuntu entry on the boot menu.
After reboot, I chose Ubuntu and it forwarded me to
GRUB4DOS prompt which I really don't have an idea how to use. After hours of reading on the web, I tried the
makeactive command which I thought did not do anything. Defeated, I forced shutdown the laptop via power button and then started it again and viola! I was greeted by the GRUB menu. I had successfully managed to boot to Ubuntu and Windows with no problems, even after a reboot or a shutdown.
Having this experience and still ticking curiosity, I tried to recreate what I have done with Elementary OS and SolusOS, but unfortunately both did not work, even after the grub fix via
chroot+ live usb method. I tried going back to Ubuntu-Windows that worked for me, but I have never managed to make it work again.
UEFI enabled setup - every install, I completely wipe the HDD
Still wanting to have a working Linux setup, I tried enabling UEFI and tried to install Ubuntu. This worked! Just one try and it worked, no pains and I was happy. However, upon playing around with Ubuntu, I figured that my modestly spec'ed laptop can't run it smoothly. I then tried installing Elementary OS which also flawlessly worked. However, it was worse that Ubuntu and was pretty much unusable so I tried SolusOS. SolusOS did not work, just a UEFI menu of booting to the live usb, nothing else on that menu.
Here comes Manjaro KDE!
I did go back to BIOS/Legacy mode and wiped the HDD again.
Installation was quick and easy. After the first reboot, nothing happened. Just a black screen and then reboot loop. I tried booting to the live usb and then checked on the partitions, with really no reasoning, I tried to put the 'boot' flag on the
/ (root) partition. Tried to reboot and then I was greeted by the
Grub loading + a blinking
_ under it screen, however there was no reboot loop, I was stuck with that screen.
After some research, I ended up with this tutorial  which helped me boot to my Manjaro KDE desktop. I did what it said to fix grub. However, the fix is not persisting. Every reboot, I always end up with the
Grub loadingscreen and have to redo the commands below to boot to my system:
On the Manjaro grub menu, I tried to press
e to see the settings and saw something like
hd1, msdos3 thing. But on the
search.file command above, I am finding
hd1,3 as my Manjaro partition. I did not edit anything for now as I am afraid to break my current running (albeit the workaround) system and start all over again with the installation and setup.
So after that novel of a background, I am seeking for your help guys. For now, I am doing the workaround on every boot but I am hoping for a permanent solution.
Hope someone can point me to the right direction and again, sorry for the long post.