Manjaro Install Forensics

Hi, I'm back.

I recently installed Manjaro KDE alongside Windows 10 in a dual boot, which eventually led to neither OS being able to boot. After reinstalling Windows 10 (Sorry, but it is more important in this case), and removing the hard drive with the corrupt install on it, not quite in that order.

I would like to know what went wrong so I can go back to my dual boot, but I have no clue what information would be useful in this case.

Please have a look at the following how-to and see if it answers some of your questions:

I already did that-that is the guide I followed to install, and troubleshooted with after the borked install. I did make a minor change in that I moved my /home to another disk, to give it more space. I wouldn't think that would break both OSes, though.

No, it shouldn't normally. I guess it's difficult to troubleshoot now when we don't have access to the troubled systems.

You could post the terminal output of the following command from Manjaro installation usb for community members to have some idea about your disk set-up:
sudo parted -l # that is lowercase L

My current theory is that multiple EFI partitions messed it up, as I noticed that the Windows EFI partition had vanished into undefined space after things went sour. But that is just a guess.

Also thank you to the person that corrected my spelling. Whoops.

Will do once I get my other hard drive back in place.

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It shouldn't actually if done correctly. I always give a separate EFI System Partition to each and every OS installed in a multi-boot system. Currently typing from a machine with 3 GNU/Linux OS:es. Each one with it's own ESP. No issue at all. In another one I've got four including Win. 10.

That is no problem

Multiple EFI partitions is no issue - you can have as many efi partitions as you like - only one is active at a time.

The topic has been discussed before

To more directly answer the question, the EFI specification imposes no limit on the number of ESPs that may be present on a computer or on a hard disk; you could have dozens of them if you wanted to, and that would be fine from the EFI's perspective.
-- How many EFI System Partitions (ESP) can a computer have?


If the Windows boot partition was/is formatted using NTFS then the system is a BIOS system - which may be GPT partitioned.

Installing any system in UEFI/MBR will create havoc.

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I do remember the EFI partition for Windows being marked as "Unformatted" inside Manjaro's disk manager. I'm waiting on an external enclosure to arrive from Amazon, as I would also like to recover my files from my storage space. I can give you a rough idea of my disk setup without the drive, though.

NVMe drive=Windows EFI, Windows itself, Manjaro EFI, Manjaro /root, Manjaro /swap.
SSHD=Old EFI partition from a Windows install I forgot to get rid of (whoops), NTFS storage for Windows, Manjaro /home.

EDIT: I did a dumb. AHCI was disabled in favor of Intel Premium something or other. However, placing the NVMe drive in AHCI mode causes Windows to fail to boot.

Re-install Windows (3rd time is a charm) in AHCI mode, then install Manjaro in ACHI mode as well.

Multiple EFI partitions is possible, but the easiest way is one EFI partition per system (that you back up of course!) like you have...

(I only use multiple EFI partitions for removeable disks)

Okay. Less of a Manjaro question, but this computer came with Windows. Can I use the key it came with to reinstall it? (It came with a digital product key.)

EDIT AGAINIT: Would this work instead of reinstalling? https://support.thinkcritical.com/kb/articles/switch-windows-10-from-raid-ide-to-ahci

Both should work, but please: Make a Cold System Backup first!

If the system was preinstalled with Windows 8 or later it will have the key in the firmware.

I don't have a storage medium large enough to clone the entire drive, but more than enough for all the things ON the drive. (It's a 512 SSD with only 99.9 GB used. I have a 128 GB SD card I thought I could clone it to.)

Yup, that's what CloneZilla Disk to image does: it takes the allocated space, compresses it and then writes the image.

Just follow the instruction in the original post...

Just tried that. It gave me the error "Error! No existing disks or no unmounted disks are found! To use Clonezilla, the source disk must exist or be unmounted! If you are sure the disk exists in this machine, maybe the kernel is too old?"
I'm using the latest version of clonezilla, and my disk is inserted into the system.
Or have I just overlooked something? Clonezilla doesn't rely on AHCI, does it?

Hmmm... My apologies, but you might have hit the nail on the head: Never encountered this before; take a data backup instead...

:sob: Sorry! :sob:

Will do.

Okay, good news. I managed to swap Windows 10 over to AHCI mode. Now once my enclosure comes in, I'll take my data, wipe the disk, and try installing Manjaro again. (This time not at 9 PM on New Years Eve.)

Could my settings being incorrect also what caused both OSes to kick the bucket?

Yes. Follow the original dual boot instructions and you should be fine.

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