Blinking underscore when booting + Manjaro grub skipped

Hi !

I’m running a dual boot W10/Manjaro, and for some time my desktop computer has been booting straight into Windows and the Manjaro grub menu has been skipped. I’ve been trying to fix this, which I’ve already done a few times in the past. What I used to do was basically burning a Manjaro ISO on a USB key, booting on it in UEFI mode and then following the procedure described here for UEFI systems :
My hard drive is using GPT and UEFI.
The issue is that I can’t boot on my USB drive using UEFI ; the option appears when I press f9 when booting ; I get the Manjaro menu ( the one that allows me to boot either using free or non-free drivers, to reboot, or to spawn an UEFi shell ) but none of the options work ;
-If I boot on Manjaro, no matter what the drivers are, I can see the kernel messages scroll, and then there’s a blinking underscore on the screen and the boot is stuck.
-If I try to select one of the UEFI shells, I get an error message saying that “loader.efi” is missing, and I have to reboot
-If I select “EFI default loader”, nothing happens and I get back to the boot menu

I can boot in legacy mode but I can’t fix my Manjaro installation’s boot doing so because the EFI variables are missing.

What I’ve tried so far :
-2 USB drives
-the checksum of my ISO image is correct, and I used it to install Manjaro on my laptop so it should be fine
-burning the iso with rufus and imagewriter, with all the rufus settings ( mbr, gpt and whatnot )

My BIOS’ settings :
-secure boot disabled
-fast boot disabled
-I tried with both legacy support enabled or disabled, but that doesn’t change anything

I’m currently downloading the Manjaro 15 ISO to see if that makes a difference as that’s the ISO I used the last time I fixed a boot issue, I’ll let you know if that makes a difference.

Do you guys have any clue how I could either boot on a Manjaro usb key in uefi ( preferred solution as I might need to reinstall Manjaro at some point even if I hope not ), or fix my installation’s boot with a legacy live session ?
Thanks for reading !

Try this tutorial:

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I saw this tutorial when i was typing and I just tried ; same problem occurs. It says “shellx64 could not be found” when I select UEFI shell. I tried a couple of times. I can find the “shellx64_v1.efi” file in /EFI on the usb key though.

I also tried a live CD, and burning both the 15 and 16 Manjaro releases on USB drives with dd ; same issue occured. My grub is up to date. Any help ?

Sorry, I really cannot understand your situation.

You said [quote=“jean, post:1, topic:7151”]
my desktop computer has been booting straight into Windows and the Manjaro grub menu has been skipped.
And [quote=“jean, post:4, topic:7151”]
My grub is up to date.

When you said…

[quote=“jean, post:1, topic:7151”]
-If I boot on Manjaro, no matter what the drivers are, I can see the kernel messages scroll, and then there’s a blinking underscore on the screen and the boot is stuck.
[/quote] I take it this is at livecd boot and not at installed Manjaro boot. Am I correct?

To summarize, I am under the impression you cannot boot into your Installed Manjaro (no grub) and also you cannot boot any livecd Manjaro. If that is the case, it will be difficult for anyone to help.

We need to understand your situation better. But before that, there are some things to make clear.

o Some bios’s, especially those older (just at uefi implementation) and which call themselves “uefi capable” are not implementing uefi very well. It may give the impression it tis booting in uefi but is not.
o Windows (and linux OS’s) can use gpt partitioning and yet boot in bios-legacy. So having a partitioning in gpt does not mean it is booted in uefi (we need to check that - later below).
o If both your windows and installed Manjaro are indeed in uefi boots, then at the bios, there can be a selection to choose either. Even if Manjaro is kaput, there will still be a selection for manjaro boot to choose from. At start of computer, there will be 2 keys to select (also in bios-legacy boots).
One is to go to bios setup - lets call this $bios - and another to to select boot (media or boot) - and let’s call this $boot.
To elaborate, $bios can be ‘F8’ or ‘F2’ - sometimes ‘delete’ button or ‘esp’ button.
$boot can be ‘F10’, ‘F12’ …er… that’s all I can recall, but may be others.
These depend on each motherboard manufacturer and can differ.

Now, let’s start with understanding your situation.
[1] - Is your windows in uefi or bios-legacy?
Please boot up windows and check. Here’s link to help.

[2] - Is there really a grub for your installed Manjaro?
How do you get to it’s grub menu? If it is there, I understand your boot fails, but we need to know if there is even a grub for you.

[3] - What is you partitioning structure? Like — sda1 - fat32, sda2 - ntfs, sda3 - …
Can you somehow get it’s output? (I don’t know windows much but something like ‘sudo parted -l’, sudo blkid, fdisk, lsbk -f…)

[4] - More difficult and possibly you don’t know, but please try.
How do you make your bios boot in uefi or in bios-legacy? And how do you know that your installed Manjaro is installed and booted in uefi? And can you change it (to uefi or bios-legacy)? How?

[note] - I am unsure why you cannot boot into livecd at all. Even if your bios selects either bios-legacy or uefi, there is no good reason it cannot boot up, using ‘non-free’ or ‘free’ drivers. Can you make a guess why that is so? Try another usb device? Or another usb port? or just use dvd?

That’s it.

That’s my issue indeed. I can boot on a live Manjaro session, but only using legacy boot, which does not allow me to fix my UEFI boot.

My PC is from 2014 ; that might be the issue but I did manage to install UEFI Manjaro in the first place.

Before giving you further information you asked, just a quick update : I booted on an Arch usb key in uefi mode, and managed to fix my Manjaro installation’s boot. However, when I boot on that installation, I have 2 issues :
-There is no Windows entry
-When I select Manjaro, I get the following :
"plymouth could not start boot splash no such file or directory "
as well as some error messages that i cannot read before the display goes black again.

In the end, I can’t boot on Windows, even by using the $boot menu, and I can’t use my Manjaro installation, but I do get to see the grub menu.

I can’t check anymore ; however, in my efi partition, there are Windows files, and it’s originally a Windows 8.1 installation that I upgraded so it’s most likely an uefi windows.

Until now, there wasn’t : my computer just booted straight into windows, but now there is.

I did check with a legacy live session. here it is :
-/dev/sda1 : NTFS, “basic data partition”
-/dev/sda2 : EFI partition. After browsing it, it contains Windows and Manjaro folders
-/dev/sda3 : NTFS, Microsoft reserved partition
-/dev/sda4 : NTFS, Windows partition
-/dev/sda5 : NTFS, data partition shared between windows and linux
-/dev/sda6 : second data partition
-/dev/sda8 : ext4 : Manjaro partition
-/dev/sda7 : swap

In my bios there’s an option to enable legacy support. When it’s enabled I can decide to boot, say, on my manjaro usb drive, in legacy or uefi mode.
My Manjaro installation is probably installed in uefi because there’s a “grubx64.efi” file in /dev/sda2/EFI/Manjaro. However there are some other files in /dev/sda8/boot ( such as initramfs.img and whatnot ). I don’t know if that’s normal, but I think so.

I used 3 isos, 2 usb keys, 1 cd. Something a bit similar happened to me in the past because my iso was corrupted but I checked the checksum, downloaded the iso many times, and burnt it in a variety of different ways. The usb port should be fine as I successfully booted on Arch using the same port.
The only possible explication that I see is that there’s a compatibility issue between my hardware and Manjaro, but as I did install uefi manjaro on that computer like 8 month ago, I don’t really think that could be it…

How did you fix Manjaro boot from Arch usb?
chroot and grub-install? Any update-grub command?
Can you remember exact command of grub-install?

<> ? What’s that?

Anyway, here’s a suggestion. No promises it will work, then again…it’s better than nothing.

Go this grub menu again, but… go to grub prompt (press ‘c’)
Continue here, (case 1)
use search intel-ucode, configfile,

But when booted, use this grub-install command instead. but first check 2 things.
(1) - manjaro /etc/fstab - that it contains entry of sda2 as mount point /boot/efi and with correct UUID.
(2) - that it is booted correctly in uefi, not bios-legacy. This command (in terminal)

test -d /sys/firmware/efi && echo UEFI || echo BIOS

It should output “UEFI” not "BIOS"
Then the grub-install command is

sudo grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=manjaro --recheck

Oh, then "update-grub"
Good luck.

ps: it’s really very late here. Will log out real soon, like now.
It will be some 8 hours (or more) before I login again.
All the best.

Sorry, 3 things.
(3) - that /boot/efi i(sda2) is mounted, at terminal,

findmnt /boot/efi

There should be an output of sda2.

ps: jumped out of bed to type this.
warning: I’m not a morning person, so my next morning response may not be good. so it’s better we wait 10 hours. :slight_smile:

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I tried to do as you said ; I booted on my manjaro installation’s grub, pressed c, and I got to the grub shell. After the 2 commands ( searchfile and configfile ), it brought me back to the grub menu, but I still couldn’t boot on Manjaro. What happens when I select Manjaro is I get numbers ( they kind of look like UUIDS ), then on the last line there’s ""plymouth could not start boot splash no such file or directory ", and then there’s only this flickering underscore on the top left of the screen.

I then booted on a legacy usb Manjaro session ;

I mounted my Manjaro partition and read fstab. The UUIDs are correct. Here are the outputs of cat fstab and blkid, just in case :

[manjaro@manjaro ~]$ blkid
/dev/sda1: LABEL=“RM-CM-)cupM-CM-)ration” UUID=“B4EC965AEC961728” TYPE=“ntfs” PARTLABEL=“Basic data partitio`” PARTUUID=“3698f91a-1ac8-484f-af94-5cbc6f73605d”
/dev/sda2: UUID=“3C99-877B” TYPE=“vfat” PARTLABEL=“EFI system partition” PARTUUID=“8fd0fcdf-ea00-4d95-bf7a-64c4595920a3”
/dev/sda4: UUID=“9870A52370A50958” TYPE=“ntfs” PARTLABEL=“Basic data partition” PARTUUID=“8f7bc881-78e0-4f65-a27b-7043cda2c7fc”
/dev/sda5: LABEL=“Fichiers” UUID=“E2F0F250F0F22A85” TYPE=“ntfs” PARTLABEL=“Basic data partition” PARTUUID=“95128a9f-cba8-4e16-ac0c-733c4e11406d”
/dev/sda7: UUID=“8254a575-0819-4530-9fe8-01f4871c5d8e” TYPE=“swap” PARTUUID=“74dabdbd-d465-4592-ad61-c7832dc2fab5”
/dev/sda8: UUID=“f5b84df5-9d19-4088-b778-3bf501b0b0e9” TYPE=“ext4” PARTUUID=“48f517c0-b8fe-4f86-964c-4d7d6410bfc8”
/dev/sdb1: UUID=“2016-06-11-19-19-51-00” LABEL=“MJRO1606” TYPE=“iso9660” PTUUID=“62cadc67” PTTYPE=“dos” PARTUUID=“62cadc67-01”
/dev/sda3: PARTLABEL=“Microsoft reserved partition” PARTUUID=“6727c489-b2d9-4fef-b6c1-739f4386e214”
/dev/sda6: PARTLABEL=“Basic data partition” PARTUUID=“9c685ea1-a15b-42e5-ace0-b4ac5270648d”
/dev/loop0: TYPE=“squashfs”
/dev/loop1: TYPE=“squashfs”
/dev/loop2: TYPE=“squashfs”
/dev/loop3: TYPE=“squashfs”
/dev/sdb2: SEC_TYPE=“msdos” LABEL=“MISO_EFI” UUID=“F6E9-DC96” TYPE=“vfat” PARTUUID=“62cadc67-02”

And : fstab :

UUID=3C99-877B /boot/efi vfat defaults,noatime 0 2
UUID=f5b84df5-9d19-4088-b778-3bf501b0b0e9 / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1
UUID=8254a575-0819-4530-9fe8-01f4871c5d8e swap swap defaults,noatime 0 0

When I saw number that looked like UUID when I tried to boot on my Manjaro installation, I thought my boot might be failing because of a moved partition, but apparently everything’s fine.

As I could boot on my installed Manjaro, I couldn’t issue that command. The same stands for “findmnt /boot/efi”.

That’s the command I used to try to fix my boot from my Arch & Manjaro live sessions. On Manjaro live sessions I’d get error messages saying that EFI variables were missing, so I’d try to load and mount efivarfs, but the /sys/firmware/efi directory did not exist. On Arch, I was able to mount efivarfs properly and that’s how I kind of fixed my boot ( at least I’m getting to the grub menu now ).
I tried to run “grub-install /dev/sda” just in case it might work ( I’m a little desperate at this point :stuck_out_tongue: ) and I got the following error message :

[root@manjaro /]# grub-install /dev/sda
Installing for i386-pc platform.
grub-install: warning: this GPT partition label contains no BIOS Boot Partition; embedding won’t be possible.
grub-install: warning: Embedding is not possible. GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists. However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged…
grub-install: error: will not proceed with blocklists.

This probably confirms that my system is using UEFI.
I also ran update-grub from my live sessions but it won’t detect my Windows installation ; usually ( from my experience at least ) I have to boot from the installed os to be able to detect Windows installations, so that might work later when I’ll be able to boot on my installed Manjaro.

Conclusion : I’m still stuck at the Manjaro grub menu and I still cannot get an UEFI live session using a Manjaro USB drive ( if I could, I might consider reinstalling Manjaro to replace my defunctional installation but I cannot install UEFI Manjaro without booting on a Manjaro drive in UEFI mode as far as I know ).
Thanks very much for your help so far though, I really appreciate it ! I’ll be on the road tomorrow and I’ll be back within 24 hours from now. Good night :smile:

Sorry for double posting again, but I actually made some really good progress and got to the point where this thread is irrelevant :smiley:
So, i came back from a few months away a while ago, and I installed a GPU on my desktop computer ( I was only using the integrated graphics so far ). As I had not been here for a while, one of the many Windows update that I made when i came back probably broke my boot as it sometimes does, and I could ( and still can if needed ) fix that with the usual procedure described in the Manjaro wiki. I did just that with the Arch usb key earlier. Now the reason why Manjaro wouldn’t start is that the xorg server failed to start because of the new GPU ( an Nvidia gtx 750ti ). That’s why I was getting a blinking underscore after my boot and nothing else.
When I was looking for solution I found out about the ctrl+alt+f2 shortcut that spawns a shell. By doing this I was able to use my Manjaro installation ( and I could probably do the same thing with my manjaro usb keys ). I ran update-grub and now there’s a Windows option in the GRUB menu. startx returns an error saying that there’s no display, but when I checked the logs I realized that xorg is trying to find a display connected to my motherboard ( if someone has a clue how to make xorg connect to the gpu instead of the motherboard I’d like to know about it because I haven’t been able to find a quick fix so far even if it’s probably not that difficult ).
I had a few errors when I tried to boot on my installed Manjaro ( with the numbers and stuff ) but that wasn’t what was preventing me from booting in the end. Actually, nothing prevented me from booting, I just should’ve tried the shortcut I mentioned earlier. I could probably boot from USB drives as well and get a shell ( when I used Arch I just used the shell ).

To summarise ; the blinking underscore was making me think that my OS was broken but it was just Xorg not being able to find a display to connect to, and my boot was broken because of a Windows update. Again, if someone here had a clue how to fix the xorg issue, that’d be awesome !

Thanks for helping me, I’m marking this solved. I’m renaming the thread for the title to be more relevant to the actual problem.

There should be a setting in your motherboard to disable the integrated graphic card. Also, make sure your Manjaro has Nvidia driver installed. You can boot into recovery mode or use ctrl+alt+f12 like you did and do a sudo mhwd --force -a pci nonfree 0300.
Good luck :slight_smile:

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Unfortunately, I can’t mark 2 posts as solution, but that definitely worked. My system is working flawlessly now thanks :wink:

This grub menu…(in bold above) , is the original installed Manjaro menu? If yes, Good! Ya, I know you cannot boot yet, but that’s because you have a slightly bonked Manjaro. And at this Manjaro grub menu, boot to manjaro prompt and redo your graphic cards from this prompt.(mhwd - i pci --force )
I had problems twice, once in unstable repository and another time in stable (another manjaro system) : it
works but another user here failed to replicate…

Oh… I see your later post here…it’s solved! Good!
Cheers. Good to know.

ps: told you I’m not a morning person :slight_smile: didn’t see your later post. got the manjaro mail and just cliked on it.
Have a good trip.


Welcome to Manjaro :slight_smile:

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