I want to shift grub bootloader from my Laptop HDD to a USB stick where manjaro is already installed

Here’s what I have on my laptop:

HDD (windows HDD + bootloader)
USB Stick (live installer): 16GB stick Flashed with Manjaro ISO (using this for installation)
USB Stick 2 (main): 32GB flash drive where I want to install manjaro.

Right now, I have installed manjaro on the 32GB flash drive and configured it to my taste. But the problem is that the bootloader is installed on the Windows drive (replaced windows default bootloader).

Now whenever I disconnect and reconnect my USB stick, it just throws grub into rescue mode since it cant detect the USB properly.

What I want to do:

Shift grub to the USB drive, and resurrect my old windows boot loader

Or reformat the whole 32GB USB stick with 3 partitions (boot loader + swap + Manjaro) while keeping all my data and configs from the previous manjaro install.

Thanks for your help!

Hello @snaekboi :wink:

If it is replaced, then i assume you mean not a UEFI, but a BIOS setup.

  1. You will have to repair the windows bootloader.
  2. Since grub is installed on the flash drive, you will have to write the MBR (Master Boot Record) on that drive and not on the windows HDD. You will need to boot a live session, chroot into the flash drive and reinstall grub there again: GRUB/Restore the GRUB Bootloader - Manjaro

Actually, it is an EFI system.

Maybe I should have picked my words better.

Here’s what I see when I actually boot up into grub properly:

Manjaro Advanced options
Windows Boot loader
some last option under the windows boot loader option that I dont remember
typical grub options (edit and commandline)

For now, what I am thinking is following this guide right here:


Especially it guides on how to make a separate boot loader on the manjaro flash drive instead of windows HDD. That would be the most ideal situation for me RN.

But to pull it off, I need to backup everything on my current manjaro install (I have found ways to boot into manjaro install properly for now, so it would be easy).

Please recommend me some ways to backup my current install and then restore it exactly as I left on the fresh install.

Lastly, let me know if you have any tips on restoring the original windows boot loader after I shift grub to the flash drive instead


Actually there is no need for a re-installation. If you installed Manjaro on a UEFI System and it used the one on the HDD, then you just have to reinstall grub.

  1. Create a Fatt32 efi partition at the beginning at about 500MB max and flag it with boot (can be done with gparted)
  2. chroot into that system with manjaro-chroot -a
  3. change at /etc/fstab to the efi partition you have created (sudo blkid will show you the new UUID)
  4. then exitand again chroot like above. It should mount now with the new efi partition at fstab.
  5. Now reinstall grub like described on the wiki:
grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=manjaro --recheck

On the HDD the Windows bootloader should be there. You just have to change the boot order at your UEFI.

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Thankyou! That worked for me.

Thanks, I have marked it as helpful.

P.S. this tutorial has so far helped me, my friend who shifted to manjaro, and I am sure it’s gonna help again sometime lol.

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