Fix Windows Bootloader from Linux: 3 Simple Methods

You can fix the Windows 10 bootloader right from the terminal

by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
Aleksandar's main passion is technology. With a solid writing background, he is determined to bring the bleeding edge to the common user. With a keen eye, he always... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • You can quickly fix the Windows bootloader from Linux if it doesn't work due to Windows updates.
  • Use the boot repair utility, which comes with Ubuntu to repair Windows boot from Linux.
  • If you're looking for a fast Ubuntu boot repair on Windows 10, you can do it within the terminal.
  • The Linux loader is also a great way to fix the Windows boot from Linux in no time.
learn how to fix windows bootloader from linux

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Due to the aggressive and territorial nature of Windows 10, problems like this will often emerge. That’s why installing Windows 10 before installing Linux in a dual-boot mode is advised. And you can also fix the Windows bootloader from Linux.

Linux is much less intrusive and won’t damage Windows 10 bootloader. Despite that, things can still go wrong after major updates. If that happens, you can fix it with Linux (Ubuntu).

How to repair Windows 10 bootloader errors from Linux?

1. Use the Boot Repair utility on Ubuntu

  1. Download Ubuntu live distro version.
  2. Mount it to your USB. You can do it with the Universal USB Installer (preferably) tool. Using this application is essential, or the drive won’t be bootable.
  3. Plug in the drive and boot from it.
  4. Go for the Try Ubuntu without installing option (If this fails, open BIOS/UEFI settings, disable Secure Boot, and try again).
  5. Once Ubuntu boots, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open the Terminal.
  6. In the command line, run the following string and press Enter after each: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair

    sudo apt update

    sudo apt install boot-repair
  7. This should install Boot Repair application, which you can now find in the Application menu.
  8. Open it and choose Recommended repair and wait until it’s done.

Let’s start with the simplest method to fix the Windows bootloader from Linux. Probably knowingly, Ubuntu comes with a small utility called Boot Repair which fixes Windows 10 bootloader corruption upon running.

You’ll need to have the latest version of bootable Ubuntu mounted on your USB drive. After that, you’ll need to install the utility and, without meddling in the Terminal, repair the Windows 10 bootloader.

2. Use Terminal

  1. Boot again with the bootable USB drive.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. In the command line, type the following strings and press Enter after each:
    sudo apt-get install extlinux

    sudo dd if=/usr/lib/extlinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda
    sudo extlinux -i /boot/extlinux
  4. Don’t forget to replace sda with the Windows 10 system drive.
  5. Reboot after that, and Windows 10 should boot without any issues.

The second method relies on the Syslinux run through the Terminal. You’ll need to run a batch of commands to install and utilize Syslinux to fix the Windows 10 bootloader.

3. Use LILO

  1. Boot again with the bootable USB drive and open Terminal.
  2. In the command line, type the following string and press Enter after each:
    sudo apt-get install lilo

    sudo lilo - M/dev/sda mbr
  3. Reboot, and you’re good to go. The Windows 10 bootloader is fixed.

The final method utilizes LILO (Linux Loader), a small program responsible for managing dual boot. The procedure is similar to the previous one, at least for the unaccustomed eye.

If the previous two steps weren’t working for you (the first one should resolve bootloader issues), LILO is certainly a handy alternative.

If you’re still having trouble after going through all the solutions above, we recommend using a third-party tool to repair your PC and keep it healthy.

Hopefully, you managed to resolve the issue with the Windows 10 bootloader. We encourage you to tell us which fix worked in the comment below.

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