How to: Use WxFixBoot with Parted Magic to repair your bootloaders

I recently made another video for Parted Magic LLC in which I demonstrated how to use WxFixBoot with Parted Magic to repair or replace your bootloader to get your Linux operating systems booting again.

Note that WxFixBoot 3.0.2 has now been released since this video was made.

This blog post provides a write-up for the video and some text instructions to help you follow along.

The Video

The Writeup

Starting up WxFixBoot and Main Window

WxFixBoot can take a while to start up depending on the speed of your system and what operating systems you have installed. WxFixBoot can also detect Windows and macOS installations.

Once started, WxFixBoot provides you with some main options. I recommend that you generate a system report because it’s very useful for debugging if anything goes wrong when WxFixBoot is repairing your bootloader. You can also show diagnostic terminal output if you’re interested.

System Information Window

This shows you all sorts of useful information about your computer, what disks it has in it, and what operating systems and bootloaders are installed, and bootloader configuration. If you get confused about any of the information WxFixBoot is showing you, this is the place to go. More details on this can be found in the video.

Privacy Policy

This is just a quick aside to say that I don’t harvest any personal informatio from your system. WxFixBoot needs to collect information in order to run, and in order to help you decide what to do (such as the information seen in the System Information Window), but only information that is needed is collected, and it is not stored after WxFixBoot is closed.

Bootloader Options

WxFixBoot has a variety of bootloader options that you can change. Not all of these are covered here, or in the video, but these range from simple checkboxes to fix or update your bootloader configuration, to changing the bootloader timeout and replacing the bootloader entirely. In the video, I removed Fedora’s bootloader time-out, and replaced Ubuntu 18.04’s GRUB bootloader with LILO.

You can also backup and restore your bootloader configuration, but this will be covered in a future post or video. Essentially, this feature allows you to save and load configuration from a text file, so you can easily revert bootloader changes if something goes wrong.

NOTE: Various informational notices and warnings may appear when you select options here to guide you and help prevent you from making mistakes.

NOTE 2: If your bootloader could not be detected, you may need to fill in more settings such as kernel options, but you will still be able to use the advanced options to replace it with another bootloader.

NOTE 3: LILO will not be supported in future versions of WxFixBoot.

Applying Changes

Note that you need to stay within sight of the system while performing changes in case anything goes wrong. Your internet connection will be tested before each operating system is worked on.

WxFixBoot will wait until each operating system’s package manager is free before performing operations, and then proceed to perform the operations you selected for each operating system.

In the video, all went pretty smoothly, but there was an issue with my intermittent internet connection at one point, and updating GRUB’s configuration took a while.

NOTE: If you enabled diagnostic mode, you will see lots of text scrolling in the terminal output box. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about.

NOTE 2: If your internet connection is a bit intermittent, you may need to retry some stages, as I did. This is also nothing to be concerned about, and you will be prompted to retry at all stages if needed.

NOTE 3: If Fedora or other operating systems that use logical volumes / LVM disks are present, updating the GRUB configuration may take a few minutes. This is normal and doesn’t indicate a problem. If you don’t know what LVM is, you don’t need to worry about this.

After Everything is Finished

If anything went wrong, you can press the restart button and set new options or restore your configuration. You may also need to select somewhere to save your system report if you opted to create one. You should save this to a USB stick or some other external storage medium. It’s useful to have this as it can be used to diagnose any issues, but you need to make sure it’s safe. In particular, don’t save it to Parted Magic’s desktop, because anything saved there will not be kept after a reboot.

You should now be able to reboot your computer and everything should be working again. If you have any problems you can contact me using the link in the footer of this page.

WxFixBoot Tutorial – Summary

WxFixBoot is a complex program, but I hope this video and tutorial have helped you understand how to use it. When used together with Parted Magic, and the other tools available on Parted Magic, you have a complete system recovery toolkit that should be extremely useful in a variety of situations. I have made a variety of tutorial videos for Parted Magic LLC, available at https://partedmagic.com/videos/.

I hope this post has been useful to you. There will soon be follow up posts and videos on backing up and restoring your bootloader, and other features not covered in this tutorial. Stay tuned, as there are a lot of posts coming out soon!

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About Hamish McIntyre-Bhatty

I'm currently studying for a Computing and IT degree with the Open University, and am a software developer as well. I enjoy coding in Python, C++ (still learning), and Java. Having written 4 open-source programs (hosted on launchpad.net), set up my own website, and started volunteering at Wimborne Model Town to work on their river control system, I still find the time to enjoy cycling, acting, photography, and playing bass guitar. I go climbing every now and then as well. More recently, I wrote my first commercial program, Disk Verifier, and created a PSID Unlocker GUI for Parted Magic. I also create tutorial and other informative videos for Parted Magic LLC.

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