Figure

After several failed attempts to dual-boot Ubuntu 15.04 and Windows 10 on a single hard drive and on a computer with UEFI firmware, and not knowing what caused the first failed attempt, I figured that subsequent failed attempts must have been due to an existing Ubuntu GRUB folder in the Boot EFI folder.

Especially since the machine always froze when the installer is attempting to install GRUB

So I thought that If I could just delete the ubuntu folder from the Boot EFI folder, that the installation would complete – successfully. Ultimately, it didn’t, but I figured out how to delete GRUB files from inside Windows 10, from the command line.

This post documents how it was done. It involved, from the command line, listing and selecting the detected hard drives, listing the partitions on the hard drive, then, finally, listing and deleting the target folder. Another reason you might want to do this, is if you deleted the Linux partitions, which would not automatically delete the GRUB files from the Boot EFI folder.

To start, log into Windows 10, click on the menu and type cmd. Then right-click on the terminal application’s icon and select run as administrator. Figure 1 show the commands (underlined) used to accomplish the first step – listing and selecting the hard drive. To make it possible to copy-and-paste, for those who might need to, I’ve provided the commands in the code block after the last image.

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In this figure, the target disk is shown as a 465 GB hard drive, with GPT partition.

Windows 10 diskpart
Figure 1: Using diskpart to list hard drives detected on Windows 10

After the target disk has been selected, its partitions are listed, so that the partition (volume) that corresponds to the Boot EFI folder can be identified. In Figure 2, that partition is Volume 2. It’s usually the only volume with FAT32 in the Fs (file system) column, and System in the Info column. After it has been identified and selected, you assign it a drive letter to make it easier to work with. In this example, I assigned it a drive letter D. After that, exit diskpart.

Listing Windows 10 partitions
Figure 2: Listing disk partitions on Windows 10

The final task involves changing into the Boot EFI folder, listing its contents to identify what subfolder the GRUB files would be. It will be in the EFI folder. The GRUB files for the distribution that was installed will be under a folder of the same name as the distribution. For example, if Ubuntu was installed, as in this example, the name of the folder will be ubuntu. Delete the folder using the rmdir /s command. That’s the Windows 10 equivalent of the Unix/Linux rm -r command.

Delete Ubuntu Boot EFI GRUB files
Figure 3: Deleting non-empty Ubuntu GRUB directory in Windows 10

All the commands used are given in this code block. Note that this procedure is not necessarily the best or only way to go about do this, so if you know of a better method, post a comment.

## These commands are used to identify and select the hard drive

diskpart

list disk

sel disk 0

## These commands are used to list the partitions, select the Boot EFI partition, 
## then assign it a drive letter

list vol

sel vol 2

assign letter=D:

exit

## These commands are used to change into the Boot EFI folder and delete the GRUB folder

cd /d D:

ls

ls EFI

cd EFI

ls

rmdir /s ubuntu

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12 Responses

  1. You need to delate cert8.db and key3.db , but in special way. Because if you delate them normally , they will reappear.
    So create by using notepad new files and name them: cert8.db and key3.db and change these new files with old.

    Your firefox will be without any certificate, but a problem is that firefox doesn’t want to work with these changed cert8.db and key3.db

    So you can not run web browser ( firefox).

    I think that firefox check these to files before start but if someone know how to fix and run firefox with these changed files, it would be great.

    Anyway maybe someone has working cert8.db and key3.db files without certificates , so please send me a link.

  2. My certificate just keeps coming back too… it’s driving me mad.

    Does anyone know a way of getting rid of it forever? Or is change of browser the only option?

    I’d miss Firefox so!

  3. It is no useless to delete that certificate for one simple reason: if another one is presented and the user is not paying enough attention or is not aware, he can be tricked and click accept – bam ! There it is again.

    What you have to do is to revocate the trustfulness of the DigiNotar certificates, but since there are several indentifying DigiNotar (and Comodo) it is better to actually apply the Firefox fix, which will dump all the known certificates already revocated.

    If you still want to act manually, instead of deleting, click edit and uncheck the 3 trust boxes.

    Now, bear in mind that this is *NOT* a Firefox only issue. Every application that does SSL will use certificates and it is much more practical for these “other” applications to use the underlying SSL provided by the operating system. That said, besides Firefox, Komodo, Thunderbird would also suffer without a fix.

    SO, look also for a fix issued by your Linux distro.

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