Dual boot Win8.1 and Linux mint messed up

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Problem :

I have the following setup:

sda: 1 partition for win programs (NTFS),
1 partition for data (NTFS),
1 partition for Linux Mint (ext4),
1 swap partition

sdb: 64gb SSD with W8.1 installed

Bootloader was installed to sdb.
Mainboard is an UEFI one.

In the BIOS, secure boot is disabled, fastboot is disabled.
In the windows energy options, I disabled hibernation.

What i failed to do was disabling fastboot in the Windows settings (are those the same as in the BIOS).
This all worked finde for a couple of weeks.

I had my PC running over night and came back to the bootloader of my USB stick (Linux installer).

Now when I restart my PC, most of the time I can’t even get to the installed bootloader, the BIOS seems to be searching for something to load, then goes to the BIOS settings.
When I hit F8 at startup (select boot device), sometimes my SSD shows up, sometimes it doesn’t.

When it goes to the installed bootloader and I select Windows, it says ‘preparing for automated repair’ but is stuck there.

Sometimes I can go to the installed Linux Mint, it works. When trying to mount one of the NTFS partitions, it says

Error mounting /dev/sdb4 at /media/mint/4470970C709703B8: Command-line `mount -t "ntfs" -o "uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid,uid=999,gid=999,dmask=0077,fmask=0177" "/dev/sdb4" "/media/mint/4470970C709703B8"' exited with non-zero exit status 14: The disk contains an unclean file system (0, 0).
Metadata kept in Windows cache, refused to mount.
Failed to mount '/dev/sdb4': Operation not permitted
The NTFS partition is in an unsafe state. Please resume and shutdown
Windows fully (no hibernation or fast restarting), or mount the volume
read-only with the 'ro' mount option.
  1. What happened?
  2. Is there any way I can get this system to run again without re-installing OSes?
  3. If not, what can I do to prevent this in the future?

UPDATE: I managed to get into my Windows system after running the simple command

sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdXY

Turned out Windows got an Update overnight. I then rewrote my bootloader with

sudo grub-install /dev/sdX

and thing are running smoothely again. Would still be interested in what caused this mess and how to prevent it in the future though 🙂

Solution :

Sounds like you messed up your MBR

You could try repairing it using the following software

http://www.hirensbootcd.org/

Booting your computer with that software allows you to access your hardrive within its own built in mini XP OS so you can delete the require parts or files if needed. You can also use the tool to recover any data before you reformat the drive if you need to do that.

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