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Thread: Grub 2 Basics

  1. #721
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by kapetr View Post
    Thank you for yours time and answers.
    ad 1 - to set "false" I had try - no change.
    Yours results are the same as by me with "true" 1 OS.

    I'm not sure, that my knowledge of problem and English is good enough to make bug report - maybe link to this thread could be enough ?

    --kapetr
    I found a bug report already filed and added my comment about this issue. Mine was just a "me too, it's still happening" comment; it doesn't look like it's being actively worked on. The reason could be that the devs are highly involved on working on Grub 1.99 now. Perhaps it will be looked at in that version.

    I'm having problems connecting to Launchpad now to provide the link but I was able to find the bug report a few days ago.
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  2. #722
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    drs305, I'd like to start by thanking you for all the work you've put in here.

    I'd appreciate your feedback on a deliciously frustrating problem I've come across. I'll try to be as brief as I can for now:

    1. First installation of 10.04 worked *without* any (Grub2) problems.
    2. Made a Clonezilla image of the partition.
    3. Had an issue with my encrypted home so used a Clonezilla image to reinstate 9.04 to resolve that; had to reinstall Grub to the MBR.
    4. Tried multiple times to reinstall 10.04 from both the Clonezilla image and the CD initially used but kept getting same boot problem (blank screen with flashing cursor, "Grub Loading" displayed if shift held).
    5. Tried 10.10 installation but same problem.
    6. Then embarked on all the various methods suggested for reinstalling Grub2 on this thread and the help.ubuntu.com page.
    7. Was able to get a "Grub Rescue" prompt when a reinstall was attempted with [grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda].
    8. From the rescue prompt, found that manually issuing the commands allowed Ubuntu to boot but only after resetting the prefix: [prefix=(hd0,1)/mnt/boot/grub => prefix=(hd0,1)/boot/grub].
    9. Seems (but I could be wrong) that whenever the normal methods of reinstalling Grub2 set the prefix correctly, freeze occurs.
    10. Tried SuperGrub2Disk but all of the options cause the same freeze (the CD works fine in another PC).
    11. Along the way, did see some error message re: sector(?) 0 of the HDD - wasn't quite sure what to do about this.
    12. Finally tried lilo and can boot up fine (currently without UUIDs - had to change in /etc/fstab).
    13. What hasn't been attempted yet: (a) Messing around with the MBR; (b) Trying Grub2 without UUIDs.


    Apologies for the "brief" description. To summarise my queries:
    1. Is it possible that a manual boot can work but an automatic boot cannot (bearing in mind that it did work after the very first installation)?
    2. Or should I just give up the ghost and stick to lilo now that I've got a working solution?

  3. #723
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by myii View Post
    1. Is it possible that a manual boot can work but an automatic boot cannot (bearing in mind that it did work after the very first installation)?
    2. Or should I just give up the ghost and stick to lilo now that I've got a working solution?
    I can think of a few reasons why an automatic boot might not work but a manual one could, but it certainly wouldn't be normal.

    I'd probably try G2 again since installing lilo isn't very difficult, especially if you already have it working and can make backup copies of it's configuration files.

    When it's convenient, I'd recommend purging/reinstalling G2 and then downloading and running the boot info script from the following site if you still have problems. Posting the RESULTS.txt will probably give us a good idea of what is going on.
    http://bootinfoscript.sourceforge.net

    Although it's probably not a UUID issue, you can turn off UUIDs via the /etc/default/grub file settings.

    You also mentioned that set prefix included "/mnt". That sounds like an incorrect command may have been included when you ran the "grub-install" command. Also, if you have problems with G2 although the "grub-install" command sounds like it reinstalls G2, it doesn't repair every G2 file. If there is a problem with most of the Grub2 files, including missing ones, "grub-install" probably won't fix it. Purging and then reinstalling is often the best course of action when G2 fails for an inexplicable reason.

    In any case, I would try installing Grub2. If you already have 'parts' of it on your system, I would purge and reinstall it. From a normally-running Ubuntu boot (non-CD):
    Make sure the Internet is working, as you will temporarily lose any Grub files until you download grub-pc again.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get purge grub-common
    sudo apt-get install grub-pc
    You don't need to chroot if you booted normally (even with lilo), but the 'chroot' link in my signature line gives more information about the two commands above if you need it.
    Last edited by drs305; February 18th, 2011 at 09:57 PM.
    GRUB2

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  4. #724
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by drs305 View Post
    When it's convenient, I'd recommend purging/reinstalling G2 and then downloading and running the boot info script from the following site if you still have problems. Posting the RESULTS.txt will probably give us a good idea of what is going on.
    http://bootinfoscript.sourceforge.net
    I've already got the script so I'll post the results shortly (after the purge/reinstall).

    Quote Originally Posted by drs305 View Post
    You also mentioned that set prefix included "/mnt". That sounds like an incorrect command may have been included when you ran the "grub-install" command.
    I followed the commands as given but I did it from a shell within rescue mode using the alternate installation CD. I'm rather glad it wasn't the correct method since it gave me access to the grub rescue facility!

    Just a note but since my last post, I tried to wipe the MBR and reinstall Grub2 but ended up at the same result.

    Anyway, I'll try out your suggestions and then post back the results ASAP.
    Last edited by myii; February 18th, 2011 at 10:45 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #725
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Unfortunately, it didn't work out after the purge and re-installation. This is the output from the script (done before my /mnt "trick" mentioned below):

    Code:
                    Boot Info Script 0.55    dated February 15th, 2010                    
    
    ============================= Boot Info Summary: ==============================
    
     => Grub 2 is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda and looks on the same drive in 
        partition #1 for /boot/grub.
    
    sda1: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       ext3
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info:  
        Operating System:  Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
        Boot files/dirs:   /boot/grub/grub.cfg /etc/fstab /boot/grub/core.img
    
    sda2: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       ext3
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info:  
        Operating System:  
        Boot files/dirs:   
    
    sda3: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       swap
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info:  
    
    =========================== Drive/Partition Info: =============================
    
    Drive: sda ___________________ _____________________________________________________
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 40.0 GB, 40020664320 bytes
    16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77545 cylinders, total 78165360 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    
    Partition  Boot         Start           End          Size  Id System
    
    /dev/sda1    *             63    55,054,754    55,054,692  83 Linux
    /dev/sda2          55,054,755    76,019,579    20,964,825  83 Linux
    /dev/sda3          76,019,580    78,156,224     2,136,645  82 Linux swap / Solaris
    
    
    blkid -c /dev/null: ____________________________________________________________
    
    Device           UUID                                   TYPE       LABEL                         
    
    /dev/sda1        29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4   ext3                                     
    /dev/sda2        67f5d3fa-908e-4ce9-8662-28cfad55f4fa   ext3                                     
    /dev/sda3        45fbf60b-02e2-4e08-83ef-54fe451b0477   swap                                     
    /dev/sda: PTTYPE="dos" 
    
    ============================ "mount | grep ^/dev  output: ===========================
    
    Device           Mount_Point              Type       Options
    
    /dev/sda1        /                        ext3       (rw,errors=remount-ro)
    /dev/sda2        /home                    ext3       (rw)
    
    
    =========================== sda1/boot/grub/grub.cfg: ===========================
    
    #
    # DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
    #
    # It is automatically generated by /usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig using templates
    # from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
    #
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
    if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
      load_env
    fi
    set default="0"
    if [ ${prev_saved_entry} ]; then
      set saved_entry=${prev_saved_entry}
      save_env saved_entry
      set prev_saved_entry=
      save_env prev_saved_entry
      set boot_once=true
    fi
    
    function savedefault {
      if [ -z ${boot_once} ]; then
        saved_entry=${chosen}
        save_env saved_entry
      fi
    }
    
    function recordfail {
      set recordfail=1
      if [ -n ${have_grubenv} ]; then if [ -z ${boot_once} ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
    }
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,1)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4
    if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
      set gfxmode=640x480
      insmod gfxterm
      insmod vbe
      if terminal_output gfxterm ; then true ; else
        # For backward compatibility with versions of terminal.mod that don't
        # understand terminal_output
        terminal gfxterm
      fi
    fi
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,1)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4
    set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
    set lang=en
    insmod gettext
    if [ ${recordfail} = 1 ]; then
      set timeout=-1
    else
      set timeout=10
    fi
    ### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
    set menu_color_normal=white/black
    set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
    ### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.32-21-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(hd0,1)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic root=UUID=29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4 ro   quiet splash
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-21-generic
    }
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.32-21-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(hd0,1)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4
    	echo	'Loading Linux 2.6.32-21-generic ...'
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic root=UUID=29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4 ro single 
    	echo	'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-21-generic
    }
    ### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(hd0,1)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4
    	linux16	/boot/memtest86+.bin
    }
    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(hd0,1)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4
    	linux16	/boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
    }
    ### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
    if [ ${timeout} != -1 ]; then
      if keystatus; then
        if keystatus --shift; then
          set timeout=-1
        else
          set timeout=0
        fi
      else
        if sleep --interruptible 3 ; then
          set timeout=0
        fi
      fi
    fi
    ### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
    # This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
    # menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
    # the 'exec tail' line above.
    ### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
    
    =============================== sda1/etc/fstab: ===============================
    
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
    # for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
    # devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
    proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
    # / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
    UUID=29dba925-9910-4629-8934-6e9e1085e1e4 /               ext3    errors=remount-ro 0       1
    # /home was on /dev/sda2 during installation
    UUID=67f5d3fa-908e-4ce9-8662-28cfad55f4fa /home           ext3    defaults        0       2
    # swap was on /dev/sda3 during installation
    UUID=45fbf60b-02e2-4e08-83ef-54fe451b0477 none            swap    sw              0       0
    /dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0
    
    =================== sda1: Location of files loaded by Grub: ===================
    
    
      27.8GB: boot/grub/core.img
      27.8GB: boot/grub/grub.cfg
      27.8GB: boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-21-generic
      27.8GB: boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic
      27.8GB: initrd.img
      27.8GB: vmlinuz
    Perhaps my /mnt recovery trick should be outlined in case it reveals something:

    1. Boot alternate CD in recovery mode.
    2. Start script in /dev/sda1 and then run the following commands (the update-grub is probably not needed but I've been doing it regardless):
      Code:
      mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
      grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda
      update-grub
    3. Reboot. The [grub rescue] prompt is displayed.
    4. Issue the following commands:
      Code:
      set prefix=(hd0,1)/boot/grub
      insmod linux
      linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda1 ro
      initrd /initrd.img
      boot
    5. Voila... Ubuntu 10.04 is served! (with a boot-up time that is *much* faster than lilo - EDIT: See footnote for disclaimer).


    I hope that can shed some light on my crazy PC. I don't need to input any other commands at the grub rescue prompt... the root variable is already setup fine.

    Are there any disadvantages to lilo I should be aware of (other than the boot-up speed - EDIT: See footnote for disclaimer)?



    Footnote re: Lilo:
    - Initial bootup would take a good 30 seconds more than Grub2.
    - After setting Lilo up with UUIDs, the bootup time was comparable to Grub2.
    - I.e. Lilo isn't slow as I initially made out.
    Last edited by myii; February 20th, 2011 at 10:26 PM. Reason: More info re: Lilo

  6. #726
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    I cannot see any problems with the contents of RESULTS.txt

    If you try a normal boot, I'm assuming you end up at a grub rescue prompt?

    Have you tried running the commands you posted without first booting the Alternate CD? What happens?

    You should probably also try a normal boot, and at the rescue prompt run "set" and see what parameters it is using if you don't intervene.

    Another thing to try would be to eliminate the UUID's. Hold the SHIFT key to display the grub menu. If you can get to it before you see the grub rescue prompt, press 'e' to get into the editing mode. Use the cursor keys and DEL to completely remove the 'search' line, and on the 'linux' line replace "root=UUID=" with "root=/dev/sda1". Then press CTRL-x to see if it boots.

    If you are already running Ubuntu after booting with your alternate method, you can edit/etc/default/grub (and open grub.cfg for inspection):
    Code:
    gksu gedit /etc/default/grub /boot/grub/grub.cfg
    Remove the # symbol from the start of the following line:
    #GRUB_DISABLE_LINUX_UUID=true
    Save the file, then run "sudo update-grub. Then inspect grub.cfg, which should be open in another tab of gedit. See if the UUID in the 'linux' line of the first menuentry has been replaced by "sda1". Reboot and see if it boots with sda1 rather than the UUIDs.
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  7. #727
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by drs305 View Post
    If you try a normal boot, I'm assuming you end up at a grub rescue prompt?
    No, I get a blank screen with a flashing cursor. If the shift key is held when booting up then I get [Grub loading] - that's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by drs305 View Post
    Have you tried running the commands you posted without first booting the Alternate CD? What happens?
    Every method I've tried has ended up at the same blank screen. I must have stumbled upon the anomaly that caused the prefix variable to be set to [(hd0,1)/mnt/boot/grub], due to using a shell from the rescue mode of the alternate CD.

    Quote Originally Posted by drs305 View Post
    You should probably also try a normal boot, and at the rescue prompt run "set" and see what parameters it is using if you don't intervene.
    I never get a prompt unless I use the method mentioned above. In that case, the only parameters set are:
    Code:
    root=hd0,1
    prefix=(hd0,1)/mnt/boot/grub
    Quote Originally Posted by drs305 View Post
    Another thing to try would be to eliminate the UUID's. Hold the SHIFT key to display the grub menu. If you can get to it before you see the grub rescue prompt, press 'e' to get into the editing mode. Use the cursor keys and DEL to completely remove the 'search' line, and on the 'linux' line replace "root=UUID=" with "root=/dev/sda1". Then press CTRL-x to see if it boots.
    To reiterate, I've never been able to get to the grub menu. While trying out some of the manual commands at the grub rescue prompt, I tried to issue the [normal] command after correcting the parameters (hoping to return to the regular grub prompt) but I'd immediately get the same blank screen again.


    What irks me about this situation:
    1. Grub2 worked perfectly fine the very first time I installed Lucid, so it's just some obscure configuration issue.
    2. Grub2 *can* boot up my system but it needs the instructions to be input manually.
    3. Lilo boots up the system just fine, with or without the UUIDs being supplied.



    Some questions:
    1. Why would Grub2 fail at such an early stage of the boot process? Is it searching for something? I've noticed a slight delay on my other machines and some other forum members have mentioned delays lasting for a few minutes... what is Grub2 doing that can take so long before the menu is displayed?
    2. I listed the manual commands in my previous post (#4). Is there no way to automate those commands?



    I was just about to submit this when I had another thought: is it possible that the partition table in the MBR is somehow causing Grub2 to get stuck? Changes were made to it when I reinstated my cloned partition image. Furthermore, the SuperGrub2Disk encounters problems when trying to analyse my HDD. Is there any way to follow this up?

  8. #728
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Try this. Once you have booted into Ubuntu (via lilo or your other method), copy the following at the top of the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file. Place it above the first comment. Save the file, do not update grub (which would erase the change), and reboot.

    set prefix=(hd0,1)/boot/grub
    set root=(hd0,1)
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    insmod linux
    linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda1 ro
    initrd /initrd.img
    boot
    This will not display a menu, but it should boot the most recent kernel in your Ubuntu installation. It bypasses all UUIDs and the searches for various grub files.

    You didn't mention whether you tried removing the UUIDs from G2. This could be done by editing the grub menu during boot (which you couldn't do because you couldn't see it) or by editing the /etc/grub/default file. UUIDs may be the problem.

    You can refresh the UUIDs and make sure you are seeing the non-cached UUIDs with the following:
    Code:
    sudo blkid -c /dev/null
    I'm still a bit confused about what exactly is happening. From what you mention, it is also possible that Grub2 is booting and leaving you at a flashing cursor because of a video problem. It's possible that either lilo or your improvised commands are booting you into a 'safe graphics' mode. There are no grub failures I know of that leave you at a flashing prompt. There are video problems that will. If it's a video problem you may be albe to fix it, once you have booted, by going to System, Administration, Additional Drivers/Hardware Drivers and trying to install a driver for your video card.
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  9. #729
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Well done, drs305, with your help I've got to the bottom of this mess. This may end up being a rather long post but there may be some useful feedback here that you, or someone else, may find useful.

    Before getting into that, my description of the symptoms has always lacked clarity so I'll try again:
    • After turning on the computer, a blank screen with a flashing cursor - no prompt - would be displayed.
    • The same screen is briefly displayed during a normal boot (on a working computer) just before the grub menu is displayed.
    • In my case, the menu was never displayed, nor any prompt.
    • The only way I ever managed to get a prompt (grub rescue) was by my now-patented "/mnt prefix using alternate CD ©" trick as mentioned in previous posts!
    • From this prompt, I was able to issue a series of commands that allowed the boot to commence.



    OK, so starting from the top:

    Quote Originally Posted by drs305 View Post
    Try this. Once you have booted into Ubuntu (via lilo or your other method), copy the following at the top of the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file. Place it above the first comment. Save the file, do not update grub (which would erase the change), and reboot.
    This really helped. I hadn't considered editing the grub.cfg file (probably due to the big KEEP OUT sign at the top!). What was done:

    • The commands you mentioned allowed the boot to take place - brilliant.
    • Fiddled around with the file until I found out that the problem lines were those that began with:
      Code:
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set [UUID]
    • Commented these out and then rebooted.
    • Grub menu displayed for the first time and normal boot was now possible.


    At that stage, I did a bit of googling on this search issue.
    1. There was some very useful information on http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawik...roblems:search, such as:

      The "search" function is plagued by various bugs (see [1], [2]), causing the search to fail.
      The page also had instructions on how to make changes to the search in grub.cfg permanent.

    2. As mentioned in my previous post, I thought there was some issue with the partition table. Found some murmurings about the same thing on other sites so I decided to give it a try (after backing up my data, of course):
      • The other sites mentioned resizing partitions but I just went straight for destroying them all! I didn't have much to lose (kids' PC) but I'm not recommending this for one's main machine.
      • Reinstalled Ubuntu.
      • Grub menu displayed immediately and booted in without any issues! Just like the very first time I installed Lucid on the machine.


    So drs305, there's one for experts. Some ruminations:
    1. What exactly is that search command doing that it gets stuck if it doesn't like something in the partition table?
    2. Even if I'm wrong and it's got nothing to do with that, why can't the Grub2 crew put some sort of timeout if the search is causing problems? Is it not possible to allow it to fall back to the root envvar value that has already been set in the line preceding it?
    3. Why is the search performed twice before the grub menu is displayed?
    4. Perhaps a few more echos in the grub.cfg file wouldn't go astray, eh? Then at least I/we would have known where the problem was over three days ago!
    5. As mentioned in the quote above (and the links from that page), the search is known to have bugs. This is not the kind of problem you want to be subjecting Linux noobs to, particularly with an LTS release.


    I'm not expecting any responses as such but it would be nice to pass on this feedback to the relevant authorities. I'd be happy to if someone could suggest where the best place(s) would be.

    Wow, this post has taken me ages. You guys posting on this forum deserve a medal.

  10. #730
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    Re: Grub 2 Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by myii View Post
    I'm not expecting any responses as such but it would be nice to pass on this feedback to the relevant authorities. I'd be happy to if someone could suggest where the best place(s) would be.
    Probably the best way to get your concerns known would be to submit a bug report ("ubuntu-bug grub-pc"). Quite a few of the developers would be subscribed and might see it.

    The 'search' problem was somewhat prevalent when G2 first appeared, and we were used to the posts and were able to give solutions. It was at about that time the 'search' problem page was created.

    That problem hasn't occurred very often lately and G2 has been modified quite a bit since it's inception. Your problem most likely wasn't caused by Grub2 but something in the UUIDs triggered the failure. When the system boots, G2 can set the root directory via the 'search' line or the 'set root' line, so UUIDs and the search line aren't necessary. We won't ever know, but it could be that on your system it wasn't that the UUID wasn't being found, but that somewhere that UUID was found but pointing to the wrong place - in other words 'search' wasn't failing. Once you start cloning and restoring weird things can happen.

    Anyway, I'm glad you were able to figure this out.

    Happy Ubuntu-ing !
    GRUB2

    Retired.

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