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Thread: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    Im having quite a few problems here.
    All of the fixes that have been listed thus far dont work.

    Basically, i booted into XP yesterday, set my TPs updator going, and it told me about a 1.3Gb update to the R&R Partition on my TP. So i DLed it & installed it. Anyway. I come to boot the laptop now, and it gets to a screen where it says 'GRUB' at the top, then does nothing. So now i cant access anything at all.

    The only live CD/install CDs ive got to hand are the 5.04 ones, ive lost my 6.06 CD, and i havnt got anymore CDs to burn anymore.

    Any ideas ppl?

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Portugal -> Lisboa

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    To me it says:

    grub> root (hd0,0)
    Filesystem type is fat, partition type 0xc

    grub> setup (hd0)
    Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... no
    Checking if "/boot/grub/stage2" exists... no

    Error 15: File not found

    I have Windows at sda1. It's the first partition on the first hdd. I'm having a problem, I just changed default from 0 to 4, for windows becoming the default boot, and now, if in grub I select to boot windows, or wait for auto boot, It shows the grub menu again...

    the only thing that's not booting is windows. The rest is booting...

    The entry (windows part) in menu.lst is:

    title Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1

    My fdisk -l
    Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160000000000 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19452 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 1 1853 14884191 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sda2 1854 19452 141363967+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 1854 9416 60749766 b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda6 9417 9622 1654663+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda7 9623 17476 63087223+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sda8 17477 19452 15872188+ 83 Linux

    Disk /dev/sdb: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 * 7297 24321 136753312+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sdb2 1 7296 58605088+ 83 Linux

    Partition table entries are not in disk order

    Disk /dev/sdc: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdc1 1 9729 78148161 7 HPFS/NTFS
    I remembered now something. First I did grub-install /dev/sda1. I've tried fdisk /mbr and grub isn't removed. So I think grub is not on mbr, but on hdd itself. Is it possible that when I choose the windows option in grub, grub is loading grub again, because is on that hdd and partition?

    I don't know if it's stupid, the question, or if it's possible... I'm just in despair, because i need my work on windows and I can't even boot into win xp cd to fixboot

    Any help please?
    Last edited by HolyMurderer; June 18th, 2006 at 03:52 PM.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Edgy Eft Testing

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)


    I am an absolute beginner to Ubuntu and pretty much the same to Linux... Now I tried playing with a couple of "unknown" type partitions during a session and forgot about it ... some time later my system(which by the way, has happened afew times before too, but thats off the point) ... I hard reset it and since then had a GRUB Error 17
    very similar to this post...

    I did a
    sudo mkdir /mnt/hda6
    mount -t ext3 -o rw /dev/hda6 /mnt/hda6
    grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/hda6 /dev/hda
    Now I seemed to be able to fix the Error 17, but now it boots to a error 22 saying that No such partition hda(0,8) ...
    Why can't i just tell grub to boot off hda6 which is my bootable linux partition?
    And a lot of people reply saying "reinstall grub", but i really don't have a clue as to how to do that..
    Using the Install CD to do it failed.. the Installation just crashed and i didn't see anything about installing GRUB...
    I'd really appreciate some help.. Thanks in advance

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    Wow. I just had the bought of the century with my MBR.

    I installed a fresh dapper a few days ago. Not even considering the consequences, I installed with my external sata drive running. There was an old install of some linux distro on there that I'd never wiped.

    Come a few days later when I actually took my lappy away from my desk, I tried to boot and started getting errors from grub. Something about my sata drive not being available and it mentioned superblocks.

    So it was on to searching the forums.

    I found this thread and tried the live boot method... a couple times. Once before removing the linux install on my sata drive, once with the drive off, and maybe once after I deleted the install. No luck.

    So I decided I'd had it and I'd try the first post-- if I fried my current install, so be it.

    I fought with the dapper text based installer some as well. I had to abort the install 2 or 3 times before I figured out exactly how to make it reinstall grub. It is a highly particular installer. It even bothered to mention that one of the ext2 partitions that I'd formated with Acronis Disk Director had a... and I quote... "funny looking format". Funny looking format? Is that the technical phrase for it?

    Anyway, it finally worked. This thread played a big part in getting there. Big thanks to those who have contributed.
    Knowledge exists to be imparted.
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Edgy Eft Testing

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    i've tried everything on this thread but still cant reintall GRUB.
    when I type grub-install /dev/sda the answer is:
    could not find device for /boot: Not block found or not a block device.
    aso when i tyoe inside grub find /boot/grub/stage1 says "error 15: file not found"
    both commands after and before chroot my linux part.
    any ideas?

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Kubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    Sorry you have had no replies. I have experienced exactly the same frustrations you have. Nobody seems able to explain the 're-install grub' suggestion, and I have been trying to do it with the Knoppix live cd without success.
    The only way forward would seem to be to re-install the o/s, hopefully without losing everything in the process.
    To access/boot your Windoze partition, use Knoppix (as root), or System Rescue or a Win 98 boot floppy/Win 2000 install cd, and type this:

    fdisk /mbr

    Then at least Windows will boot, and you can do what needs to be done later.

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    ok, so this is my situation, I had windows XP and Ubuntu 6.06 both working perfectly with GRUB as the boot loader. But then I had to reinstall Windows, and then GRUB stopped showing up and letting me switch between the os at start up, after trying everything on this forum to no avail, I decided to try system commander, so I got that when I went to reboot, system commander wouldn't work, it just said "boot >>" and then it wouldn't do anything, so now I can't even get into Windows, so I am forced to use the live cd from an old ubuntu 5.10 to do anything. And it didn't work when I tried using the live mode or install mode on my ubuntu 6.06 cd. Please help, thx in advance.

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    GRUB is screwed up on my computer. I have two hard drives (both are ATA so they are called hdc (Windows XP) & hdd (Kubuntu Dapper Drake). I put each OS on its own hard drive so that (in theory) should one happen to get messed up, the other would be fine. Later on, I had a seperate problem with Kubuntu (it messed up my screen resolution) and after asking for help at various forums and having all solutions fail, I angrily decided to reinstall Kubuntu. Unfortunately, the graphical install froze as it was copying the files to the hard drive, so I restarted the system. The first time, I was greeted with GRUB Error 22, so I then tried to fix the Master Boot Record using a Windows XP CD (shown here:, only to realize that it would not work because GRUB could not load, giving me GRUB Error 15. I was about to try the suggestions on this thread, but rushing to solutions is what got me into various messes involving both Ubuntu ahd Kubuntu Dapper Drake so I want to wait and see what you guys have to say.
    System Specs:
    Processor: AMD Sempron 3100+
    Memory: 1 GB
    Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 4Ti 4200 (128 MB)
    boot order was:
    Hard Drive 1: hdd (40 GB ATA /w the Kubuntu Dapper Drake install)
    Hard Drive 2: hdc (80 GB ATA /w Windows XP SP2)

    I would add my fdisk -l output, but I am typing this from a laptop (not the affected computer) running Windows XP SP2.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Last edited by Dural; July 28th, 2006 at 01:00 AM.

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Soy de puerto rico josue!

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    Okay guys, I really need a hand here

    I installed windows today in another partition, MBR took over , this is how I messed up

    Right now it's a miracle i'm logged in to my ubuntu partition, i've been playing with lady luck for a while

    I installed GRUB again but the problem is
    root (hd0,1) gives me "can't mount"
    then i tried editing with (hd0,2) which worked
    then noticed that it didn't work , then noticed that the hda mounting said "2" and changed it to "3" and it started to boot

    as you see i have a mess right now

    i want to install my GRUB correctly and flawless, knowing that my linux partition is safe i'm glad because i have a lot of data here

    my fstab
    david@akulinux:~$ cat /etc/fstab
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    # <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
    proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
    /dev/hda2 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
    /dev/hda5 none swap sw 0 0
    /dev/hdc /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
    and this is my menu.lst

    david@akulinux:~$ cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
    # menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
    # grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
    # grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
    # and /usr/share/doc/grub-doc/.

    ## default num
    # Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
    # the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
    # You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
    # is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
    default 0

    ## timeout sec
    # Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
    # (normally the first entry defined).
    timeout 10

    ## hiddenmenu
    # Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)

    # Pretty colours
    #color cyan/blue white/blue

    ## password ['--md5'] passwd
    # If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
    # control (menu entry editor and command-line) and entries protected by the
    # command 'lock'
    # e.g. password topsecret
    # password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
    # password topsecret

    # examples
    # title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
    # root (hd0,0)
    # makeactive
    # chainloader +1
    # title Linux
    # root (hd0,1)
    # kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro

    # Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

    ## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
    ## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

    ## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

    ## ## Start Default Options ##
    ## default kernel options
    ## default kernel options for automagic boot options
    ## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
    ## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
    ## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
    ## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
    ## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
    # kopt=root=/dev/hda2 ro

    ## default grub root device
    ## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
    # groot=(hd0,1)

    ## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
    ## e.g. alternative=true
    ## alternative=false
    # alternative=true

    ## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
    ## e.g. lockalternative=true
    ## lockalternative=false
    # lockalternative=false

    ## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
    ## alternatives
    ## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
    # defoptions=quiet splash

    ## altoption boot targets option
    ## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
    ## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
    ## altoptions=(recovery mode) single
    # altoptions=(recovery mode) single

    ## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
    ## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
    ## alternative kernel options
    ## e.g. howmany=all
    ## howmany=7
    # howmany=all

    ## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
    ## e.g. memtest86=true
    ## memtest86=false
    # memtest86=true

    ## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
    ## can be true or false
    # updatedefaultentry=false

    ## ## End Default Options ##


    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.17
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17 root=/dev/hda2 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.17

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.17 (recovery mode)
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17 root=/dev/hda2 ro single
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.17

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-26-k7
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-26-k7 root=/dev/hda2 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-26-k7

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-26-k7 (recovery mode)
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-26-k7 root=/dev/hda2 ro single
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-26-k7

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-23-k7
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-23-k7 root=/dev/hda2 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-23-k7

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-23-k7 (recovery mode)
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-23-k7 root=/dev/hda2 ro single
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-23-k7

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-22-k7
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-22-k7 root=/dev/hda2 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-22-k7

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-22-k7 (recovery mode)
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-22-k7 root=/dev/hda2 ro single
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-22-k7

    title Ubuntu, kernel
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda2 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-

    title Ubuntu, kernel (recovery mode)
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda2 ro single
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-

    title Ubuntu, memtest86+
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin


    # This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
    # ones.
    title Other operating systems:

    # This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
    # on /dev/hda1
    title Arch Linux
    root (hd0,3)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/hda4 ro
    initrd /boot/initrd26.img
    i don't know how i did it but i had to edit this

    root (hd0,2)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-26-k7 root=/dev/hda3 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-26-k7

    i'm actually very nervous right now , to be honest is my first time playing with GRUB and i don't want to make any mistakes >_<
    anyway i hope anyone here can help me
    A freelancer | The GIMP Compilation

  10. #80
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: HOWTO: Restore GRUB (if your MBR is messed up)

    My MBR seems to be really screwed up after moving, deleting, and creating some partitions on my only hard drive. I have tried rewriting Grub to the MBR many times (both via the Grub floppy, and within Ubuntu), but I keep getting an error message upon reboot:


    (Yes, I know it is trying to boot from the HDD since I have tried disabling everything else in the boot order). However, if I boot from a Grub floppy, I can specify the 'menu.lst' file and everything works fine. Further, I can use a LiveCD and choose "Boot from first hard disk", and it works fine. The problem is definitely with my MBR or something I'm doing wrong while writing to it...

    My grub folder is on my /boot partition, which is hd0,0. I have tried writing to the MBR in the following ways:

    1) grub> root (hd0,0)
    setup (hd0,0)

    2) grub> root(hd0,0)
    setup (hd0)

    3) sudo grub-install /dev/hdb

    (yes, my only hard drive is primary slave, or hdb)

    Nothing works, and I have no idea what to try now. Any suggestions?

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