GRUB Crisis Averted .. by Re-installing Ubuntu Linux

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When I finish using my laptop each night, I gently close the lid and shut my eyes. When I wake each morning, I lift the lid, press the power button, and return to where I was working. (Been doing this for years.)

Ubuntu Linux 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

This morning however, the laptop wouldn't start. The BIOS loaded fine, and transferred the start-up sequence to GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader).

But GRUB failed to offer a boot option, and instead kicked me back (automatically) to the BIOS .. in an endless (tho very short) loop. Sukage maximus.

Not much you can do when the boot loader fails to offer an option. I tried powering-off the laptop & powering it back on. Still no dice. "This ain't good," I muttered, wiping the sleep from my eyes.

Last summer, I installed a copy of Linux » Ubuntu 8.04, Hardy Heron (.. to a separate 20-gig partition, formatted as EXT3).

As part of the installation, Ubuntu automatically installs a copy of the GRUB boot loader, which has worked flawlessly .. (uh, until today, that is).

My hard drive is pretty new, so I didn't think it was a problem with the drive itself failing. So maybe GRUB somehow got corrupted, I thought .. tho I did nothing that should've affected it. I mean, GRUB sits in the Master Boot Record (MBR), and I have no reason to go there.

To make matters worse, I haven't backed up in waay too long. Just yesterday, the thought passed thru my head » "You need to back up your system drive soon."

I'm not even gonna say how long it's been .. cuz I'm kinda embarrassed .. especially since Radified is very much about backing up your hard drive (with industrial strength Cloning tools).

••• today's entry continues here below •••

Anyway, I decided to try reinstalling Ubuntu .. in the hope it would install a new (working) copy of GRUB .. (which would let me boot to Windows).

It worked! (Thank-you, Jesus!) Whew! Woulda suk'ed big-time if I couldn't boot. I don't even wanna think about it. Today I defragged and backed-up like a madman. =) [Rad PC Maintenance.]

Norton Ghost 14 Restore CD Can't CREATE Images

As a side note, I should mention that a significant deficit of Ghost 14 is that it doesn't let you *create* a back-up image with the Restore CD. (Only lets you restore images .. that have already been created.)

Symantec (I think) configured the Restore CD that way as an anti-piracy measure, so users are forced to install (and register/activate) the program before being able to use it. (Can't blame them, really.) A Restore CD, you should note, is worthless if you have not first created a back-up image.

In today's situation, since I hadn't created a back-up image for far too long, and where I could not boot into Windows (which is required in order to create a new back-up image), it would have suk'ed if I had restored that old image only to discover that the laptop still wouldn't boot. (Follow me?) Wouldn't be able to return to my current system configuration.

I still like Norton Ghost because it is super-reliable. I've never been unable to restore an image with it. And reliability is paramount when it comes to an Imaging/Cloning program.

But I also need to find something that will allow me to (reliably) create an image from a bootable CD. So I can create an image in the event that I can't boot into Windows .. (and when I don't have a recently-created back-up image on hand) .. which is not possible to do with Ghost 14.

Sometimes we need to create a current image before restoring an older one .. in case the older one doesn't fix the problem. PM me if you've found a good solution.

Luckily re-installing Linux (and therefore » GRUB) worked. But if it didn't, I would've had no other option but to restore that old image .. which would've meant losing a *ton* of work. (I woulda cried.)

BTW .. along the lines of Windows failing to boot, here's a good link to bookmark .. maybe print out. (Thanks Pleo.)

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigure for the query » grub bootloader ubuntu linux fail install

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on February 25, 2009 11:51 AM.

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