Linux Tutorials

Ways To Rescue Grub Or Recover Grub Menu

ways to rescue or recover grub

​Just this very sweet morning you started your laptop and Boom! You get a black screen with a message that “Unknown Filesystem” and a message saying grub rescue. Now you are here at LinuxAndUbunu to see how you can tackle out of this problem and save your precious data and boot normally into Linux again. Let us discuss some grub rescue commands.

Ways To Rescue Or Recover Grub

​You might be thinking about what has happened to distro. There may be many reasons. You might have installed some software, might mess with GRUB2, who knows you used some other distro trying dual booting and many other things. No matter what the reason may be, most of the time the problem is with the GRUB. Below are certain ways you can use to get your distro back from the screen of Grub Rescue.

Method 1 To Rescue Grub

  • Type ls and hit enter.
  • You will now see many partitions which are present on your PC. [e.g. (hd0),(hd0,msdos1)(hd0,msdos2)]. Select the partition in which your Linux distro is installed.
  • Assuming that you have installed distro in 2nd option, enter this command set prefix=(hd0,msdos1)/boot/grub  (Tip: – if you don’t remember the partition, try entering the command with every option. If wrong you will get an error message. If right you will proceed)
  • After you’ve found the drive, enter this command insmod normal and then normal.

​Now your PC/Laptop will reboot and you will be on your desktop. Now hit Ctrl+Alt+T and open terminal and type sudo update-grub and then sudo grub-install /dev/sda. You may be asked for your password, type it, the password will remain invisible and this is normal.

You may be asked for data connection if GRUB files are lost and the system wants to download them. Your error is fixed and the distro is back.

Method 2 To Rescue Grub

  • Get a Live USB stick. I will prefer the Ubuntu Live USB stick.
  • Open terminal after booting up into the live desktop.
  • Mount the root partition by typing /mnt and boot to /mnt/boot and hit enter. [e.g. sudo grub-install –root-directory=/mnt –boot-directory=/mnt/boot /dev/sda]

You should replace /dev/sda with correct partition or disk. Now update grub by typing sudo update-grub.  It can take some time, so wait. After a successful update, reboot and voila problem solved.

Method 3 To Rescue Grub

​If you have dual boot and any of the above steps aren’t working, this might come in handy for you.

  • Get a Windows OS installation DVD, borrow it from your friend or anyone. (Don’t get Windows XP or Vista DVD.)
  • Launch it on your PC and run the installer. This can be done by selecting a boot medium either by pressing F12 or by setting boot order in your bootloader. It can be accessed by pressing F2 or Del. or any key your manufacturer suggests.
  • After all your Windows files are loaded then select repair your computer. Usually, this option appears at bottom of dialog box after selecting a couple of options.
  • If prompted select OS, then in system recovery option choose command prompt. Now enter this command one by one –
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /fixmbr
  • Now quit setup and reboot the PC/Laptop. The window is restored and has overridden GRUB.

Still, your Linux distro is present there. Only GRUB has overridden. You may again get back it by following method 2 above.

Method 4 To Rescue Grub

  • ​Get Ubuntu live USB/DVD stick and boot into the live desktop.
  • Connect to the Internet and then open your terminal.
  • Install Boot Repair Tool by entering these commands  –
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
  • Boot repair tool will appear. Select the recommended option and follow all steps exactly as it says. Your PC will be repaired and Nothing will be lost.

Remember repair speed will vary according to your internet connection.

​Pro Tips:-

If you are wondering where to get a Live USB stick, you can visit your friend and download Ubuntu iso and create a bootable USB stick with Rufus and bootable DVD using PowerISO.

You can visit a public place if you need WiFi. There are many places like Airports, Railway Stations, Hospitals offering open wifi. Only helps if you have a Laptop.

If your PC does not support booting from USB stick and DVD drive is toasted then you can use Plop boot manager to forcefully boot from USB stick.

Recommended discussions

https://askubuntu.com/questions/493826/grub-rescue-problem-after-deleting-ubuntu-partition

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1359802

Conclusion

​We at LinuxAndUbuntu are available to help you with your PC. If you come across any difficulties don’t hesitate to drop a comment. Also if you got some awesome way to recover from this situation drop a comment, we will love to add it in the article. However despite all your effort if you cannot save your laptop or data gets messed, We at LinuxAndUbuntu will not be responsible for Angry Mother, Furious Dad, Dead Kitten or Nuclear War.

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34 comments

Riccardo June 21, 2019 at 10:37 pm

I had a win10/debian dual boot, with grub launching windows. Debian was freshly installed but I wasn’t happy with it. From win10 partition I formatted the debian partitions and I reset the pc with another debian live usb inserted. I insert UEFI password but there is no grub because I formatted the partition (genius…) I’m stuck in grub rescue> and I dont have any grub to load and I can’t access boot order because I can’t access UEFI without booting windows so my liveUSB is not read. What can I do?

Reply
Cho April 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Same happened to me, where you able to solve it?
yes i know… genius

Reply
See_bee June 30, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Thanks for helping. It worked and i knew that it is in (hd0,gpt16)

Reply
Rajat Chaurasia July 15, 2019 at 11:28 am

There is a dual boot in my system.
Problem is
error: unknown filesystem
Entering rescue mode…
grub rescue>
I tried all above method but fail. Help me

Reply
Rengend April 25, 2020 at 7:51 pm

I aslo, I stuck at insmod normal, it says:
error:no such partition

Reply
Nirmal July 29, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Thank You Method 4 worked for me by ubuntu stick

Reply
Sohail July 30, 2019 at 1:33 am

That’s great! I am glad it helped you.

Reply
H.M HENRY May 25, 2020 at 10:17 pm

There is a dual boot in my system.
Problem is
error: unknown filesystem
Entering rescue mode…
grub rescue>

I tried all above method but fail. Help me

Reply
A June 12, 2020 at 8:54 pm

I had the same issue. I deleted the linux from the boot menu after doing the above, saved the changes and restarted and problem is fixed.

Reply
Juan Eugenio September 5, 2019 at 8:36 pm

Thank you a zillion times. : Method #1 worked like a charm, and you saved me from loosing all my work! 🙂

Reply
Collince Otieno Ogada October 1, 2019 at 10:37 pm

Thank you. The first method worked very fine like a charm.

Reply
Sohail October 3, 2019 at 6:10 am

Great! I am glad it worked for you… 🙂

Reply
Sundar B N November 16, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Help!
Booted through LiveUSB Ubuntu 19.04.
But sudo apt install boot-repair fails to find the package … after
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair

But, could install boot-repair on a bootable Ubuntu USB. However, boot-repair says, “Use LiveUSB” to enable this option when HDD is selected for repair …

Reply
Sohail November 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm

Hi Sundar,

I checked the repository and it has boot-repair package for 19.04. Make sure you added the repository correctly. If this step does not work, try another one please and let me know the results.

Reply
NAVEEN.R November 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm

I tried all the ways but did getout from this plz help me to get out of it
I want to run windows in my pc
Windows is already installed but not working
Plz help me for God’s sake
You can contact me through WhatsApp:8217898147

Reply
Sohail December 1, 2019 at 12:59 am

Hi Naveen,

I can help you out with Linux installation. Tell me if you have setup dual boot or you want to install Linux.

Thank you!

Reply
Navigare Nessece Est December 20, 2019 at 5:16 pm

For newbies, much more simple: “Boot Repair Live Disk”
https://sourceforge.net/projects/boot-repair-cd/files/
(Use UnetBootin for USB or make a/put on a Live DVD)
Takes three minutes to fix GRUB or GRUB2.
Comes in handy wheen needed!
Cheers

Reply
Dena December 21, 2019 at 1:26 am

So this is the 2nd time I have had a grub rescue after a Windows update install; I have dual Linux and Windows, my brother put together this PC; he fixed the issue last time, he’s not around, and I would like to try to fix myself. Not expert tech, but I don’t mind learning . . . I tried the Method 1, nothing . . . I don’t know how to create a ISO to DVD. I had one my brother left me, but I cannot find it . . . would appreciate your feedback. I have Windows 10 and Linux Mint

Reply
Ashley January 7, 2020 at 2:48 am

I have windows 10 dual with ubuntu and I am suck here at grub rescue
When asked it says root is msdos6
All is good until insmod normal when it comes back with no such partition.
So I am lost now what do I do?

Reply
john January 7, 2020 at 4:11 am

Hello, i used method 1, but when i type: insmod normal, i get: error: attempt to read or write outside of disk “hd0”.

Single boot of peppermint 9 on lenovo Y430 ideapad.

any ideas, thanks.

john

Reply
Tom January 17, 2020 at 7:28 am

Method 1 worked for me. I don’t think you want the space after prefix=

Reply
Victor February 4, 2020 at 9:08 pm

Thank you so much! 😀

Reply
Rohan Mukherjee February 6, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Hey man,
I tried the commands like ls and set.
After using set prefix=(hd0,msdos5)/boot/grub
and then when I entered insmod normal, it shows
error: no such partition.

Help me out, bro.

Reply
ASHOK GAJAPATHI February 7, 2020 at 3:44 pm

I tried every thing after uninstallation of Ubuntu on my dual boot but after restarting my Lenovo ThinkPad it was showing like grid rescue like that now it directly taking to the ThinkPad setup. What setting to be changed ?

Reply
Francisco Mora Jara February 26, 2020 at 3:41 am

Thaank you!

Reply
ab March 2, 2020 at 2:45 am

I installed kali Linux dual boot with Windows 10 pro n after I merged one of my partition with the kali linux partition after that I restarted my PC then it shows

“welcome to grub!
error no such partition
grub rescue”

and any boot key is not working it is not allowing me to boot so I couldn’t use kali live and any boot Media and I tried grub rescue commands buy any of the partitions that listed doesn’t have the grub boot but by using “set” command it show the grub bootloader is on other partition that wasn’t show on the listed partitions
when I try that partition and when I get to “insmod normal” it says “error: no such partition.” please help me

Reply
Tapta Sundar dalai March 9, 2020 at 10:38 am

I have tried the 1st method but I have checked all the drive that shown on my laptop but it show error, every drive that shown on my laptop, after checked it show unknown file system, I want urgent solution of this.

Reply
L May 2, 2020 at 1:03 pm

I don’t understand this “Mount the root partition by typing /mnt and boot to /mnt/boot and hit enter. [e.g. sudo grub-install –root-directory=/mnt –boot-directory=/mnt/boot /dev/sda]”

I don’t know what is a root partition, and the real syntax of “typing /mnt and boot to /mnt, etc…

Reply
Jeff_G May 8, 2020 at 3:26 am

Just a Linux user, not a developer. First time I ever encountered a GRUB issue. Not familiar with GRUB functions or configuration. Yet, following your first method, just blindly typing in the commands provided verbatim I was able to resolve my issue. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this information and providing my solution. Kudos for your clear and complete instructions. Well done!

Reply
Venkat May 21, 2020 at 5:52 am

Oh god thanks a lot 4th method worked..I had 2 hard disk i don’t remember which hard disk i installed Ubuntu..In method 4 after installing grub it ask is disk 2 removable device i give yes..

Reply
Lew May 22, 2020 at 4:47 pm

method 4 worked like a charm – thank you 🙂

Reply
Kelvin D. Olson June 3, 2020 at 1:59 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’d never seen grub_rescue> before, and it was sickening to see.

Method 1 worked, but only on the 2nd or 3rd try, and here’s why: inconsistent formatting.

Notice where you have a bold-monospace-font that says “sudo grub-install /dev/sda”

HEY!

No really, HEY!!

Please follow that convention for EVERY command that is to be typed into a console. Not regular paragraph text that might wrap to the next line because it appears to be just rhetoric.

Reply
David June 14, 2020 at 8:37 pm

I recently decided to donate my 13 year old Core2Duo T5470 notebook to a NGO running a center caring for orphans or single parent kids. The center sponsors these kids education until they graduate and always could do with computers and notebooks, and especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic where their students now mainly study online. I contacted their management and told them that my notebook is currently running Linux (Lubuntu). However, they insisted on Windows OS and MS Office as all their computers are using these and their kids are used to Windows and Office. My notebook could only handle Win7 and not later version. I informed them Win7 is no longer supported by MS but still they insisted on Windows OS.

I wiped out the HDD and installed Win7. I had forgotten how painful it was to install Win7. Took me 2 days to scourge the internet for 13-year old Win7 drivers, download Win7 and Office updates and cleaned up residual files. My Win7 version was pre-SP1.

I decided to dual boot it with Peppermint 10 so that the kids can experience Linux. Setting up dual-booting and installing Peppermint 10 was a breeze. Everything worked fine until I decided that GRUB may be too daunting for those kids that haven’t used Linux before.

I made a series of mistakes from this point (actually I made the first mistake during installation of Peppermint where I accidentally set the boot to Peppermint’s extended partition instead of main partition). I used NeoSmart EasyBCD but it didn’t work as I hadn’t realised then that I have set the GRUB boot in the wrong partition. Not wanting to spend any more time in getting Windows boot-loading screen, I decided to install Primitivistical GRUB theme. Everything was still fine with dual booting at this stage.

I then decided to uninstall EasyBCD and whatever files it has written in Win7 partition. This was a big mistake. My notebook failed to boot in Win7. Using my Win7 rescue disk didn’t work as the Win7 is now SP1 version. Not wanting to spend another 2 days in reinstalling, I decided to try Boot Repair Disk. It managed to fixed the Win7 booting and reset GRUB. I just reinstall Primitivistical theme.

Give Boot Repair Disk a try if nothing works.

Reply
Frank Jones November 4, 2020 at 4:01 pm

This is a confusing situation. My LAPTOP HP 15 bw0xx will install ubuntu and linux mint CINNAMON with no problems, but when I try to install Linux Mint MATE it states there is a problem with GRUB it gives the following message.
The GRUB-EFI-AMD64-SIGNED package failed to install
into /target/.
Please can you help

Reply

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