Just this lovely 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 this problem, 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 the 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 the reason, 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, which is normal.
You may be asked for a 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 the 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 was 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.
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. It only helps if you have a Laptop.
If your PC does not support booting from a USB stick and the DVD drive is toasted, you can use Plop boot manager to boot from a USB stick forcefully.
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 to 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.