Mini How To… Recovering the GRUB 2 Boot Menu


The one thing I really hate in Linux is the GRUB boot loader, it’s fine when it works but when it goes wrong it can be a complete pain to fix and in this respect GRUB 2 is worse than the original version of GRUB.

So after upgrading one of my Dual boot PCs to Windows 8 Pro from Windows XP, I was not surprised to find that I could not boot into GRUB. On this occasion not the fault of GRUB but of Windows which has always obliterated any GRUB (or for those who can remember that far back) / LILO instance.

The way to restore the GRUB menu is to use a tool called Boot-Repair, the only problem is that it is not included by default* in Ubuntu 12.04.

According to Help Ubuntu two options are available:

  1. Use the Ubuntu-Secure-Remix CD or the Live Boot-Repair iso CD
  2. Or just boot of an Ubuntu live CD and install it.

As I have plenty of Linux Format DVDs stuffed with all sorts of Live distros so I booted up Ubuntu 12.04 LXF remix live CD, opened terminal and added the repository using the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update

I then entered

sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair

to install boot-repair and then run Boot-Repair from Terminal

After that I just followed the on screen prompts.

Since first using it to fix the above problem, I’ve now used it on a number of occasions for different problems and it has yet to let me down.

*Apparently, this is due to change in a future Ubuntu release.

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