simpler grub reinstallation

Bug #30123 reported by Jimmy Angelakos on 2006-01-31
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
rescue (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I've been talking with fellow Ubuntites, and I get this complaint: When something (i.e. Windows) overwrites the MBR and thus gets rid of the installed boot loader GRUB (which means, if you're a newbie, that your Linux installation disappears), the only way to fix it is to boot into rescue mode and repair everything by hand by reinstalling GRUB.

What makes perfectly good sense to these people (and I agree) is that there should be a boot option on the Ubuntu CD (or perhaps within the installation) for just an automatic installation of GRUB (and not the whole Ubuntu system) which would auto-repair the damage done.

When installing Ubuntu, the auto-detection already works perfectly fine. When it finds operating systems on the hard drive, it puts up a menu option for each. It should be trivial to implement this feature many people have asked me about.

The discussion about this feature request is at:

Jimmy Angelakos (vyruss) wrote :

If I remember correctly, rescue mode isn't even *mentioned* in the F1-Help screens when booting from the CD! While there *is* an auto-GRUB-thing hidden in the expert installation menu, realistically most people won't find it because they won't think to look there for recovery options.

I think it's a good step to clearly include "Rescue" or "Bootloader reinstallation" options in the help screens at bootup. Also, this feature should mention what appears to be on each partition. Currently Rescue Mode only shows you "meaningless" partition numbers.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

The comments about rescue mode not being mentioned when booting from the CD are obsolete with the graphical boot loader in Dapper (>= Flight 2).

Jimmy Angelakos (vyruss) wrote :

So finally, all this comes down to making the bootloader reinstallation a little more intuitive by presenting partition information in a friendly manner (e.g. explaining that NTFS partitions most likely contain windows "drives" and ext/reiser filesystems most likely contain linux partitions).

Jimmy Angelakos (vyruss) wrote :

This is still unfixed; Moreover, one has to think to press ESC to access the rescue menu when told to mount a partition, which is counter-intuitive. Also, if you have a software RAID setup, there's no (practical) way to boot into your root partition.

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

Rejecting Ubuntu task, remains open on rescue

Prognathous (prognathous) wrote :

It would be great to see such an option, as dealing with Grub re-installation is quite problematic for people who prefer to avoid the command-line.

Alternatively, add an easy to use "fixmbr" command like the one available in the Windows recovery console.


Colin Watson (cjwatson) on 2007-04-21
Changed in rescue:
assignee: kamion → nobody
Ari Torhamo (ari-torhamo) wrote :

A lot of people are continuously looking for help with this matter around the internet. Too often the instructions they get are partial, false, or not working for some other reason. It's not rare to see people to be told to reinstall Ubuntu, because it's easier that way! Take a look at here what it's like:

This is not a minor problem. People face this always when they reinstall Windows without reinstalling Ubuntu at the same time (and Windows typically has to be reinstalled every now and then). A one click (or otherwise simple) option for reinstalling grub is definitely needed. Please please code wizards, give us this feature!

I marked bug #72213 as a duplicate of this.

Mantas Kriaučiūnas (mantas) wrote :

Ubuntu-based Mepis 6.5 has simple bootloader (grub) reinstallation utility since 2003 !
Look at

I think it's not hard to stole the code from that utility and write GTK interface (or use Zenity for this).

PedroM (macanas-ped) wrote :

I prefer interface ;-)

Good idea about Linux bootloader protection (from Windows installation risks and damages).

This feature can also be used in Wubi.

PedroM (macanas-ped) wrote :

I would add. I hava a Linux installation with LiLo. I suggest and easy way to replace LiLo (including protection of options and configuration files) with Grub in an easy way (automatic and transparent way).

Jimmy Angelakos (vyruss) wrote :

This is now more than 2 years and 3 months old! Surely even for a 'wishlist' item this is taking too long?

Isak Frants (isakfrants) wrote :

And also the Ubuntu derivative KiwiLinux now has this feature.

"There is a GRUB menu restoration GUI on the LiveCD. "
restoregrub_1.0.2-1_all.deb (13.8 KiB) !

Przemek K. (azrael) on 2009-11-13
Changed in baltix:
status: New → Invalid
Przemek K. (azrael) wrote :

Bug #133012 is related, it probably should be merged with this one.

Mantas Kriaučiūnas (mantas) wrote :

Przemysław Kulczycki, please don't change the status of the bugs in Baltix distribution until you aren't Baltix developer or an active user (see

Changed in baltix:
milestone: none → baltix-3.0
status: Invalid → Confirmed

2009/11/15 Mantas Kriaučiūnas <email address hidden>:
> Przemysław Kulczycki, please don't change the status of the bugs in
> Baltix distribution until you aren't Baltix developer or an active user
> (see
> ** Changed in: baltix
>       Status: Invalid => Confirmed
> ** Changed in: baltix
>    Milestone: None => baltix-3.0

What's the point in having separate Baltix tasks if Baltix is based on Ubuntu?
And what's the point of having them opened if they are already fixed in Ubuntu?
Latest version of Baltix is based on Ubuntu 9.04 so if a bug has been
fixed in older version of Ubuntu then it must have been fixed also in
Besides, are you still supporting Baltix releases that are based on
EOL Ubuntu versions?
Bugs against EOL Ubuntu versions should be reproduced on latest Ubuntu
versions - if they're not reproducible on latest Ubuntu version then
they should be closed.

## Przemysław Kulczycki >><< Azrael Nightwalker ##
# jabber: azrael[na] | tlen: azrael29a #
### www: ###

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