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I was installing Gentoo when I ran into problems with the bootloader. Whether I used the automatic or manual installation method, GRUB always threw the following error:

The file /boot/grub/stage1 not read correctly.

I checked out the file with nano, but it was mostly unreadable and garbled as if it were using the wrong character encoding. All the other files in that directory suffered the same fate.

Are these files supposed to be human-readable? Will the problem fix itself if I try installing again? If not, what can be done to correct it?

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Most probably you point GRUB to the wrong partition. What's your partition layout (post your /etc/fstab)? What's the content of /boot/grub/menu.lst? What's the command you used to install? – phunehehe Jun 5 '11 at 14:05
up vote 2 down vote accepted

No, they're not supposed to be human readable, most of the files in /boot/grub are binaries that grub executes in it's loading process. menu.lst (versions older than grub 2) or grub.cfg are for human editing.

You should specify what version of grub you're running.

You should also note down the exact error. "Something similar" is not good enough to give meaningful advice in majority of cases.

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I'm assuming it's the latest version of GRUB, since it was installed through emerge (as per the Gentoo handbook's instructions). The full error states "the file /boot/grub/stage1 not read correctly." – Maxpm Jun 5 '11 at 1:54
The current version of GRUB in Gentoo is 0.97. – cjm Jun 5 '11 at 4:02

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