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I just attempted to reinstall Lubuntu using my own guide. However, my LiveCD was (appearantly) damaged, which caused installation to fail. Now, when I restart the PC, I get dropped into a grub rescue> prompt.

Now how can I use that prompt to:

  1. Boot to the Windows XP partition that is on the hard drive or
  2. Boot from a (new) LiveCD/LiveUSB to fix everything.

The boot order is set to prefer the HDD, and I can't change it due to a password I don't know.

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Is that a grub prompt or a grub rescue prompt ? In rescue mode only a limited set of commands is available so you won't be able to chainload WinXP. I'm afraid what you're trying to accomplish is not possible from a grub rescue prompt. –  don_crissti May 27 '13 at 14:20
    
@don_crissti grub rescue. –  Jop Vernooij May 27 '13 at 14:31
    
Then, as I said, you won't be able to boot WinXP or CDs. If you have physical access to the box just remove the drive, attach it to another computer and fix GRUB/reinstall linux/etc... –  don_crissti May 27 '13 at 14:40
    
@don_crissti 'just'? I have to screw it open in that case D: I hope there's another solution... –  Jop Vernooij May 27 '13 at 14:56
    
Might've missed the rescue bit in my answer. Why not just boot the livecd you have? Even if it is damaged, in order to start the installation in the first place, it must've booted in a usable system which should be suitable for making repairs or creating a new USB image. –  frostschutz May 27 '13 at 15:15
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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ok, I fixed it by going to another computer with Windows XP, plugging in a flash drive, installing Lubuntu on it (NOT a LiveUSB, a real install), then plugging it in the computer with the broken grub, turning it on, and typing:

set prefix=(hd1,1)/grub
set root=(hd1,1)
insmod normal
normal

Then the grub menu of the Lubuntu on the USB drive showed up, chose the Windows XP entry (That was created because I created the USB from a Windows XP PC), and then I could reinstall Lubuntu. Now everything is working fine again.

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for Windows XP:

    search --file --no-floppy --set=root /ntldr
    ntldr /ntldr
    boot

for Windows 7:

    search --file --no-floppy --set=root /bootmgr
    ntldr /bootmgr
    boot

CD/USB depends, however on most machines, a Grub loaded from HDD cannot see USB/CD drives, so it's not possible. The machine has to boot from those drives directly.

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