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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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@don_crissti grub rescue. – Jop V. May 27 '13 at 14:31
@don_crissti 'just'? I have to screw it open in that case D: I hope there's another solution... – Jop V. 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
@frostschutz I can't use the LiveCD thanks to the boot order + bios password – Jop V. May 27 '13 at 15:38
reset your bios password then, that's something you'd have to do sooner or later anyway – frostschutz May 27 '13 at 15:58
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

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

for Windows 7:

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

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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