I deleted files from /boot to save space, but now when I boot I see:

GRUB loading, please wait ... ERROR 15

/boot still has files corresponding to the 2.6.32-27 version of Linux. But I deleted all others that did not have that string in /boot

How can I fix this?

  • 6
    Reinstall your OS, man (unless you have backups)... what did you think was going to happen if you went mucking about in the /boot dir? – Rafe Kettler May 23 '11 at 18:18
  • Actually, you might be able to recover by reinstalling the boot loader. If the kernel files are still there you have a shot (you probably conked menu.lst or other files important to GRUB). – LawrenceC May 23 '11 at 22:13
  • This has to be a troll. Like that story of that person who wanted to clean up their C:\system32 directory or whatever. – Falmarri May 24 '11 at 0:27
  • +1 for a) the humor, and b) the guts to post such a thing to the world. :-) – Keith May 24 '11 at 6:16

Here are some instructions on reinstalling grub2 in recent versions of Ubuntu.

I'd recommend following the chroot method as I think that will be the easiest and safest way to restore your system.

Additionally, the next time that you want to clean up drive space on /boot, you can use synaptic or apt-get to remove old kernels. For example:

$ sudo apt-get remove linux-image-2.6.31-21-generic

  • It is best (unless you know your boot loader and OS kernel very well) to leave the /boot partition alone. That advice holds true whether we're talking about Linux or a BSD or something else altogether... – Michael Trausch May 24 '11 at 15:14

Well Error 15 reads "File not found". Restore your /boot from your last backup.

  • Restoring /boot isn't going to be enough, the boot sector may need to be updated with the new files' location. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 23 '11 at 21:42
  • 1
    If it's going into GRUB to display a GRUB error message the boot sector is OK. – LawrenceC May 23 '11 at 22:14

You can try to reinstall grub, I think that recreates the boot folder. Not too sure though, but it can't hurt...


The MBR is trying to read from a grub install somewhere on disk which has now been deleted.

You'll need to create a grub install and then write it to the MBR. Check the man page for "grub-install".

Basically you need to run:

sudo grub-install /dev/sda

to write create a new grub 2 and write it to the MBR.

You'll need to drop a grub.cfg file to boot up your OS though in /boot/grub. If you don't have one you can regenerate a grub2 config file using grub-setup.

  • Of course he can't do this if he can't boot. He'll need a rescue or live media image to boot from first. – Keith May 24 '11 at 6:15
  • sorry - yes, you'll need a live cd that supports grub2. I believe an ubuntu live cd will do the trick. – ascotan May 24 '11 at 15:39

On a modern Ubuntu installation, you should enter

sudo apt-get install --reinstall linux-image-3.xx.xx-generic

for whichever kernel version you have. This should run a 'depmod' and then create the

  • vmlinuz
  • initrd.img
  • System.map
  • abi
  • config

files. Finally, it creates a new grub.cfg. Hopefully this is helpful.

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