I have multiple partitions on the hard drive of my laptop (1 Crunchbang/Debian, 1 Windows, 1 Windows Recovery), I booted on the "recovery" partition for the first time and the graphics were completely wrong. I manage to find a way to reboot, and ever since, every time I try to boot, GRUB keeps crashing and my PC goes in a "launch/crash/launch/crash" loop.

I had no problem booting on a Live CD though, and mounting the file system correctly. So I'm fairly sure it's simply a bootloader issue.

  • What's the way to proceed now?
  • How do I diagnose the issue?
  • Can I avoid an unnecessary reinstall of the bootloader?
  • What are the ircchans/forums/wiki/docs where I may find better answers?
  • Could you add details as to how GRUB "crashes"? What partition table type? Where is GRUB installed? Is GRUB the primary bootloader? GRUB or GRUB2? – bsd Mar 18 '12 at 12:08
  • "crashes" means that it prints "GRUB Loading" on the screen, then a black screen and it loops over the two. GRUB is the only bootloader and it's GRUB2. I don't know how to answer the other two questions. Can you maybe help me? – rahmu Mar 18 '12 at 18:07
  • When is says "GRUB Loading", can you hit ESC and get a menu? If GRUB is the only bootloader the other questions are less important. – bsd Mar 19 '12 at 10:49
  • You did execute the Windows Recovery System? Maybe it was so friendly to fix the MBR for you? Joke aside, it sounds more like the disk layout changed, GRUB loading from MBR, then trying to load it's config from / which just isn't there anymore where it used to be. Another possibility is that the MBR is now corrupt. – Bobby May 17 '12 at 16:27

If you are able to boot into a Live CD you can follow these steps to re-install the GRUB bootloader to your Linux partition:

# mkdir /mnt/test
# mount -t ext3 -o dev /dev/sda3 /mnt/test
# chroot /dev/sda3
# grub-install /dev/sda
# update-grub
# umount /mnt/test
# reboot

Here, I'm assuming that the Linux install resides in /dev/sda3 and is of type ext3.

  • Thanks for the explanation, although I would like to avoid doing that before doing some preliminary investigations. If it turns out that the issue can be solved by modifying a few files I'd rather do this. – rahmu Mar 18 '12 at 18:09

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