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I plugged a Linux Mint multiboot USB stick into my Arch Linux laptop with the intent to erase it and put something else on it. My laptop wasn't recognizing the USB stick, so I foolishly mounted it manually following instructions on the Arch Linux wiki. (Please excuse me for not posting a link, as I am writing this from my phone.) I was able to see the files in /mnt/usbstick, and I thought all was fine.

However, now when I boot up my laptop, I get sent to grub rescue. I get the error message that /grub/i386-pc/normal.mod cannot be found.

When I type ls, I get:

(hd0) (hd0,msdos3) (hd0,msdos2) (hd0,msdos1)

I have tried setting root and prefix to each of those, but it doesn't work.

When I use (hd0,msdos1) and then try insmod normal I get the error that says /grub/i386-pc/normal.mod cannot be found. I get the same error using (hd0,msdos1)/boot, and (hd0,msdos1)/boot/grub, and (hd0,msdos1)/boot/grub2.

When I use either of the other two, insmod normal returns unknown filesystem.

If I insert the Linux Mint multiboot USB stick, I see an install screen for Linux Mint, and not grub rescue.

I did already look at the Boot Manager, and it looks normal.

One thing that seems not quite right, is the Linux Mint install is i386, but I have x86 Arch Linux.

UPDATE: I just learned that the USB stick was created as a multiboot bootable USB drive using YUMI, in case that's relevant.

Thanks very much for any help.

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Try a prefix of (hd0,msdos1)/boot.

The i386-pc is a GRUB architecture name meaning "32-bit x86 PC". Intel 80386, or i386 for short, was the original implementation of the 32-bit extension of the x86 architecture way back in 1985, so its name is often a synonym of "any 32-bit x86 system".

The x86 processor family has received many instruction set extensions during its lifetime. Sometimes, if a program needs to have at least the instruction set of the original Intel Pentium processors available, i586 may be used as the architecture name or name component. If a program is compiled to use the CMOV machine code instructions (which became available in the original Pentium Pro), i686 may be used, likewise.

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  • Thanks, telcoM. Unfortunately I still got the same not found error. I'll update my question to reflect that I tried /boot as well. I appreciate your explanation of the i386 naming!
    – wiljago
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 20:41

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