I'm attempting to move my /boot folder from the / partition, to /dev/sdb. The following script:

parted -s /dev/sdb mklabel msdos mkpart primary ext2 1M 100% set 1 boot on
mkfs.ext2 /dev/sdb1
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/boot
cd /boot
find . -depth -print0 | \
    cpio --null --sparse --make-directories --pass-through --verbose /mnt/boot
cd /
umount /mnt/boot
mv /boot /boot.orig
mkdir /boot
echo "/dev/sdb1 /boot ext2 ro 0 2" >>/etc/fstab
mount /dev/sdb1 /boot
parted /dev/sda set 1 boot off
grub-install /dev/sdb

produces this error:

error: file '/boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod' not found.
grub rescue>

Any ideas?

Edit: It appears that the above script works fine, if the original /boot directory is on a separate partition (say /dev/sda2). It only fails if it's on the same partition as the / partition (/dev/sda1).

I've tried many, many variations of the above script, on both Ubuntu 13.04 and Fedora 19, and have yet to avoid the file '/boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod' not found error.

Any other ideas?


The issue is that grub is looking for /boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod on the new partition. As the root of that partition is now mounted at /boot, the file is currently located at /grub/i386-pc/normal.mod on the new partition. You either need to reinstall grub to that partition or, as a temporary measure, you can create a symlink by calling ln -s . /boot/boot, which will allow the file to be found under either name.


Do an "ls" to find your boot partition (new one that is) say (hdX,Y).

Then ls (hdX,Y)/usr/lib/grub/i386-pc

Do you see the file there?

Likely you need to boot with a rescue cd or usb, and reinstall grub. Something is corrupted.


This happens because the prefix variable, which is hardcoded in the core.img image by grub-install doesn't match your partition layout anymore. You can temporarily override this variable manually and load GRUB once by running the following commands in the rescue shell :

set prefix=(hd0,1)/boot/grub
insmod normal

The prefix should be the path to where GRUB's files (grub.cfg, etc) reside, it's usually something like (hdX,Y)/boot/grub in case of a single root partition, or (hdX,Y)/grub if you have a dedicated /boot partition. In case of mdadm-managed RAID, the hdX,Y would probably be md/xxx or mduuid/xxxx....

If everything goes right, GRUB should be able to load its modules and load its grub.cfg and you should be able to start your OS. Once booted, run grub-install to regenerate a core.img (which will be embedded in the MBR of the disk) with the new prefix.

More info in their (awful) documentation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.