Unable to boot Ubuntu

I am at the moment unable to boot my laptop in ubuntu. windows works fine. The problem started when I updated Ubuntu and agot to the reboot bit. I was not quick enough to make it boot Ubuntu and it started windows which went into errer checking. once it finished Linux will not boot.
I have tryed using Grub boot loader from a cd but it cannot find any grub config files and can only find windows OS. Is my only option to uninstall linux and reinstall?

First step would be to boot to a LiveCD or LiveUSB, and see if it can read the Linux partitions of your hard drive … if not, try (from the LiveCD) try running fsck on your Linux partition(s).

Sounds like Windows bootloader has overwritten the files for GRUB in the MBR. You’ll need to reinstall GRUB 2.

It was my interpretation that GRUB was still present, but not booting Linux … though I could be wrong.


Do you still see the GRUB boot menu ? … how about when you hold the “Shift” key whilst booting ?

Which version of Windows, and Ubuntu are we talking about ?

If you boot to a liveCD, what is the output from:

sudo fdisk -l


sudo blkid

And what are the contents of the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file (the one on the hard drive, not the one on the LiveCD).

I still have the option to boot Ubuntu when I turn on the laptop. But I just end up with a comand line grub>. The windows is XP sp3, Ubuntu 11.04 or 11.10 not sure. I am downloading Ubuntu to make a live cd.

When i try to boot Ubuntu I get
GNU Grub Version 1.99-12 ubuntu
Minimal BASH-like line edditing is suported. For the first word TAB list possible command completions. Anywhere else TAB lists posibble device or file completions.

so I press TAB and get

Possible commands are:
.[ authenticate background-color background-image badram boot break clear cofigfile continue cutmem echo export extract-entries-configfile extract-entries-source initrd imsmod linux loadfront loopback is LSfont menuentry normal normal-exit probe return search search.file search.fs-lable search.fs-uuid set setparams shift source submenu terminal-input terminal-output test unset

Do that help at all. I have to down load Ubuntu again to a machine that will write cd’s, will then let you know the answers to the above Q

No, not really … ATM I’m suspecting either a filesystem error, or that Windows chkdsk changed the UUID of the Ubuntu partition … so the first things we need to do is run fsck (from the LiveCD), then if necessary get the actual UUID of the partitions and see if it matches the boot stanza in /boot/grub/grub.cfg … then either fix the stanza, or reinstall GRUB.

I am now running on the live cd. I have a screen shot with both of the results requested.

Have Looked at the Boot / grub folder and there is nothing in it. I am guessing that is the problem or at least one of then???

Oh cr*p … we’re talking abut a WUBI install as there are NO Linux partitions at all … so Linux must be installed in a folder inside Windows.

Correct ?

If you boot to Windows, is there a directory at C:\Ubuntu … or similar ?

or is there an option in Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs to uninstall Ubuntu ?

If so, I’ll have to do some homework … and find out if it’s fixable at all.

I’ve never tried to fix a WUBI installation.

Yes it is a duel boot in a folder on C:/ubuntu
Nice to know there is still something that has make you think.

A WUBI install isn’t the only way to achieve a dual boot system :wink:

I’ll see what I can find about fixing the boot config in a WUBI installation … but I wouldn’t hold your breathe … if it were a “proper” installation into a Linux partition rather than a WUBI hybrid thingy, it would be an easy fix, but I have no experience of WUBI installations, just “proper” ones.

IMHO, WUBI sucks … good for a test drive, but not for a full permanent installation, as if/when things go wrong, your stuffed with a WUBI hybrid virtual disk type installation.

Thanks. It was only a test drive of Ubuntu but I like it and have lots of things installed within it so would like to keep it for now,but if it has to be a new install then it is.

I take it the GRUB menu is still being displayed when you turn on your PC ?

if so, use the arrow keys to select Ubuntu, then instead of hitting Enter (to boot) hit the E key (to edit the boot stanza) … now write down what is displayed, and post it back here.

you can then hit Esc to leave the “edit” and boot into Windows.

But I need the info there.

Can you also let me know which version of Ubuntu you have installed through WUBI ?

I’m expecting something like (but it may not be exactly the same):-

insmod ntfs set root=(hd[b]0[/b],[b]1[/b]) loopback (loop0) /ubuntu/disks/root.disk set root=(loop0) linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda1 loop=/ubuntu/disks/root.disk ro initrd /initrd.img boot

Hi. I have tryed that and nothing happens :cry:
Nothing at all

Is it the GRUB interface you’re looking at, or the Windows bootloader ?

Does the menu look like this -


and if you select Ubuntu, and hit the E key … does a window like this appear -


It must have been the windows bootloader. If I select the Ubuntu and enter then the next thing I get is as below.
The grub boot menu dose not appere. unless the content below is on the grub menu

OK, this isn’t going to be as easy as I hoped … looking for a solution.

What is the other way to install and how easy is it to change between windows and Linux?

Before I answer that, and we chuck the towel in on your WUBI installation … let’s try this first …

Turn ON your PC, at the Windows bootloader, select Ubuntu … now when you get to the GRUB recovery prompt


enter these lines one at a time, hitting enter after each line

set root=(hd0,1)
loopback (loop0) /ubuntu/disks/root.disk
set root=(loop0)
linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda1 loop=/ubuntu/disks/root.disk ro
initrd /initrd.img

Does the system boot into Ubuntu ?

BTW, anything above that looks like a CAPITAL O is in fact a Zero 0

I am having problem with line 4 comes back with device not set.Must be getting something wrong.