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I am a Linux newbie who has tried to update from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (used for 3 years) to 12.04 LTS on my Dell desktop using update manager.

I thought all was working well, even though my HD partition desktop is small (just 20gb) and commentary stated short disk space.

I am now faced with the grub> prompt, what do I do now?

Can I go back to 10.04 or boot via USB?

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You need to boot into Ubuntu 12.04 using a live CD & install 'boot-repair'.

You will first need to add the repository using this command:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair

Then update your index & install boot-repair using

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install boot-repair

Once installed, run the programs "Recommended Repair" option. This program is nothing short of a lifesaver.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks Cage, will do the Live CD option and follow your instructions. Is there any scope to get back to 10.04 (or a past state) or do I just move forward? Will my data be safe? – John Feb 7 '13 at 14:26
@John, If you have upgraded, boot-repair should get you booting into the new 12.04 Ubuntu. To be perfectly honest, I've never went back after an upgrade, so I'm not sure of the procedure if any. The boot-repair package only deals with GRUB, so your data will be fine. Returning to a previous version after upgrade may be possible using APT, but that's a whole other question, although there is not better site to ask on! ;) – Cage Feb 8 '13 at 19:03
Hi Cage, I just tried to boot via a fresh USB drive (loaded 12.04 ISO) and I get a ¨boot error¨ message? Instructed my PC (which runs Vista and Ubuntu) to boot via removable drive, just get boot error. Any clues? I will try to scan this forum and the help guide. Just can´t get access to my PC which is bothering me now. – John Feb 9 '13 at 6:38
Hi Cage, and sorry if I am repeating myself, I have created a bootable USB (12.04) via my Linux netbook (startup disk creator) but no luck in getting a boot from my dual-boot (Vista and Ubuntu) Dell PC, get ¨boot error¨. I reformatted the brand new USB drive and same issue. Should I format differently, or use a different installer? I am stuck - cannot access my PC. Just want to get access to my Ubuntu stuff esp. data. My work at stake here. Just want to work through steps to resolve. – John Feb 9 '13 at 8:01
Hi John, I have also had problems booting from USB drive after using startup disk creator. If you have access to another windows based machine you could try using YUMI available freely from PendriveLinux I have found it to be quite reliable. If this does not work your PC may have a problem booting from the USB bus and you may need to use CD/DVD – Cage Feb 9 '13 at 22:53

Are you wanting to "upgrade" or are you willing to do a clean install? I love clean installing on my systems since it gives me a clean start. you could just save your files onto an external HD, then do a clean install of 12.04. That should get rid of the grub.

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I would like to do this but how can I access my data given am stuck at grub? – John Feb 7 '13 at 14:25
Am booting from a live USB but can see all of my files/data, just hoping they are there, how can find and back-up my data esp. that under 10.04. Live USB does not seemingly give access to system admin eg Gparted, so assume I need to use terminal. I have tried sudo fdisk -l and see the disk data inc. dev/sda1 etc but none are labelled Linux or Ubuntu (or Windows for that matter), nothing I can obviously use there. I just wanted to backup my files and data, then do boot repair and/or install 12.04. Any suggestions? – John Feb 12 '13 at 1:36

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