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I am experiencing install hell trying to add an installation of Ubuntu 12.10 and Scientific Linux 6.3 to an old machine (BIOS not EFI) with Debian Squeeze and Linux Mint 10. The installs seem to go OK but when rebooting grub either refuses to boot completely (I had to reinstall grub) or complain that the uuid of both Ubuntu and Scientific Linux are invalid. Most of the time Debian Squeeze and Linux Mint 10 boot OK.

One of the hard drives is a 3TB hard drive formatted using GUID/GPT. It is the one that gets grub on it's MBR.

Is it possible to force grub NOT to use uuids. This way even if it is corrupted I stand a chance of repairing the install manually or at least booting manually with some difficulty?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes. To do that you need to edit /etc/default/grub (root permission required). There you should find a commented line like this:


Uncomment it out, save the file and execute:

sudo update-grub2

Please note that the location of this file can be Ubuntu/Debian specific, but as you seem to be using Debian or Mint to configure Grub it should be ok.

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Grub also uses UUID in searching for the partition to set as root. Since I wanted to do away with all uses of UUID in grub, I've modified /usr/share/grub/grub-mkconfig_lib such that when I run update-grub, it uses labels instead.

see: Patch for making update-grub (/usr/share/grub/grub/grub-mkconfig_lib) use labels

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