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I've already found plenty of threads on "no such device" and grub rescue on AskUbuntu, but I'm wondering what this signifies if it happens not on a fresh install, but on a computer that has been behaving normally for well over a year.

Is this a sign of catastrophic hard drive failure, or possibly another issue? Or is it a just-happens kind of thing that crops up from time to time with Ubuntu?

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Did you updated the system before the problem happen? If you boot from a Live Edition do you see the HDD? – Lucio Mar 18 '13 at 23:56
    
No, it happened after a reboot of the system (which was running normally). Trying to track down my Live CD so I can see what's what, but the HDDs are all visible from BIOS. – mattshepherd Mar 19 '13 at 0:00
    
The Boot Repair Disk seems to have fixed things for the moment, but I'm still quite nervous about what this means... – mattshepherd Mar 19 '13 at 0:19
    
Don't worry, it could happen some times. Check the disk utility to know your HDD status. Don't forget to create a new answer telling how did you solved it! – Lucio Mar 19 '13 at 3:04
    
@guntbert I don't think so. Anyway, it would be preferable to mark it. – Lucio Mar 19 '13 at 17:39

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