I have over the last week installed four differing versions of Ubuntu, 8.04, 8.10, 9.10 and 10.04, all fail with similar error messages from Grub on booting or rebooting. The message is “Error: out of disk” or similar on the older versions.
This is NOT the standard failure that is solved by deleting a couple of lines from the Grub Config file, as discussed on the Ubuntu Forums and it is not possible to reboot into the installation from the live cd. However the machine does boot the live cd.
My suspicions are that there is an incompatibility between the specific BIOS on my machine and GRUB. The machine is an old AMD based system with a small amount of memory.
The machine is capable of running Ubuntu 8 because it was running a very heavily updated copy before this process started.