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So, I installed Ubuntu alongside Windows 7 just now, on my girlfriend's laptop. I used a USB stick and followed all the default options, choosing a partition size of 32GB for Ubuntu 11.10.

After installation completed, the machine rebooted and now all I'm left with is a command prompt like this:

grub>

I was expecting a boot menu rather than this, and I've idea how to proceed. Hoping someone can help.

Thanks.

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2 Answers

This means that grub, as an application, has managed to load successfully, but something has stopped it from moving on to ubuntu. chances are this is a problem with the configuration file; although i'm surprised this happened on a fresh install.

The grub> prompt should allow you to restore your system.

As it's difficult to diagnose exactly what is wrong from just knowing you're dropped into the prompt, I recommend you read-up on this:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#A.27.27grub.3E.27.27_Prompt_Booting

Simply however, I suspect you'll need to do the following:

  • Seek the linux partition: ls
  • Pick the parition you think you installed Ubuntu on
  • Check that the linux parition has all the files: ls (hdX,Y)/, ls (hdX,Y)/boot and ls (hdX,Y)/boot/grub should all return the names of some files
  • If not, change to another parition or come back here with the output
  • Start the loaded menu: configfile (hdX,Y)/boot/grub/grub.cfg
  • If this doesn't work, come back to askubuntu, or, if you're up to it, you can read how to write a rudimentary configuration in the link I included.
  • Once you've got to Ubuntu in the terminal you must sudo update-grub to save changes.

Personally, if this is a fresh install, I might take a pop at just reinstalling Ubuntu and taking note of the more advance options, specifically where to install grub to.

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Thanks Thomas. I reinstalled, and now get a grub rescue prompt. With ls, only ls (hd0,5)/ returns anything, including boot/. If I try ls (hd0,5)/boot/ (or any other dir) I get an error: out of disk message. –  Winston Smith Dec 3 '11 at 14:23
    
FWIW I was able to boot into Ubuntu using the Live CD, then run the grub-install and update-grub2 commands. They reported installing a config. When I rebooted, I was back to the grub rescue prompt, with the out of disk error. –  Winston Smith Dec 3 '11 at 14:39
    
ok- just out of interest do you have more than one hard-disk? if you do then you might need to point your bios to boot from the right one (a quick way of doing this would be to use your bios boot menu...) –  thomas michael wallace Dec 3 '11 at 15:21
    
No, just one disk. –  Winston Smith Dec 4 '11 at 11:25
    
Tried the graphical Boot Repair program, and still no luck. –  Winston Smith Dec 4 '11 at 16:49
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I was experiencing the same exact issue until I changed the SATA controller mode in the BIOS setup from AHCI to Native IDE.

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