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The day before yesterday, I opened Ubuntu.

I always go to the update manager first. After I loaded the updates and tried to re-start, I got a command line prompt saying grub_. I have never encountered any thing like this before.

The only way that I can get out of grub_ is to disconnect all the power going to my Compaq laptop. Is there a way to fix this? I am running 11.10.

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This occurs when GRUB stage1 runs and is followed eventually by stage2 which also runs but halts without displaying the GRUB menu. It is not a system hang but is a working GRUB shell prompt that is preceded by simple editing instructions.

What I think is happening...

The text "grub> " (including the trailing space) and the text of the GRUB shell editing instructions can be seen with a binary file editor in the messages section of the binary file /boot/grub/stage2. Those particular pieces of text do not appear in the binary file /boot/grub/stage1 nor any of the stage1.5 image files. So having the boot process abort to this grub> prompt is good circumstantial evidence that stage2 is at least successfully starting. For example, one of the first tasks of stage2 is to read the file /boot/grub/grub.conf to create the GRUB menu. If grub.conf is not found or is corrupted or is badly misconfigured, booting is suspended ending at this GRUB shell command prompt where commands may be entered manually.

This situation requires correction of the problem with grub.conf. Re-installing GRUB does nothing for a missing or busted grub.conf file. Nevertheless, other reasons for this event apparently happen and are amenable to simply re-installing GRUB as the first example below demonstrates. Therefore, re-installing GRUB should always be tried for this situation if no obvious problem with the grub.conf file can be found.

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