I upgraded Ubuntu from 19.04 to 19.10. The upgrade went without errors but after restart grub throws an error on startup and goes into rescu mode

error: symbol 'grub_file_filters' not found. 
Entering rescue mode... 
grub rescue>

It's a physical machine not a virtualbox, and I have windows and linux in dual boot.

I managed to find what partition is my linux on with ls, but don't really know what to do next.

insmod normal fails with the same error


I had exactly the same problem about a week ago. I solved it by downloading the boot-repair-disk from sourceforge. You will need to manufacture a bootable USB key or CD if you have a suitable CD drive. There are plenty of guides online about how to do this. I hope you have access to a system where you can do it. You can do it on Windows.

It may be possible to fix it from the grub rescue prompt and then the grub prompt. I tried this first but didn’t have success following a guide I found online.

Good luck

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  • I only was able to fix this with a live usb stick an boot-reapair. as in WinEunuuchs2Unix's comment. Nothing I did in grub rescue worked – Eugene msc Oct 26 '19 at 18:14
  • thx. Did the same and it worked. I wrote the iso to a usb with a ubuntu session from a ubuntublive cd – mfnx Nov 27 '19 at 19:50

I couldn't get boot-repair (or boot-repair-disk) working, but managed to fix this by booting from a live Ubuntu 19.10 USB, mounting the old disk, entering chroot, and running grub-install and update-grub.

There is a launchpad bug here, which recommends the chroot fix as described here.

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I too encountered the exact same problem after updating to 19.10. Here is how I (just now) resolved it:

First, you have TWO problems, not one. Both your installation is screwed up AND the Grub Bootloader is messed up. And running only one fix won't fix everything. You need BOTH the "boot-repair-disk" and the latest version of Ubu (both on USB boot drives. DON'T use a DVD.)

If you try to do (only) a "Repair Install" from the Ubu Live disk first, you'll still be greeted by the "grub rescue>" prompt when done. :( So FIRST you must use the "boot-repair-disk". Tell it to repair your broken boot partition with Ubu on it. If you aren't sure of the partition ID, launch "GParted" from the "Start" menu (bottom left.)

Repair that boot partition. This should at least bring Grub back. Try to launch Ubu. If it works, you're done. If not, boot the Live "CD" from USB.

Double-click the "Install Ubuntu 19.10" icon on the desktop (don't worry, there will be an option to repair w/o losing your old programs/files.)

I recommend checking the boxes to download all updates during install, including 3rd party.

The Installer should detect your broken partition and give you the option to repair it (the first option.) It may need to disable some 3rd Party repositories. Not a big deal, they're easy enough to get back later.

(Note: If you had to login with a password before, don't try to select "login w/o password" now. It won't let you in when you're done.)

Once done, you should have Ubuntu 19.10 installed with all/most of your existing apps still installed (though the toolbar shortcuts will be reset.) I had to reinstall a few 3rd party apps, but their configurations were still there afterwards, so nothing was lost. :)

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Got the same issue, fixed by booting a 19.10 "rescue" USB key then, in terminal: (where sda is your disk and sda1 is your partition on the disk.)

$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
$ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda
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I had a similar issue on a dual boot with windows. Ran a boot-repair and followed all the steps and everything became normal.

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