I had recently installed Ubuntu 13.10 on to a hdd on my desktop computer which is already dual booting windows 8.1 and windows 7. The installation went fine the first time but I wanted to try to add Ubuntu to the windows MBR so I installed it a second time. This time installing it without a bootloader which caused it to boot up into rescue mode which I am unable to bypass to access my windows partitions. I then reinstalled a third time and set it to configure a bootloader. The installation went fine but when I rebooted I still have rescue mode come up. I am not sure what to do now. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Jacob


It seems that the GRUB information is not re-installed properly. Here is a simple way to re-create the grub information on disk, after booting with Ubuntu Live CD (or USB):


After boot we get the prompt:

error: file not found. Grub rescue>-


The grub information on disk has been corrupted and the system can not boot from the proper partition


1) Boot with Ubuntu Live CD (or USB)

2) Open terminal (command prompt)

3) Type:

sudo fdisk -l

You will get a list of partitions, similar to the following list:

/dev/sda1 13 102400 de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 * 13 1926 15360000 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 1926 30892 232676566 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 30893 60802 240245761 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 30893 59584 230467584 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 59585 60802 9777152 82 Linux swap / Solaris 

Ubuntu partition is the one with the name "Linux" (not necessarily the one with the star, although could be). On this case is on '/dev/sda5' so we have to mount it:

4) Replace in the following command 'sda5' with the partition name in your case:

sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt

5) And then install grub:

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda

6) Reboot and verify that all is working fine.

  • Neither of the above solutions worked. – user3440443 Apr 10 '14 at 4:28
  • Is there a way to boot into windows 8.1 using the live cd? If so I just want to delete it and use vm instead of installing it. – user3440443 Apr 10 '14 at 4:38
  • Can you please be more specific? "The solution didn't work" is not enough information to go by... Did you keep the UFEI or switched the BIOS to regular BIOS settings? What do you get in every stage when trying to reinstall GRUB following the steps above? If you want to remove Ubuntu MBR and GURB and just have Windows 8, you can use Windows 8 rescue options to reinstall Windows MBR. It would pick up the existing Windows 8 partition and offer you to use it. – OM55 Apr 10 '14 at 14:33
  • I was able to figure it out. I had originally set up grub alongside the windows 8 partition so when I installed grub onto the hdd that the ubuntu partition was on it booted back up into rescue even though it installed fine with no errors. I tried it again this time installing it on the windows 8 hdd and I was able to boot into all of my operating systems just fine. – user3440443 Apr 10 '14 at 14:44
  • Great! (obviously you can't have more than one MBR... so GRUB has to be installed on the main active partition/disk, in your case - it is where Windows 8 was installed). Glad I was able to help! – OM55 Apr 10 '14 at 17:52

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