I know there is a lot of documentation about Grub and grub2 here and around the internet, but nothing seems to solve my problem.

I upgrade from ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10 during its beta stage, and everything was working great! But suddenly LightDM started acting up, when I would type my password to log in the screen would flash and bring me straight back to LightDM.

Then one day I booted to a message similar to "GNU grub version 1.99 ubuntu. Minimal BASH-like editing is supported. Type help for complete list."

I reasoned I messed things up, thus I took a live CD to simply copy all my files to an external hard drive so I could reinstall Ubuntu. But when I go to my home folder the only folder there is a folder called boot/grub/etc.

How can I get all my data back? Thats all I'm concerned about, not so much about reviving Ubuntu, I will simply reinstall it.

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


When you boot a live session, open the file manager, look in File system. You want to find / and then "media". In that folder, you'll find one or more folders. One of them will be your installed root directory wherein you should find "home", which contains your files.

What is important to remember, is that you'll have two almost identical file systems in the live session; the file system of the live session itself, and the file system that's stored on disk. It's the one that's stored on disk you're after and it is located in /media/something.


When you are booting from a live CD, it essentially means that the operating system (and hence all content within) is on the live CD itself. Perhaps the home folder you are trying to view is on the CD. You have to mount the disk on which your old Ubuntu installation lives and browse the home folder there.

Another problem might be that while installing Ubuntu, you somehow chose to encrypt the home folder. In that case you probably will not be able to see the contents of home folder of your previous installation unless you're logged into it, which you cannot because you messed grub up. I don't know what you could do in that situation.

  • 1
    If you have encrypted your drive and you don't have the passphrase, then there simply isn't anything you can do. Your data is irrecoverable. That's the whole point. :) It doesn't sound like that's the issue here, though. Jan 1, 2012 at 22:57

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