I have a laptop with Xubuntu installed.

At install I chose the full disk encryption option.

But yesterday i accidentally dd-ed a DSL image to sda1 (/boot partition) instead to sdb1 (pendrive).

How can i repair my /boot ?

  • pls tell us your ubuntu version
    – d1bro
    Nov 3, 2016 at 2:30

2 Answers 2


Hello I tested the following commands in my laptop - yeah I deleted everything in /dev/sda1 and I got it working again - so here it is:

  • Get a live-image and boot from it.

- First lets get a clean /dev/sda1 - open GParted; reformat /dev/sda1 with ext2 and don't forget to confirm the changes and then set the "boot" flag (right click on the partition --> select "Manage Flags" --> check the box next to "boot" [this automatically causes the "esp" flag to be set to] --> click the "Close" button). (this was due to "dd-ed a DSL image to sda1" in OP post)

  • Now we will prepare everything to chroot into the installed system and then we will switch into it (via chroot):

     sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda5 sda5_crypt
     sudo vgscan --mknodes
     sudo vgchange -ay
     sudo mount /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root /mnt
     sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
     for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys /run; do sudo mount -B $i /mnt$i; done
     sudo chroot /mnt
  • Okay let's delete and reinstall GRUB: grub-install /dev/sda apt purge grub-common (have your terminal in fullscreen-mode due to ncurses), this might ask you if it shall delete everything - select yes; now lets reinstall it with apt install grub-pc here select /dev/sda when asked.

  • Lastly we need to reinstall a kernel to get the needed initrd.img-* and vmlinuz-* images into "/boot/". We get currently-installed kernels with apt list --installed linux-image-* and now we reinstall this kernel with apt install linux-image-[version-numbers]-generic --reinstall - don't forget to exchange the brackets with an actual version number.

  • Almost done; exit chroot with Ctrl + d, or just type exit, and then reboot (via GUI menus or with sudo reboot)!

Used resources:

  • 1
    thx this post helped me again!
    – Oliver G.
    Jan 8, 2018 at 19:57
  • 2
    Great answer! One additional issue that I needed to fix after that: The reformat of sda1 lead to a different uuid for that partition. So I needed to change the uuid in fstab after this procedure. Apr 18, 2018 at 13:21
  • 1
    I love you man. Sep 23, 2019 at 11:45
  • 1
    Btw how do you copy/paste in a shell? I resorted to taking a pic of the uuid. Sep 23, 2019 at 11:56
  • 3
    I would run sudo grub-install /dev/sda instead of purging grub-common and reinstalling grub-pc. Oct 2, 2019 at 13:27

I had to do this to rescue an encrypted Manjaro install, and I had to modify the other answer's commands slightly for them to work.

1️⃣ Instead of mounting the drive's boot partition to /mnt/boot, I had to mount it to /mnt/boot/efi. Otherwise, GRUB would complain that it can't find the EFI partition.

2️⃣ I had to add /sys/firmware/efi/efivars to the for loop (credit to this answer). Without this, GRUB would not recognize the chrooted system as being booted in UEFI mode, though it was:

# grub-install /dev/drive
Installing for x86_64-efi platform.
EFI variables are not supported on this system.
EFI variables are not supported on this system.
grub-install: error: efibootmgr failed to register the boot entry: No such file or directory.

The drive details:

# "drive" is the encrypted Manjaro drive we need to reinstall GRUB on

drive             931.5G
├─drivep1 UUID1   300M     vfat          # EFI partition
├─drivep2 UUID2   922.4G   crypto_LUKS   # /
└─drivep3 UUID3   8.8G     crypto_LUKS   # SWAP

🔑 The version of the commands that worked for me:

cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/drivep2 drive_crypt
vgscan --mknodes
vgchange -ay
mount /dev/mapper/drive_crypt /mnt
mount /dev/drivep1 /mnt/boot/efi
for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys /sys/firmware/efi/efivars /run; do sudo mount -B $i /mnt$i; done
chroot /mnt

Once chrooted in, run:

grub-install /dev/drive
pacman -S linux?? # replace "??" with whatever kernel version already exists 
                  # or is desirable

Exit chroot (press Ctrl + d or run exit), reboot (systemctl reboot), and try to boot in to the rescued drive by selecting its entry in the UEFI! 🤞

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