[clug] Grub trouble

Robert Edwards bob at cs.anu.edu.au
Wed Sep 20 08:17:07 GMT 2006

Mike Carden wrote:
> Good afternoon.
> We have some Shuttle XPC SN25 machines and rather nice they are too.
> They dual boot Kubuntu and XP with GRUB handling bootloader duties.
> Since we have had a few SATA drive failures, we decided to keep an
> image on hand to resurrect any machines after a hard drive incident.
> So I made a boot CD with network drivers and Symantec Ghost 8 on it
> (ghost is already used for drive imaging here). I carefully
> handcrafted a nice SN25 machine with its Linux and Windows partitions
> and all the apps and config we need. I booted it with my new boot CD
> and slurped a drive image across the network to one of our RAIDs.
> Next, up with a Shuttle SN25 ready for imaging, boot from the CD and
> fire up Ghost. Restore the image from the network and all goes well.
> Reboot the box and...
> A screen full of GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB. And nothing else.
> I can boot with a Kubuntu live CD and mount /dev/sda2 where the grub
> stuff in /boot *looks* okay, but I feel I am missing the point here.
> The Shuttle boxes are identical (as far as I can tell) yet the
> restored image has GRUB issues. I have tried Google and the GRUB wiki
> and while I see that this is a pretty common failure mode for GRUB, I
> can't see a cause or solution that relates to my situation.
> Any ideas?
> Thanks,
> MC

I've never used Ghost, so don't know how it handles MBR and/or if it
runs GRUB to install the correct boot loader etc.

However, we have come across a bug in GRUB on Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper
Drake) which exists in the upstream as far as I can recall (Steve
Hanley has the full details) so may also exist in Debian Etch etc.
If the grub commandline installer finds GRUB already in the MBR it
won't update the MBR.

We have to downgrade to an earlier GRUB to overcome this when re-imaging
machines to Dapper Drake if they have previously used GRUB.

If the machine you are imaging already has GRUB in it's MBR, then this
could be what is causing your problem (the symptom looks similar).


Bob Edwards.

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