[nmglug] Lost grub, can't boot; rescue or replace via chroot?

Ted Pomeroy ted.pome at gmail.com
Mon Sep 9 06:22:23 PDT 2019

Tom. You can use your usb stick with identical edition to 'grub-install' to
the mounted hard drive of the problem laptop. Full instructions must be
available in grub2 manual or elsewhere. You can install grub to the hdd,
then 'update-grub' to locate bootable kernels. I don't recall, but does
grub rescue include 'update-grub'? You might look for that first using the
damaged system. Nice old hardware you are using. Try to find a complete
guide online or in print. Good luck, Ted P.

On Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 2:08 PM Tom Ashcraft <trailerdog234 at comcast.net> wrote:

> I'm trying to save my newish installation of Debian 10 Xfce on an old
> 64-bit AMD Toshiba Satellite L505 laptop.  The recently damaged boot
> routine drops to 'grub rescue >'.  So far, the suggested remedies I can
> find for working from 'grub rescue >' have not worked out; however, I'm
> given to understand that alternative strategies might be more
> appropriate.
> To wit, I have both a live USB stick and a persistent installation of
> Debain 10 Xfce on a USB stick that (except for a great deal of data and
> installed software) is virtually identical to the damaged installation.
> I made this for occassional use on another laptop of similar vintage.
> It was created and runs fine on the computer with the boot problem.
> From the desktop of the persistent USB, I can easily see and manipulate
> my HDD files.  I can also see and contrast side-by-side the nearly
> identical files of the working system with the damaged system. (Not
> that it yet helps much.)
> My take from what I've read is that, theoretically, it ought to be
> pretty simple to get in there and 'chroot' into the broken installation
> and update or reinstall grub.
> The problem is that I don't have the experience to understand exactly
> what I'm doing or properly interpret the generic instructions I've
> found, so I keep falling down rabbit holes.
> From the sort of error messages I've been getting, it seems that in
> using 'chroot' I'm having trouble understanding how to exactly acertain
> where I am.  The prompt leads me to suspect I'm still actually  working
> in the system on the USB stick.  Beyond that, I apparently don't know
> how I should properly mount the partition (or partitions) I'm trying to
> be root in.
> How lvm and mbr and efi partitions do or do not interact with all this
> confuses me too.  The installation is lvm on a single partition, I
> believe.
> Any suggestions?
> Tom
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