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Oops, Windows 7 killed GRUB!

2010/02/17

On a system with Ubuntu installed on top of software RAID5, which was painstakingly crafted over the course of a few days, I got overly ambitious. I installed Windows 7 on a new partition on one of the hard drives. Without a plan. It was bad.

Well, it was KIND of bad. Windows decided to blow away the MBR of the first hard disk, and leave the system sans a bootloader.

Gee whiz, so, what about being able to boot into Ubuntu? (That’s fun to say.)

No big deal, seemingly. We’ll just load up a LiveCD and reinstall grub… except, there’s no optical drive in this machine, so we’ll have to [use unetbootin | manually create a live usb drive | some other ridiculous process that takes too long or doesn’t work ]

After wasting too much time on those seemingly simple options which all failed for some reason or another (save for the manual creation of a bootable live USB… that was just taking too damned long) the simple fleeting thought came rippling through the fog of an exhausting day… “There are 3 hard drives in this machine. What are the odds GRUB is installed on all of them?”

Sure enough, after booting to the 2nd HDD, the glorious ‘GRUB Loading’ message flashed on screen, followed by a VERY welcome Ubuntu splash image.

Now that the precious Bash command prompt was once again sweetly beckoning, it was a simple thing to do sudo grub-install /dev/sda and restore order to the MBR of HDD1.

Moreover, sudo update-grub2 found the new Windows install, and added it to grub menu.

Ubuntu, Linux, and open source, giving us options, yet again!

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