Grub disk: something automatic?

Tom H tomh0665 at
Thu Jan 28 16:12:59 UTC 2010

> 1. If possible, arrange your hard drives so your primary linux partition
> is on your boot hard drives.  When bootstrapping grub, disconnect the
> other hard drives.  It's impossible for even grub to mix up the hard
> drive numbering when there is only hd0.  It will not matter how badly
> is inaccurate on future update-grub runs, since grub will now
> auto-fix itself based on UUID's.. (I'm really loving this new feature.)

Disconnecting the other HDs is pretty radical but why not! :)

> 2. Install grub on the super-block of your filesystem  as well as the
> mbr.  (this won't work with XFS filesystem, since XFS does not leave
> space on the superblock)
> ex: grub-install /dev/sda1

I have lost track whether this is a grub1 or grub2 situation but, if
it is grub2, you cannot run "grub-install /dev/sda1". You can force an
install to /dev/sda1 but I was told off by Goh Lip the last time that
I suggested it (and rightly so!).

Regarding chrooting, Johnnylee Rollins posted a chroot procedure (for grub1) at

This is how you boot from livecd and chroot into your system to reinstall grub.
 1.) Boot into the live Ubuntu cd
 2.) When you get to the desktop open a terminal.
 2.1) Become root with sudo -i
 3.) You have to mount your root partition.
 3.1) # mkdir /mnt/root
 3.2) # mount -t ext3 /dev/x /mnt/root (x is your root partition's
device name. Mine is /dev/sda1)
 4.) Now you have to mount the proc subsystem and udev inside /mnt/root
 4.1) # mount -t proc none /mnt/root/proc
 4.2) # mount -o bind /dev /mnt/root/dev
 5.) Now you have to chroot into your mounted system.
 5.1) # chroot /mnt/root /bin/bash
 6.) Now to reinstall grub. If you aren't root after chrooting, add
sudo to this command
 6.1) # grub
 7.) Now you should have a prompt that looks like this: grub> we're
going to locate our grub installation
 7.1) grub> find /boot/grub/stage1 (only copy and paste the "find
/boot/grub/stage1" part)
 7.2) grub should print out some location. Mine said (hd0,1)
  8.) Now we're going to make sure grub uses the partition with grub on it
 8.1) grub> root (hd0,1) (replace 0,1 with where grub said your
installation was.)
 9.) Now to install grub onto the partition
 9.1) grub> setup (hd0) (replace this with the first number you got in step 7.1)

I would add
4.3) # mount -o bind /dev/pts /mnt/root/dev/pts
4.4) # mount -o bind /sys /mnt/root/sys
out of habit and because (on RHEL and Fedora) without 4.3, you will
get an error that a log entry cannot be written so I do it whether
other distributions need it or not.

For grub2, you would have to replace 6-9 by
6. grub-install /dev/sdX
7. grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

For safety's sake, whether you use the grub1 or grub2 procedure, I
recommend that you exit the chroot and umount all the mounts before

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