GRUB is a small program that is used to manage booting into multiple operating systems and to specify boot options for each of the operating system. GRUB could get corrupted or deleted in events like when installing Microsoft Windows, making you unable to load your other installed operating systems.

GRUB configuration is stored in other partition such as in your Ubuntu installation disk. This means if GRUB itself is corrupted or deleted, it can be re-installed and configured to read from existing configuration files.

Steps to recover deleted GRUB bootloader in Linux

  1. Boot into Linux using Live CD / USB Drive.
  2. Get into Live CD mode if available.

    For Ubuntu installer, click on the Try Ubuntu button.

  3. Launch Terminal.

    If no Live CD mode available, press <ctrl> + <alt> + <f2> keys to get to the terminal. For Ubuntu, the default username is ubuntu and the password is empty (just press enter at the password prompt).

  4. Find Linux partition with working GRUB configuration.
    $ lsblk
    NAME   MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
    loop0    7:0    0  1.9G  1 loop /rofs
    loop1    7:1    0 89.3M  1 loop /snap/core/6673
    loop2    7:2    0 53.7M  1 loop /snap/core18/941
    sda      8:0    0   20G  0 disk
    └─sda1   8:1    0   20G  0 part
    sr0     11:0    1    2G  0 rom  /cdrom
  5. Create temporary directory to mount Linux partition.
    $ mkdir tmp

  6. Mount Linux partition to the newly created temporary directory.
    $ sudo mount /dev/sda1 tmp/
  7. Mount /dev and /proc folders folders to the Linux partitions' mount point.
    $ sudo mount --bind /dev tmp/dev
    $ sudo mount --bind /proc tmp/proc
  8. chroot to the Linux partition.
    $ sudo chroot tmp/
    [email protected]:/#
  9. Re-install GRUB bootloader from existing configuration files.
    [email protected]:/# grub-install /dev/sda
    Installing for i386-pc platform.
    Unknown device "/dev/sda1": No such device
    Unknown device "/dev/sda1": No such device
    Unknown device "/dev/sda1": No such device
    Unknown device "/dev/sda1": No such device
    Unknown device "/dev/sda1": No such device
    Unknown device "/dev/sda1": No such device
    Installation finished. No error reported.
  10. Exit chroot environment.
    [email protected]:/# exit
    exit
  11. Shutdown the system.
    $ sudo poweroff

  12. Remove the Live-CD / USB Drive
  13. Boot the system.
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