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Recover Grub2 after installing Windows

An Ubuntu Guide

Recover Grub2 after installing Windows

So you were enjoying life using Ubuntu and then one day you had to install Windows for that one application your boss makes you use and now no more Ubuntu. When we need a dual boot system it’s always best to install Windows first then Ubuntu due to Windows stripping out the boot loader but what if you have no choice? or a crash that corrupted the boot loader. Boot-Repair to the rescue.

Boot-Repair will have you logging back into Ubuntu in no time just grab your Ubuntu install media and we can begin. Insert your Ubuntu CD and reboot your computer make sure your computer is set to boot from CD in the BIOS, when prompted select "Try Ubuntu" to start a live session. You can also use a LiveUSB if you have one handy remember to adjust your bios accordingly. Now that you have Ubuntu running from a cd or usb you will need a fantastic little application called Boot-Repair gone are the days or recovering grub from the terminal. 

So what is Boot-Repair?

Its a small graphical tool used to restore access to Ubuntu and other OS’s such as Windows when disaster strikes, it has two basic options.(See Figure Below)

  1. Recommended repair - To repair the most frequent boot problems. (In a nutshell it reinstalls Grub2)
  2. Create a BootInfo summary - This is used to get help by email or a forum

Boot-Repair also has some advanced options such as MBR restore and filesystem repair.
Note: Boot-Repair is a free software, licensed under GNU-GPL. Boot-Repair is not officially supported by Canonical, use it at your own risks.


So now that we know what it is let’s install it, you can either add ‘ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair’ to your Software Sources via the Software Centre or the faster way is to open up a terminal and type the following ok if you are feeling lazy just copy and paste it.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair

Note: Boot-Repair can be installed & used from any Ubuntu session (normal session, or live-CD, or live-USB). PPA packages are available for Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10, 11.04, 11.10 and 12.04.

Now lets get started with Boot-Repair to launch the application you have a few options

  • The dash (Unity)
  • System->Administration->Boot-Repair menu (Gnome)
  • Typing 'boot-repair' in a terminal

After this, click "Recommended repair" and apply. If you are willing to use the advanced options, make sure you leave the "Reinstall GRUB" checkbox ticked. Now reboot your system. The usual GRUB boot menu should appear. If it does not, hold Left Shift while booting. You will be able to choose between Ubuntu and Windows.

If the repair did not succeed, copy and paste the URL that appears in the popup window to get help by email or a forum. The Boot-Repair official forum can be found Here which would be my first place to start pasting the failed recovery URL.

That’s it! you can once again enjoy using Ubuntu.

About the Author

Steven Palmer

Steven Palmer

Hi! I'm Steve the founder and head developer of CoalaWeb design studios. I'm an avid supporter of open source projects and the GPL license.


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