Aug 5, 2007

Restoring GRUB after Ghosting: Ubuntu 7.04

So, as you all know, I recently mentioned my love for a new disk imaging system I found called PING. I used it to create a disk image (Ghost image) of my Ubuntu laptop. Everything was great! PXE was working like a charm, Backup took a little longer than I wanted, but not bad. Then I took a deep breath, wiped my hard drive using DBAN and decided that it was time for a full test of the restore process.

Once again, everything was smooth. PXE still worked great, and I began restoring the imaged that I just created. The restore process was a 100 times faster than the backup process. So far, I am really loving PING.

After the restore process I received a bit of a shock. When the laptop tried booting up it got hung on GRUB. In fact, there whole screen was covered by hundreds of the word GRUB. Somehow, the GRUB boot loader got corrupted during the restore. After doing some research online, I found that this, unfortunately is pretty common. It isn't necessarily a flaw with PING, so please don't let this blog post discourage you from using PING. It appears to be a flaw of GRUB itself. From all of the forums I visited, this also happens with the commercial Symantec Ghost program as well.

So what am I supposed to do then? Re-install Ubuntu from scratch? Of course not. With the small exception of a corrupted GRUB, the rest of the image was fine. Here is what I did to restore GRUB:

1) Booted my laptop using the Ubuntu 7.04 install live CD
2) Opened a terminal window and switched user to root (sudo su)
3) I typed grub then enter which opens the GRUB shell.
4) Next I typed find /boot/grub/stage1 then enter to find out which partition grub saw was the boot partition (for me it was hd0,1).
5) I typed root (hd0,1) then enter
6) Then I typed setup (hd0) then enter. GRUB did its thing and re-installed itself properly.
7) I typed quit at the prompt to get out of the GRUB shell, then I rebooted my laptop. Everything booted up fine after that!

Does anyone know how Linux "Ghosting" does with LILO as the boot loader? If it does better, I might have to remove GRUB and switch to LILO. Let me know in the comments.

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