[wellylug] Grub rescue

Jeff Hunt jeffhunt90 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 21 08:40:36 NZST 2016

I bought 4 new 1TB Seagate drives off of TradeMe. Two are good. One
failed completely but one installs correctly, runs well once or twice
and then fails with 'grub rescue' prompt.
>From the web I learn that this means it has lost the boot folder.
But there is more. We had a computer that allowed us to do
Ctrl+Alt+Delete while it was showing this prompt and it would start on
a second attempt. (a normal restart did not work).

Eventually that computer failed for other reasons and now this disc
cannot be started on another computer at all unless  it has just had a
total reinstall - (I use Ubuntu)

Gparted on a live usb of Ubuntu has the message 'The driver descriptor
says the physical size is 2048, but Linux says 512bytes but I don't
know if this is coming from the usb or the disk. The file system on a
gparted check comes up clean.

I am guessing wildly that the first sector is faulty but the disc
accepts an install and runs it at least once. I half-heartedly
attempted to re-partition moving the /boot but I didn't feel confident
I would get through that correctly with the instructions I had and I
am not clear what happens before the /boot directory is found (does it
always look at the first sector regardless?)

I should just throw it away but it has become a challenge. Has anyone
an idea why an apparently good disc should read and write, accept a
new install but always fail after a boot or two - and  what I can do
to continue to use what is a pretty good disc? It is about 2 years old
and has been tried on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 and on several computers.

I'm going to try it on ArchLinux with syslinux instead of grub to get
started but I thought I would ask before I bother with all of that.

Any thoughts or advice welcome but I will probably end up tossing it out.

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