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Recovering Ubuntu installation without losing data


Hi All,

Moving back to Ubuntu, I think so far no disto is better...

I am still not good with the command line nor the different ways to solve my Linux problems, so here is what I need and will explain what I did till i reached the problem...

I need to recover installed Ubuntu or maybe I just need to install a new boot loader.

I have done the following to reach my current condition:

I used to have Mint, and I wanted to Install Ubuntu on a new physical drive sdb1, to keep it away from any ups and downs I am doing while studying redhat (which will be installed instead of Mint on sda1 at the end), and move the bookmarks, emails, everything from the Mint to Ubuntu, and in case of any crash, I would just remove some lines from the Ubuntu grub, and start a new life with another redhat kernel.

As Mint was originally installed, the bootloader was on the original drive sda1.

I thought RedHat 6 installation manager will detect the bootloader, remove the Mint loading line and replace it with the the Redhat, but now no... so now, only redhat is booting, and I have another physical drive sdb1, with Ubuntu on it, and all my other files.

I thought I might be able to solve my problem by:

1) recovering installed Ubuntu (as usually installation manager detects the installed distros), but in this case, i want to move my bootloader to sdb1.

2) as I am sure that Ubuntu installed did not crash and I just need to add it to the bod loader file, and move the grub to sdb1, it might be enough to know how to solve the grub problems.

I found this solved problem, but dont know if it would work or no:


as usual, help is expected from this high technicality and active community.

by the way, it's the i usually find solutions for my problems with no need for a new thread, except that this time it's a bit custom made problem.

thanks a lot


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    The option was in the ubuntu installation prompt to install it's bootloader to the mbr on the second physical disk, but I fail to understand why you would want it there since the mbr for the first disk is checked and is used to run the bootloader.

    In your case the best option would be to use the fedora bootloader for both installations, to do this you can copy the files from /boot on the ubuntu disk to a /boot/ubuntu directory in fedora and add the necessary lines to add ubuntu as an option using the files copied into the fedora /boot/ubuntu directory.
  • Vandal
    Well... I needed to move the mbr to the 2nd drive (my new disk) to keep the installed UBUNTU (which is on the 2nd drive) and get rid of the Mint (on the first drive) and install RedHat instead of this MINT...
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    the mbr does not matter because you only need one boot loader installed, since fedora is on your primary drive I would recommend keeping the fedora boot loader as your primary and modifying it to include ubuntu. Once you have both installed and one of the boot loaders running (by default it will be the last one installed) then we can walk you through all necessary modifications to get a single bootloader on the first disk to manager both distros.
  • Vandal

    Really thanks above all...

    I was lucky to have a back up of my main file to reinstall/recover ubuntu and i chose the root of my second drive (which will become the main one)... I went throught it and it created my new boot-loader...
    I followed the link in my first post and I did not erase any data, and the installation did not cause to lose the home dir, not even the firefox bookmarks. I only needed to install some packages and personalize...

    I want to add that all that I might have needed is to install grub2 and maybe only to run it... all the problem was really solved for me by detecting the installed (inactive) kernel.. i dont want to repeat the problem to discover the solution, but maybe someone else would pass by this and read my last addition.

    Thanks a lot above all...


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