I just installed Ubuntu 13.04 on a clean 1.5 TB drive. I have a two drives connected to my machine: 1 runs Windows 7 and the other is now loaded with Ubuntu. Installation went fine as far as I could tell, followed prompts and left all settings alone, accepting whatever the installer stated (defaults). Rebooted machine as prompted but when it started back up I was launched to a command line prompt with a message that this was a minimal BASH-like prompt and that <TAB> would give me a list of available commands to use if pressed on an empty command line. I could not launch X (startx returned an unknown command message) and most other options stated that the kernel needed to be started first. Anyone else know about this and how to correct it?

3 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Nihil777

What you are seeing is the GRUB boot loader. It allows you to boot multiple operating systems from the same drive. If you leave the system at the screen it should go ahead and boot Ubunto after a few seconds. Here is a link to more information:

    I waited 10 minutes and nothing happened. Going to assume user-error somewhere and try a fresh install of 12.xx.

I believe you need to do a grub recovery.

The fact that you installed Ubuntu and Windows on separate hard-drives might be the root cause of this issue. How exactly did you proceed to do the installation? I know you went through the Ubuntu install menus, but what I want to know is: Did you temporarily remove the Windows hard-drive? Where did you tell Ubuntu installer to put the Grub bootloader? Are you chain-loading with the Windows bootloader (e.g., with EasyBCD?)?

If you temporarily removed the Windows hard-drive in order to install Ubuntu on the other, then I am not the least bit surprised that you have the error that you have. Upon installation, the Grub bootloader for Ubuntu is configured to point to the installed the Ubuntu OS, usually by the name of the hard-drive, and by "name", I mean the sequence number (i.e., first, second, third hard-drive). If you change the hard-drives that are plugged in afterwards, this changes, and nothing works. If Grub detects that the OS is not where it is supposed to be, it just jumps to the command-prompt to let the user boot the correct OS manually (which is hard). See this issue.

You can probably repair your grub bootloader by booting from your LiveCD and going through the repair / recovery menus.

If not, boot from the liveCD (i.e. "Try Ubuntu" menu) and re-install grub. Basically, find the identifier for the hard-drive on which you installed Ubuntu by listing the drives with $ sudo fdisk -l (it should be something like /dev/hda or /dev/sda). Then, run the grub-install command. N.B.: if you plan to frequently disconnect or change your hard-drives, then I suggest that you modify the Grub configuration files to use the hard-drive's UUID instead of its /dev/sda style identifier.

I also recommend that you use EasyBCD from Windows to chain-load grub from the Windows bootloader. That is my preferred setup, always. Keep grub on the partition / hard-drive where you install Linux, and chain-load from the Windows bootloader to Grub by configuring it with EasyBCD (under Windows).

I waited 10 minutes and nothing happened. Going to assume user-error somewhere and try a fresh install of 12.xx.

This issue has nothing to do with the Ubuntu installation or version. This most likely caused by where and how you installed Grub (the boot-loader). Repeating the same installation procedure with another version of Ubuntu is likely to result in the exact same issue (or worse). And I am almost certain that your Ubuntu installation is perfectly fine, you just can't start it up because the Grub installation is messed-up. All you need is to repair Grub, and the rest should be fine, no need to repeat the whole process.

Edited by mike_2000_17: added note


Ruled out user error (as you predicted). Windows
7 drive was connected during installation.
Just upgrade motherboard to a new Ubuntu-compatabile
Gigabyte board. What would be the Linux drive
Is connected to sata port 0 and windows to sata port
1. Should I disconnect the windows drive and try
To do the install first then reconnect?


Should I disconnect the windows drive and try to do the install first then reconnect?

No. Do not do that.

Try to repair the grub install as I instructed before.


I have ubuntu and win7 on 2 different hard drives. I installed both with just the 1 hdd attached at a time. All I have to do is choose which hdd to boot from in bios. The advantage of doing it this way is that if I wish to re-install either the other OS is left perfectly in tact and no messing with boot loaders is required at all.

Edited by Rik_


Ok, finally got everything working properly. Tried the grub install but this still left me with same issue. So I removed my Win 7 drive, did a fresh install of 12.04 with the Linux drive being the only one connected to the board via SATA cable slot 0 (first one on the board). After verifying that this loaded correctly and running all updates, I turned off the system and connected the Win 7 drive to SATA cable slot 1. I invoked the motherboard's splash screen and used that to switch whioh HDD booted, verified Win 7 loaded properly then switched to Ubuntu and it loaded fine as well. As a precaution I followed a tip I had read and mounted the Win 7 drive while in Ubuntu. Everything running peachy now. Seems Ubuntu wanted me to install on the same drive as Win 7 for some reason and that is not what I wanted to do.

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