I have an Ubuntu 12.04 server. Last night I installed a few updates using apt-get dist-upgrade, including grub, and rebooted. After rebooting, I couldn't boot into Ubuntu. I just get a big flashing prompt, but nothing comes out when I type in it. If I try to press Del on boot for Setup, or Tab for BIOS, the boot screen just freezes.

The server is remote, so I had a technician boot from a live CD and try to run Boot Repair using the 2nd option, but that didn't fix it.

Here's the apt-get history. You may notice entries for removing kernels; I don't think they're related, and I definitely didn't remove the current kernel (that's linux-image-3.2.0-65-generic), but maybe I just don't know better, so I'm leaving those entries in. I also converted commas to newlines for readability.

Is it possible a routine software update could have caused my server to break like this? Is there any other option than Boot-Repair to fix it? The server is heavily configured, so I'm rather reluctant to reinstall.

Thanks in advance!

Start-Date: 2014-07-07  17:25:08
Commandline: apt-get dist-upgrade
Upgrade: grub-efi-amd64:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.14, 1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
libdrm-radeon1:amd64 (2.4.46-1ubuntu0.0.0.1, 2.4.52-1~precise1)
libdrm2:amd64 (2.4.46-1ubuntu0.0.0.1, 2.4.52-1~precise1)
libdrm-nouveau1a:amd64 (2.4.46-1ubuntu0.0.0.1, 2.4.52-1~precise1)
libdrm-intel1:amd64 (2.4.46-1ubuntu0.0.0.1, 2.4.52-1~precise1)
grub-efi-amd64-bin:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.14, 1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
grub-efi:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.14, 1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
linux-libc-dev:amd64 (3.2.0-65.98, 3.2.0-65.99)
grub-common:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.14, 1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
grub2-common:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.14, 1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
linux-image-3.2.0-65-generic:amd64 (3.2.0-65.98, 3.2.0-65.99)
End-Date: 2014-07-07  17:25:45

Start-Date: 2014-07-07  17:29:54
Commandline: apt-get remove linux-image-3.2.0-57-generic
Remove: linux-image-3.2.0-57-generic:amd64 (3.2.0-57.87)
End-Date: 2014-07-07  17:30:00

Start-Date: 2014-07-07  17:30:15
Commandline: apt-get remove linux-image-3.2.0-58-generic
Remove: linux-image-3.2.0-58-generic:amd64 (3.2.0-58.88)
End-Date: 2014-07-07  17:30:21

Start-Date: 2014-07-07  17:30:35
Commandline: apt-get remove linux-image-3.2.0-59-generic linux-image-3.2.0-60-generic
Remove: linux-image-3.2.0-60-generic:amd64 (3.2.0-60.91)
linux-image-3.2.0-59-generic:amd64 (3.2.0-59.90)
End-Date: 2014-07-07  17:30:44

Start-Date: 2014-07-07  17:31:04
Commandline: apt-get remove linux-image-3.2.0-61-generic linux-image-3.2.0-63-generic
Remove: linux-image-3.2.0-63-generic:amd64 (3.2.0-63.95)
linux-image-3.2.0-61-generic:amd64 (3.2.0-61.93)
End-Date: 2014-07-07  17:31:13

Start-Date: 2014-07-09  12:26:23
Commandline: apt-get install -y --force-yes dmraid
Install: libdmraid1.0.0.rc16:amd64 (1.0.0.rc16-4.1ubuntu8, automatic)
kpartx-boot:amd64 (0.4.9-3ubuntu5.1, automatic)
kpartx:amd64 (0.4.9-3ubuntu5.1, automatic)
dmraid:amd64 (1.0.0.rc16-4.1ubuntu8)
End-Date: 2014-07-09  12:26:31

Start-Date: 2014-07-09  12:27:16
Commandline: apt-get purge -y --force-yes grub* shim-signed
Purge: grub-efi-amd64:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
grub-efi-amd64-bin:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
grub-efi:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
grub-common:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
grub2-common:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15)
End-Date: 2014-07-09  12:27:18

Start-Date: 2014-07-09  12:27:46
Commandline: apt-get install -y --force-yes grub-efi-amd64-signed shim-signed
Install: sbsigntool:amd64 (0.6-0ubuntu4~12.04.1, automatic)
grub-efi-amd64:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15, automatic)
secureboot-db:amd64 (1.1~ubuntu0.12.04.1, automatic)
shim:amd64 (0.4-0ubuntu4, automatic)
grub-efi-amd64-bin:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15, automatic)
grub-common:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15, automatic)
grub2-common:amd64 (1.99-21ubuntu3.15, automatic)
shim-signed:amd64 (1.5~12.04.2+0.4-0ubuntu4)
grub-efi-amd64-signed:amd64 (1.9~ubuntu12.04.6+1.99-21ubuntu3.14)
End-Date: 2014-07-09  12:27:54
  • > The server is heavily configured, so I'm rather reluctant to reinstall. and that is why configuration management is your best friend. TBH I can't tell from that but you always have to be very careful with dist-upgrades. Usually I bring up another box instead. – PHGamer Jul 10 '14 at 1:14

Try booting into live cd and running a grub update on the hard drive. If the person on the other end isn't to savvy try a live cd like rescatux.

  • Did that end up fixing your problem? – joeg1ff Jul 18 '14 at 15:34
  • It did, in a sense. I had to create a new boot partition and install a new kernel there using Boot Repair. So I guess that's not quite what you had in mind. – Tootsie Rolls Jul 18 '14 at 16:20

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