The last thing I needed when turning my desktop back on this afternoon was GRUB merrily announcing it had experienced “Error 2”. This left my system unbootable, at a crucial time when I really really need it. Fortunately for me, I had my netbook handy, so I whipped it out and Googled the error. This told me that GRUB can’t find my hard disk. This was interesting since it’s the disk it’s on that it’s booting from, so I took comfort in the fact that the drive at least was still there.

The solution I found resided on the ever-usefulUbuntu forums, advising me to edit the GRUB menu to change the disk it’s trying to boot from. Fine, if I had GRUB set up to display a menu. Unfortunately, so such luck. Lucky for me, some months ago I had the foresight to download a burn a handy utility called Super Grub Disk. Essentially, it’s a CD (or hard drive partition) that boots into GRUB, with a load of pre-configured menu options. These do anything from trying to boot your system as best it can to re-installing GRUB to your Master Boot Record (very handy if you’ve just installed Windows to dual boot with Linux). It really is the best system recovery tool since sliced Knoppix. In particular, I chose the option to boot Linux manually, which gave me the same error as I’d seen before, then dropped me out at the boot menu for my own GRUB installation. This let me change the disk I was trying to boot from, et voilà, one working system!