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Yesterday I did a apt dist-upgrade on my Juno installation. This morning I found my PC unbootable.

Since I couldn't find a fix for it, I started to reinstall my system. After a clean install (on a different SSD, but exactly the same make and model) I performed an apt dist-upgrade. Then I noticed the following in the apt output:

Setting up grub-pc (2.02-2ubuntu8.9+elementary8~ubuntu5.0.1) ...
Installing for i386-pc platform.
Installation finished. No error reported.
Generating grub configuration file ...
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-42-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-36-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-36-generic
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem.
Found elementary OS 5.0 Juno (5.0) on /dev/sdb2
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem.
done Setting up libirs160:amd64 (1:9.11.3+dfsg-1ubuntu1.3) ...
Setting up libbind9-160:amd64 (1:9.11.3+dfsg-1ubuntu1.3) ...
Setting up libdpkg-perl (1.19.0.5ubuntu2.1) ...
Setting up libgala0:amd64 (0.3.2~r672+pkg45~ubuntu5.0.1) ...
Setting up pantheon-greeter (3.3.1+r676+pkg59~ubuntu5.0.1) ...
Setting up python3-apport (2.20.9-0ubuntu7.5) ...
Setting up network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu (1.10.6-2ubuntu1.1) ...
Setting up libsmbclient:amd64 (2:4.7.6+dfsg~ubuntu-0ubuntu2.5) ...
Setting up ubuntu-drivers-common (1:0.5.2.2) ...
Setting up gala (0.3.2~r672+pkg45~ubuntu5.0.1) ...
Setting up switchboard-plug-pantheon-shell (2.7.2+r807~ubuntu5.0.1) ...
Setting up noise (5.0.1+r2647+pkg111~ubuntu5.0.1) ...
Setting up linux-image-generic (4.15.0.42.44) ...
Setting up switchboard-plug-users (2.2.0+r558~ubuntu5.0.1) ...
Setting up bind9-host (1:9.11.3+dfsg-1ubuntu1.3) ...
Setting up dnsutils (1:9.11.3+dfsg-1ubuntu1.3) ...
Setting up linux-generic (4.15.0.42.44) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.27-3ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for initramfs-tools (0.130ubuntu3.5) ...
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-36-generic
Processing triggers for linux-image-4.15.0-42-generic (4.15.0-42.45) ...
/etc/kernel/postinst.d/initramfs-tools: update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-42-generic
/etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub: Generating grub configuration file ...
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-42-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-42-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-36-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-36-generic
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem.
Found elementary OS 5.0 Juno (5.0) on /dev/sdb2
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem. done

There were several grub2 packages in the upgrade. So I think the problem might be in the packages? Has anyone an idea for me to proceed? I don't want to reboot my system right now in fear of not being able to boot up again. Is there any way to fix this? Any solution I found in the internet didn't work, hence the reinstall.

  • By the way. Clean install: used whole harddrive (default option). My SSD is 2 Tb. Df -h says: – Bas Dec 4 '18 at 18:18
  • First: If you want/need to add information just edit your post. Second: Do you have an external drive connected?. An you are right, don't shutdown until is OK – Sebastian Dec 4 '18 at 20:08
  • Thanks. First: Sorry for that!. Second: I do have an external drive connected to restore my backups. Any advice on how to make it ok? I've been looking into rolling back the grub packages, but didn't succeed in doing so at the moment. – Bas Dec 4 '18 at 21:20
  • I just ran the command "sudo grub-install /dev/sda". Which didn't give any errors (like it dit on my previous drive). Would that be a good sign? It just said: "Installing for i386-pc platform. Installation finished. No error reported." (sorry, wasn't allowed to edit the previous comment) – Bas Dec 4 '18 at 21:32
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Based on you comment I have a possible solution:

I saw a comment on another forum of another distro (Archilinux) that having the external drive connected caused this. Disconnect it and try again by running the command

sudo update-grub

A side question (use comments to answer), what format has hat external drive?

  • Hi! Thanks! The problem occurred when no external drive was connected. I have an SSD and use the same SSD as a backup for occasions like this. So I switched drive and did a clean install on the spare SSD and connected the other SSD to copy my data (so that is connected as external drive right now). Both my drives have one ext4 partition. The smaller partition was created by the elementary os installer and I think it is used for busybox in case of emergengies or something like that. – Bas Dec 4 '18 at 21:37
  • Running update-grub gives me the following result: Generating grub configuration file ... Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-42-generic Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-42-generic Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-36-generic Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-36-generic /usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem. Found elementary OS 5.0 Juno (5.0) on /dev/sdb2 /usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem. done – Bas Dec 4 '18 at 21:37
  • Oh... wait a minute... sdb2 is my external driver, so that would be the problem I had before. I think I'm ok at the moment with grub installed on sda and the problem still points to the drive I'm copying from. – Bas Dec 4 '18 at 21:39
  • Please if you are going to dump a console output or log, edit you post/question and then you can reference it in the comment. – Sebastian Dec 4 '18 at 21:52
  • Thanks Sebastian, I still don't know what happened. It wasn't the grub packages. I've rebooted after copying all my data and with the new SSD it works fine. Probably a SSD failure, I guess... will do some testing later. Thanks again! – Bas Dec 5 '18 at 7:55

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