Wubi, Ubuntu 12.04, Gnu Grub

So here we are, Ubuntu 12.04! Well, let’s try it out, I’ve said to myself. Great impovements, fresh GUI with fresh Unity and so on…

But, if you install it from windows with wubi, at next reboot you find a gnu grub terminal waiting for you to type commands in.

Why is this happening might be a mystery, also if you’ve successfully installed ubuntu via wubi in the past, maybe with the help of my precedent post here  https://piergiu.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/try-hd00-ntfs5-no-wubildr/ .

Grub can’t understand what to load because we have the wrong wubildr files from past installations of ubuntu with wubi. Have you installed ubuntu or similar with wubi in the past, don’t you?

Well I’ve managed to solve the problem quite easily. Here’s how I’ve done it.

First if you’re stuck on gnu grub shell, give it a ctrl-alt-canc(or delete depending on where you live) and then boot into windows and log in with your amministrator account, to be sure that windows will let you open reserved partitions.
Next, press the start icon and type “disk management” to enter the utility for managing disk and partitions.

Here you can find the hidden partition, named with something like “System reserved”. Right click on it and select “Change letter…..” and then press add button and give this partition a letter unit.

Doing so you can enter that partition and remove all wubildr files that you previously put there.(cleaning part)

Once you’ve removed those file, go to your ubuntu installation folder and search a folder named winboot and copy all files inside it and paste them in the hidden partition where there was the “same” files for the old installation.(update part)
Now you can decide to simply reboot and start using ubuntu without the gnu grub prompt, or if you want, remove the letter from the partition to hide it again.

And we’re done. Yes, nothing complicated, no magic scripts, no plain installations, or formatting of hard disk as I saw as “advice” in linux forums. Just this easy 5 steps. And by the way, it’s not all fault of ubuntu, but as usual, well, you can imagine it who as a big part in this 🙂 .

I hope it helped you, and I leave you here with a screenshot taken during the process.


UPDATE: where do this system partition of 100 MB come form?
Here’s the answer! A screenshot of the installation process of windows 7

Try (hd0,0): NTFS5: No wubildr

UPDATE(for those who want to follow this guide or have already followed in past times): Gnu grub shell might appear if you are going to install another linux distribution using wubi, let’s say another version of ubuntu. This is due to the fact that you’ve removed ubuntu but not the wubildr files in the hidden partition(trick to get wubi working on windows, shown later in this article), and they must be updated to perform a new installation…more here https://piergiu.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/wubi-ubuntu-12-04-gnu-grub/

You’ve just installed your brand new ubuntu 10.10, then you reboot, and…

Try (hd0,0): NTFS5: No wubildr


And this for about 1 or 2 minutes! then ubuntu boots up..

The problem is that an hidden partition that windows 7 creates, reserved for the system, about 100mb in size, keeps our loader from ..well.. LOADING our O.S..

How to solve:

  1. go to “File System”\host\ubuntu\winboot     and copy ALL of its content.
  2. go to (and mount with double-left-click) “System Reserved” and paste ALL you’ve COPIED in step 1.
  3. then you can reboot and no-more-hanging of our loader, that finally..well..LOADS..

UPDATE: Where does this hidden partition come from? Here’s a pic from the installation process of windows 7!