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grub cannot find normal.mod after upgrade 28 -> 29

asked 2018-12-18 12:46:06 -0500

paul_vdmeij gravatar image

updated 2018-12-18 17:14:44 -0500

florian gravatar image

I upgraded fedora 28 to 29 and it seemed to go ok (4500 packages) but the reboot failed with grub not finding /boot/grub/386-pc/normal.mod

I checked in the grub rescue mode, but there is no architecture subdirectory in /boot/grub2, so something is wrong with the grub2 configuration, but I have not seen any error messages during the 3 hour upgrade (have not been looking either, so could have missed)

can I re-configure grub, and how ?

This is the second time I used upgrading, also from 26 to 28. previously I always installed from scratch ( started with fedora core 4), but I quite like the upgrade, saving a lot of installing all kind of extra packages

I use the XFCE spinoff

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Can you confirm that you're not (or were not) using UEFI boot for your computer?

Please post here output of cat /etc/fstab, sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda and sudo blkid. You can use Live USB to access your Fedora partitions. Note I heed /etc/fstab from installed Fedora, not from the Live USB session.

Night Romantic gravatar imageNight Romantic ( 2018-12-19 01:22:32 -0500 )edit

I am not sure if usb-boot works on my system, never used. The bios menu shows : asus UEFI bios utilitu May I better look for a Live CD , I have all the old fedora install CD's 26 and older, but another Live CD is probably more effective thank you for reacting

paul_vdmeij gravatar imagepaul_vdmeij ( 2018-12-19 04:27:20 -0500 )edit

sorry, I see that I must use fedora 29 Live CD , not an older one

paul_vdmeij gravatar imagepaul_vdmeij ( 2018-12-19 04:30:13 -0500 )edit

In general USB boot usually is available, if you have UEFI bios you have modern enough system for it. Sometimes you have to enable it in BIOS settings. It makes no difference if you use usb or cd in this case.

You also can use older cd if you can't make new one in timely fashion. It can contain older grub so you'll be better off reinstalling grub from your installation (using chroot from Live cd). Besides if your Fedora installed in UEFI mode them chroot thing is the only correct thing to do.

Night Romantic gravatar imageNight Romantic ( 2018-12-19 06:13:00 -0500 )edit

Can you please boot from Live CD (older one will do for now), then provide output of commands sudo blkid and sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda?

Night Romantic gravatar imageNight Romantic ( 2018-12-19 06:16:55 -0500 )edit

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answered 2018-12-19 16:01:23 -0500

paul_vdmeij gravatar image

I checked a number of grub repair stories from the internet and followed one up with adaptions and my problem seems solved

  1. I booted with a live fedora-29 DVD
  2. I tried grub2-mkconfig in a chroot environment but that failed with no / found, (is dev mounted)
  3. I run grub2-mkconfig passing the / as a path parameter (/run/media/mapper/fedora_pc4-root) with positive result in a /boot/grub2/grub.cfg file
  4. I tried grub2-install passing /dev/sda3 (the efi partition) as parameter and architecture I386-pc in stead of X86-64-efi, but that came with cannot embed in fat file system
  5. I tried to reboot anyway, and surprise, it worked and fedora 29 is up and running to full satisfaction
  6. I did not check the startup logfiles, but there where no errors or warnings on the screen
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@paul_vdmeij, grub2-mkconfig just creates grub.cfg, file containing configuration and menu of grub2 bootloader.

It could not help you recover from normal.mod not found problem as grub need normal.mod first, and grub.cfg a bit later. So steps 2 and 3 were... not that you needed )

Night Romantic gravatar imageNight Romantic ( 2018-12-20 00:46:08 -0500 )edit

Step 4 was reinstalling grub (or repairing grub installation as I put it in my answer). There are couple of things to note here.

  1. You haven't checked (or told us if you did) if your installation used UEFI or BIOS. This is important as procedure for grub reinstall is different in these two cases, and I'm not sure they can swapped easily.

  2. You installed BIOS boot variant (and it worked, I congratulate you). Though you mention efi partition, which means that at some time at least your installation was using UEFI ) To avoid this confusion I asked you to provide output of commands above.

Night Romantic gravatar imageNight Romantic ( 2018-12-20 00:50:04 -0500 )edit

I wouldn't force grub-install to use specific architecture, in my experience it always detected correct one. It's better to install it to /dev/sda (the beginning of the harddrive) and not to /dev/sda3 (the 3rd partition on the harddrive).

And if you reinstalling from Live CD/USB, you generally need to use --boot-directory=/path_to_your_mounted_root_partition/boot or if you have separate boot partition then --boot-directory=/path_to_your_mounted_boot_partition

Night Romantic gravatar imageNight Romantic ( 2018-12-20 01:09:30 -0500 )edit
  1. I tried anew your requested command output gdisk .., but limit on comment length is too strong
    1. I did not want to force grub install, but only in /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/ i see .mod modules
    2. probably my layout/partitioning of my harddisk confused the fedora upgrade, I only use fedora, but some garbage left from the past.. thanks for your explanation
paul_vdmeij gravatar imagepaul_vdmeij ( 2018-12-21 05:21:18 -0500 )edit

@paul_vdmeij, you can edit your original question and add output there. I don't think it's needed now, as you have working bootloader.

On my F29 machine with default install and with UEFI boot grub .mod files are also in /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/.

Night Romantic gravatar imageNight Romantic ( 2018-12-21 08:14:16 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-12-19 01:53:30 -0500

Night Romantic gravatar image

updated 2018-12-19 06:17:15 -0500

Basic recommendations are like this.

  1. You could be ableto manually point grub to normal.mod from rescue mode, then boot you installation and repair grub. Basic instructions are here:, first answer (will community forgive me for pointing to that other distro's resources? We are all friend here, right? ;-) ).

  2. You should repair your grub installation. It could be done from installed Fedora, if you're successful with step 1, of from installation media (Live CD of USB). I strongly suggest you to make Fedora 29 Live USB or CD, do not use earlier ones. For repairing grub you can use general Workstation one or XFCE one, it doesn't matter. If you won't be successful with step 1, obviously you'll have to use another computer to make Live CD/USB.

Key point with repairing grub is to determine if grub was installed in BIOS or UEFI mode. Be careful here as you'll mess up your installation if you choose wrong mode.

There are plenty of how-to's both on this site and in Internet (how to repair grub is one of the most often asked questions) for both BIOS and UEFI mode recovery. I can provide you with a couple of links or additional advice if you need it when you provide an answer to key BIOS/UEFI question.

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Asked: 2018-12-18 12:46:06 -0500

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Last updated: Dec 19 '18