Restore the GRUB Bootloader

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As with any Linux operating system, the GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) is responsible for booting up Manjaro. If for any reason your GRUB is not working --perhaps due to being corrupted, mis-configured, or even deleted-- then it may not be necessary to reinstall Manjaro. The GRUB can instead be fully repaired and restored, retaining your installed Manjaro system. To undertake this task, you will need to use your Manjaro installation media, such as, a CD/DVD or USB Flashdrive.

Boot the Manjaro Installation Media

1. Insert and boot your Manjaro installation media.

2. Select your preferred language (F2) and keyboard layout (F3).

Tip: Setting the language and keyboard layout are undertaken by pressing the Function (F) keys. As many computers have multiple functions assigned to each function key, it may be necessary to hold down another key first to use them. For example, on a HP G62 laptop, to use the function keys, the 'fn' key must first be pressed and held.

3. Boot Manjaro Linux. It does not matter which boot option you choose, as the installation media is being used solely to repair/reinstate the GRUB, and not to install a fresh system.

4. Open the terminal or access the command line of the live CD.

  • From the desktop environment: open a terminal from your desktop menu, and enter sudo su in the terminal.
  • From the command line of the NET-Edition or having used the Boot in Text mode option: enter the default login username root and then the password "manjaro" to log in.

Chroot into your existing Manjaro Installation

note: Look here to read more about chroot(ing).

There are 2 different ways to chroot into your exising Manjaro installation: Using mhwd-chroot or doing it manually. Please choose one:

Use mhwd-chroot

1. First, use an application called gparted, which should be in Menu > System > GPartEd. This will provide a simple visual illustration of the partitions on your hard drive(s).

Alternatively, you can use

lsblk -f

to list all your partitions.

2. mhwd-chroot is a tool to easily chroot into an installed Linux installation from a live boot of a Manjaro Installation Media. Install it with

yaourt -S mhwd-chroot

Start mhwd-chroot from your Start Menu or in your terminal one of the following commands:

sudo mhwd-chroot
sudo mhwd-chroot-shell

Next, choose the root partition of your existing Manjaro installation.

Manually Identify and Prepare the Installed Partition(s)

1. Ensure that you are using the Root account, which is identified by a hash ('#') at the beginning of the command line, rather than a dollar ('$'). To switch to Root, enter the command:

sudo su

2. List your partitions. This is necessary in order to identify the partition your Manjaro system is installed on. If you have used a separate boot partition, it will be necessary to identify this as well. For a list of your paritions, enter the command:

lsblk -f
sudo blkid -o list -c /dev/nul

In this particular instance, having used the assisted preparation method to install Manjaro earlier, the partitions for the author's Manjaro system are as follows:

  • /dev/sda1: Boot partition
  • /dev/sda2: Swap partition
  • /dev/sda3: Manjaro system
  • /dev/sda4: Space for personal files.

If you are still unsure, then you can also use an application called gparted, which should be in Menu > System > GPartEd. This will provide a simple visual illustration of the partitions on your hard drive(s). If a separate partition for the GRUB exists, it will be marked as 'bootable', and should only be about 100MB in size.

3. Mount your Manjaro system partition. The syntax to mount the Manjaro system partition is:

mount /dev/[partition used for Manjaro system] /mnt

In this instance, as the Manjaro system partition is /dev/sda3, this will be mounted using the following command:

mount /dev/sda3 /mnt

IF you have used a separate partition for your GRUB bootloader, then this must also be mounted. The syntax to mount a separate partition used to boot is:

mount /dev/[partition used for GRUB] /mnt/boot

In this instance, a separate partition --/dev/sda1-- has been used for the GRUB, and will be mounted using the following command:

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
note: Again, if you have not used a separate boot partition, then it (obviously) does not need to be mounted!

4. Change to the root directory of your mounted partitions.

cd /mnt

This is undertaken so that you are working from --and with-- your installed system, rather than the installation media. To do so, it will be necessary to enter a series of commands in the following order:

mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc
mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
mount -t devpts pts /mnt/dev/pts/
chroot /mnt

Restore GRUB

First, install the software applications mtools and os-prober. mtools is a collection of tools to access MS-DOS disks from GNU/Linux and Unix without mounting them. os-prober is a utility that detects if there are any other operating systems present. Install them both with the following command:

pacman -S mtools os-prober

For BIOS Systems

1. Install a new GRUB bootloader with the following command:

grub-install /dev/sda
note: sda is the disk device where you want to install GRUB. You can check it using lsblk -f or using GParted as explained before.

2. Recheck to ensure the that installation has completed without any errors:

grub-install --recheck /dev/sda

3. Finally, configure the freshly installed GRUB bootloader:


All done! Now close the terminal and reboot your system to use your freshly re-installed GRUB.

For UEFI Systems

Warning: You need to be chrooted for this procedure as mentioned in the previous step.

1.) First of all check the partition for the ESP (EFI System Partition). An ESP is a fat32 partition and contains .efi files for booting.

It can be checked using Gparted or from the terminal using fdisk -l

(Note: If you do not have a EFI partition, you will need to create it. Use Gparted for that.

Type- fat32

Size- 512 mb to 1 gb)

2.) Create the /boot/efi directory

sudo mkdir /boot/efi

3.) Mount the EFI partition as /boot/efi

sudo mount /dev/sdXY /boot/efi

X = Alphabet of the drive = a,b,c ... Y = Partition number of the EFI partition = 1,2,3,4...

Example - /dev/sda4

4.) Re-install Grub.

sudo grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=manjaro --recheck

5.) Update Grub configuration file.

sudo update-grub


If you get something like

EFI variables are not supported on this system.

Then install the efibootmgr, dosfstools and grub packages and try steps 4 and 5 again.

If it still doesn't work, then try exiting the chroot environnment by typing exit, then loading the efivars module:

sudo modprobe efivars

and retry the steps again. Should the modprobe fail try

sudo modprobe efivarfs

and in the chroot

mount -t efivarfs efivarfs /sys/firmware/efi/efivars

And if you get something like

grub-install: error: failed to get canonical path of `union'.

means that probably you forgot to chroot.

See also

UEFI Install Guide

Arch Wiki:GRUB#UEFI_systems_2

Alternative method

Mount the ext4 Manjaro root partition at /install

Mount the vfat Manjaro efi partition at /install/boot/efi

And then install Grub as:

grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/install/boot/efi --bootloader-id=manjaro --boot-directory=/install/boot --recheck --debug

After the above you could chroot and try the update-grub command as earlier.


Arch Linux is not recognized

If Arch Linux wasn't recognized after an update-grub then probably your Arch installation is missing the package lsb-release.


Forum topic

The Arch Wiki

Post for support at the forums