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Fixing “Executing ‘grub-install/dev/sda’ failed” Error During Ubuntu 20.04 Installation

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If you’re trying to install Ubuntu 20.04 and you’ve encountered the “Executing ‘grub-install/dev/sda’ failed” error, you’re not alone. This error can be quite frustrating, but don’t worry – it’s fixable. In this article, we’ll guide you through several methods to resolve this issue.

Understanding the Error

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s important to understand what this error means. GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader) is a boot loader package developed to support multiple operating systems and allow the user to select among them during boot-up. The error message “Executing ‘grub-install/dev/sda’ failed” usually appears when the installer fails to write the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record (MBR) of your hard drive, typically identified as /dev/sda.


Before attempting any fixes, ensure that your installation media (USB or DVD) is not corrupted. You can verify this by creating a new installation media or using a different one. Also, make sure that Secure Boot is set to “Other OS” and Fast Boot is disabled in your system’s BIOS settings.

Method 1: Checking the Partition Scheme

First, you need to check the partition scheme of your disk. To do this, open the terminal and run the following command:

sudo fdisk -l

This command lists information about your disk partitions. The -l option tells fdisk to list the partition tables for the specified devices and then exit. If you’re booting through UEFI and the partition scheme shows “gpt”, then it’s correct. If it shows “dos” (msdos) and you’re booting through Legacy BIOS mode, then you may need to change the partition scheme.

Method 2: Trying a Different Installation Method

If checking the partition scheme doesn’t solve the problem, you can try using a different installation method. Instead of using the graphical installer, you can try using the alternate installer or the minimal installer. These installers provide a different approach to the installation process and may help bypass any issues encountered with the graphical installer.

Method 3: Checking the System Logs

Another method to troubleshoot this error is by checking the system logs. After encountering the error, you can check the system logs for more detailed information. To do this, run the following command:

cat /var/log/syslog

This command displays the contents of the /var/log/syslog file. Analyzing the logs may provide insights into the specific cause of the installation failure.

Method 4: Following a Step-by-Step Guide

You can also follow a step-by-step guide specifically tailored for installing Ubuntu 20.04. One such guide is available here. This guide provides instructions on how to rescue a non-booting GRUB 2 in Linux, which may help resolve the installation issue.

Method 5: Considering Other Solutions

If none of the above methods work, you can consider other solutions. One such solution is suggested in this Ask Ubuntu answer. This solution may provide additional insights or steps to resolve the “grub-install/dev/sda” error.


The “Executing ‘grub-install/dev/sda’ failed” error can be a roadblock when installing Ubuntu 20.04, but it’s not insurmountable. By following the methods outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve the issue and successfully install Ubuntu 20.04. Remember to always consult official documentation and seek further assistance from the Ubuntu community or forums if needed. Happy troubleshooting!

How do I check if my installation media is corrupted?

To check if your installation media is corrupted, you can create a new installation media or use a different one. This helps ensure that the error is not caused by a faulty USB or DVD.

How do I change the partition scheme?

To change the partition scheme, you need to recreate the partition table of your disk. This process involves deleting all existing partitions and creating new ones using the desired partition scheme (e.g., GPT for UEFI boot or MBR for Legacy BIOS boot).

How do I access the system logs?

To access the system logs, you can open the terminal and run the command cat /var/log/syslog. This command displays the contents of the /var/log/syslog file, which contains detailed information about system events and errors.

Where can I find a step-by-step guide for installing Ubuntu 20.04?

You can find a step-by-step guide for installing Ubuntu 20.04 on the Linux website. One such guide is available at this link. This guide provides instructions on how to rescue a non-booting GRUB 2 in Linux, which may help resolve the installation issue.

What should I do if none of the methods work?

If none of the methods mentioned in the article work, you can consider seeking assistance from the Ubuntu community or forums. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience in troubleshooting Ubuntu installation issues and can provide further guidance or alternative solutions.

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