How to Repair Error 17 in Grub

Updated July 20, 2017

Grub error 17 occurs when the system's hard disk drive, or HDD, devices are detected in a different order than what Grub detected at installation. Grub, which stands for Grand Unified Bootloader, is software that allows a computer to install multiple operating systems onto a single computer. Grub is distributed with a number of operating systems, including Ubuntu Linux. If a computer reports Grub error 17, it will not be able to load the installed operating systems until the error is corrected. Resolve the error by configuring the system's BIOS to be more flexible with drive recognition or by configuring Grub to recognise the correct device order.

Boot the computer, then enter the command to enter BIOS displayed at start-up. The command to enter BIOS will be displayed on the initial splash screen and must be entered before the splash screen goes away. The BIOS command varies depending on manufacturer. For instance, Compaq computers use "DEL" while most Dell computers use "F2."

Locate the HDD devices in the BIOS menu. All HDD devices connected to the computer should be detected by the system BIOS. If a drive is missing from this list, check that the device is properly connected. A correctly connected drive that is undetected could indicate a physical problem with the disk that may be unrecoverable.

Write down the initial BIOS settings for each HDD device on the system. Before making changes to a system's BIOS, it is good practice to record the initial settings so that they can be returned to their prior state if necessary.

Change the mode on all HDD devices to "Auto" by cycling through the available options using the + or - keys.

Change the Type field of the HDD device to "User" by first highlighting the field by tabbing over to it using the up and down arrow keys, and then cycling through the available options using the + or - keys. Note that not all BIOS will have a Type field. If your system does not use the Type field, disregard and proceed to the next step.

Press "F10" to save your changes and "Esc" to exit the BIOS. The system should now boot correctly without Grub error 17.


Always record the initial BIOS settings prior to making any changes, or they may be lost.

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About the Author

Based out of Los Angeles, Greg Barozzi has been writing since 2001. His short fiction appears in the Aphelion Webzine and he blogs about being a father. Barozzi has over 10 years of health-care experience and is an avid outdoorsman. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Riverside.