Development Linux Ubuntu

18.04 updates break the grub and prevent booting

Today I encountered an issue which prevented my system from booting. The system is a fresh install, as I recently reinstalled Ubuntu 18.04.3 via a live USB with the official Ubuntu ISO.

This is my third or fourth attempt, and I am experiencing the same issue:

  • Install the system with default parameters

  • Reboot immediately after installation, no issue.

  • Update my system. Right now it’s broken, so I don’t have it anymore, but I just ran the regular updates right after installing the system.

  • After rebooting again, my system appears broken. I can no longer boot to Ubuntu. The system continues to show the grub menu and then fails if I select any option.
  • Every time this happens, I reinstall Ubuntu 18.04.3 and have the same issue (update and get stuck in a boot loop).
  • We have an error showed by dmesg:
EDAC amd64: Error: F0 not found, device 0x1460 (broken BIOS?)
EDAC amd64: Error: Errorprobing instamce: 0

We reproduced this error with another computer (edit: 3 other computers) with a week-old install and ran into the exact same problem. The other computers have similar very recent hardware (most recent AMD CPU, AMD Epyc 7302p).

A colleague made the update and had the issue as well. He had to revert his kernel version from 5.0.0-36-generic to 5.0.0-35-generic to recover a functional system.

Update: Apparently, the error comes from a package upgrade. Because I installed Ubuntu 18.04 from scratch, from a live USB with the kernel version 5.0.0-23-generic and when letting the installer downloading the updates during the installation, it upgrades the kernel to version 5.0.0-36-generic without breaking the grub. However, when I tried to upgrade the other packages (with apt upgrade) broke the grub once again.

During the upgrade, I saw that one package was modifying some files in the /boot partition but, unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to see which one.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? Does anyone have a solution?

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