Here is the problem:

% grub-install /dev/sdc5
Installing for i386-pc platform.
grub-install: warning: File system `ext2' doesn't support embedding.
grub-install: warning: Embedding is not possible.  GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists.  However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged..
grub-install: error: will not proceed with blocklists

I.e., grub-install refuses to proceed with blocklists, saying "File system 'ext2' doesn't support embedding". However, mine is not an ext2 file-system but ext4, and it does not need fsck:

$ mount | grep /dev/sdc5
/dev/sdc5 on /mnt/osp type ext4 (rw,noatime,nodiratime,data=ordered)

% umount /dev/sdc5
umount: /dev/sdc5: not mounted.

% fsck.ext4 /dev/sdc5
e2fsck 1.44.1 (24-Mar-2018)
osp: clean, 115049/513072 files, 897251/2048287 blocks

Because grub-install thinks my file system is ext2 instead of ext4, I can't even install the grub boot loader to it, so my OS is not bootable.

1 Answer 1


The problem isn't that it is recognising it as ext2 instead of ext4. The problem is that you are telling it to install into an ext4 formatted partition instead of onto the disk that contains the partition.


grub-install /dev/sdc
  • It can be installed into the partition, using blocklists, but it is fragile and tends to break, hence the warning. Unless you are chainloading with another bootloader then it is unlikely that you want to install it into the partition.
    – hmaty
    Jul 31, 2019 at 0:01
  • I am chainloading from another bootloader, so I need to install into the partition. Thx.
    – xpt
    Jul 31, 2019 at 2:06

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