Tag Archives: Linux

Linux Mint – Unable to Install GRUB – Fatal Error

My main home computer has been running Linux Mint since release 12 (2012) with upgrades to various releases over the years. For the past year I have been using Linux Mint 18.3. I skipped Linux Mint 19 to allow for some stability on the new base and therefore decided to upgrade to Linux Mint 19.1 once it was released on December 19, 2018.

The main problem that I encountered during the installation of Linux Mint 19.1 was the fatal error “Unable to Install GRUB”. Without GRUB installed the computer can’t boot the Linux kernel, so it was a major installation problem!

If you prefer, I’ve recorded a video of my experience with Linux Mint 19.1, including my hardware, how I use my computer on a daily basis, the installation process, problems I found and some of the good things too. Otherwise, read on!

After clicking OK on the error message another window popped up with the option to install GRUB on any of the available drives. The Linux Mint 19.1 installer tried to install GRUB on one of my RAID drives (/dev/sda) instead of the brand new Samsung SSD (/dev/sdb). I tried the /dev/sdb option, but that failed too. At this point I took the photo that is the thumbnail for the above video.

Some of the suggestions online mentioned changing the boot order of the drives in the BIOS, but that didn’t work for me. It seems that /dev/sda will always be determined from the physical SATA port rather than the BIOS boot order.

The Linux Mint Disks utility shows my drives and how the Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD drive is always presented as the second drive (/dev/sdb).

Linux Mint Drives

Linux Mint Drives


Another suggestion said to disconnect all the other drives when performing the installation, so I tried that and it worked! There were no problems after reconnecting the other drives and starting Linux Mint 19.1 again. The operating system has been running for for almost 48 hours now with just a few niggles here and there that I describe in more detail in my YouTube video.

Let me know if this helped to solve your “Unable to install GRUB” problem in the comments below.

Brother Scanner not Found on Linux Mint 18.1 and Ubuntu 16.04 – Fixed!

I’ve previously posted about my Brother MFC-7840N printing slowly, but since then Brother updated their driver package for Linux and everything was going quite smoothly. Unfortunately, after I upgraded from Linux Mint 17.3 to Linux Mint 18.1 today, the Brother Linux drivers failed to activate the scanner. When I started XSane it said there was no scanner found.

After a lot of re-installing of drivers and scanner configurations I found the problem was simply some missing files. It seems sane must be looking for information in the standard directories and not where the 64-bit libraries are.

Anyway, here are the commands to run to make your Brother scanner work with Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

sudo mkdir /usr/lib/sane
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/libsane-brother3.so /usr/lib/sane/libsane-brother3.so
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1 /usr/lib/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1.0.7 /usr/lib/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1.0.7
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/libbrscandec3.so /usr/lib/libbrscandec3.so
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/libbrscandec3.so.1 /usr/lib/libbrscandec3.so.1
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/libbrscandec3.so.1.0.0 /usr/lib/libbrscandec3.so.1.0.0

If you are already logged in as root (naughty you!) then just use the same commands without sudo.

mkdir /usr/lib/sane
ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/libsane-brother3.so /usr/lib/sane/libsane-brother3.so
ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1 /usr/lib/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1
ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1.0.7 /usr/lib/sane/libsane-brother3.so.1.0.7
ln -s /usr/lib64/libbrscandec3.so /usr/lib/libbrscandec3.so
ln -s /usr/lib64/libbrscandec3.so.1 /usr/lib/libbrscandec3.so.1
ln -s /usr/lib64/libbrscandec3.so.1.0.0 /usr/lib/libbrscandec3.so.1.0.0

Hopefully this post saves some time for a few people and will remind me what to do when I hit the same problem with my Brother MFC-7840N scanner not being found!

Brother Laser Printers – Slow Printing on Linux

I’ve had my Brother MFC-7840N print very slowly each time I update my Linux Mint system to the latest release and configure the printer. Instead of trying to hit my head against the wall repeatedly I’ve decided it’s time to put the solution on my blog to help me and hopefully you the next time it happens.

The Brother drivers from the Brother website involve a bit of messing around to get everything installed with specific pre-requisites for different Linux distributions and a few files to download and install, especially if you are enabling scanning too. That’s not too bad, as the documentation is reasonably straight forward to follow and, hey, it’s better than no support!

The problem arises when you go through the process and select one of the drivers already provided in the Linux Mint distribution. The drivers do work, but they are painfully slow.

Here is what you probably saw when adding the printer in CUPS.

Brother Printer Driver Selection - Slow

If you were like me, you decided that one of those drivers with the right model name looks pretty good and you click on that. However, what you should have done is scrolled further down until you saw the following driver:


Once you have selected the above CUPS driver and finished the “adding a printer” process you should get something that looks like this in CUPS:


I don’t know why there are two drivers that look the same, but I just selected the first driver and it worked like a charm.

I’ve seen plenty of posts on forums about slow printing with Brother printers, but none seemed to point to this rather simple answer. Hopefully you have found this useful and now have your printer zooming along at full speed. If this post has helped you, please drop a comment below and tell everyone else what printer model you have so they know the same process will work for them.