grub2 error 13 - ubuntu - debian
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Finally found some actual information on the grub 2 failure to install to proper partition boot sector:

google search: how to determine which boot sector grub2 installs to partition boot sector

debian bug: bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=487755

:: Code ::
$ sudo mount /dev/sda7 /1
$ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/1 /dev/sda7


and this:

:: Code ::
$ sudo mkdir /mnt/linux
$ sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/sda1 /mnt/linux
$ sudo mount -t proc proc /mnt/linux/proc
$ sudo mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/linux/sys
$ sudo mount -o bind /dev /mnt/linux/dev
$ sudo chroot /mnt/linux

If /boot is on a separate partition, this partition must also be mounted:

$ sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/sdaX /boot

Then, the following command should resolve the issue. :

$ sudo grub-install --recheck /dev/sda5


these are just debugging tools.

:: Code ::
In the report you only said grub-install /dev/sda6 and grub-setup "(hd0,6)"
but you can even use grub-install "(hd0,6)"


NOTE: none of these methods fixes the bug. This system has 3 sata hard drives, and the grub 1.5 is in mbr, chainloading to /dev/sda9 / (hd0,8).

Tests show that grub 1.5 in partition /dev/sda9 is chainloaded fine, grub2 from ubuntu does not work at all, always results in the error 13 message.

More on this grub 2 bug on bugs.launchpad.net/: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub2/+bug/414996

ubuntu grub 2 docs: kubuntuforums.net/forums/index.php?topic=3106368.0
note that these are not very useful since they contradict themselves.

This thread: www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=152784
seems to show the same issues with grub 2.

Clearly grub 2 was put into production use FAR too early, and is not at all robust enough yet to actually be trusted for mainstream desktop/server use. Why they feel the need to rush out core tools in this way is absolutely beyond me.

here's an interesting method, but doesn't help this case since grub2 doesn't seem to install to /dev/sda9 in the first place: neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4758
:: Code ::
title Chainload to grub2
find --set-root /boot/grub/core.img
chainloader /boot/grub/core.img


and finally I got in with this added to grub 1.5 menu.lst master in mbr, after running the above:
:: Code ::
root (hd0,8)
kernel /boot/grub/core.img
boot

in other words, instead of using the failed install of grub2 img to partition boot sector, I'm getting it directly from /boot/grub/core.img

But then kubuntu wouldn't start, console login as well was a black screen. Why? I don't know.
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