Altering the Grub Timeout

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Ubuntu uses Grub2 which has a configuration option to set the amount of time you have to press the shift key to get to the grub menu. If you find it difficult to get to this menu you can use a rescue disk to increase the amount of time you have.

   Boot off of a rescue disk. On the Free Geek build network (i.e. in Tech Support) you can net boot then chose the live boot option -> Debian Images-> Debian Rescue.
   Once it has booted use Sudo fdisk -l to find the hard drive of the machine you are booting: norma.lly it is /dev/sda1, the first partition on the drive.
   Mount that drive: sudo mount /dev/sdXX /mnt e.g. sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
   next you will need to mount the virtual filesystems: for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys; do sudo mount -B $i /mnt$i; done
   Then chroot into that filesystem chroot /mnt
   Now you can edit the relevant grub config file. With grub2 this is /etc/default/grub
   Look for a line that begins GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=, amke sure it isn't commented out with a #
   Edit this line to give a reasonable amount of time. GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=3 (a 3 second delay).
   Run sudo update-grub so grub knows about the changes.
   Exit chroot exit
   Unmount the virtual filesystems: for i in /sys /proc /dev/pts /dev; do sudo umount /mnt$i; done
   Unmount the hard drive sudo umount /dev/sdXX e.g. sudo umount /dev/sda1
   reboot the system and boot normally.