grub installation error after running apt-get update on ubuntu 16.04 droplet

I just ran the usual apt-get update and apt-get upgrade on my ubuntu 16.04.1 droplet. Grub was one of the packages to be updated, and during the update installations I received an error saying that it failed to install the new version of grub in /dev/sda. Recently another user reported a similar issue on the ubuntu forums here and I haven’t seen any response there. I ended up at a dialog asking where grub should be installed and I selected three partitions (/dev/sda, /dev/vda, /dev/vda1) as it recommended to select all of them if I was not sure. I got the same error about not being able to install on /dev/sda1, so I selected OK in the ncurses dialog that appeared and the rest of the updates went smoothly it appears. Now I am worried if the droplet goes to reboot that it will not be able to get back to the OS. Any advice on how I should make sure that grub is working correctly? I’ll definitely take a snapshot just in. This droplet is using block storage as I’m running nextcloud via a snap package and wanted a lot of storage for the files.

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Normally when apt-get upgrade is ran and there’s a conflict, a dialog will pop up asking if you want to install the new version or keep the current. In such a case, unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing, you want to keep the current.

DigitalOcean doesn’t allow changes to the kernel to be made and Grub can allow you to do that, but it will most likely fail or be reverted by the internals of DigitalOcean’s systems.

That said, will it cause issues if it fails? If it failed and you’re not seeing errors pop up in the system log, you should be fine. Of course, you don’t really need to install Grub to block storage devices as your kernel isn’t going to be located on those devices. All your primary directories, such as /boot, are going to be on the primary drive for your Droplet which is normally /dev/vda which is partitioned accordingly with /dev/vda1 normally being the largest partition for your Droplet.

If you’re using at least one block storage and updating GRUB, you’ll be asked to continue without installing it on /dev/sda (which is normally your block storage device).

If so, answer yes. If not, read @jtittle1’s detailed answer.