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#1 2012-12-23 07:22:43

Stringer
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Registered: 2010-10-25
Posts: 44

[SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

Alright so I just installed archlinux on my main computer and since it was without the ncursor version, I were rather afraid of choosing the wrong drive.
So after having a successful installation I reboot, do a couple of things and decides it's time to pop the drivers back in which has no OS on them.
When I do that I start geting tons and tons of messages and when I reboot it I only get:
"Multiple active partitions"
and that keeps repeating and repeating over and over again.
Just what is going on?

Last edited by Stringer (2012-12-25 17:57:55)

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#2 2012-12-23 11:42:13

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
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Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

More information would be good.  What is your partitioning scheme, what are all the drives.  Which ones are set as bootable?

Did it boot when only the archlinux drive was connected?  If so, connect one drive at a time until you find the problem.


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#3 2012-12-23 14:14:13

Stringer
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Registered: 2010-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

Currently I can't boot into the system so no matter which drive I choose I get the same result.

And the partition scheme is this:
/dev/sda1         boot
/dev/sda2         swap
/dev/sda3         /
/dev/sda4         /home
From what I remember.
The drives are all NTFS (except for sda of course).

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#4 2012-12-23 14:16:16

nomorewindows
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Registered: 2010-04-03
Posts: 2,946

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

Stringer wrote:

Currently I can't boot into the system so no matter which drive I choose I get the same result.

And the partition scheme is this:
/dev/sda1         boot
/dev/sda2         swap
/dev/sda3         /
/dev/sda4         /home
From what I remember.
The drives are all NTFS (except for sda of course).

We need an fdisk -l so we can see the boot flags.


I may have to CONSOLE you about your usage of ridiculously easy graphical interfaces...
Look ma, no mouse.

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#5 2012-12-23 14:19:09

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
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Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

I'm not sure I'm following.  Can you clarify.  It originally sounded like you were able to boot into arch succesfully, but when you attached other hard drives to the computer you were unable to boot.  Is this correct?

If so, can you disconnect ALL drives except the archlinux drive and still boot?

I suspect your bios boot priority is putting one of those other drives before your archlinux drive.


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#6 2012-12-23 17:38:25

Stringer
Member
Registered: 2010-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

Trilby wrote:

I'm not sure I'm following.  Can you clarify.  It originally sounded like you were able to boot into arch succesfully, but when you attached other hard drives to the computer you were unable to boot.  Is this correct?

If so, can you disconnect ALL drives except the archlinux drive and still boot?

I suspect your bios boot priority is putting one of those other drives before your archlinux drive.

Sorry for that, meant that I could boot normally into archlinux the first time after the installation, but then I connected the other hard drives I couldn't whenever I had none or all hard drives plugged in.
I will check the BIOS and post fdisk soon.

Edit: It seems that I accidentally had two USB drivers on and when I removed them I now get the same message one time and then an Disk boot failure.


Update:
fdisk give me this:

Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000203804160 bytes, 1953523055 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x505c4326

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1            2048  1953519615   976758784    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.


Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120033041920 bytes, 234439535 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1   234439534   117219767   ee  GPT

WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sdc'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.


Disk /dev/sdc: 1000.2 GB, 1000203804160 bytes, 1953523055 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xb4501e5e

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1            2048  1953519615   976758784    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdd: 500.1 GB, 500106780160 bytes, 976771055 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xecfd18b9

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdd1            2048   976766975   488382464    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/mapper/arch_root-image: 848 MB, 848297984 bytes, 1656832 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes


Disk /dev/mapper/arch_usr-lib-modules: 100 MB, 100663296 bytes, 196608 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes


Disk /dev/mapper/arch_usr-share: 513 MB, 513802240 bytes, 1003520 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

from gdisk:

Disk /dev/sdc: 234439535 sectors, 111.8 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): FFA0CE3D-2FAE-46CC-978C-B6BCD0C185C5
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 234439501
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2014 sectors (1007.0 KiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048          514047   250.0 MiB   8300  Linux filesystem
   2          514048         4708351   2.0 GiB     8200  Linux swap
   3         4708352        25679871   10.0 GiB    8300  Linux filesystem
   4        25679872       234439501   99.5 GiB    8300  Linux filesystem
   

Update 2: The BIOS settings were had the right order with the linux hdd being first.

Last edited by Stringer (2012-12-23 20:08:53)

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#7 2012-12-24 12:19:22

Stringer
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Registered: 2010-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

Bump and update 3:
Tried to remove the drive with the GPT MBR (Not the Archlinux one) and still no result.

Last edited by Stringer (2012-12-24 12:19:33)

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#8 2012-12-24 13:28:24

nomorewindows
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Registered: 2010-04-03
Posts: 2,946

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

Stringer wrote:

Bump and update 3:
Tried to remove the drive with the GPT MBR (Not the Archlinux one) and still no result.

I don't see a boot flag on any of your drives so I can't tell which one is the one you installed arch on.
Your avatar looks like the OpenBSD logo.

Last edited by nomorewindows (2012-12-24 13:28:54)


I may have to CONSOLE you about your usage of ridiculously easy graphical interfaces...
Look ma, no mouse.

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#9 2012-12-24 13:38:43

Stringer
Member
Registered: 2010-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

nomorewindows wrote:

I don't see a boot flag on any of your drives so I can't tell which one is the one you installed arch on.
Your avatar looks like the OpenBSD logo.

Hm...
Well unfortunately that's all I can get from either gdisk or fdisk..

And it is the OpenBSD mascot.
And while that may seem ironic, that is because it kind of is and that I just like OpenBSD.

Update 4: There's nothing apparently on the other partitions...
I'm really bad at slicing disks...

Update 5:

/dev/sda3          /            ext4        rw.relattime,data=ordered 0 1

from /etc/fstab.

Could it been that it's confused by the partions of the other 2 which seems to have absolutely nothing on them?

mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt
ls /mnt
lost+found/

Last edited by Stringer (2012-12-24 13:54:31)

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#10 2012-12-24 15:51:26

nomorewindows
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Registered: 2010-04-03
Posts: 2,946

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

There is no * by any of the partitions listed.  None of them are marked for booting that I can tell. 
In OpenBSD, it allows partitioning of the drive initially, but after that it only reads from the splices inside the partition marked as OpenBSD.
Your guid partitioned disk is the only one that matches the partitioning scheme you gave with the various filesystem mounts.
From what I can tell, there are two different disks you are talking about.


I may have to CONSOLE you about your usage of ridiculously easy graphical interfaces...
Look ma, no mouse.

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#11 2012-12-24 16:50:28

Stringer
Member
Registered: 2010-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

I do know that with OpenBSD, only thing is that I don't use OpenBSD on any disk nor any other Linux distro beside archlinux (which is the sdc & sda).

And I now saw through fdisk that there wasn't a partition for booting and right now it only reads sdc1 which has nothing on it.

Update 6:
After using HDT I now noticed that I apparently got 6 disks and on the Host Bus/Interface it says boot/syslinux/hdt/modalias.gz pciid on at least 4 drives (one being 33GB and one being 931GB)

Last edited by Stringer (2012-12-24 17:25:24)

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#12 2012-12-24 19:32:54

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

I can't be sure, but "multiple active partitions" sounds like a boot loader warning. My guess is that you've got a boot loader installed somewhere that's looking for a single active partition, and that when it finds anything but one active partition on a disk, it displays that error message. This would constitute a bug in the boot loader. If I'm right, you could either set as active whatever partition holds your second-stage boot loader or install GRUB as your primary boot loader. Which would work best is unclear at this point.

I recommend you boot to an emergency system, connect all your disks, and run the Boot Info Script. This will produce a file called RESULTS.txt that contains lots of information about your partitions and boot loader(s). Post that file here, either in code tags or as a link. With the boot loader information in hand, a better diagnosis and recommendations can be made.

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#13 2012-12-24 20:13:14

nomorewindows
Member
Registered: 2010-04-03
Posts: 2,946

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

You can have grub installed as your bootloader with nothing to boot and it will work in command line mode waiting for you to give a clue where to start.


I may have to CONSOLE you about your usage of ridiculously easy graphical interfaces...
Look ma, no mouse.

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#14 2012-12-25 17:57:37

Stringer
Member
Registered: 2010-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

Found out what went wrong but not why.

So I did a reinstallation and I noticed that I did the automatic installation of syslinux AND manual which is why I think it went as it did.
Also that my partition within the HDD I used, had empty partitions which for an old BIOS might think there aren't any OS on it (Since it gave me an DISK ERROR and said that I need to insert a system CD, if I took away my USBs).
And to top it of, I also noticed my BIOS switches the harddrives for each boot so I think it has something to do with that.

Gonna mark it as solved.

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#15 2012-12-27 03:06:55

srs5694
Member
From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: [SOLVED]The MBR keeps printing "Multiple active partitions"

I've checked hexdumps of the SYSLINUX boot code, and both the MBR and GPT loaders include the string "Mutliple active partitions." Unfortunately for diagnosis of this problem, the gdisk output you posted doesn't include information on the GPT "legacy BIOS bootable" attribute, which is almost certainly what this error refers to on GPT disks. Thus, you might have this attribute set on multiple partitions on your GPT disk. You can check this in gdisk with the "i" command; look for the "Attribute flags" line. It will probably end in "4" if this attribute is set, although it could be something else that has that bit set (C, 5, etc.). This is a bit more easily interpreted in parted's output, which will show a "legacy_boot" code under the "Flags" column.

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