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#1 2006-05-05 05:47:43

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

I can't remember the voodoo I had to cast last time on this machine, but there is something weird about it.  The other machine I did recently is very straightforward.  It just works.  This one I can't install grub on, and I'm thinking possibly it's partition erroring or it expects some type of special thing to be done in a special order.  I just can't remember, and I've tried searching, and as always, liberally reading the documention.

Here's the thing:  Arch in this case is going on a SCSI hard disk, alongside an IDE hard-drive with Windows XP on it, which has four partitions.  I tried both manually and automatically partitioning the SCSI disk.  It partitions fine, I go down the list like a good little boy performing normal operations, but then when Grub install time comes, it just craps out, with "Cannot install grub..blah...blah...check /dev/ttsy5" and because I have the partitions if I make any changes to them, the partitioning program gets posessed and throws partitions all over the drive, and then I have to zero-fill it, which is a 30-min wait per pop.

It actually took me probably weeks to figure this out last time (a year after my first attempt with arch, I got lucky and it worked).  If nothing else, I would be grateful if somebody could advise me in great detail of an alternative method to install arch, since it appears my stupidity and my system has trouble with the install disk.

Thanks!!!!

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#2 2006-05-05 07:59:50

FUBAR
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
Website

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Where are you installing Grub?

When I run into trouble with Grub, I just turn to lilo. One of them always works.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#3 2006-05-05 10:06:33

Back2Cali
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2006-02-26
Posts: 223

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Hi!

I had this problem also on some computers. As far as I know grub sometimes has a problem installing to the MBR when there was already an other bootmanager installed before (that's what happened on my machine). So I solved this problem with deleting the mbr by using a program lik s0kill or killmbr. But you need to start from a boot disk or cd with one of those programms on it. Unfortunately I didn't find a way to delete the MBR with Linux programs. When I tried tu use dd to overwrite the MBR with zeros it also deleted my whol partition table information. So I think you might want to use either killmbr or s0kill.
If anyone knows how to delete only the mbr with some linux tools, I would be very interested.

I hope this might help...

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#4 2006-05-05 10:12:47

byte
Member
From: Düsseldorf (DE)
Registered: 2006-05-01
Posts: 2,045

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

I'm not totally sure as my install was a few months ago, but I think it goes like this:
The install scripts recognize you're installing on, say,  /dev/hde (or /dev/disc/bla...). When it comes to grub the hard disk numbering is simply translated to grub-speak, (hd4) in this case. This of course doesn't respect the way grub sees the disk from the BIOS point of view... if it's the boot disk it's always going to be (hd0).

I booted Kanotix and made sure by hand that menu.lst was correct.


1000

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#5 2006-05-05 19:20:56

Lone_Wolf
Member
From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 4,311

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

a tip : create the partitions OUTSIDE of the installer (something like 'cfdisk /dev/sda' for a scsi drive) and use the installer to set th emountpoints and format the partitions.
That might help to avoid the partiton throwing problem.

I'm not sure if it is possible, but have you tried to install grub on the MBR of the IDE/windows-disk ?
That offcurse means you need an entry for windows in grub.


Booting with apg Openrc, NOT systemd.
Automounting : not needed, i prefer pmount
Aur helpers : makepkg + my own local repo === rarely need them

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#6 2006-05-05 20:07:55

y-man
Member
From: Ottawa, On, Canada
Registered: 2006-05-04
Posts: 8

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Man!....

I burned last few days myself on a similar system, and eventually decided that LILO was not bad at all.

Went back to LILO, and my peace of mind returned.

I know this is no help, but it helps me to vent, and commiserate....

In my case even after GRUB seemingly succeeded to install. On booting, it dropped me into the shell, where it accepted same commands in menu.lst and did the right thing. But typing all those kernel and initrd names is not fun at all.

Dropping to shell, I realize, is because menu.lst was not found/read during the installation, but "why?" was the question, for which I found no answer.

Good luck to you...


y-man

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#7 2006-05-05 22:57:06

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Lone_Wolf wrote:

a tip : create the partitions OUTSIDE of the installer (something like 'cfdisk /dev/sda' for a scsi drive) and use the installer to set th emountpoints and format the partitions.
That might help to avoid the partiton throwing problem.

I'm not sure if it is possible, but have you tried to install grub on the MBR of the IDE/windows-disk ?
That offcurse means you need an entry for windows in grub.

Thanks alot, as I had some sort of suspicion that if the partitioner tries to recognize too many odd configurations in a system, it gets all turned around.
Just a suspiscion, and if I had any patience left I'd keep trying to figure out what I did the last time.  But I'll take your advice to partition it with something else and then run the install.  Thanks again. 

BTW, I prefer to overwrite the Windows MBR, just because it's easier, and grub/lilo happily loads Windows partitions, which is tried and true.  Also have stuck with Grub for the past few years because of experiences with different operating systems where certain situations required it in the past.  Odd thing was, it wouldn't load grub on hda or sda either one.  Spitting on the screen and shooting birds at the monitor with both middle fingers didn't help either.  Which is odd because that usually works.

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#8 2006-05-06 02:35:24

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

No good.  Same error.

I noticed something rather disturbing about the install process.  Even directly after the zeroing of the drive, and setting the drive up with cfdisk in Knoppix, when I go to create mount points, there is a phantom partition that I didn't even create in the list.  Now that's weird hoo-ha.

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#9 2006-05-06 07:25:58

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

I see that phantom partition on my systems too, it appears when you use logical partitions. It has no size, it isnt usable for anything, but it just appears.

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#10 2006-05-06 07:59:58

mpie
Member
From: 404 Not found
Registered: 2005-03-06
Posts: 649

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Sometimes there are hidden partitions on drives put there by the vendor, that house an oem win cd image......
then they dont privde you with a full win cd only a recovery disk so you need to buy a new license if hd craps out on you!!!!!

[on topic] you can use the map command to mask these so that grub reads your disk correct [/on topic]

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#11 2006-05-06 08:16:43

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

After learning most of the other method of installing arch, I got down to the grub command again, and fails again...

Quickinst method fails like this

# install-grub /dev/hda /dev/sda1
error:  could not convert device to grub format: /dev/sda1

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#12 2006-05-06 09:40:48

Cotton
Member
From: Cornwall, UK
Registered: 2004-09-17
Posts: 548

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Using the 0.7.0 Arch CD, I had similar problems installing grub on a disk that previously used lilo, see (http://bugs.archlinux.org/task/3711#comment8789).

0.7.1 rectified it for me.

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#13 2006-05-06 20:34:10

barebones
Member
Registered: 2006-04-30
Posts: 235

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

While trying to install grub-gfx today, I ran into this same error. Grub installed just fine when I first installed arch but now it refuses to. The error message I encountered is identical to the one above. My system is a new (only several days old) install of 0.7.1.

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#14 2006-05-06 20:58:15

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Yeah, I can install the Wombat 0.7.0 all day long using SCSI support.  But 0.7.1 appears to be quite a bit more difficult.  Either way, I'm unable to get a working Arch install so far, since Wombat is so outdated it's like driving a 12-row  turbo corn-picker through a mine-field.  If I would have known, I'd have never wiped out that drive.

Ha, ha.  I'm gonna figure this horse-malarkey out if it kills me.

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#15 2006-05-06 21:42:58

Cotton
Member
From: Cornwall, UK
Registered: 2004-09-17
Posts: 548

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

barebones wrote:

While trying to install grub-gfx today, I ran into this same error. Grub installed just fine when I first installed arch but now it refuses to. The error message I encountered is identical to the one above. My system is a new (only several days old) install of 0.7.1.

Might be worth reopening that bug report, as the 0.7.2 release is just round the corner.

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#16 2006-05-06 22:13:32

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

lilo doesn't work for me either.  I guess I can hope that the new release will fix it for me.  Should I assume it's a udev problem?

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#17 2006-05-07 01:13:22

barebones
Member
Registered: 2006-04-30
Posts: 235

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Have you tried doing an ftp install? Thats what I did, and it worked fine. Its only after the fact that I'm having problems installing grub.

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#18 2006-05-07 02:17:28

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

I was able to install grub with the Wombat build of arch, but grub can't find the root partition.  The menu.lst file should be appropriate, as well as udev naming, mkinitrd, etc. to my knowledge.   Noodle can't install grub or lilo to either drive.  I have the system on the drive.  Cannot boot it with anything.

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#19 2006-05-07 03:03:40

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Let me be clear I don't know what the problem is.  From what I can gather, udev shouldn't be even stepping in yet, so I was most likely wrong on that account.

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#20 2006-05-07 04:07:35

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Noodle cannot install the network to do an FTP install.  Wombat can install the network, beautifully, but I assume since pacman is outdated, cannot download the packages.

So, I'm thinking, maybe I can do the arch quick-install method with Noodle, but I do not know how to issue the proper commands to do FTP install from there.  Since nothing else works, maybe this will work?

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#21 2006-05-07 19:18:32

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

It is ironic that something so stupid as a mouse was the final straw for me after pouring through all this, and realizing extra xorg packages were needed...etc.

But I'm just gonna have to throw in the towel temporarily.  All I want to do with this computer is wait for Gimmick with my fingers crossed that it will be able to install GRUB.
I'm jealous of my dad's computer we set up for him.  It was a very easy install, and is damn nice.  Thank you fellas for that.

***Update***
Bug report filed. Me hopes!!!!  Thanks again!  I know I can fix what I've done very easily, but why go through more trouble because I need to test the new install disk anyway!!!

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#22 2006-05-08 09:17:40

FUBAR
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
Website

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Maybe it can be done by booting a Live CD and chrooting into your root partition. You'll probably need to mount a proc fs too for Grub or lilo to work, though.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#23 2006-05-08 13:29:40

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

FUBAR wrote:

Maybe it can be done by booting a Live CD and chrooting into your root partition. You'll probably need to mount a proc fs too for Grub or lilo to work, though.

I read you loud and clear.  Thank you. That would only be a minor inconvenience compared to installing Wombat.  If you do a quickinst with Noodle it has the instructions for mounting /sys and /proc and then chroot. I noticed the old chroot method outlined in the wiki for quickinst doesn't work.
I wrote these down for future reference.

*Okay, I've got a grasp on it now...if this is my only problem, then going ahead with the Noodle install and chrooting would not prevent me from testing the new disk.  Either chrooting for grub, or testing the network recognition with the new disk works or it doesn't. 

It's hard to break old ways of thinking when learning something new sometimes.  All I remember previously is the install disk being a potential mule.   :oops:

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#24 2006-05-10 03:16:44

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

Seriously need some help.  First off, chroot from another Live CD doesn't work either.  Knoppix is all I tried, but I personally don't want to sit around burning disks until I find one that works.  So, I need a critique of what specifically I'm doing.

I've established thus far, that Noodle install works.  It's also somewhat of a pain to install such old software with lit candles, a bag of wiccan-enscribed bleached chicken bones, and a satanic pentagram just to play standards crossover with.  And I mean that in fun.  But I don't really want to do it, because it's both hard at first, but the "easy" way out.

Where I want my drives=
SCSI: Arch Linux.  Specifically proper udev root=sda1, swap=sda5, that's all there is to it.  I don't know why swap wants to be sda5, but I am unable to change that.
IDE: Windows.  It has four partitions C:Windows Root, F:Swap, G:Storage, E:Storage

What I have established as well, though is previously not divulged:

From within Wombat's install shell

$mount /dev/discs/disc1/part1 /mnt
$mount -t devfs none /mnt/dev
$mount -t proc none /mnt/proc
$chroot /mnt /bin/bash
$install-grub /dev/discs/disc0/disc /dev/discs/disc1/part1
$exit

^^^Seems to install, but I don't know if it will boot becuase I had Noodle's kernel installed at the time.  So I think that's why it wouldn't boot.

From within both Noodle and Knoppix shells

$mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
$mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
$mount -t proc none /mnt/proc
$mount -t sysfs none /mnt/sys
$chroot /mnt /bin/bash
$install-grub /dev/hda /dev/sda1

error

When I could get a file to write?...ha, ha.
Gonna try to remember the menu.lst file:

title Arch Linux
root (hd1,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sda1 ro 
initrd /boot/initrd26.img

And I have tried variations such as this:

title Arch Linux
root (hd0,0)<---this is wrong according to boot errors
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/hdb1 ro
initrd /initrd26.img #initrd /initrd26-full.img #initrd /boot/initrd-full.img

Ha, ha.  Yeah, I think I found out that using another's install disk for the other's kernel doesn't really work, probably if they are very different kernels.  But I am still stuck on this.

[/b]

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#25 2006-05-10 07:48:24

FUBAR
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
Website

Re: Craptastic, cannot install Grub, [Updated]

sda5 = the first logical partition on the extended partition (sda2 in your case).

Have you thought about creating a /boot on your hda for your kernel and grub? It's not a pretty solution but it's all I can think of.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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