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#1 2004-02-25 04:14:25

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Grub Read Error

I'm playing with arch linux on a spare box until I learn what I'm doing.  I've done a base install with a grub bootloader, but when I reboot I get the error
GRUB READ ERROR

I installed with lilo and it came up fine, so I tried again with grub with no success.  I've gone over my configuration files and am pretty sure they're right - one install I used the auto setup and left everything alone and got the same error.

I read somewhere that this can be caused by some problem left over from Windows if it was previously installed on the drive (it was) but can't seem to find that info again.

Using the .5 distro, installing from CD

Any suggestions?

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#2 2004-02-26 03:58:24

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

Hi timm,

What strikes me right off the bat is whether or not you've identified your partitions, particularly your root partition correctly in grub. If you have, you have and we still have a problem, don't we.

That notwithstanding, if you've gotten lilo to work, I'd have to ask next why it might be that you'd not want to leave things at that. But then, again, having perhaps a purely utilitarian solution won't sate your intellectual curiosity, eh?  smile

This site may be helpful to you in taking things with grub a bit further:

http://linuxselfhelp.com/gnu/grub/html_ … ub_13.html

Good luck.

jlowell

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#3 2004-02-26 19:20:11

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Re: Grub Read Error

I'm stumped, so I'll give you my details and someone can point out my error.

There is 1 hard drive on the system, an old 8G western digital.

doing an Autoprepare gives me

disc1  Boot, NC  Primary   Linux ext2   41.13
disc2                 Primary   Linux swap  271.44
disc3                 Primary   Linux ext3   8134.81

menu.lst is the following (skipping the beginning)

title Arch Linux [/boot/vmlinuz]
root (hd0,2)
kernel (hd0,0) /vmlinuz root=/dev/discs/disc0/part3 ro

installed the bootloader to /dev/discs/disc0/disc
(sometimes my floppy drive light flashes when it installs grub, but it always says it is successful - even if there is no floppy in the drive - so I don't know what that is about)

I reboot - today I get GRUB geom error  (I've been trying lots of things here, and I've seen this a couple of times over the course of the last couple of days - I'd reinstall and try again but I have to run)

Thanks to anyone who can guide me through this - even if it means pointing out glaring newbie errors.........

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#4 2004-02-26 20:20:27

Moo-Crumpus
Member
From: Hessen / Germany
Registered: 2003-12-01
Posts: 1,443

Re: Grub Read Error

afaik, root entry means root of kernel image file. You may try root=(hd0,0). But I may be wrong, I have actually no grubbed pc around smile.
Try it with selecting the grub menu entry while booting, and then enter en 'e" for edit. Inside the new menu, you can edit each menu line, again using the 'e'. The rest of your config looks well.

Are you sure you find teh stages files in /boot/grub? Do you use an arch common kernel file or an selfmade one?


Frumpus addict
[mu'.krum.pus], [frum.pus]

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#5 2004-02-26 20:30:25

Bobonov
Member
From: Roma - Italy
Registered: 2003-05-07
Posts: 295

Re: Grub Read Error

try
root (0,0)


root in grub is not your root partition but root for grub

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#6 2004-02-26 22:04:03

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

timm,

Just as I suspected, grub's looking for your /boot in the wrong place. That's a common mistake. Pink Chick and bobonov are right on target: root (0,0).

jlowell

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#7 2004-02-28 01:49:57

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Re: Grub Read Error

I changed the root line to
root (0,0)
Still get read error

I redid an Autosetup to make sure nothing "old" was out there messing things up - no change.

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#8 2004-02-28 02:12:18

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

timm,

That certainly is enough to give one pause. You'd mentioned earlier about a geometry error. We may need to take that somewhat more seriously at this juncture. You know, knowing about the geometry error, if it were mine, I'd zero out your drive and start over, forgetting about the Autoprepare. As it may not be clear to you what I mean when I say "zero out", there are DOS programs that come on floppy disks made by the principal drive manufacturers, one of these is Disk Manager. With them you can overwrite your drive from A-Z with zeros, essentially cleaning off all data in its entirety. You're essentially starting from scratch that way. Take a look at your drive manufacturer's site for a download with these capabilities.

When you go to partition this time, however, I'd create the partitions myself, not rely upon Autoprepare, and create two rather than three partitions, one swap, another /, and install grub into the MBR. Now all of this accepts what seems to be your relectance to use lilo which worked for you if I recall. If it must be grub, the preceeding is what I'd do though. You'll not likely get a geometry error that way.

Regards.

jlowell

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#9 2004-02-28 02:26:57

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Re: Grub Read Error

I'll give that a shot.  It's not exactly "reluctance" to use lilo, but I'm trying to understand linux on a more fundamental level and I figure if I can't even get it to boot with a common bootloader, I've probably got to figure that out first.

There are also people who consider me compulsive, but that can't be it.  wink

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#10 2004-02-28 03:02:34

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

timm,

Yes, all of the major drive manufacturers have these disk programs and you should be able to download one for free. Seagate's is called Disk Wizard Starter Edition. After the zero fill, you may - and I say may - need to single partition and FAT32 format the drive first using the same disk utility so that it can be recognized later by the Arch installation CD. If that happens, not to worry, just do the FAT32 partition and format and manually create your linux partitions right over it when you install. I'm just trying to think ahead a little bit for you and none of this FAT32 formating may be required in the end but we'll have to see. But we should be clear of any geometry problems by that time.

We'll take you here obsessions and all, guy.  smile

jlowell

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#11 2004-02-28 07:57:56

rls
Member
From: contracosta, california
Registered: 2003-08-20
Posts: 60

Re: Grub Read Error

AFAIK root (0,0) is not valid syntax for GRUB. root (hd0,0) is.

AFAIK one doesn't use both root (<device containing the kernel image>) and kernel (<device containing the kernel image>)/<kernel image path in filesystem>

For example, the folllowing two GRUB stanzas are equivalent:

title  Linux
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz  root=/dev/hda3

title Linux
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3

The syntax in the following stanza is perhaps OK but has redundent information:

title Linux
root (hd0,0)
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3

The following stanza contains contradictory information as well as perhaps incorrect syntax:

title Linux
root (hd0,2)
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3


"Es gibt nichts mehr praktish als theorie" L. Boltzmann

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#12 2004-02-29 05:48:58

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Re: Grub Read Error

Ok, I think this must have something to do with flakey hardware.  I've tried every permutation of what has been suggested, without success.  I kept noticing that the access light of the floppy drive flashed when grub was supposed to be installing.  So I zeroed out the MBR, unhooked the floppy so it couldn't be accessed, and reinstalled.  Now I get the word GRUB and a space and the cursor flashing, flashing, flashing, ..... no boot, but no error message, either.  There's no reference to the floppy in menu.lst, so I'm not sure where the system is getting the idea that it should install grub to the floppy, if that's what's going on; but with the floppy disconnected (and disabled in the BIOS), ??????

I'll try to find a floppy that works tomorrow and try to install grub to the floppy to see what that does.

BTW, the disk maintenance program says the hard drive is fine.

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#13 2004-02-29 06:11:29

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

Hi timm,

Not sure I'm following you here, timm. Am I right to assume that you've downloaded or otherwise gotten hold of the manufacturer's disk utility for your hard drive? When you say you've "zeroed out the MBR" do you mean that you zero filled your drive? Relate what you've done to the steps we discussed in my last post if you'd be so kind. That way I can keep up with what's happening at your end. The floppy business may or may not have importance.

jlowell

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#14 2004-02-29 22:29:05

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Re: Grub Read Error

Here's what I did. 

1.  Pulled the drive, and it is an IBM, not a WD.
2.  Got the DFT program from IBM and ran it to confirm the drive was good (it was) and to zero fill the entire drive.
3.  Re-installed arch, creating 2 partitions
            128M swap partition
            500M root partition

4.  Loaded just the base packages & the kernel
5.  Checked the menu.lst file, which already had in it
             root (hd0,0)
             kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/discs/disc0/part2 ro

6.  Installed grub onto /dev/discs/disc0/disc - reports success (but see below).

7.  Rebooted - GRUB read error 

Two things I don't understand - the floppy drive is definitely being accessed when GRUB tries to load on reboot, and when I installed grub, a message flashed at the bottom of the screen.  It was too fast to read, so I pulled out the video camera and filmed it the next time.  It says:
     Probing devices to guess BIOS drives.  This may take a long time.
     end_request:  I/O error, dev 02:00 (floppy), sector 0

I've tried installing from the grub shell, and have seen the probing message, but not the problem with the floppy (which didn't have a floppy in it at the time)

I also re-ran the procedure trying different partitioning setups, with the floppy disconnected, & others, essentially experimenting & seeing if I could track this down.  No success.

Hope I've taken the necessary steps here - if I've skipped over anything let me know.

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#15 2004-02-29 23:38:13

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

Hi timm,

Well, this one is truly bizarre. To insure that your drive is rendered pristine and that it is error free, to install and create two partitions, one swap, one / , and to install grub to the MBR with the installation reported a success would seem to be all anyone could expect. You should boot without difficulty assuming the grub configuration is correct and it would certainly seem to be.

The floppy I/O error you're getting is from the BIOS, of course. This is an aging machine so I would guess that hardware is the likely cause. You can try zero filling the drive a second time, booting with nothing on the hard drive and with boot order (1) floppy, (2) cdrom, (3) hard drive and a Windows 98SE boot disk and see if you get the floppy I/O error then. If you do, replace the floppy and/or cable. More speculatively, you can (1) update your BIOS if an update is available; (2) replace the CMOS battery, (3) replace floppy drive and/or cable. You may have all of $20 involved to make these improvements.

Within the last couple of months I had a floppy drive go bad on me but the symptoms showed themselves initially as a keyboard error! There were enough signs for me to suspect the floppy earlier on but when the problem presented itself as full-blown it showed as a BIOS keyboard error and a dysfunctional mouse, of all things. You just never know.

Keep us posted, timm.

jlowell

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#16 2004-03-01 00:21:46

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Re: Grub Read Error

Thanks for all the work you're putting into this...

Cue the outer limits music.....

I was cleaning up my area and found my old RedHat 7.2 CDs, and I thought, what the heck, I'll see if RedHat's install can get this to go, so I ran the install and...it boots flawlessly.

So I reload arch, leave the partition table the way Redhat made it, fixed my grub to use the parameters RedHat used (except with vmlinuz with a different name, of course, they don't use DevFS, and I don't have an initrd entry), and ...GRUB read error.

So that means to me that I'm going to be writing a message with a bunch of  :oops: in it pretty soon, when whatever I'm missing here comes around and hits me on the head.....

I'm going to set it aside for a couple of days and see if my brain comes up with something.

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#17 2004-03-01 01:09:50

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

timm,

Thanks for all the work you're putting into this...

Cue the outer limits music.....

My very great pleasure. I just regret that we haven't got you up and running yet.

Keep us advised.

jlowell

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#18 2004-03-03 23:32:05

timm
Member
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 417

Re: Grub Read Error

Well, I'm back and I've got a running system.  When I saw that the new release had come out I had to download it and try it, ran through the setup, and the machine booted perfectly first time. tongue

I figure there must have had some kind of error on the CD I was using for the other install; I never thought to re-download & burn it and try again.

Now, if I can only figure out this pacman from CD thing........

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#19 2004-03-04 01:10:31

jlowell
Member
Registered: 2003-08-10
Posts: 270

Re: Grub Read Error

timm,

Great news!

I figure there must have had some kind of error on the CD I was using for the other install; I never thought to re-download & burn it and try again.

I'd suspect you're right about the error. God knows you tried every permutation and combination known to man to get things to work. Alls well that ends well, if you'll excuse my using a hacknied expression.

Best regards.

jlowell

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