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#1 2005-06-11 02:11:16

ravster
Member
From: Queen's U, Kingston, Canada
Registered: 2004-05-02
Posts: 285
Website

GRUB not starting

Hi, I'd reinstalled winxp and it ate up my MBR.
Using the 'grub' command on Archie LiveCD does not help

grub> find /arch/bz-wireless
(hd0,1)

grub> root (hd0,1)
Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

grub> setup (hd0)
Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... yes
Checking if "/boot/grub/stage2" exists... yes
Checking if "/boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5" exists... yes
Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd0)"...  22 sectors are embedded.
succeeded
Running "install /boot/grub/stage1 (hd0) (hd0)1+22 p (hd0,1)/boot/grub/stage2
/boot/grub/menu.lst"... succeeded
Done.

On rebooting, I'm told

Verifying DMI Pool data....
Booting from CD ...

The computer just hangs over here (the booting from cd thing is there because the first boot option is CD). I am not shown a grub screen or any error message.

I've tried booting from the arch install cd and setting the grub configuration file and choosing "Install BootLoader", and am told Grub is installed, but still nothing shows up.
Booting from the livecd and mounting the various drives is working without any problems, but I am not able to boot using the harddrive (not even into winxp).

Is there something I'm doing wrong? This is the first time I am trying this (the earlier grub was from the RH8 installation). I've read through the grub documentation, but have not found anything that could help.

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#2 2005-06-11 06:46:35

elasticdog
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From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
Website

Re: GRUB not starting

Throughout various reinstalls, I've had a few problems with the MBR myself, and there are a couple of different ways to fix it. (DISCLAIMER: I've never done this on a dual boot machine, but this has always worked to fix grub/mbr weirdness on my machine)

1.) If you can track down a Windows 98 boot disc (Google should make quick work of finding an iso), you can load that and then run this at the command line:

FDISK /mbr

2.) If you have a Windows 2000 or XP cd, you can boot to it, type R to got to the recovery console, then run this at the command line:

fixmbr

Hopefully after that, you should be able to use Grub normally (assuming your partitions and menu.lst file are configured correctly).  If that's not what's hosing your system, maybe someone else can take a crack at it...

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#3 2005-06-11 11:13:17

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

Re: GRUB not starting

I dont think thats the problem. Its trying to boot hte CD first and while thats normally fine... doesnt seem to be the case here.


try settin your bios to boot hdd first ravster.

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#4 2005-06-11 13:08:02

ravster
Member
From: Queen's U, Kingston, Canada
Registered: 2004-05-02
Posts: 285
Website

Re: GRUB not starting

Thanks for the replies, I tried doing 'fixmbr' and winxp started booting allright, but after that using grub on archie still did not help.
I tried setting hdd-0 to boot first, but it still refused to do anything.

Since xp is booting fine, could it be a problem with grub? or maybe my BIOS does not understand it? I do not remember having ever upgraded my BIOS.

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#5 2005-06-11 13:31:14

T-Dawg
Forum Fellow
From: Wilmington, NC
Registered: 2005-01-29
Posts: 2,734

Re: GRUB not starting

when you installed windows it probably made its partition bootable.
Maybe try fiddling with bootable flag on your arch boot partition....or something.

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#6 2005-06-11 13:54:52

ravster
Member
From: Queen's U, Kingston, Canada
Registered: 2004-05-02
Posts: 285
Website

Re: GRUB not starting

The windows partition has always been left as bootable; I didn't change it since I had read somewhere it whines if it's not bootable.

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#7 2005-06-11 16:04:57

elasticdog
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From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
Website

Re: GRUB not starting

Just so we're clear...since you ran the fixmbr command, you are now able to load into XP just fine (which you weren't before)?  Does XP load on its own or are you getting a grub menu now, and it's just your Arch installation that is unable to boot properly?

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#8 2005-06-11 16:07:30

elasticdog
Member
From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
Website

Re: GRUB not starting

Also, could you possibly post your menu.lst file and how you've partitioned your drive?

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#9 2005-06-11 16:54:36

iBertus
Member
From: Greenville, NC
Registered: 2004-11-04
Posts: 2,228

Re: GRUB not starting

I had this issue just two days ago and was only able to get grub working properly when installing it to the partition not the MBR. Try something like setup (hd0,0) using a bootable partition. The Windows bootloader must be left intact or windows will not load correctly.

Also, you may be able to boot into your Arch install using the grub menu of a live-cd if you just fire up the grub console and start typing...

Should go something like:

  grub> root (hd0,0)
  grub> kernel (hd0,0)/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3 devfs=nomount ro
  grub> boot

Try this and see if you can reinstall grub using the version installed on your Arch partition.

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#10 2005-06-11 21:41:24

ravster
Member
From: Queen's U, Kingston, Canada
Registered: 2004-05-02
Posts: 285
Website

Re: GRUB not starting

elasticdog: yes, doing a fixmbr does allow xp booting but not arch booting.
My hd is:

/dev/hda1 - winxp - ntfs
/dev/hda2 - boot partition in RH8 - ext3 (I'm using this one for my kernels)
/dev/hda3 - root partition RH8 - ext3
/dev/hda4 - extended partition
/dev/hda5 - swap partition
/dev/hda6 - root partition of Arch (has it's own /boot directory with arch kernel in it)

My menu.1st says:

title DOS
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
title Arch Linux 2.6.11 custom
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /arch/bz-wireless root=/dev/hda6 ro
title RedHat Linux (2.4.18-4)
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.18-4 ro root=LABEL=/
    initrd /initrd-2.4.18-4.img

iBertus: I tried using grub and the boot command in the grub console while running the livecd, but it did not work. I will have to make a grub livecd for that, according to what I have read.
If I do install grub to the beginning of the partition 'setup (hd0,1) or something', then I read in the grub docs I would need to chain-load it from another boot-loader. How did you get this set-up to work? Wouldn't windows, whose loader is in the MBR just start up without the grub bit even getting accessed?

Since I was thinking of upgrading from RH8 to fedora in any case, I have currently installed fedora over my RH8 install, and used the fedora install to install grub in the MBR. It is working without any difficulties at the moment.

Thank you all for your help. This is a wierd problem that has come up, with grub saying it is installed but the computer not booting at all. I would like it if iBertus would post how his setup went so that people do not have to fall back on a full reinstall of a distro.

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#11 2005-06-11 23:09:33

elasticdog
Member
From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
Website

Re: GRUB not starting

The more I think about it, I may have given you misinformation before.  The two commands I listed appear to do different things (I've always only used the FDISK /mbr before)...I think that fixmbr will simply install the XP boot loader into the MBR, while the FDISK /mbr command actually will format that section of the hard drive and basically give you a clean slate.

Having Fedora install grub to the MBR fixed your problem simply by overwriting the XP boot loader.  With my setup, I gave /boot its own partition, made it bootable, and put all of the grub stuff and kernels there.  I think the wiki talks about the exact settings to get the dual boot working in that manner.  That way, your MBR is basically ignored, and it just boots directly off the /boot partition.  I had to complete the FDISK /mbr command to wipe out the old stuff that was there, and thus enable /boot/grub to take over cleanly.

Whew...reading that last paragraph, I may have just made the whole situation more confusing for ya, but it sounded clear in my head big_smile

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#12 2005-06-12 02:49:59

iBertus
Member
From: Greenville, NC
Registered: 2004-11-04
Posts: 2,228

Re: GRUB not starting

Oops.. I was wrong! I actually did install GRUB to the MBR, but I did so using the install-grub script that is included w/ the PKGBUILD in abs. You should check it out. It takes two parameters, the path to the root partition and the location to install GRUB. I did this from within my current Arch install. I was able to press 'c' at the live-cd GRUB menu and use the console to issue commands as above.

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