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Help please! I have been looking through a lot of suggestions but nothing seems to help. I have been charged with setting up multiple computers (identical) with Windows XP and ...
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  1. #1
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    Cloning multiple harddisks without grub failure


    Help please! I have been looking through a lot of suggestions but nothing seems to help.
    I have been charged with setting up multiple computers (identical) with Windows XP and OpenSUSE 10.3 dual booted. I set up one machine as required and cloned the HD using ghost. Unfortunately grub failed to load on the new PC. I figured that this must be some hardware specific thing and I booted the SUSE installation from the DVD and replaced disk by-id entries in /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst to device entries. Then I ran grub-install and rebooted the machine. GRUB loaded fine but I couldn't load Windows XP from it. I tried every suggestion on the net but it didn't work. So I opted to copy the first 512 bytes of the linux boot partition, replace the MBR and use windows as the boot loader. However, this wouldn't work unless grub was installed on the boot partition. I did that and it worked fine. I then cloned another machine and the same grub error occurred once I selected OpenSUSE from the windows boot loader menu. I can fix this clone the same way too but it won't be practical when I clone the 50+ machines I am supposed to. Can anyone please tell me how to setup a system so that the grub/boot loader doesn't fail on the cloned machines?

    In short how do I setup a "clone-safe" bootloader for a Windows XP - OpenSUSE dual booted system?

  2. #2
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums, _tommy!

    I think it should work if you go ahead and install GRUB to the MBR on the first machine with Windows and openSUSE installed, then make your images of the working system, now install the images to the other machines, then use the SuperGRUB LiveCD for an easy way to put GRUB on the MBR of these remaining machines.

    SuperGRUB is easy to use and it works with GRUB, LILO, and Windows bootloaders, so it's good to keep on hand anyway.

    Just download the current version, burn it to CD, and put it to good use.

    Hope it works out for you.
    oz

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    Thank you very much ozar. I was able to install the GRUB back to the MBR without SuperGRUB but it couldn't load Windows after that. It freezes after displaying the two lines from menu.lst
    rootnoverify (hd0,7)
    chainloader (hd0,0)+1
    I tried every fix i could find on the net to overcome this, but still Windows wouldn't load. That was why I went for using the windows bootloader. That was when I figured out (i think) that the problem was within the GRUB program itself. I am assuming it is using some kind of hardware specific thing to load the OSes.
    I "installed" superGRUB on my flash disk and used it to fix each clone manually. I couldn't load the linux systems without fixing the MBR though (I was able to do this with the SUSE dvd). Still fixing the MBR, loading SUSE and refixing the MBR after copying the 512 bytes is way faster than the DVD way. Thanks very much

    Someone suggested that i should have tried LILO. Any comments on that?

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  5. #4
    oz
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    Glad you got it all figured out!

    Quote Originally Posted by _tommy View Post
    Someone suggested that i should have tried LILO. Any comments on that?
    It's just my personal opinion that you are much better off with GRUB.
    oz

  6. #5
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Someone suggested that i should have tried LILO. Any comments on that?
    I agree with ozar. GRUB is much powerful and user friendly than Lilo. You can tweak GRUB and edit its conf file(s) easily but thats not the case with Lilo. One has to execute lilo command after modifying its conf file(s) and thats not easy to do in cloned systems.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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