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Hello everyone. It's me again and I'm in another pickle! A bit of background: I currently dual boot WinXP (for gaming) and Ubuntu Jaunty for everything else. My setup is ...
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  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] Triple boot problem - one distro affecting the other?


    Hello everyone. It's me again and I'm in another pickle!

    A bit of background: I currently dual boot WinXP (for gaming) and Ubuntu Jaunty for everything else. My setup is as so:

    /dev/sda1 - WinXP
    /dev/sda2 - Linux /
    /dev/sda3 - Linux swap
    /dev/sda4 - Linux /home

    I want to get back into composing/music production, so I decided to fit another SATA HDD and install Ubuntu Studio on it in the same style of partitioning I have used with my main Ubuntu setup (/, swap, /home). I kept my original GRUB in the MBR of sda and added a line at the end to chainload Studio. This worked fine.

    I eventually abandoned Ubuntu Studio because I was suffering from the dreaded rt kernel freezing bug (another story) and downloaded 64Studio to give that a bash. Despite MD5SUM-ing the image successfully and Brasero checksum-ing the burned disk successfully, the installation failed (3 times at the same point). I'm not having much luck

    Anyhoo, I finally get to the point of my post: I wiped the 2nd HDD clean (intending to try again at some point), but noticed on booting into my main Ubuntu OS that some things had changed. The boot splash screen was not coming up, my swap was deactivated & some switches & levels had changed in my volume control. Nothing too serious I know, but I'm paranoid that it's just the tip of the iceberg and that one of these other two Linux installations has destabilised or corrupted my Ubuntu OS somehow.

    Would any of you fine Linux experts know how this could have happened and if it is serious? Is there anything I can do to check? Shall I reinstall Ubuntu? etc.. Feel free to throw in any advice on how I could better attempt to install this studio OS and what I am doing wrong. I am trying to keep these OS's completely separate.

    TIA for your help.
    Last edited by esqobar; 09-07-2009 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Minor corrections

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esqobar View Post
    I am trying to keep these OS's completely separate.
    Before you install Ubuntu studio disconnect the hard drive with XP and Ubuntu for the system. That way it cannot affect the existing install in any way. After you install and check it boots correctly you can shutdown the system, reconnect the XP/Ubuntu hard drive and setup grub to boot Ubuntu studio.

    I'd say it's very difficult to determine exactly what may have changed on your current setup. If you want to be completely sure about things then a reinstall maybe your best option.

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    OK, I've made some headway. I did some searching around and came up with this thread:

    ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1006678
    (sorry, I can't post links yet)

    caljohnsmith's first post ("One cause of losing the usplash screen is if for some reason the UUID of your swap partition changed...") seems to describe what has happened to me. I tried his solution and it works - I have my splash screen back.

    It seems that both Linux OS's wanted to share the same swap partition. As I previously stated, I want these installations to remain completely separate from one another. I think that's best. Can anyone advise me on the best way to achieve this? Should I unplug my primary HDD before installing my studio OS on the new HDD?

    I just hope that the swap space is the only thing these OS's tried to share. I'm still paranoid that there may be other stuff that has been messed with on my primary OS, but it may all be down to this swap thing.

    Any advice is appreciated.

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    Oh, hey Jonathan. Nice to see you again

    You posted as I was composing my post! It's good to have my idea of unplugging the first HDD seconded independently! I will try that (assuming I can get 64Studio to actually install).

    Thanks for replying!

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Linux distros sharing a swap partition is normally not an issue. If you disconnect the primary hard drive during the Studio install then Studio will be unable to write to the swap partition. You have three options:-
    1. create swap partition during Studio install on the second hard drive
    2. don't use swap with Studio install - depends on how much RAM you have how feasible this is
    3. install Studio without swap and manually add to fstab after the install to use the same swap space (this should be OK provided you don't use suspend to disk).

    ... given your keep things completely separate approach then 1 is probably the best option.

    Ed: disconnecting your main drive while doing the install is a good bet ... at most you have to update grub and /etc/fstab to fix boot after

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    Sounds like a plan. I did actually create a swap partition during the Studio install on the second HDD the first time around, but I think disconnecting the first drive is a good idea.

    Thanks (once again) for your help.

  7. #7
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Let us know how things go ... after the Studio install (and check it boots) then adding the following menu entry to your Ubuntu grub menu.lst file should allow loading ...
    Code:
    title Ubuntu studio grub
    root (hd1,0)
    chainloader +1
    Incase that does not work then post the output of
    Code:
    ls /dev/disk/by-uuid -l
    with both drives connected.

    Also post the output of
    Code:
    cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
    with just the Ubuntu Studio drive connected.

    Good luck

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    Hi Jonathan.

    I haven't had time to try this yet and I don't think I will tonight either, but I will post back & let you know how things go as soon as I do.

    Cheers for the further advice, one thing though. I was recommended to add this entry to menu.lst:

    Code:
    title		64Studio
    rootnoverify	(hd1,0)
    makeactive
    chainloader	+1
    This is slightly different to what you recommended, so I was wondering if you could confirm the best settings to use. I have tried looking into what the differences mean, but I don't admit to fully understanding the GRUB code.

    TIA.
    Last edited by esqobar; 09-08-2009 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Improve formatting

  9. #9
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    They should both work ... I only use rootnoverify for ntfs partitions for Windows. I have not found makeactive necessary for chainloading, configfile or loading Linux - if you want to read some more on grub then the manual is available here and there is a tutorial info here.

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    Cheers Jonathan.

    I had seen the manual before, but not the tutorial. That's just what I needed!

    I'll post back my results once I get the time to try again.

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