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  1. #1

    Question Install boot loader to the boot sector


    I recently installed PLoP boot manager because my mother board doesn't support USB booting. The problem with this is PLoP isn't a linux loader, it needs GRUB or YAsT2 (not to sure about he YaST, it appeared in my system after i installed OpenSUSE but GRUB took over agaon soon after ...not really sure why)

    my system consists of windows 7, Ubuntu 10.10 and OpenSUSE 11.4 installed in that order.

    so I am left without anyway of booting from my harddrive bar using a live CD and chrooting in.
    I've tried to reinstalling GRUB while in a chroot environment but it tells me GRUB is unsupported and I should use YaST but i have no idea how to.

    also the bootloader, be it GRUB or YaST, has to be installed in the boot sector, not the MBR

    can anyone help me with this?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    I've never used PLoP so I can't help with that. YaST is not a bootloader. It is a setup tool for Opens Suse and Suse Linux operating systems that you can use to install programs and make changes to the bootloader

    If you installed Grub to the master boot record of your primary hard drive from Opensuse, you should have had a menu to boot Opensuse and win 7. After your installation was completed for Opensuse, you should have received a message indicating that and that you should remove the installation CD and reboot. After reboot, there are several steps before the installation is complete.

    If you want to boot Ubuntu with Grub2 from Opensuse with Grub Legacy, you will probably have to manually configure your menu.lst file.
    Which operating systems do you have on the USB drive?
    Which bootloader is installed to the mbr? Ubuntu? Opensuse?
    Use your CD and log in as root to get partition information with all drives being used attached: fdisk -l(lower case Letter L in the command)

  3. #3
    Hi yancek

    I was wondering why i could find no How-To's in setting up YaST.

    I think you may have misunderstood my problem, plop acts like a sort of 'pre' bootloader, allowing boot functions that aren't provided by the BIOS, in this case it allows me to boot from USB. However I am not currently booting from the USB, all my OS's are installed to a single, partitioned, internal harddrive.

    My booting setup is a rather convoluted one. the windows boot manager is installed to the MBR and it gives the options to choose from Win 7 and PLoP. PLoP, if selected, lists all my partitions and if i chose the right one it should start GRUB or what ever is installed to that partitions boot sector.

    So my problem really boils down to "How can I install GRUB to the boot sector of a partition when I cannot boot into the actual ubuntu/SUSE environment I have installed?"


  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    I was wondering why i could find no How-To's in setting up YaST.
    There is no setting up of YaST. That's what it is: Yet Another Setup Tool is what YaST stands for.

    "How can I install GRUB to the boot sector of a partition when I cannot boot into the actual ubuntu/SUSE environment
    You would use a Live CD for either Opensuse or Ubuntu and install from there. Can't give you any more details as you haven't posted partition information which you could do by booting either, logging in as root and running the command: fdisk -l(lower case Letter L) if using Ubuntu do: sudo fdisk -l.

    The method is different with Ubuntu Grub2 than it is with Opensuse with Grub Legacy.

  6. #5
    I am currently running ubuntu off a live cd

    Here's the out put from fdisk

    /dev/sda1 1 13 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 13 71984 578101248 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 77264 89764 100406273 5 Extended
    /dev/sda4 89764 91202 11546624 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda5 78358 79065 5680128 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda6 79065 81328 18178048 83 Linux
    /dev/sda7 81329 89764 67757056 83 Linux

    sda6 is ubuntu's root or /
    sda7 is my home partition openSUSE seems to have totally disappeared, however disk utility shows about 43 GB of unused, unpartitionable space which may be SUSE..

    as i said before, i have tried one method of installing grub which involved mounting various directories in a chroot environment but i was told grub was unsupported. This sounds weird to me because im still using 10.10 and it installed GRUB it's self.

    If I did a full re-install would i be able to tell GRUB where to install to?

  7. #6
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    If sda6 is your Ubuntu / partition and sda7 is /home partition then I don't see where you would have Opensuse as there are no other Linux partitions. I am not familiar with "disk utility", is that something you see in Ubuntu or windows?

    You did not post the full output of the fdisk command so I don't know if you have unallocated space. It doesn't appear that you do although from windows, any Linux partition will show as unallocated or unknown.

    From what you posted, it looks like sda1 is a small windows 7 boot partition, sda2 is your windows system files and sda4 is your Recovery partition at the end of the disk. If you do not have a full installation CD/DVD for win 7, I would suggest you first make a Recovery CD in case you run into problems.

    I've never used chroot so can't help with that.

    If you decide to reinstall, make sure you do not overwrite the windows partitions listed above. Create whatever addtional partitions you want for Opensuse during its' install and for Ubuntu for its' install. Opensuse uses the older version of Grub, Grub Legacy and Ubuntu uses the newer version of Grub, Grub2. Since you indicate in your first post that you previously installed Ubuntu before Opensuse, that was part of the problem. You would have had to manually configure an entry in Opensuse boot menu to boot Ubuntu. The reverse should not be true.

    If you are going to use the windows or Plop bootloader to boot the Linux distros, I can't help with that. You should always have the option with a Linux distribution to install to the root partition of any system you install which you should do if you are using a different bootloader in the mbr.

    I would also suggest that you backup any important data you have before proceeding.

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