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  1. #1

    Can't boot anymore!!

    Hi guys, I am in total panic. Suddenly I can't boot anymore. I don't even know how to start debugging this thing. This is my configuration (with two hard drives)

    MBR: windows XP bootloader
    Partition 1: Windows XP
    Partition 2: Linux Raid (set as RAID-0)
    Partition 3: LVM
    Partition 4: Swap
    Partition 5: NTFS

    MBR: Grub
    Partition 1: ext2 (/boot)
    Partition 2: Linux Raid (set as RAID-0)
    Partition 3: ext3 (/root)
    Partition 4: Swap

    Partition 2 of each hard drive gets combined into a single RAID partition md0. I also have LVM on top of md0. I put /usr /var, etc in there.
    Partition 3 of IDE0 also has LVM (but no Raid). I use this for /home

    Normally by BIOS boots from the MBR of IDE1 using grub, so I can dual boot between Windows and Linux. Under emergencies, like now, I set the BIOS to boot from IDE0 and can only boot to Windows.

    After updating my gentoo installation (didn't do anything special, just a simple -world update), I can't boot with grub anymore.
    All I see is a horrible screen, wihout my grub background or anything, which says that it is using some simple bash commands. I typed "root (hd0,0)" and "boot" (an attempt to do *something*) and it says that I need to load a kernel first.

    What on earh is going on? My kernel image should still be under my /boot partition. I doubt that this got corrupted, because I usually (as during the update) I don't even have it mounted.

    Anyone any hints on how to start debugging?
    Thanks a lot,

  2. #2

    boot partition sill there

    One additional information:

    I have use explore2fs from Windows and I can indeed see my /boot partition on IDE1. So it seems like my /boot partition is indeed still there.

    Any hints on how to do some debugging with grub will already be a good starting point.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Re: Can't boot anymore!!

    Quote Originally Posted by maradona
    I typed "root (hd0,0)" and "boot" (an attempt to do *something*) and it says that I need to load a kernel first.
    If you wanted to boot "manually" from the Grub command prompt ("grub>") you would do something like this:
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz-whatever root=/dev/hdb2
    Problem is, you probably have some other important parts that that vary from one distro/set up to another. It may be that instead of "root=..." it should be "real_root=..." and you may need a parameter something like "ramdisk=8196". I don't think you use an initrd line, but you might.... Is it possible that your explore2fs is able to read files in your /boot partition, like perhaps the file /grub/grub.conf or /grub/menu.list?

    To verify that Grub sees files where you think it does, use Grub's filename completion feature:
    grub> root &#40;hd0, <tab>  <--shows what partitions are on hd0
    grub> root &#40;hd0,0&#41;
    grub> kernel /   <tab>    <--lists files in the top level of hd0,0
    grub> kernel /grub   <tab>   <--lists files in the grub subdirectory
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4

    more info

    Thanks drakebasher for your help. I will try with your sugestion. I can actually read with explore2fs my grub.cfg file. It was actually written by me and reads as follows:

    # Boot automatically after 30 secs.
    timeout 5
    password --md5 $1$Dkc8w0$F1XsY.JyULXyeYZuWmkxM/
    # By default, boot the first entry.
    default 0
    # For booting GNU/Linux
    title=Gentoo Linux r9
    root &#40;hd0,0&#41;
    kernel &#40;hd0,0&#41;/kernel-2.6.11-gentoo-r9 root=/dev/hda8
    # For booting Windows NT or Windows95
    title=Windows XP
    password --md5 $1$9ysJw0$GC8ft82HYSsIjQhhWacVR1
    map &#40;hd0&#41; &#40;hd1&#41;
    map &#40;hd1&#41; &#40;hd0&#41;
    rootnoverify &#40;hd1,0&#41;
    chainloader +1
    I didn't mention it, I am using a Gentoo distribution. I will try adding the kernel line when booting from the grub command line. But since the background image is not loaded, I have the feeling that grub is not able to see the /boot partition at all...

    I use the map commands when booting from XP, because as I've mentioned before, my grub residest in the MBR of the IDE1 hard drive, and XP on IDE0.

    This configuration has been working for months!!! During the normal update, something got messed up. Is there any way that I can browse from grub the files? For example I would like to look the files at (hd0,0), and see if they are visible.
    Thanks again.

  6. #5


    drakebasher your answer inspired me to solve the problem.
    First, I followed your remarks: I entered the kernel command and then boot, and I was able to boot. But I still didn't get it why it wouldn't read my grub.conf file.
    So after rebooting, I reinstalled grub by starting the program "grub"
    root (hd1,0)
    setup (hd1)

    After doing this, now everything works again. Don't ask me what happened, 'cause I am not quite sure... maybe grub got updated or something and things got wierd.
    Anyway, thanks for your help.

  7. #6
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I'm glad you got your Linux on again. There are, sometimes, mysteries. For Grub to bring you a menu it needs to successfully run no less than 4 different files. And one more for the splash image. Really, when you parse it all out, it's a wonder we can boot at all.

    Glad I could help; Cheers~
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

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