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  1. #1

    GRUB fails, no SUSE, no windows


    I'm having serious problems with installing suse10.1a4 as a second os on my asus notebook.
    After installing the first cd, grub would not load, i get a "grub loading" message, (no error 17 message though) but after that, nothing happens anymore (as for lilo which i tried as well, there appears a single letter L then nothing again).
    So then i tried to get windows xp recover the original windows MBR by trying to boot off the original winxppro cd, but, and here comes the part that worries me most, after some "detecing hardware" messages from the windows cd I end up with a black screen.
    The thing is that I am right in the middle of writing my thesis, and not even being able to start windowsxp is quite devastating...
    The weird thing is Knoppix 4 works fine, it will boot and start normally, i can mount and access my other windows paritions...
    I read around a lot, unfortunately those HOWTO's i found so far (like did not help.
    I am really at a loss here. Having a look at the grub.conf file says really nothing to me, maybe somebody can help me out here:
    setup --stage2=/boot/grub/stage2 (hd0,6)(hd0,6)
    setup --stage2=/boot/grub/stage2 (hd0)(hd0,6)
    linux root is on /dev/hda7 so that should be alright with (hd0,6), however thats about the only thing i can tell.
    then the menu.lst contains the usual grub lines with the option to boot linux and windows.
    Please, please, I am very gratefull for any kind of help, i just want one working os...!
    thank you very much,
    cheers harris

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast puntmuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Republic Banana
    Try to boot XP install disc to the windows recovery console and try fixmbr and fixboot. That way you will probably be able to access your XP partition again. About the grub problem: better create a /boot partition at the beginning of the disc, because you could try to boot from a partition which cannot boot due to limits in size of the bootmanager. My system will not boot from hda5 for example. Using a /boot partition on hda1 was the solution. Could be valid for you as well
    I\'m so tired .....

  3. #3
    thanks for your reply. the problem is that i currently can't even boot with the original XP cd, it freezes after the "detecting hardware" screen. so not even windows let alone linux.
    Then i though there might be something wrong with the partition table, however knoppix has no problem mounting those two partitions. so that should be a good sign, no?
    And about your advice about creating a boot partition at the beginning of the disc, from what i understood, isn't it better to have grub write itself into the MBR rather than into the boot sector of the linux root partition? the thing is that i can't really have a /boot partition on hda1 with hda1 being my winxp root partition, or can i?
    during installation of suse i can specify three options for the location of the boot loader
    (1) MBR of /dev/hda
    (2) boot sector of boot partition /dev/hda7 (which indeed is my linux root partition)
    (3) other (here i can specifiy any path to any of my partitions)
    so until now i've always chosen option 1, but maybe you are refering to option 2 or option 3.
    i thought the thing with writing to the boot sector of a certain partition was critical due to that 1024 cylinder bug...but maybe i'm wrong.
    I can also specify some more boot loader installation details that involve three options
    (1) replace MBR with generic code (deactivated)
    (2) activate boot loader partition (deactivated)
    (3) use dedicated boot loader area (which is activated by default)
    Since i have no idea what those options are for, i did not dare playing around with them (certainly not the replace MBR thing, which already sounds as if it is going to mess up your machine)
    anyways, sorry for the long reply, again i'm more than happy about any help and suggestions, i really need a running os here,
    greetings harris

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    @puntmuts: okay, i did as you suggested, i.e. create a /root partition at the beginning of the disc, however still no success.
    even if i explicitly say "no boot loader" during the suse bootloader setup, hit the "repair MBR" button there, i still end up with GRUB taking over everytime i reboot...weird.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dcmah
    @puntmuts: okay, i did as you suggested, i.e. create a /root partition at the beginning of the disc, however still no success.
    even if i explicitly say "no boot loader" during the suse bootloader setup, hit the "repair MBR" button there, i still end up with GRUB taking over everytime i reboot...weird.
    Please post your menu.lst and fstab.

  7. #6
    okay, so...
    menu.lst looks like this:

    color white/blue black/light-gray
    default 0
    timeout 8
    gfxmenu (hd0,6)/boot/message
    title SUSE LINUX 10.0.42
    root /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda7 vga=0x317 selinux=0 resume=/dev/hda6 splash=silent showopts
    initrd /boot/initrd
    title Windows
    chainloader (hd0,0)+1
    title Failsafe -- SUSE LINUX 10.0.42
    root (hd0,6)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda7 vga=normal showopts ide=nodma apm=off, acpi=off noresume selinux=0 nosmp noapic maxcpus=0 edd=off 3
    initrd /boot/initrd

    the grub.conf is:

    setup --stage2=/boot/grub/stage2 (hd0,6)(hd0,6)
    setup --stage2=/boot/grub/stage2 (hd0,6)

    i cant really get fstab running (i only installed one suse cd, then the whole problem with GRUB came up), so here are the partition details from the repair partitioning tool:
    /dev/hda 93.1GB FUJITSU-MHV2100AT
    /dev/hda1 14.6GB HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/hda2 78.5GB Extended
    /dev/hda5 58.5GB HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/hda6 1.0GB Linux swap
    /dev/hda7 8.0GB Linux native
    /dev/hda8 10.9GB Linux native

    from what i understand is that the partition table is fine, since i can still mount those two NTFS partitions. hda7 was assigned as /root and hda8 as /home folder.
    i hope that helps, thanks a lot so far,

  8. #7
    It may be a grub failure.

    Backup everything.

    Boot from Knoppix, open a terminal, start grub.
    find /boot/vmlinuz
    root (insert value here hd0,1 or whatever)
    setup (insert value here hd0 oor whatever)

    If install messages all OK, exit grub. reboot. You've just re-installed grub. It probably won't have your XP install listed. You can tweak this later so you load XP. You may wish to umount the SuSE partition and fsck it, just for giggles. At this point, grub should at least load.

  9. #8
    @ydobon: Thanks for your reply. Well, I did as you suggested, however no result. After grub loads there's still the grub stage1.5 loading message, then nothing. How very weird indeed. hmm.
    Though, I found one notice about how to get back your original windows boot loader with knoppix (just open a terminal and type "sudo install-mbr /dev/hda", it's the knoppix equivalent of the win9x command "fdisk /mbr"), I tried that and yep, at least I was able to boot windows xp (I don't know, but i think that information should be quite valuable to a lot of people that are unfamiliar with linux, since the windows recovery console on the winxp cd sometimes doesnt work) .
    However something still doesnt seem quite right (aside from the fact that I still can't get suse running), as when I insert the original winxp pro cd, I still end up with a black screen after the "detecting hardware" notification. The same actually happens with some other low-level dos-based boot cd's (e.g. like Hiren's). And now everytime I boot I have this black screen for around one second displaying the word MBR before it changes to the normal xp startup screen. So what does that mean? Are there still some problems with the MBR, knoppix however doesn't have a problem booting what now?
    I really don't know what to do anymore, and having to give up suse is really a shame, so any help is very much appreciated, thanks again,

  10. #9
    please, does anybody know what to do.
    to briefly summarize, i can't get my notebook to boot suse10.1alpha4 via grub, i.e. grub freezes after displaying the stage1.5 loading message.
    _no_ positive results if i
    1. let the first suse cd rewrite the grub boot loader (no difference if writing to MBR or boot sector of linux root partition)
    2. rewrite the bootloader with the help of knoppix: find /boot/vmlinuz, root (insert value here hd0,1 or whatever), setup (insert value here hd0 oor whatever).
    more problems:
    1. notebook won't boot from the original winxp pro cd, nor will it do anything with any other low-level dos-based boot cd. only way to restore original windows bootloader is with the help of knoppix
    2. then, even though windows xp will boot again, it now takes around 4 times as long until win is up
    3. before the windows xp loading screen appears, there is a black screen displaying briefly the word MBR (that indicates that there is still something wrong with the MBR, right?)

    so please, if anybody knows what to do, please let me know. i really need a running suse here. thanks,

  11. #10
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    North East England
    does the tutorial in th the tutorial section of this forum not help you?


    Use Suse 10.1 and occasionally play with Kubuntu
    Also have Windows 98SE and BeOS

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