Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
Alright, I'm brand new to linux, but I want to give it a try as well as expand my computing knowlage beyond windows. Besides I'm getting sick of some of ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    13

    Newbie install problems


    Alright, I'm brand new to linux, but I want to give it a try as well as expand my computing knowlage beyond windows. Besides I'm getting sick of some of the windows problems.

    So I set out to change my XP system to a dual boot XP/Linux. Do a little research and settle on Fedora 6 as my linux distribution. Now to do the install...I'm going to go through the steps a I followed and hopefully someone with more linux experience can help me out.

    I have 2 harddrives. A smaller (80gb) original drive that contains windows and very little free space, and a Larger 180gb drive later added as an expansion.

    Step one resize the partition. I decide after doing some browsing to set up my secondary hard drive for linux. So I shrink the NTFS partition (I used gparted to do the resizing due to some recommendations I saw) on that drive down, and set up partitions like this: One 10gb unallocated at the start of the drive, about and 80gb NTFS in the middle, and the rest unallocated at the end. Did that based on some reccomendations to have your /boot at the start of the drive.

    Ok done with the resize everything appears to be in order, so I take my fedora iso disks and boot the installation. First page with options the partitions page. I select both drives for the installation, and set to remove linux partitions on selected drives and create default layout. I select review and modify partitioning layout (I want to see what I'm actually doing). Ok..now I see how it plans to lay out my partitions (don't make any changes). Now we get the GRUB boot loader part. GRUB will be install on /dev/hda. I add Windows to the list of operating systems. Alright now I'm on the advanced boot loader options page. Install boot loader on /dev/hda Master Boot Record. Now onto a network setup page defaults seem fine. Choose my timezone, set a root password, and choose softwar applications. Everything looks good so far, waiting a few moments on the dependencies checker.

    Install goes smoothly, get to the end remove the media and reboot. I'm expect the GRUB bootloader screen to pop and let me select my OS...but to no avail. I'm in Windows before I know it without a bootloader option. To make things more interesting windows has decided that my second harddrive is completely unformatted. I don't quite believe it about that (nor particularly care as the loss would only be a few programs I can reinstall and some videos), but more on that later.

    Ok so what now. I google a bit and find these forums. I do some reading and try a few things they suggest. Throw in my Fedora rescue disk and boot into rescue mode, and get a command line. Just for reference, a command prompt doesn't scare me at all, but I don't know jack yet as to how to work at a linux command prompt...meaning I have worked thousands of times with DOS prompts, but I'll need a good bit of explanation as to navigation and commands for any help with linux.

    First attempt to reinstall GRUB to my MBR

    chroot /mnt/sysimage
    grub-install /dev/hda

    hmmm bad news nice error message comes to eat me: "/dev/hdb2 does not have any corresponding BIOS drive." Intersting though I don't quite understand 100% what it means.

    Now to get some of the diagnostic pages that where asked for in another thread

    su -
    fdisk -l /dev/hda

    Returns this:
    /dev/hda1 * 1 10011 8041332642 SFS

    fdisk -l /dev/hdb

    Returns this:

    /dev/hdb1 1363 12836 92164905 55 EZ-Drive
    /dev/hdb2 1 13 104391 83 Linux
    /dev/hdb3 12837 24321 92253262+ 8e Linux LVM

    cat /etc/fstab

    Returns this:
    /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 / ext3 defaults 1 1
    LABLE=/boot /boot ext3 defaults 1 2
    devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5, mode=620 0 0
    tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
    proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
    sysfs /sys sysfs defaults 0 0
    /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01 swap swap defaults 0 0

    Also just for kicks I tried booting the system with Knoppix. It boots no problem at all. In there I can access both drives and all partitions. Including the NTFS partition on my second drive...that windows claims doesn't exist, but that's for another day for me to figure out.

    So anyway I'm now lost. I haven't a clue why it isn't showing the boot loader screen like I would expect....and the fdisk returns are a bit different than I had expected, but if them make sense to someone else than I'm all good. Anyway what now?

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Merseyside, UK
    Posts
    6
    Jaidan, I'm totally new to Linux too so I'm probably way off the mark here - but is it possible your boot device priority in BIOS is pointing to your Windows hard drive first, causing Windows to boot before reaching the bootloader?
    I'd try switching the hard drive boot priorities over and see what that does. If it breaks, don't blame me!

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    13
    Tried it actually, didn't mention it because I kinda knew it wouldn't work. If I switch them, I get an "error loading OS" message.

    Realistically the MBR is on the first drive, grub was installed to that MBR and so when I boot it should read grub and use that as my boot loader.

  4. #4
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Merseyside, UK
    Posts
    6
    Ah well, just a thought.

  5. #5
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    CA, but from N.Ireland
    Posts
    2,414
    First, I have to say that your post was an impressively well composed post for a "newbie". It contained everything -- a nice, concise, explanation of your problem, details of what you tried, and lots of debugging output. If this is how you write as a newbie, you will go far! Other newbies take note!!

    Aside from that, the contents of your fstab look a little funky. It looks like you have a logical volume on which you've mounted your root filesystem (which is perfectly fine), and also your swap space (which, AFAIK, is not a good idea -- I don't think your swap will work).

    I don't understand the /boot line, as I've never seen one like that before. Surely it should have a mount point (e.g. /dev/hdb1) instead of LABLE=/boot?

    I'm not 100% sure what happened here, but I think it's to do with the logical volumes you set up. It's perfectly fine to do this, but you have to make sure that /boot and swap are in regular partitions, and not hiding inside a logical volume. Swap (obviously) must be in its own, regular partition, while /boot doesn't have to have a partition to itself but must be in a normal partition. This is because the boot sequence will not understand the LVM, and will not be able to see the contents of /boot. My advice would be to reorganise your partitioning scheme, and reinstall. You should be able to do everything you need to do during the installation process, instead of using gparted to set up the partitioning scheme in advance.

    Good luck, and welcome to the forums!!
    Registered Linux user #388328 || Registered LFS user #15880
    AMD 64 X2 4600+ :: 2X1GB DDR2 800 :: GeForce 9400 GT 512MB :: ASUS M2N32 Deluxe :: 4X250GB SATAII
    Need instant help? Try us on IRC -- #linuxforums on freenode

  6. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    13
    I think you hit the problem...the most I look at the set up that Fedora was making by default for me, the more I'm not not liking it. It really does look like it's trying to put everything into logical volumes which won't work. I had assumed it wouldn't do something like that, then ago something quarky in my system could be causing it to think that's right

    Little background...with GParted all I did is shrink the NTFS partition down because it previously had been set up to take up the whole drive as one partition, and so I needed to make unallocated space for the linux partitions to be created by the installer in. I didn't use GParted to preset up the linux partitions, and I didn't use it to created those logical volumes. The logical volumes appear to be created by Fedora, mine looked very similar to how the ferdora installation guide shows it http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/instal...isk-druid.html

    I think I'm going to try winging it a bit. I think I understand how the partitions are supposed to be set up for linux, so I'm going to delete what fedora has for defaults and try to create something that works.

    Oh and thanks for the compliment on the post lol. I'm quite experienced with diagnosing and fixing windows issues, so I understand the importance when seeking help to explain exactly what is the problem, what has been done so far, and basic related debugging. That will never change regardless of the operating system. =)

  7. #7
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    CA, but from N.Ireland
    Posts
    2,414
    From what I understand you will be installing fedora entirely on the second drive, with windows taking up the entire first drive (plus a little of the other one), so I don't think logical volumes will be of much help to you. Of course, it *may* be helpful in the case where you want to change things in the future (e.g. the size of the different volumes), but at this stage it seems an over complication for little pay-off. IMHO you'd be just as happy by using only regular (i.e. primary and logical) partitions.

    I'm surprised fedora screwed up the installation in such a dumb way. I wonder if there's some other problem with your system?
    Registered Linux user #388328 || Registered LFS user #15880
    AMD 64 X2 4600+ :: 2X1GB DDR2 800 :: GeForce 9400 GT 512MB :: ASUS M2N32 Deluxe :: 4X250GB SATAII
    Need instant help? Try us on IRC -- #linuxforums on freenode

  8. #8
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by smolloy
    From what I understand you will be installing fedora entirely on the second drive, with windows taking up the entire first drive (plus a little of the other one), so I don't think logical volumes will be of much help to you. Of course, it *may* be helpful in the case where you want to change things in the future (e.g. the size of the different volumes), but at this stage it seems an over complication for little pay-off. IMHO you'd be just as happy by using only regular (i.e. primary and logical) partitions.

    I'm surprised fedora screwed up the installation in such a dumb way. I wonder if there's some other problem with your system?
    I agree, I had no intention of using logical volumes in this installation. In fact in the attempts I just made I deleted everything to do with logical volume and just made minimal partitions. I've tried a couple different partition setups always removing the logical volumes it makes by default, none of which so far have resolved the issue. I've tried one with a "/" and a "/swap" partition and another where I had a "/boot", "/", and "/swap". All have had no complaints from the installer...but none have allowed me to actually boot linux.

    From this post: http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/red...edora-6-a.html I similarly had the second hard drive set up as a slave (wire issues with my mobo layout). I've reworked it into being a master and now I'm going to try another reinstall. I'll get back after I've finished that.

    Edit: Ok little weird, fedora now says I have a hda and hdc and no hdb...but it looks ok so I'm going to run with it for now.

    I'm sure there also could be other things wrong with my system, it's possible always. If you can think of anything to test let me know

  9. #9
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    CA, but from N.Ireland
    Posts
    2,414
    One important point (and maybe you know this already), but it's not "/swap" as it's not a partition that you mount somewhere in the filesystem. Rather it's just "swap" (no slash). The slash gives the impression that there's a folder called "swap" in the root filesystem that you can browse like any other folder, however this isn't what swap is for. It is very similar to the windows page file, but, instead of being an actual file, it is a partition formatted with a particular filesystem recognised by linux.

    You may have known all that already, but I just wanted to be sure.

    For reference (it may help), the following is the contents of my /etc/fstab
    Code:
    /dev/system/root     /                    reiserfs   acl,user_xattr        1 1
    /dev/sda2            /boot                reiserfs   acl,user_xattr        1 2
    /dev/system/home     /home                reiserfs   acl,user_xattr        1 2
    /dev/sda1            swap                 swap       defaults              0 0
    proc                 /proc                proc       defaults              0 0
    sysfs                /sys                 sysfs      noauto                0 0
    debugfs              /sys/kernel/debug    debugfs    noauto                0 0
    usbfs                /proc/bus/usb        usbfs      auto                  0 0
    devpts               /dev/pts             devpts     mode=0620,gid=5       0 0
    /dev/fd0             /media/floppy        auto       noauto,user,sync      0 0
    /dev/sdd1            /mnt/ext_backup      reiserfs   user,noauto,acl       0 0
    /dev/sdc1            /mnt/int_backup      reiserfs   user,acl              0 0
    You can see that I have one logical volume (/dev/system), which I have split between /home and /. However I have /boot and swap mounted on their own separate partitions (/dev/sda2 and /dev/sda1) in order to allow the system to boot.

    EDIT: I just caught your edit. What's fdisk output now? What about /etc/fstab?
    Registered Linux user #388328 || Registered LFS user #15880
    AMD 64 X2 4600+ :: 2X1GB DDR2 800 :: GeForce 9400 GT 512MB :: ASUS M2N32 Deluxe :: 4X250GB SATAII
    Need instant help? Try us on IRC -- #linuxforums on freenode

  10. #10
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    13
    yeah, I understand the swap partition concept. I didn't know how to best describe it, but I think I understand how to create it from the Disk Druid (just set the format type to swap).

    In the most recent install I have this:

    Code:
    fdisk -l /dev/hda
    
    /dev/hda1   *   1         10011   80413326    42   SFS
    
    fdisk -l /dev/hdc
    
    /dev/hdc1        1363    12836     92164905     55  EZ-Drive
    /dev/hdc2    *    1      13        104391       83  Linux
    /dev/hdc3        14     1362       10835842+    83  Linux
    /dev/hdc4        12837  24321      92253262+    5   Extended
    /dev/hdc5        12837  13346      4096543+     82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
    cat /etc/fstab
    
    LABEL=/          /          ext3       defaults           1 1
    LABEL=/boot1     /boot      ext3       defaults           1 2
    devpts           /dev/pts   devpts     gid=5, mode=620    0 0
    tmpfs            /dev/shm   tmpfs      defaults           0 0
    proc             /proc      proc       defaults           0 0
    sysfs            /sys       sysfs      defaults           0 0
    LABEL=SWAP-hdc5  swap       swap       defaults           0 0
    Edit: just for reference, when I do fdisk -l /dev/hdb I get

    Disk /dev/hdb doesn't contain a valid partition table. Oh and when I do that it also accesses the DVD-Rom drive... so /boggle why it would do that.



    I don't know what's causing this but no matter what the thing doesn't seem to want to go to GRUB. I tried agian with a couple different installation setups to do grub-install /dev/hda and the only thing that has changed is it now references /dev/hdc2. Same error message

    Edit2:

    Following some more googled instructions I found this thread http://www.ozzu.com/ftopic47272.html the guy in there appears to be having a nearly identical issue so I followed his end conclusion...unfortunatly that ended nowhere. The solution he had was a manual install of grub. From the rescue command line type grub
    then type root (hd1,0) then setup (hd0)...problem is I generate an error message when I do root (hd1,0) of "(hd1,0): Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x42"

    Did some more research while I was typing that...I'm trying to understand the command parameters because I think this actually might work. I know because of how weird my system is getting set up that those parameters might need to get changed so I'm going to tweak with them a bit.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •