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Dear all, Until last weekend I had a happily working dual-boot system, using 2 hard disks, running Red Hat 9 and Windows ME. I decided to upgrade my Linux installation ...
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  1. #1
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    GRUB woes on installation


    Dear all,

    Until last weekend I had a happily working dual-boot system, using 2 hard disks, running Red Hat 9 and Windows ME.

    I decided to upgrade my Linux installation to Fedora core 2. After an intial problem with a USB modem, which caused the installation to hang, I did a full installation of Fedora on the linux drive. During the installation, a warning appeared saying that a partition table was found to be misaligned which might cause a ("fixable") problem with some boot loaders. I clicked the "ignore " button. Sure enough, on subsequent booting up, GRUB was unable to load and failed with "GRUB read error". Since then I have tried to reinstall Red Hat 9 but am experiencing the same problem. During this process I have re-formatted the linux drive, so can only guess that the problem partitioning is on the Windows drive (however it worked before!).

    I checked the grub.conf file and I think it's okay (though I'm a relative newbie).

    Any suggestions of what to do next would be much appreciated. Especially how this GRUB error is "fixable". Thanks very much.

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    have a look at the /boot/grub/grub.conf in the " Solving Boot Problems with Grub - 2nd Edition" tutorial and it shows you how to add (in my case it was the first hard disk) hda=38792,16,63 argument onto the kernel line which should deal with this problem. The numbers are obtainable from your BIOS (they are the number of cylinders, heads and sectors).

    have fun

    Nerderello

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

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    Thanks Nerderello,

    I tried to follow your advice, but wasn't sure how to specify the disk parameters for my Windows disk... I have 2 hard disks: hda contains windows and hdb contains my linux installation. Grub is having problems reading from hda. The grub.conf file contains a kernel specification line in the Linux section which, in your example, you used to specify drive parameters. In my case, hdb (on which Linux is installed) has no problems. However there is no equivalent line in the Windows section, in which I can specify the parameters of hda (the problem drive)... or is there?

    Following more investigations, I got a clearer idea of the problem. When installing Red Hat Linux 9, it gives a warning along the lines of:

    "There appears to be a misaligned partition table on hda. In most cases this is due to the BIOS not supplying the correct drive parameters, but this doesn't appear to be the case here. This might cause (fixable) problems with boot loaders. Use of LBA is recommended."

    My plan is to check the BIOS to see whether LBA is enabled for this drive. Any other suggestions much appreciated!

    TinyTim

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  5. #4
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    the hda stuff is only for Linux partitions, you should have no problem with Windows partitions. If you are having problems with your Windows partition, post what happens (exactly) here.

    have fun

    Nerderello

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

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    Also, don't be worried about wandering around your BIOS settings. If you get confused or worried you can always escape (press the Esc key) out and say that you are not saving any changes.

    As to your query about windows (I've just re-read your post and realised I didn't really address your question ).

    From grub, all you do is tell it which hard disk partition (ie (HD0,0) for the first partition on your hda drive) to use as its root (root is used to mean start point) and then tell it that it should do something known as chainloading what ever it finds in the first hard disk block after the begining of that (the root) disk - hence chainload +1 . If Grub has problems with this, please post what it says.

    have fun

    Nerderello


    have fun

    Nerderello

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

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    Thanks Nerderello,

    After another late night I solved the problem by forcing the BIOS to access the hard disks using LBA. During Fedora installation, it still complained about the partition table on hda (even though I re-partitioned and reformated this disk during my investigations) but it managed to load GRUB (specifically stage 2) successfully.

    Now I need to find out why Fedora core 2 has such problems with a USB cable modem, but that's another project.

    Thanks very much for your help.

    TinyTim

  8. #7
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    nice one.

    fraid I can't help you with the USB problem.

    good luck

    Nerderello

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

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