Unable to boot linux (GRUB and hard drive geometry problems)
I have been trying to install linux (Ubuntu 5.10) for my main computer for last two weeks. This computer has XP installed on SATA drive (/dev/sda), and two IDE disks, one for file storage (/dev/hdb) and one for Linux (/dev/hda). Originally, idea was to make dual-boot out of this machine, but I was unable to get it work. Ubuntu installation went fine, but when rebooting it said
So I fiddled around with Live-CDs (Knoppix and Ubuntus Live-CD), re-installed GRUB on various places, changed my menu.lst, but nothing helped (I did manage to blow up my Windows disks MBR, though. It was very educational experiance). So I decided that I'll just install single-boot linux and worry about dual-booting later.
GRUB Loading Stage1.5Read Error
So, I disconnected my Windows drive and re-installed Ubuntu (again). Installation went fine, again, but when I rebooted, it reported same error. Apparently, this means that GRUB can't read filesystem correctly, so I used partition magic to inspect my linux drive, and found out that partition table written by Ubuntu was corrupt. It was too large (160 GB table for 160GB disc.. Windows sees this disk as 149 GB, and if I understand correctly, this is how it should be). I found this about 12 days ago.
I have since tried to do great many things. I have re-installed Ubuntu about 20 times, tried to install Mepis (MEPIS Live-CD can see drive size correctly, but GRUB doesn't work anyway), I have tried external bootloader (GAG). I have also tried to partition hard drive before installation from Partition Magic and from MEPIS, but this doesn't help, as Ubuntu partitioner sees drive sizes incorrectly (for example, my 40 gig / partition is displayed as 42 gigs). I presume all this has something to do with a kernel bug reported in http://www.dslreports.com/forum/rema...2664~mode=flat, but none of the fixes presented there seems to work.
I attempted to use GRUB boot disk, but it had great difficulties to even see my linux drive (I couldn't even root (hd0,0) to it). I tried to boot my linux by using knoppix CD, but when I tried to load initrd, it gave me some kind of an error about "Filesystem inconsistency".
Physically hard disk should be okay, as it is completely readable from live-cd and I had Windows 2000 installed on it before I got my new machine.
At this point, I don't have a slightest clue as what to do. Any input or help would be appreciated. Sorry about long post, but as I said, I have tried to fix this for quite a while now, and I tried to give as much infomation as possible :).