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I'm new to Linux, so if anyone can propose a theory as to what just happened (and how to fix it), it'd be great. I shutdown Linux normally just last ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! Amano's Avatar
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    Boot problem


    I'm new to Linux, so if anyone can propose a theory as to what just happened (and how to fix it), it'd be great.

    I shutdown Linux normally just last night; I didn't change ANY system settings (or ANYTHING else for that matter) before I shutdown. Now, for some reason known only to Linux, the system won't boot, and I'm being thrown into the Grub boot loader command line (normally, Linux would just boot automatically).

    And it gets worse: I can't boot from Grub either, cause when I type 'boot' it tells be the kernel must be loaded, and if I then type 'kernel', it tells me the path must be specified (but I have no idea what the path is, cause I just installed Linux for the first time in my life three days ago). Aside from that, I don't know what the other Grub commands do so I don't want to mess with them just yet.

    This OS is seriously starting to annoy me...Where the HELL did this come from? I'm baffled...I didn't touch a damn thing...

  2. #2
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Very quickly then - I have a train to catch! - find the Grub tutorial on this site and read it. There's nothing wrong with your system, but you need to configure Grub and save info. in a config file.

    Must run!
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  3. #3
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    If you were able to get your hands on a linux livecd (such as knoppix) you would be able to boot your computer with that, and then do a little bit of poking around to see what's wrong.

    For example, if you could find the contents of /etc/fstab and /boot/grub.conf from the livecd.

    Post back here if you don't understand what I mean.
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  4. #4
    Just Joined! Amano's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    I looked at a tutorial on configuring grub and tried it out; from the results though, I think I may have to reinstall completely (that'll make 4 times in 3 days if I have no choice)...

    A little info: I have a dual-boot system with two hard drives. Windows is on the master drive, and Linux on the slave (hd0 and hd1). Linux is installed on the 1st partition of hd1.

    Here's what I did, and what happened as a result:

    1) I typed 'find /boot/grub/stage1' --> 'Error 15: File not found'
    2) I tried 'root (hd1,1) --> file system not recognized.

    Then I inserted my installation CD and booted from it to try and reinstall grub; the message I got was '/mnt/etc/lilo.conf isn't readable, exiting' and 'exited abnormally (code 2)'. I don't get why the re-installation utility is trying to install lilo; I was using and still want to use grub, but I'm not even given the option of choosing a boot loader this time...

    I am able to mount all my partitions, and I can see the partition where Linux is installed and grub was previously (sdb9), but apparently no file system is recognized even though it's clearly there (if I'm interpreting these results properly)...

    Do I have any option other than a complete reinstall? Is there some other way to re-install grub?

  5. #5
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Hmmm... Seems like something is seriously borked if it's trying to load the lilo config into grub. :S

    I don't think a reinstall is necessary (yet). Are you able to download knoppix? That would make exploring your system a lot easier.
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  6. #6
    Just Joined! Amano's Avatar
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    Just saw your post Smolloy.

    I'm not familiar with the terms your using, but I get the gist of what you're saying. I don't have anything called 'Live CD' as far as I know' I have three installation discs for Mandrake (labeled 1,2 and 3) and that's all.

    I'll try and see if I can find and use knoppix... Once I'm able to boot into Linux, do you think can I reinstall grub there? From what I can tell, grub completely disappeared from my system (check my previous post to understand the situation).

  7. #7
    Just Joined! Amano's Avatar
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    lol -- 'borked'. That's a new one.

  8. #8
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Knoppix is a very useful distro to have. It's a distro that you don't install, as it is just a bootable CD. But it is just as powerful as a "real" linux distro (although it is slower as it runs off the CD and not a hard drive), and has a lot of very cool tools that come with it. I have been saved many times by being able to boot up a full linux system from the CD after doing something dumb to my computer. I would recommend you keeping a knoppix CD handy near any computer you are screwing around with!

    You should be able to find it pretty quickly from www.distrowatch.org

    EDIT: I was sure I typed distrowatch.com, and was coming back to change it to .org, but it looks like it's already been edited by a mod (who didn't sign their work!). Unless I'm going crazy....
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  9. #9
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amano
    lol -- 'borked'. That's a new one.
    Hi - This might come in handy for words like that.

    Have you got a file called menu.lst on your system? Note that's menu.lst not menu.1st (which was my own mistake for quite a while).

    This is quite good: http://www.troubleshooters.com/linux/grub/grub.htm

    Grub has its own command line, so I think the learning curve is a little steeper than with Lilo. It's great when you've got it working though.
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  10. #10
    Just Joined! Amano's Avatar
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    Cool, I'll download it and give it a shot. Thanks for the help.

    The glossary and the link should some in handy fingal. I'm comfortable enough with the command line for grub, but since the boot loader seems to have been deleted, it makes no difference which commands I enter (check my second post for details). Anyway, I'll try with knoppix first and see what happens.

    I'm not sure if I have that file btw; what's it for exactly and where would I check?

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