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Hi. Right now I am typing this only because I am running Ubuntu off of the live CD. I have a dual boot system with Vista and Ubuntu. The Vista ...
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  1. #1
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    Please help me. Ubuntu will not boot and I fear the worst


    Hi. Right now I am typing this only because I am running Ubuntu off of the live CD. I have a dual boot system with Vista and Ubuntu. The Vista partition has not booted up in a while. And now the Ubuntu partition is refusing to do so. I very strongly suspect that Vista is responsible for this, but I don't know. My original post about my startup issues is a page or two back. But now I am quite certain that the direction that thread was going was not correct. I think it is a harddrive, or a partition issue. And I hope there is nothing physically wrong with my harddrive. For the last few days Ubuntu has been lagging on the blinking cursor phase during bootup. Now, it will not go past the blinking cursor phase. Today when I booted for the first time, it lagged on the blinking cursor phase for a minute and then I got this error message:

    Selected cylinder exceeds max supported by BIOS
    or something like that. Then I restarted two subsequent times and got this error message both times:
    Error 25: disk read error
    or something to that affect

    I am hoping that there is not something physically wrong with my harddrive. My harddrive is a 250GB HD split into two partitions: a 174(I think) GB partition for Vista and a 49(I think)GB partition for Ubuntu.
    It is looking like I will have to reformat my HD wiping both partitions, as they are now pretty much useless. After I reformat I just want to have one partition and only have Ubuntu on it. So I will need VERY newbie friendly instructions for how to do that from my ubuntu CD(*if* that is what you think I should do). So please someone help me, I need my computer to work.....

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandruff(lake) View Post
    Hi. Right now I am typing this only because I am running Ubuntu off of the live CD. I have a dual boot system with Vista and Ubuntu. The Vista partition has not booted up in a while. And now the Ubuntu partition is refusing to do so. I very strongly suspect that Vista is responsible for this, but I don't know. My original post about my startup issues is a page or two back. But now I am quite certain that the direction that thread was going was not correct. I think it is a harddrive, or a partition issue. And I hope there is nothing physically wrong with my harddrive. For the last few days Ubuntu has been lagging on the blinking cursor phase during bootup. Now, it will not go past the blinking cursor phase. Today when I booted for the first time, it lagged on the blinking cursor phase for a minute and then I got this error message:



    or something like that. Then I restarted two subsequent times and got this error message both times:
    or something to that affect

    I am hoping that there is not something physically wrong with my harddrive. My harddrive is a 250GB HD split into two partitions: a 174(I think) GB partition for Vista and a 49(I think)GB partition for Ubuntu.
    It is looking like I will have to reformat my HD wiping both partitions, as they are now pretty much useless. After I reformat I just want to have one partition and only have Ubuntu on it. So I will need VERY newbie friendly instructions for how to do that from my ubuntu CD(*if* that is what you think I should do). So please someone help me, I need my computer to work.....
    A single partition is unlikely to be a good idea. I suggest you don't go for the single partition approach.
    What makes you think windows has trashed the hard disk?
    Does your BIOS support large hard drives or did you need to use some work-around?

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    Thanks Jonathan,

    Why is a single partition a bad idea? That's what I had before I installed Ubuntu. I just had Vista. But then again, maybe there were multiple partitions before I installed Ubuntu, if you count the recovery partition that shows up in Vista. But I don't know anything about those, nor how to make those. So basically when I say I want a single partition, I mean a single OS on my harddrive. Any "recovery" partitions I am unfamiliar with(how to make them and how to use them).
    I suspect Vista is the culprit for my current problems because all of this stuff started when Vista wasn't booting and I had to do some type of system restore. Since I did that, Ubuntu has been messed up too.
    My computer came with this harddrive, so I don't know if a workaround was required or not. I doubt it. It is a 250GB HD and all 250GB show up in both operating systems.
    I have a couple questions here:
    Is there a way I can rule out it being a problem with my harddrive physically?
    I just want to wipe the harddrive and make a clean install of Ubuntu and have Ubuntu as the only OS. Is there something wrong with that?

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandruff(lake) View Post
    It is looking like I will have to reformat my HD wiping both partitions, as they are now pretty much useless. After I reformat I just want to have one partition and only have Ubuntu on it. So I will need VERY newbie friendly instructions for how to do that from my ubuntu CD(*if* that is what you think I should do). So please someone help me, I need my computer to work.....
    If all you want to do is install Ubuntu then you don't have to do anything special with the partitions beforehand. Just boot up your Ubuntu CD and run through the installer. When it asks you what you want to do with the harddrive chose "Use entire drive." This will wipe out any existing partitions (including any "recovery" ones) and start fresh with a set of Ubuntu partitions.

    By default Ubuntu will set up 2 partitions: SWAP and root. All this is done automatically. When it asks you what you want to do with the Bootloader (GRUB) tell it to install to the Master Boot Record (MBR).

    If you do this and are still having issues we may have to look at hardware diagnostic tools like The Ultimate Boot CD.
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    Thanks Moe. What do you think I should do? What do you suspect caused all of this? Do you think there is something physically wrong with my HD?

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandruff(lake) View Post
    Thanks Jonathan,

    Why is a single partition a bad idea? That's what I had before I installed Ubuntu. I just had Vista. But then again, maybe there were multiple partitions before I installed Ubuntu, if you count the recovery partition that shows up in Vista. But I don't know anything about those, nor how to make those. So basically when I say I want a single partition, I mean a single OS on my harddrive. Any "recovery" partitions I am unfamiliar with(how to make them and how to use them).
    I suspect Vista is the culprit for my current problems because all of this stuff started when Vista wasn't booting and I had to do some type of system restore. Since I did that, Ubuntu has been messed up too.
    My computer came with this harddrive, so I don't know if a workaround was required or not. I doubt it. It is a 250GB HD and all 250GB show up in both operating systems.
    I have a couple questions here:
    Is there a way I can rule out it being a problem with my harddrive physically?
    I just want to wipe the harddrive and make a clean install of Ubuntu and have Ubuntu as the only OS. Is there something wrong with that?
    It is best to keep your user data separate from the operating system. This makes things easier to backup and means you don't loose all your data when you need to re-install an operating system.
    I would no throw out a working version of Windows until you have to ... 250GB should be plenty of room for Windows and several other operating systems if you want them.
    How you setup partitions is down to personal preference but having been through the mill a few times I suggest:-
    1. keep windows & just squash it up onto a relatively small partition (GParted CD should help you do this easily). 50GB is likely to be more than enough for this.
    2. set partitions you want - at least use a separate partition for data files.Also consider having a separate home partition. If you don't need to use all the disk space at the moment then don't - you can leave space and add partitions later if you want to add an operating system. 50GB should be more than enough for any Linux system. You can even use the GParted CD to copy the partition with your OS on before you do something drastic - that way you can copy the working OS back and restore the system quickly to a working version!
    3. As soon as you have a working system download the SuperGrub CD as this should allow you to boot either a Windows or Linux system if things go wrong with the boot loader configuration in future. This is much quicker than an OS re-install.
    4. Regularly backup user data - you can't replace the family photos etc but you can always re-install an OS.

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    Thanks Jonathan. That's a little too involved for what I am wanting to do now, but I will keep that in mind. You make some valid points.

    I am thinking that it is a hardware issue, unfortunately. I installed Ubuntu from the disk, and every time I tried to boot it would load about 1/2 centimeter on the load bar at startup.(my monitor is a 17". I state that for reference when I say "1/2 centimeter".) Now I am trying ANOTHER reinstall and I am stuck at "94%", and it says configuring hardware. It has been sticking there for maybe about 15 minutes. I'm about to just shut the system down and try again later. This sucks. I need my computer to work, so this really sucks. I might just try to install Vista and forget about Linux for now. Maybe I screwed something up in Ubuntu and that screwed something up in Vista, instead of the other way around. But this would appear at this point to be a hardware issue, and therefore no operating is going to work. And by hardware issue, I mean harddrive issue in particular. The first error message I got today, suggested a BIOS problem, but I do not mess with my BIOS.
    So this is just great. What should I do?

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    At this point I would boot with the Ultimate Boot CD I suggested earlier, pick the set of utilities that matches the brand of your harddrive and go to town. If there's something wrong with your harddrive, those utilities will tell you.
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    Thanks Moe. Will I be able to make my copy of Ultimate Boot CD, just running from my Ubuntu Live CD? Because my Ubuntu Live CD is the only functional OS that I have right now(edit: furthermore, I only have 1 CD drive.). And are there any other utilities I need to burn the Ultimate Boot CD? Because I needed some "infra"-something program to make my Ubuntu CD weeks ago.

    Also, how do I find out who my manufacturer is for my HD(without opening my case and thereby voiding my warranty)? I think it tells me in device manager, but I don't know for sure. It says nVidia is the vendor which is news to me. Maybe they just mean the chipset on the HD? I don't know, but here's what is says:

    Vendor: nVidia Corporation
    Device: MCP61 IDE
    Status: Status
    Bus Type: PCI
    Device Type: Unknown
    Device Capabilities: Unknown

  10. #10
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandruff(lake) View Post
    Thanks Moe. Will I be able to make my copy of Ultimate Boot CD, just running from my Ubuntu Live CD? Because my Ubuntu Live CD is the only functional OS that I have right now(edit: furthermore, I only have 1 CD drive.). And are there any other utilities I need to burn the Ultimate Boot CD? Because I needed some "infra"-something program to make my Ubuntu CD weeks ago.

    Also, how do I find out who my manufacturer is for my HD(without opening my case and thereby voiding my warranty)? I think it tells me in device manager, but I don't know for sure. It says nVidia is the vendor which is news to me. Maybe they just mean the chipset on the HD? I don't know, but here's what is says:

    Vendor: nVidia Corporation
    Device: MCP61 IDE
    Status: Status
    Bus Type: PCI
    Device Type: Unknown
    Device Capabilities: Unknown
    I doubt you will be able to burn a cd while running from a live CD ... do you know anyone who can burn the CD for you? there is a get a physical copy option on the website if you are really stuck.

    Also will the live CD mount the partitions on the hard drive & let you save data to a USB pen drive?

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