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  1. #1

    Question on MBR Install of GRUB

    I am running the RedHat 7.3 install off a CD to put the system on an IDE flash drive. The flash drive appears as /sda1 on my system during installation. When I install the bootloader from the install CD it gives me the option of MBR on /hda which I do NOT want do. I select /sda1 and it puts the bootloader on first boot sector (not the MBR?)

    Although the installation works, is what I am doing creating a bootable primary hard drive? The flash IDE drive needs to be installed in an embedded system so my installation options are very limited i.e. the system does not have a CD-ROM or floppy to boot from.

    Are there options to put GRUB on the MBR of /sda1 during installation? such as, with fdisk or the "force disk primary" option? Or, doesn't it matter?


  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    Red Hat 7.3 is about 8-9 years old, is that what you are using?

    Selecting sda1 would put the bootloader in the first partition, not the master boot record.

    Are there options to put GRUB on the MBR of /sda1 during installation?
    The MBR is outside all partitions so it would need to go on sda. I'm not really sure about your situation, whether you are actually using a Red Hat version that old, you just want to be able to select to boot from the flash drive?? Without more drive/partition information it's difficult to recommend anything.

  3. #3
    Yes, I really am using a system which is that old. The target drive is mounted inside a box which has no keyboard, monitor, CD, or floppy. It has to boot Linux and run a few small programs.

    The problem is that when the flash drive is mounted as a second drive, there is no option to write to the MBR of that second drive during the RedHat installation. So, I put GRUB on the first boot record.

    I think I found a way to write to the MBR. I rebooted my dev system into PING which has a full-up root shell and mounted the drive. Then, I went to the /sbin/ directory and ran GRUB from the command line to ask it to install itself onto the MBR. I found the instructions on ubuntuforums dot org thread 224351.

    However, there's a small oversight in the instructions. When writing the MBR, the command should not assume HD0 - found that out the hard way.

    I wrote GRUB to the MBR of HD1 which has my Linux system on it. Should work. Thanks for your help.

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