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Old 05-22-2006, 12:20 AM   #1
RAdams
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Error Loading Operating System


PROLOGUE:
I'm a (relative) Linux newbie installing Fedora Core 5.

SHORT VERSION:
Installing Fedora Core 5 goes fine, but after installation, I get a "Error Loading Operating System" messsage.

Please get a cup of coffee and then read the long version. Feel my pain.

LONG VERSION:
I've got two hard drives, one (sdb) connected to an ATA 150 on my motherboard, the other (sda) connected to a RAID controller on my motherboard. Naturally, I'm using my motherboard's onboard software RAID controller, Promise (which, by the way, made it impossible to install SUSE 10.1).

I reformatted both drives (deleted their partition tables actually). Then I unplugged sda (it's connected via a SATA cable to a RAID controller) and installed Windows x64 on sdb, the ATA drive (it uses an IDE-like cable to connect to an ATA controller). This went swimmingly.

Then I plugged in sda, and installed Fedora Core 5 onto it. This also went well; I used all the default partitioning and setup options (I did not use any advanced GRUB options, I just went with defaults). Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

But when I reboot, I get the following message:
Error loading operating system

NOTHING else appears on the screen before or after (except of course my BIOS Post messages that come before).

I searched across all the forums and elsewhere, and I have tried all the ideas everyone came up with. I'm at my wit's end. Windows boots like a champ; GRUB never appears. Of course, to get Windows to boot, I have to change my Hard Disk Drives order in BIOS.

Using the 'linux rescue' command, I can see the partitions of all drives with fdisk. Everything appears to be in order.

So, what's happening here? Fedora did just dandy on sdb, but I want it on my sda, as it's larger and faster.

If you need to know anything else, let me know.

Thanks.

Last edited by RAdams; 05-22-2006 at 12:27 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 01:43 AM   #2
verdeboy2k
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I don't know if this this the exact cause of your pain, but windows will get very very snippy if its not on the primary hard disk., but that should not cause GRUB to not load, it should just cause windows to not boot. try changing the HDD order, and putting grub on the WINDOWS drives MBR.. that might fix your problem. I have no experience with RAID but I do know unless the windows partition resides on the primary HDD you are asking for trouble.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 02:13 AM   #3
RAdams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdeboy2k
I don't know if this this the exact cause of your pain, but windows will get very very snippy if its not on the primary hard disk., but that should not cause GRUB to not load, it should just cause windows to not boot. try changing the HDD order, and putting grub on the WINDOWS drives MBR.. that might fix your problem. I have no experience with RAID but I do know unless the windows partition resides on the primary HDD you are asking for trouble.
Windows loads just fine. As far as it's concerned it IS on the primary HDD. It considers sdb, the ATA connected device to be "C" and sda, the RAID connected device to be "F".

I did a complete re-install of Fedora, this time opting to have GRUB go to /boot (I think that's the other option besides MBR, isn't it?)

I rebooted, and this time, instead of "Error loading operating system", I got "GRUB" and that's it.

So I did ANOTHER reinstall with no bootloader installed (I specifically told it not to load one) and it did the same thing. Baffling, considering I had asked it to remove the previous partitions and create a whole new layout on /sda.

At this point, what I'd like to do is zap grub from sda, where I suppose it to be residing (as it shows no sign when I boot from sdb, my Windows drive).

How do I do this?

PS: I just had a brainstorm... I think I should do this:
  1. Nuke both hard drives.
  2. Change the order of the hard drives in BIOS so that sdb is first.
  3. Install Windows onto sdb.
  4. Install Fedora onto sda, telling GRUB to go to the Master Boot Record .at sdb, which should still be seen by BIOS as primary.
  5. See if what I just did worked.

    The only concern here is... how different is it from what I did the first time (unplugging sda and installing win, plugging in sda and installing fedora with GRUB to MBR)?

    I have noticed this much: if GRUB goes to MBR, I invariably get, "Error loading operating system" and nothing else, if it goes to /boot, I get "GRUB" and nothing else.

    Oh, the agony!




 
Old 05-22-2006, 03:28 AM   #4
verdeboy2k
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I must confess to be baffled by your situation, but every time I have had to have Windows/*nix reside on the same machine, all the hardware has to be installed in the setup you want, install windows first on the drive you want, then install linux around the windows installation. Nothing else works.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 03:47 AM   #5
RAdams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdeboy2k
I must confess to be baffled by your situation, but every time I have had to have Windows/*nix reside on the same machine, all the hardware has to be installed in the setup you want, install windows first on the drive you want, then install linux around the windows installation. Nothing else works.
I'm baffled by my situation too.

Here's what I'm doing:

I'm going to low-level format my bleeping drives, then make a /boot partition on the windows drive, then install windows onto the rest of that drive, then go for linux.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 03:48 AM   #6
RAdams
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I'm following the advice of this (http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux...2k-HOWTO.html).
 
Old 05-23-2006, 05:59 AM   #7
RAdams
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Well, I did this:
  1. Low-Level Formatted Hard Drives
  2. Created a 125 MB partition on my windows drive (sdb)
  3. Gave the rest of that drive to Windows
  4. Installed Windows (which forced me to format my reserved 125 MB part as FAT or NTFS)
  5. Installed Fedora, with /boot on the 125 MB on sdb1 and / on sda
  6. Told GRUB to go to /boot

This worked pretty swell, except now that if I use GRUB to try and boot Windows, I get:
Code:
rootnoverify (hd0,4)
chainloader+1
Barf. Any ideas?

PS: Here's my grub.conf:
Code:
# grub.conf generated by anaconda
#
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE:  You have a /boot partition.  This means that
#          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
#          root (hd0,0)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
#          initrd /initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/sdb1
default=0
timeout=5
splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
hiddenmenu
password --md5 $1$Pv0CL2Hy$NoBWKdKfrkNSIRf88RhF61
title Fedora Core 5 x86_64 (2.6.15-1.2054_FC5)
	root (hd0,0)
	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.15-1.2054_FC5 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
	initrd /initrd-2.6.15-1.2054_FC5.img
title Windows XP x64
	rootnoverify (hd0,4)
	chainloader +1

Last edited by RAdams; 05-23-2006 at 06:08 AM.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 07:30 AM   #8
decrepit
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So what's wrong with this? presumably it's not booting windows?

If windows is on sdb, does windows think it's on the primary master? If not you may have to put a couple of "map" lines in the windows entry, this is my windows entry.

title XP
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
chainloader +1

This is from core4 on hdb, XP is on hda, and I have bios set to boot hdb.

So I guess your bios is set to boot sdb and windows is on that drive, I don't see why your entry doesn't work, unless windows isn't on hd0,4.
what does fdisk -l say?
 
Old 05-23-2006, 10:33 AM   #9
RAdams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decrepit
So what's wrong with this? presumably it's not booting windows?

If windows is on sdb, does windows think it's on the primary master? If not you may have to put a couple of "map" lines in the windows entry, this is my windows entry.

title XP
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
chainloader +1

This is from core4 on hdb, XP is on hda, and I have bios set to boot hdb.

So I guess your bios is set to boot sdb and windows is on that drive, I don't see why your entry doesn't work, unless windows isn't on hd0,4.
what does fdisk -l say?
sdb is set to first in bios, sdb1 is /boot, sdb2 is Windows. I'd print fdisk for you, but I'm at work right now. What SHOULD it say? In other words, what am I looking for? How does GRUB see my hard disks versus fdisk? fdisk would tell me sdb2 is Windows.

Windows booted fine when sdb1 and sda were blank. I installed Windows first.

I understand the principle behind the remapping, but how can I find which is the correct hdX to use?

Last edited by RAdams; 05-23-2006 at 02:29 PM.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 05:18 PM   #10
RAdams
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fdisk -l output:
Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 251.0 GB, 251000193024 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30515 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1       30515   245111706   8e  Linux LVM

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80054059008 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9732 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *           1          16      128488+  83  Linux
/dev/sdb2              17        9731    78035737+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sdb5              17        9731    78035706    7  HPFS/NTFS
 
Old 05-24-2006, 01:31 AM   #11
RAdams
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Thumbs up

Done. Here's what I did:
  1. Reformatted the whole shootin' match
  2. Installed Windows x64, creating a 25 GB partition for it on sda, which I set to active in BIOS
  3. Installed FC5 onto the remaining 225 GB of sda.
  4. Told GRUB to go to the MBR
  5. Turned sdb, my second hard disk, into a FAT32 shared drive between Linux and Windows
  6. Commented on how much easier that was to no one in particular.

Did I wimp out? Maybe. But given that I now have a drive to use as a dedicated go-between for my OSs, I think I'm happier. I personally would recommend this route to my other multi-hard-drive friends.

That is all. Mods, this can be moved to the success stories forum, or closed. IMHO, it wouldn't hurt to leave it viewable, somewhere.

Later.

Last edited by RAdams; 05-24-2006 at 11:10 AM.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 05:00 AM   #12
decrepit
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Well done, but it would be nice to know why you couldn't get the other option to work. I was all set to give my next suggestions.
Agreed that it's nice having a shared FAT32 partition, makes life so much easier.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 11:10 AM   #13
RAdams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decrepit
Well done, but it would be nice to know why you couldn't get the other option to work. I was all set to give my next suggestions.
Agreed that it's nice having a shared FAT32 partition, makes life so much easier.
I think Windows got cantankerous about the leading 125 MB boot partition on its drive.

Perhaps sometime when I'm feeling extra bored I'll upload my current hard disk images to my server and try this setup again, for the sake of the challenge.

But I'm telling you, I'll have to feel extra, extra bored.

;]
 
  


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