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Old 10-23-2005, 04:25 PM   #1
apocoloco
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Another "Only boots to XP" dual boot problem


Hi all,
I've been reading posts about some people installing FC4, and upon completion rebooting their machine...only to go straight into XP. This is happening to me, too, and I'd like to ask some advice about which path to try first.

First, some background.
I just installed a 200GB Seagate harddrive on the secondary of my secondary IDE. I made sure to upgrade XP to service pack 1 (i'm staying away from SP2), and updated the BIOS, and the atapi files. The 138GB barrier shouldn't be a problem here.

Thus my IDE config looks like:
Primary: (master) = old hard drive. Where XP boots from.
Primary: (slave) = CD-ROM.
Secondary: (master) = DVDRW.
Secondary: (slave) = new hard drive. Where Linux should boot from.

I split up this new hard drive as follows:
30 GB - fat32. To be shared by both.
30 GB - fat32. Shared.
30 GB - fat32. Shared.
30 GB - fat32. Shared
100MB - boot for FC4.
80GB - just for FC4.

Thus LBA shouldn't be an issue regardless (for booting), since the FC4 boot is within the limit. So I don't think this is the problem but I'm not ruling it out.

When I installed FC4 I told it to place the boot loader in the master MBA. That didn't work, so I re-ran the install to "change boot loader config" to the first sector of the primary boot. That hasn't worked either.

I'm pretty sure the problem is it isn't seeing the GRUB booter at all. I've tried copying the Linux boot sector into my C:\ drive (XP's space), and then modified the boot.ini appropriately. I did this by mounting one of the shared drives, running "dd if=/dev/hdd3 of=/tempMount/linux.bin bs=512 count=1", then going into Windows, moving linux.bin to C:\, and finally modifying the boot.ini. No luck. When I select the option to boot Linux (from the menu that appears thanks to the boot.ini changes), it then just gives me a blinking cursor. It's fun to watch for the first 10 minutes or so, but then I lost interest.

This should hopefully be enough background


So...what should I do next? Should I reformat my new hd so that the /boot comes before those 4 shared 30GB partitions? Should I reformat my old hd by shrinking windows by about 100MB, and freeing up the first 100MB on my old hard drive, and putting the boot there? (My problem here is I'm not sure how to FREE those first 100MB. QTParted doesn't let me create free space at the beginning of the drive, only the end )

Other suggestions are appreciated.
 
Old 10-23-2005, 05:02 PM   #2
saikee
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From my experience a lot of booting difficulties could be related to a hidden partition XP used for backup purpose. So do you have one?

Do a fdisk -l to list all your partitions here, using a Linux live CD, say Knoppix, Slax, or Mepis.

You need to know the partitions arrangement.

I am rather aginst spliting several partition for a Linux. Everyone of my 40+ distros are housed in one partition per Linux sharing a common swap.

I have installed FC2, FC3 and FC4 in a 5Gb partition but a 10Gb partition does no harm. You need a bigger partition only if you intend to mix your personal data with FC4.

Shared Fat partitions don't have much use to Linux because they can be mounted whenever needed.
 
Old 10-23-2005, 05:28 PM   #3
apocoloco
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I should clarify: by "shared" I mean I just formatted those drives to be fat32 so that both XP and Linux can both access those partitions. I plan on putting my music files, pictures, etc. in those locations. I wasn't sure how much space FC4 would take up in the future with installing applications and games and stuff, but I think what you are saying is to make the Linux *only* partition much smaller than what I have, and then make the remaining space shared as well? That makes sense to me...perhaps I should repartition. ug.

Here's the results of running fdisk -l in Knoppix. I've noticed that when I boot FC4 from a rescue CD, there seems to be more devs...so if what I'm about to paste seems like it's missing something, I'll go back and try fdisk from the rescue boot.

Without further ado...


Disk /dev/hda: 122.9 GB, 122942324736 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14946 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes


Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 10199 81923436 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 10200 14945 38122245 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 10200 14945 38122213+ 7 HPFS/NTFS


Disk /dev/hdd: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes


Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hdd1 1 3951 31736376 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hdd2 3952 15742 94711207+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hdd3 * 15743 15755 104422+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdd4 15756 24321 68806395 8e Linux LVM
/dev/hdd5 3952 7880 31559661 b W95 FAT32
/dev/hdd6 7881 11802 31503433+ b W95 FAT32
/dev/hdd7 11803 15742 31648018+ b W95 FAT32
 
Old 10-23-2005, 06:34 PM   #4
saikee
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OK

Your 1st boot disk has a type 7 (NTFS) partition in hda1 & hda5, suggesting the XP in a C drive with 80Gb. The MBR should therefore in hda.

It appears to me you have installed FC4 in hdd3 & hdd4. Since FC4 always stores its boot loader in /boot and the bootloader should be available in hdd3, which has been marked bootable.

I could not find the swap partition. That may be a problem here. A 1Gb swap partition is amble but without it the Linux may not work.

Grub control its booting by a text file in /boot/grub/menu.lst. So can you list its content here. This file should tell you

root (hd1,2)

also list the content of /etc/fstab as it holds the information of the swap partition.

You should find /boot/grub/menu.lst in /dev/hdd3 and /etc/fstb in /dev/hdd4.

To list the content of these two files you need to make temporary directories and mount them in root terminal. The commands, after booting to a Live Cd, are

mkdir /mnt/hdd3
mkdir /mnt/hdd4
mount /dev/hdd3 /mnt/hdd3
mount /dev/hdd4 /mnt/hdd4
 
Old 10-23-2005, 07:02 PM   #5
apocoloco
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Okay. I went back and booted into rescue mode this time. The fdisk command listed the same contents as when I tried running Knoppix, so that is good.
I'm really appreciating your help, btw.

Instead of going to /dev/hdd3, I just went into /mnt/sysimage, then /boot/grub/menu.lst and /etc/fstab to get the info you requested. That is strange that there is no swap. I remember making it twice my RAM (RAM is 1024, so I put 2048)...but then perhaps when I switched from Disk Druid to automatic partitioning it changed things.

menu.lst says:

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 (hd1,2)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
#          initrd /initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/hda
default=2
timeout=5
splashimage=(hd1,2)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
hiddenmenu
title Fedora Core (2.6.11-1.1369_FC4smp)
	root (hd1,2)
	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4smp ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
	initrd /initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4smp.img
title Fedora Core-up (2.6.11-1.1369_FC4)
	root (hd1,2)
	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
	initrd /initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.img
title Other
	rootnoverify (hd0,0)
	chainloader +1
fstab says:
Code:
/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 /                       ext3    defaults        1 1
LABEL=/boot             /boot                   ext3    defaults        1 2
/dev/devpts             /dev/pts                devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
/dev/shm                /dev/shm                tmpfs   defaults        0 0
/dev/proc               /proc                   proc    defaults        0 0
/dev/sys                /sys                    sysfs   defaults        0 0
/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01 swap                    swap    defaults        0 0
 
Old 10-23-2005, 07:21 PM   #6
saikee
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I am not a fan of using Red Hat's notation of specifying a parttition by something like root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 and am not sure if the last line in fstab

/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01

can get you anywhere with the location of the swap.

I normally stick with

root=/dev/hdd4 instead of root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 in your 1st and 2nd boot alternatives ( also the first line /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00)


I suggest you change edit the above as the 2nd choice.

The 1st choice is to replicate the bootloader in MBR after you manage to boot into FC4. While at root terminal this line will replicate Grub in the MBR

grub-install /dev/hda

Your Grub should boot XP as the 3rd alernative and FC4 as the 1st and 2nd alternatives (different kernels)

If the 1st choice fails then proceed to edit

/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 with /dev/hdd4

(note: The reason I suggest /dev/hdd4 because this is the standard notation used by all the other distros)

Last edited by saikee; 10-23-2005 at 07:22 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2005, 07:50 PM   #7
apocoloco
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That was why I switched to letting automatic partitioning to the job. I think the problem was I am only allowed so many regular partitions, and then after that I need to create a logical volume, which it did for me.

Do you mean /dev/hdd3 ? this where my /boot is located.
 
Old 10-23-2005, 08:00 PM   #8
apocoloco
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Okay. That's a no-go.
I've tried grub-install before, but I tried again just to make sure. I always get the same response: (to the best of my memory)
Code:
#grub-install /dev/hda
/sbin/grub : no such command.
Also, I don't think it matters what I change anything in the menu.lst to...I'm pretty sure it is never looking at it! I never see 3 options when I'm booting, for instance...just the options I set up in the windows boot.ini...

PS: /dev/VolGroup00 does exist (I checked). Still think I should change it?
 
Old 10-24-2005, 02:26 AM   #9
saikee
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Grub counts from zero so root (hd1,2) is sufficient to tell Grub to find its boot file in /dev/hdd3.

If you didn't get Grub at all then the boot loader hasn't been installed!

You need to log in as the root user in order to have the priviege to execute system commands and grub-install is one of them. Try typing su then follow by password in terminal mode.

Only do editing when the bits arranged by Linux fail.
 
  


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