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Old 01-12-2009, 08:09 PM   #1
GameQber
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[SOLVED] Can't boot Fedora 10 on multi-boot PC with Windows Vista/7


Hi,

First, a quick rundown of my setup ...
I have two hard drives. A 300GB drive is for Windows Vista (64-bit), which is where the MBR is located. A 250GB drive is split into three partitions. The first is Windows 7 (120GB), the second (<1GB) and third (111GB) were created just today by Fedora 10.


I followed a pictorial posted on Neosmart Technology's forums on how to install Fedora on a multi-boot system.

Like the pictorial suggests, I installed GRUB to the "first sector of boot partition" and not the MBR.

After the installation completed, I was back at the Windows boot loader, as expected. I loaded Windows Vista, then added Fedora 10 using EasyBCD.

This is where I might have an error. The pictorial says to "choose the partition that you installed Fedora to" when selecting the drive, as seen in the picture on this page:

http://neosmart.net/gallery/v/neosma...Linux.png.html

Am I supposed to select the actual Fedora partition (reporting a size of 111GB), or what EasyBCD is calling a "Linux Native" partition (reporting 0GB)? During the Fedora 10 installation, it created these two partitions. Obviously, the 111GB partition is where Fedora is actually installed.


I've tried pointing the boot loader to both partitions. Each one has a different result.

If I point it to the 111GB (Fedora) partition, and I boot to Fedora through the Windows Boot Loader, I get an error reported by BootPart 2.60 Bootsector:

"Cannot load from harddisk
Insert Systemdisk and press any key"

If I point it to the 0GB "Linux native" partition, and try again, I believe it's the BootPart screen flashing once very quickly, then the PC instantly restarts.


If anyone can help me out with this, it'd be greatly appreciated. It was basically the same exact story one year ago when I tried installing Fedora 9 (which I eventually gave up on).

Thanks!

Last edited by GameQber; 01-12-2009 at 10:07 PM.
 
Old 01-12-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
r1d3r
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Hi,

Do you always make things difficult?
I always see people having problems with the windows bootloader trying to boot Linux.
I mean, what's the point of booting Linux with that crap?!

You can simply install GRUB on the "MBR"! and Fedora will autodetect your Windows installation and will add it to the boot menu! Its that simple!
 
Old 01-12-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
alan_ri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r1d3r View Post
Hi,

Do you always make things difficult?
I always see people having problems with the windows bootloader trying to boot Linux.
I mean, what's the point of booting Linux with that crap?!

You can simply install GRUB on the MBR and Fedora will autodetect your Windows installation and will add it to the boot menu! Its that simple!
Good post.

Last edited by alan_ri; 01-12-2009 at 08:37 PM.
 
Old 01-12-2009, 08:36 PM   #4
GameQber
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r1d3r View Post
Hi,

Do you always make things difficult?
I always see people having problems with the windows bootloader trying to boot Linux.
I mean, what's the point of booting Linux with that crap?!

You can simply install GRUB on the "MBR"! and Fedora will autodetect your Windows installation and will add it to the boot menu! Its that simple!
Why don't you explain that to the creator of the tutorial I linked?

People have dual-boots working correctly with using the Vista boot loader and tweaking it with EasyBCD, I've seen it several times. Unfortunately, your response isn't fixing my issue. Thanks anyway.
 
Old 01-12-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
PTrenholme
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From your post it looks like you're using the "EasyBCD" boot loader. So, you need to configure that boot loader to start Fedora for you.

By default, Fedora has created a small partition that contains all the information needed to boot the full Fedora system. (The other, larger, partition contains the actual Fedora distribution is what is called a "Logical Volume Group" in a (internal) partition together with another (internal) "swap" partition. That larger partition is, generally speaking, not accessible without special code, and it has its own special partition type.) Hopefully the smaller partition is the partition in which you installed GRUB in the "first sector."

There are two ways you can proceed. The simplest is to point EasyBCD to the partition where you installed GRUB. When you do that, GRUB will (well, should) start and load Fedora for you.

The other way is to have EasyBCD load the Fedora kernel (with the correct arguments) and then run the Initial RAM Disk compressed image to start Fedora. I don't have a clue of how that would be done, which, I suspect, is why they had you install the GRUB boot information at the start of a known partition.

<edit>
If you're using the NTLDR (i.e., the Vista boot loader), I think that you need to have a copy of the GRUB boot sector in the Vista C:/ folder as, say, GRUB.img, and to create a boot.ini file (which is not, normally, needed by Vista, but it will be used if it exists) that points to C:/ for Vista and C:/GRUB.img for Fedora.

By the way, that's from reading, not experience. I have only booted Linux from a XP system, never from a Vista one.
</edit>

Last edited by PTrenholme; 01-12-2009 at 09:15 PM.
 
Old 01-12-2009, 09:14 PM   #6
GameQber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTrenholme View Post
From your post it looks like you're using the "EasyBCD" boot loader. So, you need to configure that boot loader to start Fedora for you.

By default, Fedora has created a small partition that contains all the information needed to boot the full Fedora system. (The other, larger, partition contains the actual Fedora distribution is what is called a "Logical Volume Group" in a (internal) partition together with another (internal) "swap" partition. That larger partition is, generally speaking, not accessible without special code, and it has its own special partition type.) Hopefully the smaller partition is the partition in which you installed GRUB in the "first sector."

There are two ways you can proceed. The simplest is to point EasyBCD to the partition where you installed GRUB. When you do that, GRUB will (well, should) start and load Fedora for you.

The other way is to have EasyBCD load the Fedora kernel (with the correct arguments) and then run the Initial RAM Disk compressed image to start Fedora. I don't have a clue of how that would be done, which, I suspect, is why they had you install the GRUB boot information at the start of a known partition.
Now this is what I call a "good post"! Very informative and helpful.

I'm pretty sure now that the problem lies within GRUB. It's installed to that first sector, the smallest partition on that second drive. Whenever I boot to the partition, the PC just instantly restarts after flashing a screen mentioning "Bootpart 2.60" (it flashes so quickly I can't even read the three lines it displays).

The same problem existed in Fedora 9 when I had tried it a year ago. In fact, when I tried Fedora 9, I even would've made those other two people happy because I had installed GRUB to the MBR.


Should I try reinstalling GRUB? If so, how would I do that? Not too familiar with Linux installations (obviously).
 
Old 01-12-2009, 09:31 PM   #7
GameQber
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Update:

I can confirm that GRUB is installed to that first partition (the small one). I'm using DiskInternals Linux Reader to view files on the Linux partition from Windows, and I can see GRUB along with all the files, including grub.conf.

In fact, here is what grub.conf consists of:

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 (hd0,1)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
#          initrd /initrd-version.img
#
boot=/dev/sdb2
default=0
timeout=5
splashimage=(hd0,1)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
hiddenmenu

title Fedora (2.6.27.5-117.fc10.x86_64)
	root (hd0,1)
	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.27.5-117.fc10.x86_64 ro root=UUID=01114251-8019-497a-9f1a-ae292be85729 rhgb quiet
	initrd /initrd-2.6.27.5-117.fc10.x86_64.img
title Windows
	rootnoverify (hd1,0)
	chainloader +1
 
Old 01-12-2009, 10:06 PM   #8
GameQber
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Fixed it!

Using EasyBCD, I installed NeoGRUB, which is basically GRUB that can be edited through Windows. I added that Fedora entry, modifying root to "(hd1,1)". I rebooted, and chose the NeoGRUB option on the Windows Boot Loader, and it successfully loaded Fedora. Now I just have to tackle the issue of getting my Linksys Wireless N USB adapter to work, haha.

Thanks again for the help, PTrenholme. I'm giving you a Thanks for how informative you were. I really appreciate your time.
 
Old 01-12-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
PTrenholme
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It's been a while since I had to do this, but you should be able to boot in "rescue" mode from your Fedora installation media. IIRC, from the LiveCD, you need to press Escape after the first screen is displayed, and type "linux rescue" at the resulting prompt. If you're using the install DVD, I think you can just enter the "linux rescue" at the first prompt.

Once you get the "rescue" mode started, it should give you an option to "Enter chroot /mnt/sysimage to boot the installed system."

Do that at the # prompt, and you'll be logged into your F10 installation as "root" using a command-line terminal.

Since you are booting Vista and W7 from the MBR on your first hard drive, you can install GRUB in the MBR of your second drive without, I presume, any conflict. To do that, first verify which HD is sda and which is sdb. That's easily done by entering the command fdisk -l /dev/sd? (The "?" is part of the command, the "single-character" wild card.) The one you're interested in is the one with one NTFS partition, one Linux partition, and one LVM partition.

Assuming that that's sdb, enter the command grub-install /dev/sdb to instal GRUB in the MBR of the second hard drive.

Check to see if it works by rebooting your system (Command: reboot) and using your BIOS to boot from the second drive. (Most BIOS have a boot-time option to select the drive from which to boot, but some make you specify the boot order.) Anyhow, if that boot works, see if you can change the EasyBCD setting to let you select the MBR of the first drive for Vista/W7, or the second for Fedora 10. If you can't do that, change your BIOS to boot from the second drive, and use the "Windows" option on the GRUB menu to boot from the first drive when you want to do so.

Note: The GRUB configuration file you displayed above has the "hidemenu" option uncommented. To see the menu options during the boot, press any key when the boot screen is displayed. Later you can edit the configuration file to comment out (or remove) the hidemenu line.

Last edited by PTrenholme; 01-12-2009 at 10:21 PM.
 
Old 01-14-2009, 06:57 PM   #10
r1d3r
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GameQber,
I didnt mean to write a "informative and helpful" post! Just another way of solving the problem.

But i dont see any point in booting Fedora with windows' bootloader,
i know there is more than easyBCD, for example Acronis OS Selector which i believe is far more powerful than that.

However, i think we should ask the administrator for another button next to the tags, called "Rate My Post(TM)"!
 
Old 01-14-2009, 07:26 PM   #11
GameQber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r1d3r View Post
But i dont see any point in booting Fedora with windows' bootloader,
i know there is more than easyBCD, for example Acronis OS Selector which i believe is far more powerful than that.
The thing is I didn't see why I had to overwrite the already-working Windows Vista/7 boot loader when I could just tack on Fedora 10, which now works like a charm. In fact, the Windows boot loader had recognized Windows 7 and Windows Vista separately. Using EasyBCD, it was a piece of cake to add Fedora 10 once I understood how it worked.

When installing grub, it was only seeing two OS's ... the to-be-installed Fedora, and "Other" (Windows), though technically it should've seen two "Other"s. I'm curious if it was Windows 7 that it didn't recognize.

In fact, I actually caught what the root problem was during a re-installation (decided to go with 32-bit Fedora instead). There was an advanced option during the install asking what the order of my two HDDs were, according to the BIOS. I had them set in the wrong order, as I missed this configuration the first time. I figured out that this whole original problem was it was trying to see Linux on the wrong HDD, causing an instant restart and not being able to load Linux.

Simply put, this whole thread had nothing to do with a problem using the Windows boot loader. It was my own error during the Fedora setup of choosing the wrong drive order according to the BIOS, leading to a failure during boot whenever I chose "Fedora 10" from the Windows boot loader.

My apologies for not using the grub boot loader, r1d3r, it seems you're disappointed that I stuck with the Windows one. =P And yes, I was picky about your post because although you did give me an alternative method that would involve a re-installation or repair, you didn't help me in my goal of adding Fedora to the Windows boot loader. You'd rather I wipe out the Windows boot loader and use grub. I personally didn't see the point, and I have just shown that it can be done like cake the other way around. Thanks for your interest and concern, though, I do appreciate that! Also, I actually tried the Acronis OS selector years ago. For some reason, it had an issue seeing Fedora (this was back during like Fedora 7-ish). But knowing me and my knowledge of Linux, chances are it was some silly mistake I made.

And I do have to comment on one more thing ... about "making things difficult" ... I love to do that, because I'm going to learn more out of it than if I were to use the everyday method. Even better, I accomplished this task exactly how I wanted to do it.

Last edited by GameQber; 01-14-2009 at 07:32 PM.
 
Old 01-14-2009, 08:34 PM   #12
r1d3r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameQber View Post
I missed this configuration the first time.
!!!

Quote:
it seems you're disappointed that I stuck with the Windows one.
Not at all, actually im happy you made it work.

Quote:
I love to do that
Good job!

Quote:
But knowing me and my knowledge of Linux, chances are it was some silly mistake I made.
Knowing microsoft and its products, it needed a finger to be put in its... to make it work.

Happy booting!
 
Old 01-14-2009, 08:44 PM   #13
GameQber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r1d3r View Post
!!!
...what's the point of this? =P Sorry, I can't be an expert with no past experience, hence the reason I saw it the second time through. =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by r1d3r View Post
Good job!
Thanks, I guess!

Quote:
Originally Posted by r1d3r View Post
Knowing microsoft and its products, it needed a finger to be put in its... to make it work.

Happy booting!
Aww, come on, you can't honestly say Windows Me was that bad. I have to say that so far, Windows 7 is quite the improvement, though. To be fair, they had a lot to improve.


Sorry for the off-topicness, by the way. My problem's fixed, so thanks again.

Last edited by GameQber; 01-14-2009 at 08:46 PM.
 
  


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