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Old 11-12-2006, 04:20 PM   #1
Linux>Me
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Linux appears to install normally, but with "Missing OS" error on boot?


Hi everyone. This is my first ever attempt at any Linux installation. I'm a fairly avid M$ user and figured that Linux would be something I might just dive right into and see what all the hubub is all about. I'm sorry if this issue has been brought up multiple times, in which case I would appreciate a link to a resolution, but this installation is getting me frustrated.

Background:

I've spent many an hour looking at the installation guide, but none of the options there seem to yield any avail. I've also tried searching google for my problem, but none of the places I find can seem to help, either.

I downloaded Fedora Core via the website and downloaded all 6 (w/ rescue cd) Fedora Core ISOs. I made sure to check the to check my downloaded ISOs with sha1sum and all the values checked out. I burned the images to high quality blank CDs with ImgBurn at 8x speed and verified the disks afterward via the same program. I even made sure to verify the disks from within the Linux media check utility. That said, I do not believe the CD medias are the problem.

The hard drives I've attempted to install Fedora on are on the second IDE (Three separate Hdds, every different one I've tried I've removed the previous, and put a different one in place, equaling 3 drives attempted), set as master, with my CD-Rom drive set has slave on the same IDE cable (My windows installations are on the primary IDE cable, all the devices connected to the primary IDE I've disabled in the BIOS to prevent me from accidentally deleting anything).

The problem:

I set my BIOS to boot from my CD-RW and popped disc one in there. Everything appeared normal. When the Fedora splash and options came up, I just pressed enter for a basic GUI install.

On the screen after it asks me about what keyboard layout to use, I get this message along the lines of (off of memory, sorry I didn't write it down) "...Partition table is unreadable....format partitions and lose ALL DATA?" After selecting "Yes" I get ANOTHER error message, "Invalid argument during seek for read on /dev/hdb." After numerous pressings of "Retry "Ignore" and "Cancel" the error keeps coming up. Eventually, it lets me by to set up the partitions myself. On the first time, I just told it to remove all partitions and set up defaults. The second time I tried setting up my own partitions. The third time I tried modifying some more options and forcing LBA. Even a few more times after that trying just about all the other options. Every time, Fedora seems to format all the partitions normally, without error, and appears to install everything just fine (even asking for different CDs when applicable). I even get a successful "congratulations" success message on the same page with a reboot button. Yet, All of these times and I still get the message on reboot (after install) "Missing Operating System" when trying to boot from the Linux installed HDD. I made sure to set my BIOS to boot from CD-ROM first, HDD second, and I even made sure a boot selection was not the problem by using F11 to select a device specifically.

It appears that even though Fedora installs normally, it somehow never actually formatted the drive right or included any sort of boot anything.

I'd appreciate any help anyone can offer on this matter.

Thanks!
 
Old 11-12-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
2damncommon
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If you boot from the install media, choose the rescue system, perform the chroot instructions, and type "startx", what happens?
 
Old 11-12-2006, 05:17 PM   #3
Linux>Me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon
If you boot from the install media, choose the rescue system, perform the chroot instructions, and type "startx", what happens?
I haven't tried that. I assumed because Fedora told me to remove all disc media from my CD-RW that it was telling me it was done with it.

I'll give your instructions a try. It'll be a while because I have to switch some hard drives back around again.

Thanks!
 
Old 11-12-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
2damncommon
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Quote:
I haven't tried that. I assumed because Fedora told me to remove all disc media from my CD-RW that it was telling me it was done with it.
Normally, yes.
I suspect either a problem with your bootloader configuration or an issue with the drive switching or BIOS changes.
Booting from the install media may confirm Fedora is indeed installed and working and we can go from there.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 05:34 PM   #5
Linux>Me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon
Normally, yes.
I suspect either a problem with your bootloader configuration or an issue with the drive switching or BIOS changes.
Booting from the install media may confirm Fedora is indeed installed and working and we can go from there.
Thanks a bunch!

Fedora booted right up with the "startx" command.

Now, then. How do I go about making it bootable without the CD?

And what are the significances of those error messages I got ?

EDIT: Also, when I was running the rescue utility, in the step where it searches the HDD for the Fedora install. There was a bunch "Error __________" messages on the blue background while the utility was searching. They seemed pretty nonsensical (to me anyway). I don't know if that has any significance, I just thought it might be important.

Last edited by Linux>Me; 11-12-2006 at 05:36 PM.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 05:49 PM   #6
2damncommon
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Quote:
There was a bunch "Error __________" messages on the blue background while the utility was searching.
Hmmmm, not sure.
First question is how are you swaping your drives around and is that how you intend to use them?
 
Old 11-12-2006, 05:55 PM   #7
Linux>Me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon
Hmmmm, not sure.
First question is how are you swaping your drives around and is that how you intend to use them?
When I was switching the drives during my failed analysis, I was just unplugging one, putting in another, and trying to install Fedora again.

I only switched HDDs to rule out the possibility of a Hardware problem preventing Fedora Boot. I will only be using one HDD with Linux on it in actual practice.

What I'm planning on doing is just installing Fedora on my Secondary master, while leaving my Windows OS on my Primary Master (The Primary Slave is a storage HDD). When I want to boot Fedora, I want to be able to just push F11 and start Fedora up from the Secondary master HDD, by selecting the HDD from the list.

Basically, one HDD dedicated to running Fedora

I hope that answers your question.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 08:13 PM   #8
Linux>Me
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I found out that the "/boot" partition was not initialized (via the hard disk utility in Fedora). However, to initialize it says I have to erase everything, which does not sound like a good idea.

Is there any way to go about making the /boot partition the way that it's supposed to be; allowing me to actually boot from it ?

This is a whole new experience from XP.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 08:55 PM   #9
2damncommon
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Quote:
I found out that the "/boot" partition was not initialized (via the hard disk utility in Fedora).
If Fedora was only installed to one partition that is okay. It sounds like you just need to get the Linux bootloader installed to the correct place.

Quote:
When I want to boot Fedora, I want to be able to just push F11 and start Fedora up from the Secondary master HDD, by selecting the HDD from the list.
Is this a BIOS list? I have not ever done it this way and am not sure how it will work. My guess would be that the Linux bootloader needs to be in the MBR of your secondary master. Use the Fedora rescue system and type "grub-install /dev/hdc" at the place you typed startx before. You could confirm hdc is the correct device by typing "mount" first. Your Linux partition should show up as hdcx where x=the partition of the secondary master it is on.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 09:05 PM   #10
Linux>Me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon
If Fedora was only installed to one partition that is okay. It sounds like you just need to get the Linux bootloader installed to the correct place.


Is this a BIOS list? I have not ever done it this way and am not sure how it will work. My guess would be that the Linux bootloader needs to be in the MBR of your secondary master. Use the Fedora rescue system and type "grub-install /dev/hdc" at the place you typed startx before. You could confirm hdc is the correct device by typing "mount" first. Your Linux partition should show up as hdcx where x=the partition of the secondary master it is on.
Yes, it is a BIOS list. Right now I left the HDD I installed Fedora on enabled in my BIOS and I am using Windows XP right now. The Fedora HDD appears in "My Computer." However, it is not recognized as a valid partition (Which is fine with me, I just don't want to have to keep switching BIOS settings on/off when switchings OSs)

Thanks for the advice again. I'll be sure to give it a try in the next few minutes. I'll let you know if selecting the boot drive via BIOS options works or not.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 09:32 PM   #11
Linux>Me
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http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/2721/dsc00486rq5.jpg

The text in the blue background were to errors I was talking about earlier.

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/2150/dsc00487fi1.jpg

This was the message I got when I ran "grub-install /dev/hdc"

http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/5289/dsc00488xt0.jpg

I no longer get "Missing Operating System"!!! But, I get some Grub command line instead.

EDIT: I tried running the "boot" command from the grub command line, however, it says that the kernel must be loaded before boot.

Last edited by Linux>Me; 11-12-2006 at 09:35 PM.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 10:27 PM   #12
2damncommon
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Quote:
The Fedora HDD appears in "My Computer." However, it is not recognized as a valid partition
Windows is not able to read a Linux partition without installing a third party application.
Linux can read and write to FAT32. Although not always set up by default Linux can read NTFS. Writing to NTFS is usually not recommended. It is usual to create a FAT32 partition for transfering files.
Quote:
I want to be able to just push F11 and start Fedora up from the Secondary master HDD, by selecting the HDD from the list.
Quote:
I just don't want to have to keep switching BIOS settings on/off when switchings OSs
Usual boot methods include installing the Linux bootloader the the MBR of the primary master to boot both Linux and Windows, installing the Linux bootloader to the Linux root partition and using a third party bootloader or configuring the Windows bootloader to initialize the Linux bootloader.

Can you post what choices the Fedora rescue system gives you after it searches for your installed system? In the picture you posted it shows the change to the installed system failed. The output from "fdisk -l /dev/hda" and "fdisk -l /dev/hdb" may help. (That's a small "L" as in list, not a one.)

The error message in your first picture has something to do with your primary master (hda). I am not sure why you are getting that. It is not usual to see that.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 11:15 PM   #13
Linux>Me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon
Windows is not able to read a Linux partition without installing a third party application.
Linux can read and write to FAT32. Although not always set up by default Linux can read NTFS. Writing to NTFS is usually not recommended. It is usual to create a FAT32 partition for transfering files.


Usual boot methods include installing the Linux bootloader the the MBR of the primary master to boot both Linux and Windows, installing the Linux bootloader to the Linux root partition and using a third party bootloader or configuring the Windows bootloader to initialize the Linux bootloader.

Can you post what choices the Fedora rescue system gives you after it searches for your installed system? In the picture you posted it shows the change to the installed system failed. The output from "fdisk -l /dev/hda" and "fdisk -l /dev/hdb" may help. (That's a small "L" as in list, not a one.)

The error message in your first picture has something to do with your primary master (hda). I am not sure why you are getting that. It is not usual to see that.
In the second picture, the change to the installed system did not fail. What happened was that I had entered the the "chroot" command earlier (not visible) and had entered some other command. I thought I had to enter "chroot" again, but I guess not. To double check I rebooted the system and entered the chroot command twice, the first time was OK, the second time gave the error at the top of second picture.

As for an error with my my primary master, I don't think that should be. I disabled my primary master in the BIOS by setting the Primary master to "Not Installed," in effect stopping it from ever being seen by Fedora or even grub (to stop myself from goofing up windows). That is, unless it is detecting my "Not Installed" BIOS setting as a detection error (Just a wild guess).

Right now my Secondary master is booting to the Grub console, to my understanding, I need to mount the kernel (which grub cannot find on hda or hdb). I can't even do a "find" command to get "vmlinuz" Not even switching roots by designating a specific partition such as (HD0,0)

I'll go ahead and take a snapshot of the Fedora Recovery console options.

Thank you for being patient with me, for me this is a huge learning experience.
 
Old 11-12-2006, 11:47 PM   #14
Linux>Me
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http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/5743/dsc00489uo1.jpg

After having fedora search for the install location I only get a command line.

http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/1865/dsc00490vz4.jpg

Here are the only volumes that responded to the "fdisk -l" command.
 
Old 11-13-2006, 01:15 AM   #15
2damncommon
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Upon re-reading I think we are making more progress than I had thought.
The one thing stumping me now is /dev/VolGroup. Using Google I see this means you are using Logical Volume Management. Is that something you did on purpose?
You got a lot of errors after the "grub-install" and I will guess it is for the same reason you saw the other errors. Is there something unusual about your primary master? RAID? Encrypted?
Apparently grub did install the basic version. We should be able to get it configured better.
First chroot from the rescue system.
Type "ls /boot" (list the contents of the boot directory). Look for something like "vmlinuz-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6" and "initrd-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6.img". That means the Linux kernel is in your boot partition.
Type "cat /boot/grub/menu.lst". That will display the contents of your grub configuration file.
Post back what you see in /boot and menu.lst and we may be able to get you going.
 
  


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