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Old 05-26-2007, 10:10 PM   #1
Siljrath
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Distribution: sid, slack, gentoo, witch, bedrock, etc
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Boot Camp (fixing boot loaders, learning your way around boot & chainloaders)


legend/key: with a tendency to waffle, i have taken chunks of waffle and turned them into italic small print so you can more easily get to pertinent information. for those of you who like to relax into reading streams of consciousness typed out, the waffle is still there.
Quote:
various read outs from my computer will be in either screenshots or quote boxes
once i know what i'm doing in this area, I'll be coming back to re-edit so as to ensure the really really pertinent transferable information stands out like a sore thumb, so yas dont get bogged down reading irrelevant crap about some other guy's system




i shall present lots of information about my system specifically, but it is my hope that the information and solutions here will be transferable to anyone who finds themselves in similar situations. effectively, a How-To of MBR & boot & chainloader fixes.
really it is my hope that i'll be able to use this knowledge to fix my old athlon 700's MBR as it's been sitting dormant for over a year, and that whenever i come across MBR hiccoughs in the future, (with how much i mess around checking out other distros, is inevitable) i shall be able to refer back to this to know precisely what to do, and to refer back as many times as it takes before i am a confident expert at playing around with new distros and chainloaders and getting all OSs to boot from any kind of overwrites or messed up boot lists.


this thread (as my title should express), is mainly about the master boot record (and other boot records), and what to do to get it back into a working condition, from any number of mess ups.

in brief, I have WinXP & opensuse 10.2.

in more full,
my hard drives are as such,

a 60GB IDE drive connected only on a slave cable, formatted for Linux, and probably still has at least one Linux installation on it's four partitions from ages ago when i was messing around distro hopping.

a 300 SATA drive used as my main drive, containing my XP, most of my data (the sentimentally valuable stuff), and Linux, root partition, swap partition, over a total of 7 partitions.

a 1TB Lacie external SATA drive with lots of data over two partitions formatted for windows, main one in NTFS, and a 30Gb Fat32. ... doesnt let me write to them without "HAL"?? 2001! argh!

currently, the boot sequence takes me to the freshly installed opensuse boot options which are:
Quote:
opensuse10.2
other linux
windows
floppy
opensuse10.2 failsafe
opensuse10.2 works, boots me into suse as it should (though cd & dvd drives seem not to be available, or maybe i'm just being stupid about mounting since it's been a while away from linux and am really rusty)

Windows option before doing anything else returns a black screen with only the writing:
Quote:
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd1,0)+1
prior to opensuse10.2 install it worked fine, and even had a Sauver install which, worked also well... when i say "worked", it booted, but graphics were too obscured to be used

Other Linux goes to a Vector Linux LILO OS selection screen (which i think is rather pretty, with a nice 2:00 to choose before u touch anything) it has the following options (and give the following results)
Quote:

Linux (goes to Vector Linux, wont load either X or Xfce4(?))

Win (black screen with
Quote:
Loading Win
_
with the underscore flashing.... for ages. ctrl-alt-del.

Linux-tui (not tried - assumed same as "linux" and "Linux-gui")

Linux-gui (same as "linux")

Suse-sda6 (among other things, it tells me eventually before stopping:
Quote:
VFS: cannot open root device "806" or unknown-block (8.6)
Please apend a correct "root-" boot option
Kernel panic- not syncing
VFS: unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(8,6)
a hard reset was required (ctrl-alt-del failed)
^so who cares about all that anyways.

here's a screenshot of my harddrives info:


I have looked at
http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2005/1...-and-boot.html
&
http://forums.techguy.org/unix-linux...ws-xp-mbr.html

which may or may not be up for practical application... i dont know yet as i am yet to actually take any of their advice so far as making any changes, out of sheer extreme caution.
I'd rather know what i am doing, and that what i am doing is right, and what the outcome is likely to be.
breaking computers until they work is only a valid approach if you dont have anything to loose. i have years of unbackedup artwork to protect.



other links i am in the process of checking out include:
http://www.slax.org/forum/viewtopic....extract+module
(slax is lovely btw)
http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=143973
^ boot 100+ OS from one PC
http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=147959
^how to install and boot 145 OS from one PC
http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showt...hreadid=130715
^ install linux and leave windows untouched
http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144294
^ "just booting tips"

last four links there are from saikee's sig, from techforums. he(?)'s my hero.


so to summarise in short:
Suse boots, Windows (& sauver) doesnt.
other linux partitions are for me to play around with and unimportant at this point.
Suse may boot, but has other issues to be resolved.
main issue here... get windows booting too!


ok, any words of caution before i go poking my penguin beak in my /boot/grub/menu.lst ?

(haha, you'll have to be quick)


lets make the change.

Last edited by Siljrath; 05-28-2007 at 09:49 PM.
 
Old 05-27-2007, 09:16 PM   #2
Siljrath
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ok, so windows xp is on my 300gb SATA drive (sda1 and data partition, all NTFS)
and doesn't boot


Suse 10.2 has been installed over a previous suse. (sda6)
and boots

I have an IDE drive set to slave (hdb) with 4 primary partitions (all totally expendable as far as i'm concerned)

+ backup external USB SATA
+ pen drive (not found in suse for some reason unknown to me)



Can I just edit my menu.lst to make XP boot?
_ If so, what do I edit it to?
__ OR, do i need an XP CD (which I don't have anymore)
___ OR, will an install of grub simply fix the problem and allow me to boot to windows again?


from the original /boot/grub/menu.lst (which i have backed up in the same folder) when attempting to boot windows from Suse's OS selection screen i got a black screen which said:
Quote:
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd1,0)+1
(required a hard reset when it did nothing for ages and ctrl-alt-del did nothing)
which i then edited in a root session with openoffice writer (i'm such a child of the gui age) to:
Quote:
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
make active
chainloader (hd1,0)+1
which is exactly what it displayed to me again, in the same style, and requiring a hard reset.
I then too followed the advice to a fuller extent as found here, which is where i was getting these strange ideas incase you were wondering, and edited again in a root session with OpenOffice Writer to read:
Quote:
rootnoverify(hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1
which took me (surpisingly to me) to the Vector Linux's Lilo OS selectionscreen on hdb.
selecting "Win" here took me to the black screen which says "Loading Win"... and that is how i left it. *goes through to other room to check* ... and that's how it still stood. ctrl-alt-del still works anyways.

I have a couple other pages printed out and will no doubt be continuing this until someone comes along and puts me right.



i suspect its gonna be something simple like changing (hd0,0) to the relevant hd or something....? right?
 
Old 05-27-2007, 09:26 PM   #3
aus9
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Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,056

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actaully if you are having trouble ...embed your link to the pic in your post as it is very helpful.

1) what is your bios boot order?

this boot order is necessary to know or to change as grub counts hard drives from zero based on that detected order.

2) eg lets pretend its sata (a) then ide slave then external
sda1 becomes (hd0,0) in grub speak and is your xp C partition in ms speak

so edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst so ms becomes

title xp
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

{{{your second post may have a typo with a mix of hd0 and hd1?]]]

3) assuming I am correct and as we are only editting with root powers your menu for ms ....you are not changing your suse....no harm as no change...either its hd0 or hd1 depending on bios boot order.....plus...assuming suse is on sata....it must state either hd0 or hd1 in its menu, ok?

if the suse is on sata and has a hd1 entry...and we know you are able to boot it ...it changes the ms entry completely...we need the map command....see last bit

my signature has a tutorial but try this first?


4) if you are really keen....at the first grub screen press C for commands.

type commands and enter

root (hd0,0)

look at your result...then type

root (hd1,0)

look at your result

if I am right on bios boot order hd1 will show a linux filesystem

and just do a warm reboot as no system has been booted if have not done any damage.


5) if suse entry is hd1....and is on sata...and/or your result of 4 confirmed hd0,0 was a linux system we need a different ms menu

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

note there is a gap between the ) and ( brackets

Last edited by aus9; 05-27-2007 at 09:37 PM.
 
Old 05-28-2007, 05:30 PM   #4
Siljrath
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Posts: 160

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~~~~~ bare with me... this post is being edited. ~~~~~






Quote:
Originally Posted by aus9
actaully if you are having trouble ...embed your link to the pic in your post as it is very helpful.
oops, i thought the {img=filename.jpg}whatevername{/img} would show it
Quote:
Originally Posted by aus9
1) what is your bios boot order?


this boot order is necessary to know or to change as grub counts hard drives from zero based on that detected order.
I'll see if i can get that to you an easy way, rather then me have to type it all out. with neither my burner drives, nor my external sata (the "HAL" issue), nor my pen drive, nor my router/hub functioning as it should, getting data from the computer i'm fixing to this one has to be done one of the old fashioned ways... by hand or by floppy.

Info:
Quote:
# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Mon May 28 14:26:35 BST 2007
default 0
timeout 22
gfxmenu (hd1,5)/boot/message

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title openSUSE 10.2
root (hd1,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18.2-34-default root=/dev/sda6 vga=0x31a resume=/dev/sda5 splash=silent showopts
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.18.2-34-default

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: Linux other###
title Linux other
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
title Windows
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader (hd1,0)+1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: floppy###
title Floppy
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader (fd0)+1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe -- openSUSE 10.2
root (hd1,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18.2-34-default root=/dev/sda6 vga=normal showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=off noresume edd=off 3
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.18.2-34-default
and this is how it does in the /boot/grub/device.map
Quote:
(hd0). /dev/hdb
(fd0). /dev/fd0
(hd1). /dev/sda
(hd3). /dev/sdc
(hd2). /dev/sdb
so as i understand it....

"(hd0). /dev/hdb" is where the (expendable) vector linux resides.

"(fd0). /dev/fd0" is my floppy drive, which just decided to give up after i got my grub boot sequence file copied to txt

"(hd1). /dev/sda" is my sata 300 (?) in which both XP & Suse reside... and

"(hd3). /dev/sdc" and "(hd2). /dev/sdb" are my USB drives.

.... though i'm not at all sure on that... is that correct for the sda, sdc & sdb?


and, does that cover what you mean by "boot order"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aus9


2) eg lets pretend its sata (a) then ide slave then external
sda1 becomes (hd0,0) in grub speak and is your xp C partition in ms speak

so edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst so ms becomes

title xp
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

{{{your second post may have a typo with a mix of hd0 and hd1?]]]
as for the typo, when i read that, it first struck me as being the obvious mistake, and after much fiddling (and developing confidence) with the grub menu.lst, I am now much more familiar with which way sends the boot to the ide drive, and which sends the boot to the sda (even though it just hangs, showing me the menu.lst entry for windows).

i read somewhere in someones sig recently something to the effect of "sometimes the obvious is so well hidden and obscured it boggles the mind", how very apt.


##############BARE WITH ME, THIS POST IS BEING EDITED - I'M NOT DONE YET######dont even bother reading this next bit really, it is now obsolete#############


i'm not sure that was a typo... not for this thread anyways..
that was how it was writen in the thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aus9
3) assuming I am correct and as we are only editting with root powers your menu for ms ....you are not changing your suse....no harm as no change...either its hd0 or hd1 depending on bios boot order.....plus...assuming suse is on sata....it must state either hd0 or hd1 in its menu, ok?

if the suse is on sata and has a hd1 entry...and we know you are able to boot it ...it changes the ms entry completely...we need the map command....see last bit

my signature has a tutorial but try this first?
getting around to checking out the links in your sig at some point, but trying this first....
#############################
Quote:
Originally Posted by aus9

4) if you are really keen....at the first grub screen press C for commands.

type commands and enter

root (hd0,0)

look at your result...then type

root (hd1,0)

look at your result

if I am right on bios boot order hd1 will show a linux filesystem

and just do a warm reboot as no system has been booted if have not done any damage.
.... pressing C on the suse bootloader just types "c" in the box to add other boot command options. hehe. it's too flashy for such archaic measures it seems. damn... i was looking forward to doing that. trial and error has shown me the same, and increased my patience virtue.
Quote:

5) if suse entry is hd1....and is on sata...and/or your result of 4 confirmed hd0,0 was a linux system we need a different ms menu

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

note there is a gap between the ) and ( brackets
###### THIS IS WHERE I AM UP TO. ABOUT TO DO THIS. ### THIS IS JUST A REMINDER ##### POST WILL BE CLEANED UP FURTHER YET ##############
thnx, will go get this sorted
(coming back to edit this post & inc changes. posting this post incomplete to make sure i dont loose where i was, just for my own benefit really, back in a mo + breakfast time probably)
#########################################

M.S. (mid-script, hehe)
http://file030b.bebo.com/9/large/200...852984757l.jpg
^ hopefully that's not too squished you can still make it out. a screen shot with as much relevant info as i could fit on the screen.
it also shows the menu.lst & sauver boot stuff from drive C, which may or may not be having an effect on this... but i dont see how, as it should boot to that just the same as grub would boot to any other OS's own boot options.

---- still meddling ---- back soon.

Last edited by Siljrath; 05-29-2007 at 09:30 AM. Reason: it was only posted as a reminder to myself what i was doing and how i'd reply when rested.
 
Old 05-28-2007, 05:35 PM   #5
wendea
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Distribution: Fedora
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if you want windows and linux to work together you must install windows before linux or else it breaks windows. That may be your windows problem - I know that happened to me before.
 
Old 05-29-2007, 02:38 AM   #6
aus9
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your suse is on the sata so its got
(hd1) entries so you are correct to assume its going to be the same for xp.
so my (5) above applies

6) I did not know you were also having trouble with your bios but wendea...if you are correct, there is no harm in editting the linux grub menu as its quicker than installing xp which will take about 1 hour plus has only about 6 years of updates to install heh heh

7) in terms of trouble shooting Siljrath...do not amend your bios boot order at this stage...we are going great guns without complicating the boot order....its very important to know the order but not all that important to change it.

yep I have read you are editting your own post....shows you are cautious nothing wrong with that.
 
Old 05-29-2007, 09:02 AM   #7
Siljrath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus9
your suse is on the sata so its got
(hd1) entries so you are correct to assume its going to be the same for xp.
so my (5) above applies

6) I did not know you were also having trouble with your bios but wendea...if you are correct, there is no harm in editting the linux grub menu as its quicker than installing xp which will take about 1 hour plus has only about 6 years of updates to install heh heh

7) in terms of trouble shooting Siljrath...do not amend your bios boot order at this stage...we are going great guns without complicating the boot order....its very important to know the order but not all that important to change it.

yep I have read you are editting your own post....shows you are cautious nothing wrong with that.


ah grand.... i am at a stage just teetering before "5)", was about to get to this (having not tried "4)" and been trial and error testing various entries for the xp location in grub), but have been delayed as i wanted to get more screenshots and info up, but access to this computer and being awake have both been "intermittent" shall we say.

I'll be back to clean up that post of mine above. i just thought a clear update here was in order. - likely in a while, since these delays have taken me to a point where it looks like my weekend will be starting very early this week. very early. (today (tues) or tomorow (wed))

ps, winxp was installed first on this machine (many months ago of installing software) just as an experiment to see what XP was like for the first time on a machine of my own. I've made the mistake in the past of hitting trouble attempting to instal "dual boot" before without knowing what i was doing. i know where i am now. on the learning curve.
 
Old 05-29-2007, 11:22 AM   #8
saikee
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
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I think the last link of my signature may have most if not all the answers.

It is good enough to boot 145 systems, including 5 different versions of Windows of course. You can throw any number of Solaris and BSD into the box too.

Linux would not be force to be reckoned with if its boot loaders don't multi-boot every system you can install in a PC.

As far as I am aware XP's NTLDR will run out of steam at the 10th system beyond which the static screen can no longer display.

Lilo has a static screen too but you can pack 27 systems there.

Grub uses a scrolling screen and so the number systems it can boot is the same limit as the sky.

Take my word for it booting is the simplest and easiest in Linux. You will laugh at this thread one day for making a big deal out of it.

If you still have a problem on hand to be resolve post the following information here

(1) Get any combination of boot disk order working and chop off the hand that play tells the Bios to change the disk order. You need to freeze the boot disk order for good.

(2) Output of "fdisk -l" so that every partition of every hard disk would be displayed.

(2) You MBR is current controlled by Lilo or Grub. If it is Grub list the following information (repeat them if you have to as they give us the latest situation.)

(a) /boot/grub/menu.lst
(b) /boot/grub/device.map
(c) /etc/fstab

For Lilo supply

(a) /etc/lilo.conf
(b) /etc/fstab

(3) Tell us which system boots and which one doesn't.

(4) Prepare the two most lethal booting weapons. One bootable Grub floppy created in accordance with Section 3.1 of Grub manual (or Grub bootable CD with SEction 3.4 of the Grub Manual if you have no floppy drive). Have a Linux Live CD available. Not sure Open Suse is one of them but any of Slax, Ubuntu, Knoppix, Puppy, Mepis etc will do fine.

Last edited by saikee; 05-29-2007 at 12:01 PM.
 
  


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