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Old 01-17-2004, 10:56 PM   #1
Darrell22
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Posts: 74

Rep: Reputation: 15
Grub does not work on Dell dual boot machine.


This is quite mysterious, so I hope someone can
help me out.

First, some history. I have a Dell 4550 that
runs XP. It has two hard drives. Dell machines
have two partitions on the primary drive.
The first partition is onlY 39 megs, that does not
have a drive letter, and contains Dell diagnostic tools.


Previously, I had made this a dual boot machine
using Suse and lilo. To "deinstall" Suse, with
my windows boot disk, I ran:

fdisk /mbr

And only Windows booted, as planned.

------------------

I've sinced installed Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1.
Linux is installed in the -logical- partitions on the
second hard drive. It was supposed to use grub
for the dual booting.

I used the same install config that I had used on
my other Dell. That grub config worked as planned.

The problem is, grub does not show at all when
booting. No choices at all. And only Windows boots.
Reinstalling did not help.

But I can boot to linux with a boot floppy.

------------------

I've since tried to use grub-install.


/sbin/grub-install /dev/hda

it gave:

grub>

root (hd1,4)
File system type unknown, partition type 0x6

setup --stage2=/boot/grub/stage2 --prefix=/grub (hd0)

Error 17: Cannot mount selected partition

quit


Does anyone have any idea how to overcome these errors?


--------------------
Try grub with individual commands:

grub

find /boot/grub/stage1
Error 15: file not found

root (hd1,4)
File system type unknown, partition type 0x6

setup (hd0)
Error 17: Cannot mount selected partition


----------------

Pretty strange. The file system on the first
drive, first partition is of type FAT.


----------------

According to grub, the partitions are:


grub> root (hd0,
Possible partitions are:
Partition num: 0, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0xde
Partition num: 1, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x7

grub> root (hd1,
Possible partitions are:
Partition num: 0, Filesystem type is fat, partition type 0xc
Partition num: 4, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x6
Partition num: 5, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x6
Partition num: 6, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x82
Partition num: 7, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 8, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 9, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 10, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 11, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 12, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 13, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83



----------------


fdisk /dev/hd0 shows:

Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 7294 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 1 5 40131 de Dell Utility
/dev/hda2 * 6 7294 58548892+ 7 HPFS/NTFS



----------------

df -k shows:


Filesystem 1k-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on

/dev/hdb6 5162796 211256 4689284 5% /
/dev/hdb5 101089 25432 70438 27% /boot
/dev/hdb8 5162796 32836 4867704 1% /home
/dev/hdb9 10325748 164200 9637028 2% /opt
/dev/hdb13 5162796 32828 4867712 1% /oracle
/dev/hdb14 10325748 32828 9768400 1% /oradata
none 385024 0 385024 0% /dev/shm
/dev/hdb12 5162796 35900 4864640 1% /tmp
/dev/hdb10 5162796 2624320 2276220 54% /usr
/dev/hdb11 5162796 117140 4783400 3% /var



----------------

My grub file follows. Although I think the problem is
more fundamental.

# 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 (hd1,4)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hdb6
# initrd /initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/hda
default=3
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd1,4)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
title Red Hat Linux Advanced Server (2.4.9-e.3enterprise)
root (hd1,4)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.9-e.3enterprise ro root=/dev/hdb6 hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.9-e.3enterprise.img
title Red Hat Linux Advanced Server-smp (2.4.9-e.3smp)
root (hd1,4)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.9-e.3smp ro root=/dev/hdb6 hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.9-e.3smp.img
title Red Hat Linux Advanced Server-up (2.4.9-e.3)
root (hd1,4)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.9-e.3 ro root=/dev/hdb6 hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.9-e.3.img
title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
makeactive
chainloader +1


--------------


Any ideas?

Thanks
 
Old 01-24-2004, 10:24 PM   #2
Darrell22
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Posts: 74

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
How this was fixed

Well, after MUCH struggle, and MANY hours, I have
finally discovered the secret, and got grub to work.

When I first installed Suse, I used lilo, and it
worked fine. So, today I thought that I would try
installing Suse once again. Only this time, I used grub.
Suse installed fine, and gave me a nice dual boot.


But before installing Suse, I did notice with fdisk
that the /boot and / partitions were FAT16!

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hdb1 1 1959 15735636 c Win95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hdb2 * 1960 14593 101482605 f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hdb5 1960 1972 104391 6 FAT16
/dev/hdb6 1973 2625 5245191 6 FAT16


Why? This made no sense. When I installed, I
instructed Redhat to format the partitions as ext3.
But they always showed up again as an unknown file type.

Call me demanding, but I do expect that when I give the
format command, and when it does proceed to format, that
the partitions would in fact get formatted as ext3. But it
must be too much to ask of the Redhat installer. I guess
it's just there for a warm fuzzy feeling inside, so
you can watch the taskbars slowly move across the screen
as you waste your time.

Originally, I had created the partitions with Windows
Diskpart. It was very easy to use, and I knew that I
wouldn't be destroying my Windows partitions with it.
During the Redhat install, I would then assign the
filesystem (/boot, etc.) Why the first two stayed as
FAT16, but not the others, is beyond me.

After Suse's installation worked, I then tried installing
Redhat. This time I noticed that the partitions were
actually linux partitions. The installation worked, grub
got installed, and it worked. Ta Da!

So, I would say that there is a problem with the
Redhad Advanced server installer. It doesn't format
the partitions the way it says it does. Suse's
installer worked fine, but Redhat's did not. Go figure.


I must say, that Suse's Yast2 install is so much
better than Redhat's. It formatted the partitions
right. It had a nice GUI for configuring the partitions
too. It gave a really good tool for configuring
the boot loader, even allowing me to see the grub.conf
file before proceeding. And it had all three grub
commands required for grub to boot Windows on Dell.
It took me a day to figure how to boot Windows with
Redhat grub, which only inserted two lines in grub.conf.

Suse probed my machine and found so much more that
Redhat did. It configured the sound, ethernet, DHCP,
printer, and the video card automatically. I could
even test the graphic configuration before proceeding.
When I rebooted, X windows came up cleanly.

With Redhat, it took another number of days to figure
out that the video, and ethernet were not even installed,
and more hours to fix it.

Too bad that Suse can't set some other fundamental
things: the modem, memory and shmmax. It might make
a good server.


I started this fiasco on Jan. 16th, and it is now
Jan. 24th. About 40 hours or more of my time wasted.
Thanks for nothing Redhat.
 
  


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