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Old 01-25-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
redandwhitestripes
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Major problems with GRUB - cannot access my other installed distros


Hi everyone,
I'm having a nightmare and hoping someone can wake me up out of it:

I'll try to be as concise as possible. My CD drive has died, so I installed Damn Small Linux via unetbootin. My PC cannot boot from USB and my floppy drive is also dead. I thought DSL would add a grub entry to my existing list but instead it wrote a brand new one to the MBR.

Now I cannot access my other distros! I tried to copy over my old list and edit it into the new one but when I rebooted, GRUB told me "setup signature not detected" and froze. The DSL entry still boots OK.

I tried to do a restore of the old grub list via the terminal but I got a message "error parsing numbers" or something similar. I may have been doing the wrong thing as I'm a total Linux newbie.

I tried to install unetbootin again in my DSL partition but I got a message saying certain files were unavailable. It looked like some dependencies were absent but I have no idea how to get them.

To summarize, I want my other distros back on the bootloader but I don't know how to get them!
I could try to manually edit the grub list but since it refused my paste from the old grub list, how would I know what to type?!

EDIT: Things get worse. My grub has now appeared with an extra command line:
"intrid boot/mnirt24.gz" which causes a kernel panic. I'm now stuck on the bootloader screen and ready to throw this old (P4, 512ram) thing out unless someone thinks it can be saved.

I do have a second computer and a LAN cable if that could help in any way.

As you can see I'm in a fix and any help would be very, very appreciated and, given the scope of the screw up, greatly admired :-)
***************************



Here are the entries on my OLD bootloader:

Code:
# For booting SliTaz from : /dev/hda7
#
title     SliTaz GNU/Linux (cooking) (Kernel vmlinuz-2.6.25.5-slitaz)
        root (hd0,6)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.25.5-slitaz root=/dev/hda7

# End GRUB global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins
  title Boxpup
  root (hd0,1)
  kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda2 ro vga=normal
# Linux bootable partition config ends

# LXDE Pup
  title LXDE Pup
  root (hd0,3)
  kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4 ro vga=normal
# Linux bootable partition config ends

# Linux bootable partition config begins
  title Vector Linux Lite
  root (hd0,7)
  kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda8 ro vga=normal
# Linux bootable partition config ends
And this is for my NEW file (though they now show with a second line : boot/minirt24.gz which causes a kernel panic):
Code:
This sets the default entry to boot. 
# Remember that GRUB counts from 0, so 1 is the second entry.

default 0
    
# This sets the length of time in seconds that grub will wait for the user to select an OS
# before it boots the default on. I reccommend at least 15 seconds.

timeout 15

# Enter the entry for DSL here. Something like this.

title DSL
kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=normal noacpi noapm nodma noscsi frugal 
# Linux bootable partition config begins
  title Linux (on /dev/hda2)
  root (hd0,1)
  kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda2 ro vga=normal
# Linux bootable partition config ends
# Linux bootable partition config begins
  title Linux (on /dev/sda4)
  root (hd0,3)
  kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4 ro vga=normal
title DSL fb800x600
kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=788 noacpi noapm nodma noscsi frugal 

title DSL fb1024x768
kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=791 noacpi noapm nodma noscsi frugal 

title DSL fb1280x1024
kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=794 noacpi noapm nodma noscsi frugal 

#title DSL with toram, mydsl, restore, hostname, and passwords
#kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=normal noacpi noapm noscsi frugal dma toram mydsl=hda5 restore=hda5 host=DSL1 secure

#title DSL with XFree86
#kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=normal noacpi noapm noscsi frugal dma toram mydsl=hda5/xfree restore=hda6 host=DSL1 secure

#title DSL with mydsl, restore, persistentancy, hostname, and passwords
#kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=normal noacpi noapm noscsi frugal dma toram mydsl=hda3 restore=hda3 home=hda3 opt=hda3 host=DSL1 secure

#title DSL Runlevel 2
#kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=normal noacpi noapm noscsi nodma frugal 2 base norestore

#title DSL Check filesystem(s)
#kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda8 quiet vga=normal noacpi noapm noscsi nodma frugal 2 toram legacy base norestore checkfs

#title Windows
#root (hd0,0)
#chainloader +1
#makeactive
#boot

Last edited by XavierP; 01-30-2009 at 12:12 PM.
 
Old 01-26-2009, 02:58 AM   #2
blackhole54
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Registered: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,896

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Hi,

Welcome to LQ!

First ... don't panic.

It is up to you how much work you want to put into this box.

One of the great things about GRUB, is not matter how screwed up (or absent) the menu.lst (or grub.conf, depending on distro) file is you can always drop to a GRUB command line and enter commands manually. GRUB also has some other vocabulary, like find, which is sometimes useful.

So if you want to proceed, lets try to get you back into DSL. Then we can try to get your file straightened out. (I don't have a lot of time right now to put into a lengthy post anyway.)

When you grub menu comes up, press the c key, which will take you to the GRUB command line. Then enter the following (type what is in bold):

------

Well, I was going to give you a series of commands, but looking at what you've posted, I now realize this will take me more time than I have right now. Maybe somebody else will post some commands for you. If not, I'll try to resume tomorrow where I left off today. But I don't think your situation is hopeless.

Last edited by blackhole54; 01-26-2009 at 03:01 AM.
 
Old 01-26-2009, 05:20 AM   #3
redandwhitestripes
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Registered: Jan 2009
Posts: 9

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Well, I was going to give you a series of commands, but looking at what you've posted, I now realize this will take me more time than I have right now. Maybe somebody else will post some commands for you. If not, I'll try to resume tomorrow where I left off today. But I don't think your situation is hopeless.[/QUOTE]

Thank you Blackhole. I look forward to trying out the commands when you or another poster has time. I'm keen to get this thing sorted out and maybe learn something into the bargain :-)
Thanks again.
 
Old 01-26-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
CJS
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Location: California, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.10
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Do you know which distro was previously in charge of booting, i.e. which distro had the menu.lst that got loaded on start up? If so, you might be able to simply reinstall Grub to the MBR (Master Boot Record) of your HDD and have it point to that distro again, instead of your new DSL install. One thing that would really help is if you can somehow transfer the Boot Info Script to whichever desktop is working right now and run it, because that will tell us just about everything we need to know boot-wise about your system. Be sure to run the script as root user, and you can run it with:
Code:
bash boot_info_script*.sh
Let me know if you can run that script, because it will probably make trouble-shooting your problem a lot easier.

EDIT: OK, I didn't see where you said you can't even boot DSL any more. Which partition is DSL on? Is it on hda2 or hda8? I can't tell based on your menu.lst entries, because they use both.

Last edited by CJS; 01-26-2009 at 12:45 PM.
 
Old 01-26-2009, 12:15 PM   #5
blackhole54
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@CJS,

As I understand it, the OP can't boot the machine at all right now. Can you or somebody else work with the OP to boot the machine from the GRUB command line? I'm still a little pressed for time.

EDIT:

@redandwhitestripes,

Would you please post what other distros/OSes you have installed and (if you know) what partitions they are on?

Thanks.

Last edited by blackhole54; 01-26-2009 at 02:31 PM.
 
Old 01-26-2009, 06:02 PM   #6
fair_is_fair
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Take cd drive out of second machine and put in dead machine(this is easy). Reinstall grub from Puppy cd and just add the other partitions. You already have Puppies installed so you are familiar with how grub and puppy work.
 
Old 01-26-2009, 06:04 PM   #7
redandwhitestripes
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Registered: Jan 2009
Posts: 9

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Thanks once again guys. The other ditros were:
Slitaz on sda7 - this is were GRUB was previously booting from.

Box pup - a fork of puppy linux - on hda2.

LXDE Pup - another Puppy fork - on hda4.

I've just noticed that the older version of grub calls my partitions "hda" , the newer one calls them sda". Here's hoping someone can help.
 
Old 01-26-2009, 06:07 PM   #8
CJS
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If Slitaz on sda7 previously controlled the boot process, you could give it back control. When you reboot and get the Grub prompt, how about doing:
Code:
grub> root (hd0,6)
grub> setup (hd0)
grub> reboot
And let us know exactly what happens.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 01:43 AM   #9
blackhole54
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redandwhitestripes,

Just to clarify CJS's post, when you see the GRUB menu, press the c key to get to the GRUB prompt. Then proceed as CJS showed.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 05:11 AM   #10
redandwhitestripes
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Bingo! I'm back in the game!
My most sincere thanks to everyone who offered help on this thread. I hope I'll be able to help newbies in the future, so I'll be sticking around this forum to learn more.

Thanks again guys, I really do appreciate it.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 05:42 AM   #11
SkinnerC
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If you are going to keep multiple distros on your machine, I would sugest that you consider a grub partition to avoid this problem. check out this link: http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzo...rub_Partition_
 
  


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