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thomas_r 09-28-2010 04:39 PM

Boot loader problems - GRUB has no valid entries
 
Hello all - some boot loader help would be much appreciated.

I have an existing WinXP install on the main drive (/dev/sda) of a Dell laptop. I installed OpenSUSE 11.3 on the second (caddy tray) drive and didn't touch the existing windows partition during install.

After install completed, I found there was no boot loader entry for WinXP during startup. Only SUSE-related stuff. I opened YaST boot loader and tried creating an entry of type "other" and device of "/dev/sda1" and set this as the default entry.

The /boot/grub/menu.lst file now has an entry:
Quote:

title Windows XP-32
rootnoverify(hd0,0)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
When I restart the machine I get an error message:
Quote:

rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
Error 13: Invalid or unsupported executable format
To add to the fun, I was able to boot into OpenSUSE previously, but during one of my edits to menu.lst I must have done something, and now there are no OpenSUSE entries during bootup at all. :-(

I do have an OpenSUSE LiveCD (installable) in the form of a USB key that I can boot from in order to perform repairs, but some pointers would be greatly appreciated.

syg00 09-28-2010 04:57 PM

Been a while since I tossed my m1330 out, but it had a Dell partition first - try "(hd0,1)" to get to the (real) NTFS partition.
(BTW make sure you stay on the latest BIOS code ....)

thomas_r 09-28-2010 05:26 PM

Thanks for the reply, but there is no sda2 (hd0,1) partition. Changing the menu.lst entry just gives me a "Error 22: No such partition" message.

I had an old Lenovo laptop that had a vendor-specific partition like that, but this doesn't seem to be the case here with this Dell.

FWIW I do have my working OpenSUSE entries back in my boot loader, so I just need to get Windows back up and booting.

syg00 09-28-2010 05:28 PM

What does "geometry (hd0)" from the grub prompt give ?.

thomas_r 09-28-2010 05:42 PM

drive 0x80: C/H/S = 1024/255/63. The number of sectors = 312581808, LBA Partition num:0, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x7

yancek 09-28-2010 11:09 PM

Your geometry output shows a windows partition on sda1, the first and only partition on that drive. The only thing I see, and this may be a typo, is that you have no space between: chainloader (hd0,0) AND +1.

syg00 09-28-2010 11:25 PM

Do you, or do you not, have a space after "rootnoverify" ?.

thomas_r 09-29-2010 07:49 AM

Yes to both of the above questions - there are spaces where there should be.

yancek 09-29-2010 09:00 AM

Post your partition information, run command 'fdisk -l' as root user.
Make sure both drives attached.

Post your menu.lst file.

thomas_r 09-29-2010 10:43 AM

menu.lst
Code:

# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Wed Sep 29 11:40:41 EDT 2010
# THIS FILE WILL BE PARTIALLY OVERWRITTEN by perl-Bootloader
# Configure custom boot parameters for updated kernels in /etc/sysconfig/bootloader

default 0
timeout 8
gfxmenu (hd1,1)/boot/message

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title Desktop -- openSUSE 11.3 - 2.6.34.7-0.3
    root (hd1,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.34.7-0.3-desktop root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-TOSHIBA_MK1229GSGF_4057WOOWW-part2 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-TOSHIBA_MK1229GSGF_4057WOOWW-part1 splash=silent quiet showopts vga=0x317
    initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.34.7-0.3-desktop

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe -- openSUSE 11.3 - 2.6.34.7-0.3
    root (hd1,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.34.7-0.3-desktop root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-TOSHIBA_MK1229GSGF_4057WOOWW-part2 showopts apm=off noresume edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off processor.max_cstate=1 nomodeset x11failsafe vga=0x317
    initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.34.7-0.3-desktop

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: Linux other###
title Linux other
    rootnoverify (hd2,0)
    chainloader +1

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

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

title Windows1
    root (hd1,0)
    makeactive
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    chainloader +1

title Windows2
    root (hd1,0)
    makeactive
    chainloader +1

title Windows3
    root (hd0,0)
    makeactive
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    chainloader +1

title Windows4
    root (hd0,0)
    makeactive
    chainloader +1

As you can see, I've tried a lot of different approaches - all of them give an Error 13.

fdisk -l
Code:

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x83c583c5

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/sda1  *          1      19458  156288000    7  HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000e85f9

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/sdb1  *          1        262    2103296  82  Linux swap / Solaris
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb2            262        2873    20972544  83  Linux
/dev/sdb3            2873      14594    94143488  83  Linux


thomas_r 09-29-2010 07:54 PM

[UNSOLVABLE] boot loader problems
 
The mystery is resolved.

Turns out this laptop has a "feature" known as SafeBoot from McAfee. This means the boot sector is secured via encryption, so it's no wonder GRUB couldn't launch anything even when the menu.lst entries were correct.

Many thanks to everybody who took the time to think through the situation and reply to this thread. Unfortunately, your efforts have been foiled by the evil that is McAfee. This machine has been re-imaged back to single-boot WinXP and shall remain that way forever.

syg00 09-29-2010 08:02 PM

Thanks for the update - Dell Datasafe apparently also causes grief like (similar but different) this.
I disabled it when it last nagged me.


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