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Hi, I'm new to Linux and am struggling. I have a Windows XP PC but set up a Linux Mint dual boot about 6 months ago. Everything worked fine and I am very happy with Linux Mint. However, my wife and family use Windows exclusively. The computer was bought with the hard drive partitioned into C (main NTFS) D (backup NTFS) and E (Recover FAT). As Windows had got too slow I tried to merge C & D to give more space (My first mistake !?!).
This caused me to lose any boot at all and I used a linux boot dvd to let me change where the grub loader was looking for the boot file. Everything was fine for a day. Until I decided to retry merging the C&D drives (does he ever learn?)
Now I get the boot menu and I can scroll down to Windows XP and boot this but when I try to load Linux Mint I get "Error 15" can't find the file.
I opened sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst from the Mint boot dvd but there was no text visible (I was hoping to point it to the right file by editing it - if this is possible?) As there was nothing to see I presume the file has gone/is lost hence "Error 15".
My questions are:
1. Do I need to set up a new "menu.lst" and how do I do it?
2. Do I need to set up a new "grub loader" and how do I do it?
3. If I can't do this should I reformat the Linux partitions (sda5-EXT3 and sda6-LINUXSWAP) and re-install Linux Mint? Will this affect the Windows boot as there are historical files on there I need?
4. Is there anywhere I can find an easy guide to terminal "speak"?
Are you only running Windows on this machine? If so, then simply boot into recovery mode from your Windows disk, and run "fixmbr", which will make it only boot into Windows, and remove GRUB from the system.
If you're still trying to keep it as dual-boot, it gets a bit harder than this. First off, the menu.lst you were likely looking at was the one on the disk, and you would need to make sure you have your Linux drive mounted, and view it on that.
Now, assuming you're looking at the right file, post the contents of your system's menu.lst here, along with the output you get from sudo fdisk -l Without this information, it's hard to help.
Thanks for the Info. I've tried to answer what you suggest in each paragraph below.
I want to keep Linux Mint on the machine and when the PC boots up it lists 3 Mint options (Boot Mint, Boot Mint in Safe mode and another) plus an "Other operating systems" option which has Windows XP. None of the Mint options work but give back the "Error 15". I have modified this PC a lot since I got it and the OEM cd only gives me the option of reloading Windows XP. I can't find a recovery option.
I can't get into Linux Mint at the moment so don't know how to mount the Linux Drive and look at menu.lst. I tried using the same sudo commands to look at menu.lst in Knoppix but it didn't recognise them (which I presume means Knoppix is not based on the same Linux type)
I can't get menu.lst but I did look at sudo fdisk -l which gave me this:
Device Boot Start End Blocks ID System
/dev/sda1 * 1 4863 39062016 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 4864 9729 39086145 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda3 4864 7045 17526883+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda5 * 7046 9244 17663436 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 9245 9346 819283+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7 9347 9729 3076416 b W95 FAT 32
I have the option of loading/reloading Linux Mint from the DVD I have but my main worry is losing the information (photos, music, documents) I have on the Windows Partitions. If the Windows partions would be safe I can see reloading Mint as the easiest option?? Though I don't know how the present Linux partitons would be affected?
1) Boot Mint from the live CD.
2) From nautilus, open the linux partition (just to get Mint to mount that partition).
3) I think that by default the mount point is /media/disk, check if that's where Mint mounted your linux partition and run this command:
Don't browse to /media/disk... Before you can browse to it you have to click the disk icon which is on the left side of the nautilus window in the "Places" section. After you click on it you can browse to /media/disk and then you'll see the linux partition mounted there. Then you can run the grub-install command.
As for GParted - I don't know why it showed you that. Check again with "fdisk -l /dev/sda" to see that your partition table is intact.
I'm back in Linux. I tried your suggestions and suggestions from the ubuntu forum but nothing seemed to work. I could get to menu.lst from the boot DVD in Mint and Knoppix but it wouldn't let me save the file (it came up blank when I opened it anyway). I tried to change the root but every time I booted up it had reverted back to (hd0,6) which is my windows FAT partition. I searched for Stage1 and Stage2 and these were both in (hd0,4).
After trying one last time I found that I could get in and edit Grub after a failed Linux boot. The boot info was showing:
File system type is fat, partition type 0x6
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=/dev/sda7 ro quiet splash
I changed (hd0,6) to (hd0,4) and /dev/sda7 to /dev/sda5 and it allowed me to boot into Mint. I've just restarted tonight and its reverted back to (hd0,6) and sda7 but I reckon I'll be able to change this permanently if I re-edit and boot into the installed Mint.
I just thought I'd post this to thank you for your help. I've probably learned more from your suggestions and trying to understand what they were doing than I could have reading a book or reading a thread I didn't fully understand.