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Old 08-29-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
Grafbak
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Registered: Jun 2003
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grub error 15 + entire system became non-responsive


Dear guru's,

I was installing Knoppix 3.9 and when the installation proces was hung up during "Converting to multi-user-environment" i gave a hard reset. I had let it run for about an hour, and the system did not respond anymore. I agree it was not the smartest thing to do, but it was the only thing left to do.

I figured i'd simply run the install again, but, whatever boot-device i select, i keep getting grub error 15.
I have changed the boot device in the bios ofcourse, it didnt boot.
I pressed F11 at boot to select a boot device, but the pc keeps saying it did not find a valid boot device.
I have tried switching off the drive with grub on it in the bios, but the system will not boot from cdrom or floppy any longer. (NTLDR is missing, there's a fat partition on the 2nd drive). I also tried with different CD's, windows and linux.
To go short : i can not boot from any device any longer, i keep getting the grub error.

Whatever i have tried to do, my system has become unbootable.

I took a look in this forum, and enough posts about grub, but nobody with a completely unbootable system.

I really don't know what to do with it. Please give me a hint which way to go or where to look.

specs of the system :

P4 3,48 GHz
1 GB mem
2 * maxtor 200GB drive 6B200P0 (partitioned in 100 GB chunks, except for boot drive : 30/70 GB + 100GB fat)
file system linux partition 30 GB = reiserfs
Nvidia Ti4400
Onboard gigabit lan
 
Old 08-29-2005, 05:57 PM   #2
bosewicht
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so even if you set the bios to boot from cd, it still wont boot up?
 
Old 08-29-2005, 07:26 PM   #3
Grafbak
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Exactly. It won't boot from usb either. You could say im seriously screwed.
I have tried several devices for booting the system, nothing works anymore.
The drives look ok in the bios, i don't suppose there's a failure there.
The cdroms boot in another computer without problems.
 
Old 08-29-2005, 07:29 PM   #4
bosewicht
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I guess you could take the hard drive out and put it in a diff computer, install the OS on it, then put it back in the first one. I've done this before when i didn't feel like ripping out a cdrom out.
 
Old 08-29-2005, 07:33 PM   #5
Grafbak
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I will try that approach, but i was hoping i could avoid it. The only PC that is left to do so contains "mission critical" information and i wouldn't want to erase the wrong bootsector. However if it is my only hope i have little choice.
Thank you anyway for your reply.
 
Old 08-30-2005, 10:34 AM   #6
aus9
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I haven't installed knoppix but I have installed kanotix which is umm similar.

the hang suggests that grub was not correctly installed so altho grub was put into MBR for you to get an error 15, the linking to the root files in /boot/grub is incomplete.

2 solutions for you to try b4 re-installing

(a) reload cd hmmm not sure why your cd device not working but just try to get your bios to boot cd b4 hdd.
and then re-install grub by opening a terminal and commands
su
grub
root (hdX,Y)
setup (hdX)

see tut for grub speak.

.......for grub to re-appear on each boot, the cd rom is not loading.

(b) get a ms floppy and fdisk your mbr
fdisk /mbr

good luck
 
Old 08-30-2005, 10:45 AM   #7
Grafbak
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Thank you for the info. However the damage has already been done.
There was no way to boot the system. I put the drive into another PC, and booted with the ultimate bootcd. I wanted to erase the bootsector and i succeeded in doing so. Purely out of curiousity i connected the drive back to the machine that gave me so much trouble booting something, and guess what, it booted.

I'm not very knowledgeable on the area of bootsectors, and even less on grub. I only know it was the last time i ever used that grub-thing. It messed things up pretty bad (well actually it was me doing that), but with lilo i have never ever experienced these problems. A simple fdisk /mbr always did the trick for me. I can't tell the exact technical difference between the two, but lilo seems to be a little more gentle with a beginner like me.

I then tried to recover the bootsector with the XP cd, but it failed. Next step was to use a tool to 'autorecover' (i was shivering) the bootsector, as a last resort, and indeed, it failed.

I erased the harddrive, and im installing again now. And i will try knoppix again. I consider it to be just bad luck that the install hung. Thank you for your help so far.
 
Old 08-30-2005, 12:54 PM   #8
bosewicht
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I have had issues before with grub as well, but there are lots of people who have never had any probs with it at all. I don't know, user error, hardware error(hopefully the latter and not the former ...lol) Regardless, remember to update lilo when your kernel is updated.
 
Old 08-30-2005, 01:22 PM   #9
Grafbak
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Distribution: Knoppix 3.3
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I intent to do another knoppix install, however grub seems to be standard in knoppix 3.9.
Would you happen to know a way around it, so that i can install lilo instead of grub ?
Can this easily be done with the package manager or can't i get away with it that easily ?

The kernel i want to use is the 2.6.11 kernel (with 2.6.11-1 headers).
 
Old 08-30-2005, 09:43 PM   #10
aus9
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well I won't help with anything other than grub so heres the deal

as long as you can resolve why the cd would not boot up, maybe you did not press F10 to save the boot order in bios???

a) read my tutorial on how to re-install grub to mbr and its booting files and have a look at the troubleshooter which is available to grub users when they have grub in mbr and get an error code at boot up.........hint hint
post the output of what your hardware is in terms of the harddrive /etc/fstab file using knoppix CD boot up you can save the output of the cd boot up by inserting a floppy ....clicking on the floppy icon to mount it......then open the knoppix /etc/fstab file and click save as and navigate to the media for floppy and name it fstab ?

b) if you are savvy you can post what you hope your /etc/fstab will be, and as its just a text file you can save it to floppy or burn it to cdr. Ditto your /boot/grub/menu.lst file.

c) then you use the cd to mount the floppy and with root powers replace your /etc/fstab file if thats wrong and/or replace the /boot/grub/menu.lst file then redo grub knowing my terminal commands just to be sure to be sure and see what happens on reboot.

d) do not be afraid to be blunt.....tell us what again what your 2 drives are....raid....or non-raid......and then what each partition is.

e) recheck your bios docs to be sure you know how to make changes and what F11 is supposed to do.....eg my gigabyte mobo does not have a F11 option.
 
  


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