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Old 06-23-2008, 02:36 PM   #1
Dutch72
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Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Rotterdam
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Unhappy Grub Error 21 on startup


Hi all, I joined the forum today because I need help....

After using a Ubuntu Live CD (8.04) to try Linux for the first time, I decided to install it to a 4GB USB stick.

I had hoped that this would allow me to combine the benefits of the Live Cd (i.e. leaving my trusty old WinXP system exactly as it is) whilst still being able to save settings and files.

Ubuntu Install (run from graphical interface) installed on the USB stick without error message (but after partitioning) and suggested I reboot from it.

After a reboot, I got "Grub error 21" on startup.

Error message (as I recall):
Grub Loading stage1.5.
Grub loading, please wait...
Error 21



I removed the USB stick, wanting to boot XP and google a solution (my internet connection does not yet work under Linux), but still got the same error message (w/o USB attached).
This means I am not able to boot my PC under WinXP at all.

The Ubuntu Live Cd runs fine.

I think this means that the MBR of my HDD was altered in some way, which is irritating because I had thought that a live CD would leave my HDD unchanged.

Can anyone please help me achieve the following:

1) Restore my system to the way it originally was (XP only), preferably without reinstalling.
2) Create a Live USB Stick, which boots when plugged in, but does not alter my system in any way.

Some additional info:

PC:
4 year/old Pentium 4
1x 160 GB HDD (sda) partitioned
- Boot (WinXP SP2, 70GB)
- Data (60gB)
- Backup (20GB)
1x 160 GB HDD (sdb) not partitioned
USB stick was recognized as (sdc)
BIOS supports boot from USB-FDD and USB-HDD (No mention of USB Flash memory)
I am a somewhat experienced PC user, but have no linux experience.
The PC is/was shared by my family. Only I have admin rights.

Thanks to anyone willing to help, but please keep it simple :-)

-Dutch

Last edited by Dutch72; 06-23-2008 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Added error message
 
Old 06-23-2008, 04:52 PM   #2
zephyrcat
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Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 107

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First of all, if you just need to get back into Windows quickly, I believe that if you put in the original Windows disc, there is some sort of recovery option (not sure of the exact name) that will restore your MBR to how it was before.

As for the error, my guess is that when you used the Ubuntu installer to install Ubuntu to the your flash drive, it still wrote the bootloader (GRUB) to your HD. Your best bet is probably to use the Windows disc (see above) and start over.

Here are some tutorials I found to install Ubuntu on a flash drive. I cannot verify they work, since I have not tried them, though.

http://www.debuntu.org/how-to-instal...nux-on-usb-bar
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...n/FromUSBStick <- With this, just leave out the part about installing from the USB drive

Also, you might want to check out the Fedora Live USB Creator:

https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator

Hope that helps!
 
Old 06-23-2008, 06:15 PM   #3
Dutch72
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Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Rotterdam
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 31

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zephyrcat View Post
First of all, if you just need to get back into Windows quickly, I believe that if you put in the original Windows disc, there is some sort of recovery option (not sure of the exact name) that will restore your MBR to how it was before.

As for the error, my guess is that when you used the Ubuntu installer to install Ubuntu to the your flash drive, it still wrote the bootloader (GRUB) to your HD. Your best bet is probably to use the Windows disc (see above) and start over.

Here are some tutorials I found to install Ubuntu on a flash drive. I cannot verify they work, since I have not tried them, though.

http://www.debuntu.org/how-to-instal...nux-on-usb-bar
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...n/FromUSBStick <- With this, just leave out the part about installing from the USB drive

Also, you might want to check out the Fedora Live USB Creator:

https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator

Hope that helps!
Thanks for the fast reply...

I looked at the tutorials, will retry on the weekend by first restoring windows and then having a second go at my live USB...

Wish me luck...

Dutch
 
Old 06-23-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
Honeysuckle
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Registered: Dec 2007
Location: Australia
Distribution: Puppy, debian
Posts: 118

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Here are the instructions for using the Windows recovery console

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654/

"fixmbr" is the command you need, I think.
 
Old 06-30-2008, 05:01 AM   #5
Dutch72
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Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Rotterdam
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 31

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeysuckle View Post
"fixmbr" is the command you need, I think.
Yes, fixmbr repaired my MBR without any other changes and without having to reinstall anything. Thanks.
 
Old 06-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #6
IndyGunFreak
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Indpls
Distribution: Laptops: Linux Mint 18 XFCE, Debian Jessie XFCE, NAS: OpenMediaVault
Posts: 1,304

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In the support channel, LOTS of people fail trying to do this sort of install. They do this in an effort to keep everything "easy", when in reality, it usually fails and causes errors more than a nmormal instlal. Why not just give Ubuntu a few gigs of your internal drive, like most people, and you'll be fine.

If you're really hesitant, use Wubi to install Ubuntu.. that will make it as simple to remove as "Add/Remove Programs"...

http://wubi-installer.org/

Not really my favorite installer, but it does get good reviews.

IGF

Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 06-30-2008 at 08:49 AM.
 
  


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