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Old 01-05-2003, 11:22 AM   #1
toolboy56
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Angry GRUB hangs on new install


Hi all,

I only know enough about Linux to be dangerous so bear with me. I just installed SuSE 8.1 from scratch last night on my junk pile computer and it seemed to go off without a hitch. Only thing was that it never prompted me for how I wanted to install GRUB (MBR, floppy, other) nor did it prompt me to create rescue disks. Sure enough, when I shut the system down to swap CD-ROMs (found a faster one in the junk pile) when I went to reboot I got "GRUB" and then the system just stops. WTF, over? I remember when I first installed linux on this computer (old Caldera distro) I had the same exact problem with LILO. Any help? Like I said, I just know enough to be dangerous...

thanx

nate
 
Old 01-05-2003, 01:11 PM   #2
deadbug
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This could be any of a number of things. That two different distros using two different boot loaders did the same thing might indicate a hardware problem. You are dead in the water without a way to boot the program. So first step is to get it booted, which will involve reinstalling it.

First, give us some details about what kind of computer you are installing it on. Motherboard, CPU, and add-on cards, such as video and sound.

Also, is there anything else on this computer? Maybe Windows?
 
Old 01-05-2003, 01:35 PM   #3
Bert
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Reboot your system using the Suse 8.1 disks. It will prompt you to make a backup boot disk. Try *not installing any bootloader* then it will prompt you.

Bert
 
Old 01-05-2003, 02:10 PM   #4
toolboy56
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Quote:
Originally posted by deadbug
This could be any of a number of things. That two different distros using two different boot loaders did the same thing might indicate a hardware problem. You are dead in the water without a way to boot the program. So first step is to get it booted, which will involve reinstalling it.

First, give us some details about what kind of computer you are installing it on. Motherboard, CPU, and add-on cards, such as video and sound.

Also, is there anything else on this computer? Maybe Windows?
MB is a FIC VA-502+ (or 503+ i forget?) with a Pentium MMX 133 overclocked to 233. Cards installed are an old Acer 56K modem, a 3Com Etherlink III, aSoundBlaster 16 (I think? scavenged it from my dad's old computer) and some generic AGP video card.

The Etherlink and the Sound Blaster weren't installed previous to this. IIRC when I installed the original Caldera system it had a P-133 (no MMX) and just the modem, also I think I had an old Trident VGA card in it then for video.

Hope this helps...

nate
 
Old 01-05-2003, 06:24 PM   #5
toolboy56
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OK, update... I reinstalled the OS (overkill, I know) and had it create a boot floppy instead of writing to the MBR. Somehow I figured out how to make it do that... anyway it still gives me "GRUB" followed by a blinking underscore and that's it when I boot. I also tried to manually install GRUB on the MBR before I tried rebooting and that failed as well... I get "GRUB" followed by "Error 17" whatever that means.

One thing I did notice was that I had three partitions on my HDD, hda0 was linux native and rather small, hda1 is swap, hda2 is / (reiser.) Is that right? I set root to hda2 before installing GRUB on the MBR. Not sure what the deal is with hda0.

Trying to use the CD to "boot installed system" gives the same results as trying to boot from the floppy.

Man, I really wish I knew what I was doing :/ If I have to install again I'm going to be peeved, it takes forever (at least an hour and a half)

nate
 
Old 01-05-2003, 07:01 PM   #6
deadbug
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Error 17 happens during the second stage of the boot process with Grub. According to their manual, it cannot mount the selected partition. It is returned when the partition exists, but Grub cannot recognize the format.

There is a difference between how Linux designates partitions and how Grub designates them.

Linux will call your three partitions hda1, hda2 & hda3
Grub will call them hd0,0; hd0,1 and hd0,2

This raises a question in my mind--where did you get the partition designations from? Using Linux designations, your Swap partition is hda2. Root is hda3.

What exactly did you do when you "set root to hda2 before installing Grub on the MBR?"

So what is your most likely problem? That little partition that you don't understand--the one you called hd0. This is probably your /boot partition and where Grub should be pointed towards.

If you modified the Grub configuration file (grub.conf) and changed root to hda2, you need to fix that. Make it hd0,0 and let's see what happens.
 
Old 01-05-2003, 07:21 PM   #7
toolboy56
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Quote:
Originally posted by deadbug
Error 17 happens during the second stage of the boot process with Grub. According to their manual, it cannot mount the selected partition. It is returned when the partition exists, but Grub cannot recognize the format.

There is a difference between how Linux designates partitions and how Grub designates them.

Linux will call your three partitions hda1, hda2 & hda3
Grub will call them hd0,0; hd0,1 and hd0,2

This raises a question in my mind--where did you get the partition designations from? Using Linux designations, your Swap partition is hda2. Root is hda3.

What exactly did you do when you "set root to hda2 before installing Grub on the MBR?"

So what is your most likely problem? That little partition that you don't understand--the one you called hd0. This is probably your /boot partition and where Grub should be pointed towards.

If you modified the Grub configuration file (grub.conf) and changed root to hda2, you need to fix that. Make it hd0,0 and let's see what happens.
You are right, that's what I did, set root to hd0,0. I got mized up between Linux and GRUB terminology when I posted before. Unfortunately that does not seem to be working. so what you are saying is that /boot is actually /dev/hda1 (hd0,0) and everything else is /dev/hda3 (hd0,2)?

I wish I could confirm this but I have had no joy poking around through the file system with the rescue system booted from CD. It won't let me mount anything to see what's what. I can list the files in various directories but I have my suspicions that I'm seeing what is in the ramdisk that the rescue system created rather than on my hard drive. Again, probably if I'd messed with Linux more I would know what the problem was, but truth be told I set up one system before and just used it for email and other basic stuff and never really played with it :/

Going to mix myself a stiff drink,

nate
 
Old 01-05-2003, 07:29 PM   #8
deadbug
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Nate,

A stiff drink is a good idea! When you installed Grub in the MBR, did you do it this way?

grub-install /dev/hda

Also, have you tried LILO? LILO and Grub work differently and quite often when one is giving you fits, the other works without a hitch. To try LILO, type:

lilo
 
Old 01-05-2003, 09:19 PM   #9
toolboy56
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Quote:
Originally posted by deadbug
Nate,

A stiff drink is a good idea! When you installed Grub in the MBR, did you do it this way?

grub-install /dev/hda

Also, have you tried LILO? LILO and Grub work differently and quite often when one is giving you fits, the other works without a hitch. To try LILO, type:

lilo
got no lilo on this system, unfortunately.

I think I've figured out that everything ended up in the hda3 partition. hda1 is empty. But when I do the following:

grub
root =(hd0,2)
setup (hd0)
quit
shutdown -r now

I get the following:

GRUB Loading stage1.5

Grub loading, please wait...
Error 17

Does this mean that GRUB doesn't recognize the reiser partition? Should all of that stuff have been put in hda1 (ext2) instead? More importantly, how do I fix this freaking mess?

thanks for sticking with me, I appreciate it...

going for a refill, and then to bed...

nate
 
Old 01-05-2003, 09:46 PM   #10
deadbug
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Here is my Grub configuration, including the Anaconda comments:

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
#
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd0,0)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda2
# initrd /initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/hda
default=0
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
title Red Hat Linux (2.4.18-19.8.0)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.18-19.8.0 ro root=LABEL=/
initrd /initrd-2.4.18-19.8.0.img

Nothing special about it, but notice the last two lines where it tells it what kernel it is mounting. Yours doesn't seem to be doing this.

If the small partition is empty, then look in hda3 for /boot and your linux kernel. When you find it, that is the partition you want to point Grub at.
 
Old 01-06-2003, 03:12 PM   #11
toolboy56
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OK, here's what I'm thinking... I am guessing that my install did not correctly partition my drive, thinking of starting over with custom partitions

hda1 = ext2 mount as /boot
hda2 = swap
hda3 = reiserFS mount as /

then do a complete reinstall then hopefully everything will go where it's supposed to. sound reasonable? I am guessing the problem is stemming from GRUB not properly dealing with /boot being in the reiserFS partition. I recall having to manually tell the installer to format hda1 as it was already existing and it didn't want to reformat it. I do *not* recall telling the installer to mount it as /boot. Is that where I screwed up?

ASSuming that this is *not* the problem (and that the SuSE installer still won't deal with this properly,) can someone point me to an explanation of exactly what the stuff after "kernel" and "initrd" in the grub.conf do? (hey, this *is* the noob list, isn't it?)

finally was my original method of manually running grub and just inputting the parameters before typing setup (hd0) acceptable, or is it really better to edit the grub.conf file? (my vi skillz are, um, not the best. Been spoiled by wordpad I guess. Trying to wean myself.)

thanks again

nate (learning more every day, I think. Still dangerous.)
 
Old 01-06-2003, 03:35 PM   #12
deesto
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Have you resolved this yet? If not, are you stuck on using GRUB, or would you consider LILO? Even if it's not present on your system, you can install it, and it's probably a lot easier to configure, IMHO.
Anyway, regarding your questions about other entries:
# = comment. Any line starting with # is ignored (or 'commented-out'). Looks like you had another (similar) configuration and overwrote it after updating.
default=used for multi-boot systems (see below)
timeout=amount of time, in seconds, before the default image is loaded. This is here in case you multi-boot your system, or run more than one operating system on one machine. You can then use the default field to select the OS into which your machine boots by default.
splashimage=This is the path to the background image displayed behind the GRUB menu.
title=The text displayed in the GRUB menu to represent the OS image loaded when that item is selected.
root= as the name implies, the root filesystem of the loaded OS.
kernel= The name and location of the Linux kernel (core) file, on which the loaded OS relies in order to run.
initrd= The name and location of the Linux initrd (compressed image) file for the loaded OS.
 
Old 01-06-2003, 09:00 PM   #13
toolboy56
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OK... this is the third evening I've tried to get this system up and running. I reinstalled SuSE 8.1 yet again. This time I manually set up hda1 as /boot, hda2 as swap, and hda3 as /. /boot is ext2 and / is reiserFS. Install went smoothly as it has the previous two tries. Got into KDE as root and tried to make a boot floppy through YaST. Failed. Went into the boot manager option, changed to boot from floppy, created boot floppy that way. Then changed back to putting the boot loader on the MBR of hda. Finally I looked at my grub.conf (which I actually found in /etc) and it looks *nothing* like the one posted earlier in this thread - actually looked like commands to install grub rather than useful information about where to find vmlinuz, etc. I copied this to a floppy but my WinXP machine won't read it! I think I may have more problems yet as it took forever (as in minutes) to mount the floppy and copy a simple grub.conf (under 200 bytes!) to it. I would initially suspect a problem with the floppy drive as it is quite possibly 10+ years old (yes, I recycle) but I have never had a single problem with it before, and quite honestly, *everything* about KDE (this is KDE3) seems to be verrrryyyy slooooooow. (not what I've become accustomed to frum Linux!)

Of course, when I rebooted, I got the same GRUB followed by a blinking underscore that all my previous efforts have resulted in. It seems I have a mostly functinal system, with a few exceptions, I just can't ever reboot it! This nonfunctional floppy thing is going to make life more difficult, I can tell... (I can try swapping to the one from my last computer, but I don't hold much hope for that plan.)

I'm so cornfused.

a very frustrated

nate
 
Old 01-06-2003, 09:30 PM   #14
deesto
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Again, I'm no expert in GRUB, and I personally prefer LILO. However, I'm pretty sure that if you're seeing the complete "GRUB" on your screen during boot, you're doing something right. But again, when it comes to GRUB, I dont know much. This RH link gives a pretty good synopsis on this boot loader:
http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/l...e/ch-grub.html
Search LQ for some more info; there's tons of stuff here on GRUB. Here's one thread to start you off:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...&postid=178517
I definitely sympathize with you, and I'm sorry I can't do more to help... except maybe to persuade you to switch to LILO!
 
Old 01-06-2003, 09:38 PM   #15
mak
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I never had any luck with grub.

I never had a complete fail with LI-nux LO-ader... fwiw.
 
  


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