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Old 06-19-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
tommyttt
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Registered: Oct 2009
Location: Federal Way, WA
Distribution: openSUSE 11.4 x86_64, openSuSE 12.1, Fedora 15
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Unhappy Installation/boot problem - no active partition error


Don't know if this is the best sub-forum for this problem but don't want to double post.

Yesterday I decided to install Fedora 13, having heard good reports about it. I started with linux back in the RH 5.2 days on which I cut my teeth. Since then I've used many distros and versions, openSUSE, RedHat, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Slack ...

After the installation completed (without error), I rebooted at which time I got the following message at the grub screen:
Quote:
Error No Active Partition

Intel UNDI, PXE-2.1 (build 082)
copyright ...

This product is covered by one or more of the following patents ...

Realtek PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller Series v2.26 (090219)
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M06: Exiting PXE ROM
The cable failure is consistent with there being no cable and inability to configure wireless during install. I used the custom partitioning option during install and was very careful to search for any fields I might have missed initially.

fdisk -l
Code:
Model: ATA ST9500420AS (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system     Flags   Mount Point
 1      32.3kB  41.9GB  41.9GB  primary   ntfs                     /windows7
 2      41.9GB  57.7GB  15.7GB  primary   ntfs                     /shared-win
 3      57.7GB  99.6GB  41.9GB  primary   ext3                     /BSD
 4      99.6GB  500GB   400GB   extended
 5      99.6GB  100GB   370MB   logical   ext3            boot     /boot  (shared)
 6      100GB   104GB   4294MB  logical   linux-swap(v1)           swap
 7      104GB   126GB   21.5GB  logical   ext3                     /downloads
 8      126GB   136GB   10.7GB  logical   ext3                     /source
 9      136GB   189GB   52.6GB  logical   ext3                     /temp
10      190GB   244GB   53.7GB  logical   ext3                     / (fedora)
11      244GB   298GB   53.7GB  logical   ext3                     / (suse)
12      298GB   500GB   203GB   logical   ext3                     /data
cat grub.conf
Code:
# 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 (hd0,4)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda10
#          initrd /initrd-[generic-]version.img
#boot=/dev/sda5
default=0
timeout=15
splashimage=(hd0,4)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
#hiddenmenu
title Fedora (2.6.33.3-85.fc13.x86_64)
	root (hd0,4)
	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.33.3-85.fc13.x86_64 ro root=UUID=5bce0d15-9a5a-    496c-8a51-14730966fc98 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UTF-8 SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 KEYTABLE=us rhgb quiet
	initrd /initramfs-2.6.33.3-85.fc13.x86_64.img
title openSUSE11.3-RC1
	rootnoverify (hd0,10)
	chainloader +1
title Other
	rootnoverify (hd0,0)
	chainloader +1
I've tried repairing from the install DVD and from various linux rescue devices without success.

1: Is there some known problem installing F13 in a multi-boot environment?

2: Is there some known incompatibility with sharing the /boot partition?

3: Why can't F13 find the "active" boot partition when openSUSE11.3, FreeBSD8.0, and windows7 can boot from it?

4: (unrelated to problem) What version of grub is used in F13? The grub.conf file looks almost identical to the menu.lst file used in grub0.97.

Dell Studio 1745
Intel 5100ag wireless
Realtek PCIe GBE ethernet controller
ST9500420AS ATA 500GB hard disk

After further research, added the makeactive command to grub.conf under the F13 entry but that didn't help, still the same "no active partition" message.

Thanks for any suggestions and help. If more info is needed you may contact me off list at: linxt-AT-comcast-DoT-net

Last edited by tommyttt; 06-19-2010 at 06:07 PM.
 
Old 06-19-2010, 07:08 PM   #2
syg00
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This is not a distro/software problem, it's the fact that you have a brain-dead BIOS that thinks only Windoze will ever be installed.
From a liveCD (or the Fedora install disk), get into fdisk and set the boot flag on something - say partition 1. Linux bootloaders don't need or use the boot flag, so it'll get ignored, but keep the BIOS happy. *Don't* set the boot flag on your (Linux) boot partition - it's invalid on logicals, and may upset your BIOS even more.

For a bit of fun I generally set it on the extended partition - doesn't make any sense, but these retrograde BIOSs seem to accept it.

F13 uses "legacy" grub (grub1) - "grub-install -v" from a chroot will tell you the version.

Last edited by syg00; 06-19-2010 at 07:11 PM. Reason: F13 coment
 
Old 06-21-2010, 11:37 PM   #3
tommyttt
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Registered: Oct 2009
Location: Federal Way, WA
Distribution: openSUSE 11.4 x86_64, openSuSE 12.1, Fedora 15
Posts: 207

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
This is not a distro/software problem, it's the fact that you have a brain-dead BIOS that thinks only Windoze will ever be installed.
From a liveCD (or the Fedora install disk), get into fdisk and set the boot flag on something - say partition 1. Linux bootloaders don't need or use the boot flag, so it'll get ignored, but keep the BIOS happy. *Don't* set the boot flag on your (Linux) boot partition - it's invalid on logicals, and may upset your BIOS even more.

For a bit of fun I generally set it on the extended partition - doesn't make any sense, but these retrograde BIOSs seem to accept it.

F13 uses "legacy" grub (grub1) - "grub-install -v" from a chroot will tell you the version.
Thanks for the reply, Syg00. I'll try that change after I finish recovering from a system crash another story).

Tom
 
Old 06-23-2010, 01:06 AM   #4
tommyttt
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Location: Federal Way, WA
Distribution: openSUSE 11.4 x86_64, openSuSE 12.1, Fedora 15
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(SOLVED) Installation/boot problem - no active partition error

Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
This is not a distro/software problem, it's the fact that you have a brain-dead BIOS that thinks only Windoze will ever be installed.
From a liveCD (or the Fedora install disk), get into fdisk and set the boot flag on something - say partition 1. Linux bootloaders don't need or use the boot flag, so it'll get ignored, but keep the BIOS happy. *Don't* set the boot flag on your (Linux) boot partition - it's invalid on logicals, and may upset your BIOS even more.

For a bit of fun I generally set it on the extended partition - doesn't make any sense, but these retrograde BIOSs seem to accept it.

F13 uses "legacy" grub (grub1) - "grub-install -v" from a chroot will tell you the version.
After re-installing winblows 7, openSUSE 11.3, and Fedora 13, the original problem still persists. I tried setting the boot flag on sda1 (win7) which caused immediate boot into windows, no grub menu. Then put boot flag onto /sda5 (boot) which caused the "no active partition" message (Fedora was last install). Finally solved the problem by re-installing grub from openSUSE after modifying /boot/grub/menu.lst (the REAL one, not the link Fedora creates), adding the Fedora stanza from /boot/grub/grub.conf (the target of the Fedora link). I can now boot into winblows, openSUSE, or Fedora.

Now I need to reset the uid in Fedora to 1000 from the default 500 so I can access my shared data partition. Also need to import several programs not installed by Fedora (not a lot of selections).

Thanks, Tom
 
Old 06-23-2010, 03:31 AM   #5
saikee
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Linux never uses the booting flag!

Only Windows and BSD systems need it because their boot loaders (or rather the MBR portion of them) search the 4 primaries and boot whichever one having the flag switched on. That is why BSD and Windows must be installed in primary partition.

All the MS Windows (since Win2k) can be installed and boot from a logical partition "if" there is an active primary partition to house its boot loaders.

I believe the OP has not put Grub in the MBR which could be occupied by one from Windows or BSD or a third party variant. If this is the case just put Fedora's booting instruction in the Suse and stick with the arrangement before Fedora was installed.

I marked out "direct" booting in blue and chainloading in magenta below (also replacing uuid with the conventional device name)
Code:
title Fedora (2.6.33.3-85.fc13.x86_64)
	root (hd0,4)
	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.33.3-85.fc13.x86_64 ro root=/dev/sda5 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UTF-8 SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 KEYTABLE=us rhgb quiet
	initrd /initramfs-2.6.33.3-85.fc13.x86_64.img
title openSUSE11.3-RC1
	rootnoverify (hd0,10)
	chainloader +1
title Other
	rootnoverify (hd0,0)
	chainloader +1
Xp can boot Suse and Feddora by chainloading
Suse and Fedora can chainload all systems and boot fellow Linux "directly"
Any of the 3 can be selected to occupy the MBR.

Last edited by saikee; 06-23-2010 at 03:39 AM.
 
  


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