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Old 08-19-2006, 08:57 PM   #1
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Question Linux booting troubles: What should I do?


Hello all,

I want ONLY 1 operating hdd on this computer. I want to disconnect the 2nd hdd, but leave it in the case so that I may occasionally hook it up and add / delete data to / from it (2nd hdd is NTFS and only for data storage). What should I do?

Here is the problem:

When I disconnect the 2nd hdd (I don't need it, so I disconnected both its IDE cable and power cable) and boot, BIOS fails to detect either hdd.

In other words, I can not finish booting because when I disconnect the 2nd hdd, the 1st hdd (with Linux on it) is not found, although strangely both optical units (1 dvd player, 1 cd burner) are found. My hdds are primary master / slave and my optical units are secondary master / slave.

Specifically, after I disconnect the 2nd hdd and boot, I get the message: >>>Insert boot disc and press enter<<<

The only way to resolve this is to reconnect both the IDE and power cables to the 2nd hdd. Then it works fine.

Here is my issue:

I want ONLY 1 operating hdd on this computer. I want to disconnect the 2nd hdd, but leave it in the case so that I may occasionally hook it up and add / delete data to / from it (2nd hdd is NTFS and only for data storage). What should I do?

Here are some basic background facts (note this is not my computer, so I might not know all of the background data):

1) Linux MEPIS 3.43
2) KDE 3.5 something
3) ATI card
4) ASUS mobo (I think)
5) HDD master / slave is properly set
6) Optical drive master / slave is properly set
7) GRUB installed on MBR 1st sector
8) I already went into BIOS and set the 2nd hdd to "none" and I still had the same problem

Any comments or suggestions? Thanks!
 
Old 08-19-2006, 09:06 PM   #2
Emerson
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Quote:
When I disconnect the 2nd hdd (I don't need it, so I disconnected both its IDE cable and power cable) and boot, BIOS fails to detect either hdd.
You may need to set the drive jumper to SINGLE. Weird problem indeed.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 09:10 PM   #3
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what I am assuming here is your hdd is detected and the problem here is that the bootloader doesnt popup.
what you could do here is, boot with the installation disk and go to the rescue mode, by typing linux rescue. then reinstall grub. grub-install /dev/hdxx. that should do the work for ya.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 09:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w3bd3vil
what I am assuming here is your hdd is detected and the problem here is that the bootloader doesnt popup.
what you could do here is, boot with the installation disk and go to the rescue mode, by typing linux rescue. then reinstall grub. grub-install /dev/hdxx. that should do the work for ya.

Maybe, I don't know. I do know this though: When I start up (i.e., boot), BIOS lists "none" for both hdds, but lists everything else just find.

Should I proceed as you recommended, or does that extra bit of info change things?

Also...I will look into that "single" hdd setting as someone else mentioned.

Thanks for your opinions!
 
Old 08-19-2006, 09:33 PM   #5
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You using master/slave jumpers on the disks, or cable-select ???.
Try a bit of problem isolation - remove the second disk, move the remaining disk to its (interface) connector.
Does it show up in the BIOS, does it boot ... ???

If so, stick the other one back on the (now) spare connector.
All good ??? - if not,keep looking.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 10:39 PM   #6
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w3bd3vil.....or anyone else who could answer.....

w3bd3vil....earlier you suggested that I re-install grub, this time to the hd itself....but I ran across this:

>>If, however, Linux will be the only operating system on your computer, itís perfectly safe to ó and you must ó install GRUB to the MBR.<<

From: http://linux.ioerror.us/2006/01/wher...-install-grub/

Now I am confused. It seems strange that you *must* install grub on the hd if Linux is to be your only OS.

Can anyone clarify?
 
Old 08-19-2006, 10:42 PM   #7
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I should add.....

I should add...

This computer is for my mom, who is even more computer illiterate than most people. So, any option that *avoids* command line use on a regular basis would be most ideal.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 10:46 PM   #8
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You must have a loader in the MBR.
If you have only one O/S, then it's loader must be in the MBR. Grub in your case.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 10:50 PM   #9
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your problem here is, your hdd isnt being detected first solve that problem as syg00 and Emerson suggested, after you solve that check if the boot loader doesnt appear.

moreover if you want to have only one OS and that too linux whats the problem in overwriting the MBR

Quote:
**I want ONLY 1 operating hdd on this computer. I want to disconnect the 2nd hdd

**the 1st hdd (with Linux on it)

**you *must* install grub on the hd if Linux is to be your only OS.

**This computer is for my mom, who is even more computer illiterate
dont get your point here? you want linux and dont want linux ...blah I dont understand?

Last edited by w3bd3vil; 08-19-2006 at 10:51 PM.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 11:10 PM   #10
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grub-install /dev/hdxx

Regarding this command:

grub-install /dev/hdxx

Since hda1 is my root partition of my primary hdd, is that what I would replace hdxx with?

In other words, should it look like this: /dev/hda1

Is that correct?

If that works, then would my boot into Linux change in any significant way (i.e., require lots of command prompt stuff, etc)

/ n00b, so play nice if I ask dumb questions
// unrelated note, I've got a printer question in the hardware forum...if any of you have experience with that I would appreciate your input as well. Thanks!
 
Old 08-19-2006, 11:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
In other words, should it look like this: /dev/hda1
yes

oh...what you are doing here is just installing the bootloader which will allow you to boot linux. nothing like lots of command line will popup.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 11:23 PM   #12
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If you install it to hda1 then you need another bootloader on MBR to chainload GRUB.
 
Old 08-19-2006, 11:44 PM   #13
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I do not understand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson
If you install it to hda1 then you need another bootloader on MBR to chainload GRUB.
Emerson...I do not understand what you mean.

Let me try to interpret: If I want grub on hda1 then I must also install grub on mbr. Correct?

I already have grub on mbr so if I understood you correctly, does that mean I must have it installed on hda1 too? In other words, install grub twice...once in mbr and once in hda1? If I do that, then I should be able to boot without any funky command line stuff?

Thanks again for your input!
 
Old 08-19-2006, 11:52 PM   #14
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Normally BIOS executes the code on MBR and the code on MBR loads OS (simplified). This means you need to install GRUB to hda (not hda1). In case you install GRUB on partition (hda1) BIOS does not find it and computer won't boot - unless there is another bootloader on MBR which can load GRUB from partition. This another bootloader may be anything, ntloader for instance or GAG or something else.
 
Old 08-20-2006, 12:06 AM   #15
w3bd3vil
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Emerson ...if hda1 is your boot partition it wont do harm ..would it?
 
  


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