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If you are able to run fdisk -l, can you access the /boot/grub/menu.lst file. You should see an entry for windows, is there is none there should be one which states:
Your fdisk output shows windows on first partition of first drive.
The command in your last post which I suggested earlier is to write over the master boot record. You said your windows CD couldn't do anything and this might help. If you have a windows install/recovery CD to recover your windows mbr the command would be an option. Yes, it would need to be changed to sda, not sda1.
If you can get the above entry into menu.lst, it should work.
Right, I played around trying to fix the problem but I ended up taking a slightly different route. As I hadn't used my SUSE installation much I decided that it would be a good idea to wipe the drive clean and install a fresh copy of WinXP on the drive instead. I then used EBCD to copy over all the files I needed from my damaged drive to the drive with the new WinXP installation. After that I put SUSE onto the drive that originally had WinXp on it. Both of these drives are SATA drives, and I also have a 3rd drive for file storage which is IDE.
My latest problem is that the PC won't boot unless I boot from the SUSE installation DVD which lets me boot from HDD, and I am then presented with GRUB, which contains entries for my SUSE and WinXP installation, and they both work fine.
As the IDE drive is the Channel 1 Master, I'm guessing that it needs to contain the boot loader, would this be the case?
When the system fails to boot without the SUSE installation DVD, it simply hangs with the message: Boot from CD...
Rather than go round in circles and do damage to a drive like I did before it would be great to get some advice on what to do next. Should be a much easier problem to fix than before anyway!
It would probably be simpler (if you want to use Grub) to install Grub stage1 to the mbr of the SATA drive on which you have Opensuse and set that as first boot device. If you can't do that or, if you want to boot from the IDE that is a data drive only, you will need the stage1 file in the mbr of the IDE drive. If you are not sure how to do this, post the current results of the 'fdisk -l' command as well as the /boot/grub/menu.lst file.
When it stalls with 'boot from CD', I assume you have NO CD in the drive?
I've tried getting the BIOS to boot the drive with SUSE on it, and the WinXP drive, but neither will boot. GRUB does seem to be installed on the SUSE drive though. Yes, I only get these booting problems when I boot with no CD/DVD. I can access both WinXP & SUSE with the SUSE DVD.
Here's the contents of the menu.lst:
# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Sat Sep 20 22:14:55 BST 2008
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title openSUSE 11.0 - 126.96.36.199-0.1
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-188.8.131.52-0.1-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_HDS722516VLSA80_VNRD3EC4CE8L8M-part2 resume=/dev/sda1 splash=silent showopts vga=0x31a
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows 1###
title windows 1
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows 2###
title windows 2
I was a bit confused as to why there are two entries for SUSE (not including the two failsafe entries). Would I be right in thinking that the extra entry has been added since updates to the system were made online via auto-update? If so, does that mean that openSUSE 11.0 - 184.108.40.206-0.1 is newer than openSUSE 11.0 - 220.127.116.11-1.1?
I have just tried using SuperGrub Disk and I'm a bit closer to resolving this issue. However, more queries have come into play!
If I manually select the drive with GRUB on it on each boot then I can get into both WinXP and Linux. However, now when I go into Linux I can't do that much. If I click on the Start icon in the bottom left nothing happens, and when I click the icon in the tray that says that updates are available the window appear in the task bar but never maximises.
Also, the entries in GRUB have changed again, now I've got:
Have just installed Gnome and now all appears to be fine with regards to SUSE working, and I think I prefer it to KDE4 anyway.
Just the small issue of getting GRUB to auto launch now, rather than having to manually select the right drive to boot each time. Strange, because it should be booting that drive automatically anyway...
Your post #20 output of fdisk shows two Linux partitions, on sda2 and sda3. Assuming sda2 is the root partition (w//boot/grub) your entry in menu.lst should be root (hd0,1) and your entry is (hd1,1). Your fdisk output for windows shows partitions on sdb1 (not active/bootable) and sdc1 (marked active/bootable). Assume that sdc1 is the windows partition with bootlader, your entry in menu.lst should be rootnoverify (hd2,0). You don't need this before the chainloader entry, just put chainloader +1. It's hard to tell but, it looks like there is no space after chainloader, before +1 which is necessary.
The kernel entries for Opensuse, you can look in the /boot directory and see if you have vmlinuz files with those numbers. Most likely, when you did updates, you had a kernel update and that's why the change. It adds a new kernel (vmlinuz file) and you might need to make a manual change in menu.lst after that.
I got it working in the end guys. Toyed around with GAG bootloader and then discovered what my problem was...very embarrasing...but it turned out to be the boot order in the BIOS. Although, to be fair that wasn't the original problem so I don't feel like a total idiot, and I've learnt a few bits about Linux throughout this whole episode so it's been very worthwhile.
Once I get Photoshop and Newsleecher running in SUSE then I'll be kissing Windows goodbye hopefully! Especially once I get my Linux+ cert. =)