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Does anyone know why I can't get Grub to run on my system? I searched, read & tried about 10 different recommendations from reading others' posts. I must need help with my particular setup, because none of the fixes have worked so far.
HD1 - 120gb WinXP
HD2 - 200gb WinXP (This is the drive I'm trying to run SUSE off)
Here's a screenshot of my partitions (disk mgt utility):
**edit - since I can't post direct links yet, please just put the 3 w's in front of the addy**
HD1 came with my Dell, loaded with WinXP.
HD2 is one I added and formatted with 3 partitions: 1. an NTFS partition for Data Storage. 2. an NTFS partition for a 'clean' version of WinXP 3. 'free space' on which to install Linux.
I installed SUSE from their site (4 hrs over ftp). However, Grub did NOT run. As soon as I rebooted the machine, the bios initiates and says simply 'grub' in white text on a black background.
I was able to run SUSE from CD by jumping through some hoops (manual install....etc, etc, etc...then 'run installed version'). From there I tried using YaST to reconfigure the boot utility several ways, none of which worked. I even tried to run Grub off of a floppy, which got me an infinite loop of 'grub' text (same as original problem, but caught in an infinite loop instead of just saying it once).
Finally, I just ran Windows from the rescue installation (CD) and ran fixmbr (another good piece of advice from this forum). So now I'm back to where I started, except I have a seemingly perfect installation of SUSE Linux on my hd that I can't access without using the cd and jumping through hoops.
I'm not partial to my 2nd WinXP install, so I can delete it if necessary. I've been banging my head against this thing for about 16 straight hours and I'm out of idead. Plus I think I'm about to get a bill from Google for all the searching I've put their system through! I've tried installing grub on the MBR, in the /boot location, but at this point my wheels are just spinning in place.
Anyone have any idea how I should set this thing up? Should I use YaST to configure grub? If so, how?
You put the boot loader on the wrong hard drive. At least that's what it seems like. What you'll need to do, actually. Is totally re-install suse. This time. Make sure you put about a 32mb partition on HD1, and let suse know its for booting. That should allow it to install the boot loader correctly and control the rest of the OS's.
Special Extra. If you need to get back to windows XP in the meantime. Get a bootable floopy for WinXP, rescue disk or whatever. Stick it in. Boot off it. Type. fdisk /mbr And that should erase the boot loader and Windows will then act like the borg and assimiate your system once again.
I'm fairly certain there is an MBR partition on HD1 already (see link). Are you suggesting that that is not enough and that I need a third?
The bummer is, I can't add a partition to drive 1 without reformatting it, right? This is bad...there's about 80 gb of data on that and I don't have partition magic. This actually worked just find with (I thought) the exact same configuration using RH 9 (I have been experimenting with Linux lately...but SUSE is by far my fav so far). Grub installed correctly then and I didn't have to add any partitions to HD1. Any idea what SUSE is doing differently?
Fixmbr did the trick for getting me back to my previous boot config (winxp or winxp).
After reading that your linux distro had a utility, I went into YAST and behold...it already has one I'll clear some space on my HD, defrag it, then run the YAST partition utility and create that boot partition.
For those of you who might find it useful...here is how the installation story ends:
I used YAST (through the slightly disabled version of SUSE that I had installed on the 2nd HD) to resize the NTFS partition on the first HD. TOTAL FAILURE! Something happened to both windows installations to where I simply could not access them.
I had backed up all my files from HD1 to HD2. So I said 'SCREW IT!' and wiped HD1 clean. Then I set it up much better than I had before: 15gb for Windows, 75gb for Programs and Docs, and the remainder I left unformatted for Linux.
I then re-installed Linux on the first HD using the unformatted space. Voila! SUSE runs like a charm. I never did test out the /boot partition on the first hd because it was hosed anyway, so I didn't need to preserve what I had. But SUSE sure didn't want to live on HD2 the way I had it set up before.
Incidentally, HD2 now shows up screwy after that resize of HD1 (!). From WinXP, when I check the properties, it shows only 75 gb, but in fact I have almost 160 gb of data on it. The data's fine, but something in the partition table is hosed. This is annoying, but I'll fix it later.
Thank you for your replies, and good luck to the newbs out there. Now to see what SUSE can do...
you know...i know this is all after the fact but i have windows xp and suse 9.0 on my system as well and i had the very same problem that you were having with my grub loader. it simply would not work on my dual-boot system. i switched to lilo and my system has worked like a charm ever since. i lost my grub loader 5 times and reinstalled suse that many times as well before i switched to lilo.
if this ever happens to you again, and you want to switch to lilo (which the way suse 9 has them configured, you'll never know the difference between grub and lilo on boot up) just boot from your first cd, click "Installation", get into the "Repair" options, and boot from the already installed suse 9. log in as root and go into Yast2, click System, choose the Boot Loader Config. from there you can convert your grub settings to lilo and then edit lilo if you wish. when done, go into a terminal and type "lilo". you're done. suse 9 automatically takes care of the rest. just reboot and then you'll be presented with your new boot loader. like i said before...in suse 9 you cannot tell the difference between grub and lilo. if it doesn't work then repeat the process until it works. i had to do it twice before i got it working.
sorry i didn't see your post sooner...but maybe this will help someone else.
by the way, i have almost an identical set up as you. windows on one hard drive and linux on another.