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Old 07-31-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
M3GA8U5H
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Registered: Jul 2009
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Exclamation Removing Grub from internal HDD and installing it only on external hdd


Ok. I am a Linux newbie to the extreme. This is my first time trying to tinker with Linux (Ubuntu 8.something) and also my first time trying to dual-boot. I have a 250 GB External HDD that I installed Linux onto. The internal HDD has Windows XP SP3 Media Center Edition. The laptop came with XP but no disk for it. When I tried to install Ubuntu, I didn't realize that it had its own boot loader and that it would override the XP bootloader. So, when I unplug the external HDD (so that my mom can use XP without going through a multiboot screen) it says:
GRUB loading Stage 1.5
GRUB loading, please wait....
Error 21

I've tried going onto Linux and modifying the file /boot/grub/menu.lst but it won't let me save any changes. Then I tried going onto XP and going to Command Prompt to try fdisk /mbr but it said: 'fdisk' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

I tried the same thing with fixmbr and got the same message. I've tried to rearrange the boot order in Setup and then reinstall Ubuntu, but that still hasn't solved the problem.

I want to be able to plug my external HDD in and use Linux, but still be able to unplug it and boot straight to XP. Is there someway to download the correct Windows BootLoader and install it on my internal HDD and make everything work?

Could somebody please steer me in the right direction? I'm kinda desperate. I tried to pick up some info from other threads, but nothing that they said has helped. Any help will be greatly appreciated. if you have XBL, my gamertag is M3GA8U5H. That would be the quickest way to contact me. But please, any help in any form would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so very much in advance,
M3GA8U5H
 
Old 08-01-2009, 12:29 AM   #2
William (Dthdealer)
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If you can, boot into windows and perform a system restore to fix the mbr (to replace GRUB). If you can't I believe you can copy boot.ini and another file while on a liveCD to a floppy and then startup from that.

Then boot from the Ubuntu livecd and follow the instructions at http://www.debuntu.org/how-to-instal...nux-on-usb-bar to install Ubuntu to your portable HD.

Some extra information is available at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootFromUSB
 
Old 08-01-2009, 12:33 AM   #3
widget
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3GA8U5H View Post
Ok. I am a Linux newbie to the extreme. This is my first time trying to tinker with Linux (Ubuntu 8.something) and also my first time trying to dual-boot. I have a 250 GB External HDD that I installed Linux onto. The internal HDD has Windows XP SP3 Media Center Edition. The laptop came with XP but no disk for it. When I tried to install Ubuntu, I didn't realize that it had its own boot loader and that it would override the XP bootloader. So, when I unplug the external HDD (so that my mom can use XP without going through a multiboot screen) it says:
GRUB loading Stage 1.5
GRUB loading, please wait....
Error 21

I've tried going onto Linux and modifying the file /boot/grub/menu.lst but it won't let me save any changes. Then I tried going onto XP and going to Command Prompt to try fdisk /mbr but it said: 'fdisk' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

I tried the same thing with fixmbr and got the same message. I've tried to rearrange the boot order in Setup and then reinstall Ubuntu, but that still hasn't solved the problem.

I want to be able to plug my external HDD in and use Linux, but still be able to unplug it and boot straight to XP. Is there someway to download the correct Windows BootLoader and install it on my internal HDD and make everything work?

Could somebody please steer me in the right direction? I'm kinda desperate. I tried to pick up some info from other threads, but nothing that they said has helped. Any help will be greatly appreciated. if you have XBL, my gamertag is M3GA8U5H. That would be the quickest way to contact me. But please, any help in any form would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so very much in advance,
M3GA8U5H
The problem would have been avoided by installing after you turned off your internal HD in bios.

Now grub is installed and the mbr is on your external.

Did you try to log into the XP recovery and run FixBoot and/or FixMbr. I think the caps are now needed for those commands. Since you do not have a disk, run a search for XP recovery or rescue. There is a disk you can download that is supposed to get you into the recovery partition.

If that doesn't work I would use your live CD (external off AND disconnected) and shrink that recovery partition (should be number 3) by about 15Gb and format the new space as an extended partition and then put a 1Gb swap partition on the end of that. Install Ubuntu on the little bugger and boot from there. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst so that you have only 2 or 3 seconds of time out and change this;
Code:
## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)
#hiddenmenu
to
Code:
## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)
hiddenmenu
The menu will not show up this way.
Run
Code:
sudo apt-get install startupmanager
After it is installed you will find it by going to System->Administration->Startup-Manager you will see that you can set the default OS on it. Set it for XP.

If the bios are set to boot from a USB device first I would leave your external alone and when ever you boot from it on the computer you will still have the option for booting to XP.
 
Old 08-02-2009, 12:46 AM   #4
M3GA8U5H
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Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William (Dthdealer) View Post
I believe you can copy boot.ini and another file while on a liveCD to a floppy and then startup from that.
What other file were you talking about? BTW, I've printed out the How-to guide that you suggested, but first I need to get rid of GRUB and use the original bootloader. Once I get it booting straight to XP again, then i'll worry about ubuntu. I tried doing a system restore but it didn't fix the problem. When it rebooted, it still pulled up Error 21. Did I do something wrong?
 
Old 08-02-2009, 03:22 AM   #5
ronlau9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3GA8U5H View Post
What other file were you talking about? BTW, I've printed out the How-to guide that you suggested, but first I need to get rid of GRUB and use the original bootloader. Once I get it booting straight to XP again, then i'll worry about ubuntu. I tried doing a system restore but it didn't fix the problem. When it rebooted, it still pulled up Error 21. Did I do something wrong?
Do you have the install CD of XP ?
If so start from windows cd to recovery mode
run the commands
fixmbr
fixboot
GRUB should be gone now
If you're xp is still correct you will be able to run xp alone again
There on the web a lot of possible solution for this.
 
Old 08-07-2009, 01:47 AM   #6
M3GA8U5H
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Registered: Jul 2009
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Original Poster
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Well, somehow (I believe it was a fluke) I got it to finally work like I wanted it to. My buddy Jonathan happened to have an XP disk at his house. We put it in to try /fixmbr or other things like that from the recovery console. But instead of giving him the option to go to the recovery console, it skipped that part and went on to the installer. Jonathan had given up and was going to shut down the laptop so he pressed the power button and just before he closed the screen, I saw it pull up the Windows XP loading screen. I told him that, and he opened it back up and pressed the power button again and it said something along the lines of: "Windows did not properly boot last time you tried. We apologize for the inconvience. Press enter to load XP." So we did and it worked. I tried it again and it still worked. So apparently it fixed itself simply because the disk was in the cd drive. I don't know how but it worked. I hope that this helps somebody that is in the same predicament as I was.
 
  


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