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I've just installed suse linux and I can boot the system from the CD and everything works fine. However, it won't boot from the hard disc - It loads something called GRUB in text mode and I just get a flashing cursor. Anybody know how to fix this? Linux is the only OS on the PC so it's not dual boot.
This is my first experience with Linux so really need help
Err... I think its IDE, at least its plugged into the primary IDE slot. I'm afraid you'll need to explain the bios stuff in really simple language as I'm not sure what I'm looking for. The details of the hdd from belarc advisor are below. Is this any help?
SAMSUNG SV0431D [Hard drive] (4.30 GB) -- drive 0, rev MA10
Primary Bus Master IDE controller (dual fifo)
Secondary Bus Master IDE controller (dual fifo)
VIA Bus Master PCI IDE Controller
BIOS: Award Software International, Inc. 4.51 PG 10/15/99
So you say you can get into the system, using the CD?!
Then try the following: Open a shell, login as root and type 'fdisk -l', this gives you all recognised partitions on your disk. Then have a look at /etc/fstab, which tell the system where to mount your filesystems to. Next, look at /boot/grub/menu.lst, where grub loads the kernel from. If you post the output of all three commands, we may get it running together
If you would like to try it yourself, make sure that the entry in grub (menu.lst) matches the location of the kernel. Grub uses a little different syntax, where hd0,0 is the first partition on the primary controller, from linux mostly recognised as hda1. hda2 would then be hd0,1.
Maybe you just installed the bootloader to the wrong location. The bootloader (grub) should be installed into the master boot record (MBR) of your primary harddisk. Have a look in Yast -> System -> Boot Loader Configuration and install it, if necessary.
OK, I finally figured out how to open the shell and entered fdisk -1. I got the following
fdisk [-bSSZ] [-u] DISK Change partition table
fdisk -1 [-b SSZ] [-u] DISK list partition tables
fdisk -s partition
fdisk -v give fdisk version
Here disk is something like /dev/hdb or /dev/sda and partitions are something like /dev/hda
Tried running other commands but got a permission denied message for all, even though I logged in as root.
I then looked in YAST at the boot loader configuration. It said its located at 1.IDE, 4.01 GB, dev/hda
The activate boot loader partition is set to 'no', and the replace code in MBR option is set to 'leave untouched'.
I used YAST to find the partitions and there seems to be two:
/dev/hda2 3.7 GB/for with reiser
/dev/hda1 293.6MB (for swap)
What I meant was fdisk -l (with a small 'L' like in 'small').
The other 'commands' weren't commands but configuration files. You need to open them in an editor. To simply show their content, you could type
cat /etc/fstab or less /etc/fstab
cat /boot/grub/menu.lst or less /boot/grub/menu.lst (The later command shows a scrollable output)
The important part in Yast is the entry 'Boot Loader Location' This should point to the HDD you have installed Linux on (looks good in your case). If you highlight the entry and press 'Edit', the option should be set to 'Master boot record of <your drive>'. I am not sure about this option 'Leave untouched', maybe you need to set it to 'replace'. But check first fstab, fdisk -l and menu.lst, if those entries are okay.
color white/blue black/light-gray
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
kernel (hd0,1)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 vga=0x31a splash=silent desktop r
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: floppy###
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
kernel (hd0,1)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=o
ff vga=normal noresume nosmp noapic maxcpus=0 3
/boot/grub/menu.lst lines 1-21/22 95%
From this data I cannot see why it is not working. Maybe you should reinstall grub. I am sorry that I do not have any other ideas...wait, you could check if /boot/grub/device.map shows the correct record of you drive. It should look like this:
OK, its now all sorted out. Someone at work suggested that Linux miight not like my hdd set to LBA - whatever that actually means - so I went into the bios and changed the mode to Normal. I rebooted and almost immediately got the grub graphical boot menu on screen. I chose linux and it loaded without a problem.
Thanks for all the help and advice along the way. I might even consider loading suse on my main xp machine in a dual boot setup now. However, I think I'll first buy some software to backup the disc image.