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Old 12-31-2005, 08:31 AM   #1
Bohr_newbie
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St Paul, MN
Distribution: SuSe 10.0 soon to upgrade
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System Goes to grub on Start-up


Background:
I only have SUSE 10.0 on my machine. Due to a download that went arye, I could no longer boot this machine from the HD. I obtained a kernel panic error. I was asked to sign on but to be truthful, I had no idea what to do, so I put the SUSE 10.0 CD1 into the machine and try to do the automatic repair. I found out that I somehow got two boot partitions
/hdc7 old
/hdc3 new and bad

This seemed to go okay however on restart the system just froze. Esc would not take me to a console nor would any other Fx key.

I tried a new installation today. This started up okay and was asked to insert CD2 and it produced some not found error e.g. read failed I/O error 5.
/MEDIA/SUSE/i586/sask-3.7.34.i586 not found

The box gave me abort retry ignore. I tried retry, same error. I choose ignore, this progressed but other modules were found to be missing, did a retry one or two moved on but then I was forced to do another ignore. The cursor' moved for a long while then the above message came up again. I tried ignore and it came back to the same message. I gave up with abort. System shutdown.

Problem:

I restarted the machine: The machine cleared POST then went directly to GRUB

Instructions to use grub TAB will display available commands.

grub > boot /grub/boot
Error 8 kernel must be installed before boot

I think I lost the MBR but I do not know how/why. I do not seem to be able to obtain sufficient information from grub about my system to use any of the grub commands.

I then tried to use a SUSE 7.3 boot floopy. I was able to bring up the start install menu. When asked I put in CD1 -- it replied Unable to locate CDROM.
Esc asked to install from floppy -- again unable to find directory to device (or something like that).

The question is: How can I get the machine to accept the cdrom in order to do a completely fresh installed?

The machine has an athelon 1800 with a 1G of ram. It has two 100G HD's, one cdrom, one cdrecorder, and one floppy.

I am very proud to say that this machine has never been touched by anything from Redmon WA.
 
Old 12-31-2005, 09:06 AM   #2
saikee
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If you want the PC to boot the CDrom before it boot the hard disk you instruct it in the BIOS setting. This is usually done by presssing either the "del"or "F2" etc during a boot-up to trigger the BIOS screen.
 
Old 12-31-2005, 09:33 AM   #3
Emerson
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Welcome to LQ!
After reading your post I think you could make yourself a huge favor by sitting down and getting a little more familiar with SUSE and Linux in general. A couple of hours reading SUSE manual (hopefully there is such a thing?) is going to save you time and avoid headache.
BTW, if you get to the GRUB prompt then your MBR is OK, but this is just the tip of iceberg because the error message "Error 8 kernel must be installed before boot" is not very encouraging.
 
Old 01-01-2006, 04:41 PM   #4
Bohr_newbie
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Thank you saikee, I did start by changing the order of the boot devices.

Thank you Emerson, I was able to get a bit further on restoration. I made all boot devices floppy and booted from a SUSE 7.3 floppy. Reset boot device order and I reinstalled 7.3. I then install 10.0 with only two error messages of some java programs not being found. I removed the media from the CDROM and rebooted: The expect 1st screen displayed then a console log with ending with these last messages:

RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0
RAMDISK: Ran out of compressed data
invalid compressed format (err=1)
VFS! Cannot open root device hdd7 or unknown-block (0,0)

Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel panic - not syncing VFS Unable to mount root fs on unknow block -(0,0)

And this hangs the system to the point that I must use power supply switch to power off. I tried to go to rescue system but

I do not understand what I am expect to do with rescue: It asks for an ID and I use root. rescue appears to be another shell I cannot look at any files there. If anyone has the title of a good Linux book I am game.
My manual do not cover the current situation.
 
Old 01-01-2006, 05:10 PM   #5
Emerson
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Please tell a little more about what you intend to do. Are you trying to install two distros into one HDD? Is there anything you need to save/resque from previous installs?
 
Old 01-01-2006, 06:49 PM   #6
saikee
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You need to show the following information for others to disgnose your booting problem

(1) The screen display of
Code:
fdisk -l
showing your partitioning scheme.

(2) Content of Suse's /boot/grub/menu.lst telling us how Grub boots Suse

(3) Content of /etc/fstab which instructs Suse the files it must load during a boot up.
 
Old 01-01-2006, 07:07 PM   #7
masonm
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Now that you have the CDROM booting, I'd advise repartitioning the HDD, formatting, and doing a fresh install.

Or, just hit it with a large hammer.
 
Old 01-02-2006, 08:26 AM   #8
saikee
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You can take it from me that it is a lot easier to edit the Grub's menu to control the booting than repartition, reformat, re-install and hit it with a hammer.

Here is an example showing how one can make Grub to earn its keeps.
 
Old 01-02-2006, 08:48 AM   #9
Emerson
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There seems to be a mess with IDE devices. HDD-s are hdc and hdd. I'm not big IDE user myself. Aren't there some disadvantages using secondary IDE port for HDD-s? Are both IDE ports at least ATA-100 nowadays? Saikee?
 
Old 01-02-2006, 09:19 AM   #10
saikee
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Linux call a disk according to the IDE connection to a motherboard. There are always two connectors or ports called primary and secondary IDE channels. One can use one channel with a ribbon cable to hook up two IDE devices which can either be a hard disk or a CD/DVD drives.

The 4 iDE devices coming out of these two IDE channel are always named as

hda, hdb, hdc and hdd.

Sata has its own connectors and a motherboard, with Sata support, will have two and known as sda and sdb. External drives are named as sdc, sdd and so on. If there is no Sata the external devices move to start from sda.

A user can nominate any of the IDE or Sata device to be booted first but the names don't get changed. The first device from the master of the the primary IDE channel is always hda with hdb goes to the slave drive.

I would say the partition and disk numbering system in Linux is pretty clear.

A hdc6 must be a logical partition from master position of the secondary IDE port. A hdb3 has to be a primary partition from the slave drive of the primary IDE port. The first 4 partitions in any disk is always the primaries and all logical partitions start at the 5th position.

Do you still have confusion?

There is disadvantage in using any of the channels or IDE positions.

From my experience all hard disks of 80Gb and above should have ATA133. The hard disks I got have ATA133 and ATA100 shared at about 60Gb size. ATA66 at about 30Gb, ATA33 for disk below 10Gb.

Last edited by saikee; 01-02-2006 at 09:29 AM.
 
  


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