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Old 02-09-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
Registered: May 2010
Posts: 133

Rep: Reputation: 16
WMWare RHEL hangs on "GRUB _"

I have a RedHat Enterprise 4 virtual machine running in VMWare Player 3.0.1 (and other Versions) on Windows XP Professional 2002 SP3.

We run them in a lab for our students. These VMs tend to hang during boot when there is "GRUB _" on the screen. There is no prompt and no chance to enter anything.
I have backups of the VMs so this is not the problem. But getting back to a running version takes about one our (several GBs) which is very anoying for the students.

This is what I have tried so far:

1. Booted the VM with a life image of Linux (KNOPPIX)
Therefore inserted the following stuff into the vmx file before boot:
ide0:1.present = "TRUE"
ide0:1.fileName = "YOURHARDDRIVE:PATHTOLIFEIMAGE\KNOPPIX_V6.2.1DVD-2010-01-31-EN.iso"
ide0:1.deviceType = "cdrom-image"
2. Opened a root terminal (not the normal LXterminal)

3. Unmounted the yet mounted partion:
umount /media/sda1
4. Created a new directory that fits my taste better and mounted the partition to it:
mkdir /rescue
mount /dev/sda1 /rescue
5. Included system information:
mount -o bind /dev /rescue/dev
6. Same for proc:
mount -t proc /proc /rescue/proc
7. Switched to corrupted system:
chroot /rescue /bin/bash
8. Reinstalled grub:
grub-install /dev/sda
Got error: "/dev/sda does not have any corresponding BIOS drive"

9. Tried to recheck:
grub-install --recheck /dev/sda
Got error: /dev/hda1: Not found or not a block device

10. Tried to copy mounts:
cp /proc/mounts /etc/mtab
11. Did recheck of step 9 again
Got error: Could not find device for /boot: Not found or not a block device

But I can do ls on /boot. I have a grub folder inside with this menu-lst (hand-copied):
title Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS (2.6.9-89.ELsmp)
	root (hd0,0)
	kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6..9-89.ELsmp ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
	initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.9-89.ELsmp.img
title Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS (2.6.9-89.EL)
	root (hd0,0)
	kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6..9-89.EL ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
	initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.9-89.EL.img
Any more ideas how I can get the VM back to run?
Old 02-09-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: RHEL 5 & 6, Ubuntu 10
Posts: 93

Rep: Reputation: 3
I think hda is IDE, but sda is SCSI...
How are the disks configured in the VM?
Old 02-10-2011, 02:19 AM   #3
Registered: May 2010
Posts: 133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I am not rather sure what you mean by "configured". The VM disks are image files on the host operating system.

Perhaps information about the broken system fstab and the current system disk information help you to help me:
# cat /media/sda1/etc/fstab 
# This file is edited by fstab-sync - see 'man fstab-sync' for details
LABEL=/                 /                       ext3    defaults        1 1
none                    /dev/pts                devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
none                    /dev/shm                tmpfs   defaults        0 0
none                    /proc                   proc    defaults        0 0
none                    /sys                    sysfs   defaults        0 0
LABEL=SWAP-hda2         swap                    swap    defaults        0 0
#/dev/fd0                /media/floppy           auto    pamconsole,fscontext=system_u:object_r:removable_t,exec,noauto,managed 0 0
/dev/fd0                /media/floppy1          auto    pamconsole,fscontext=system_u:object_r:removable_t,exec,noauto,managed 0 0

# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 21.5 GB, 21474836480 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2610 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0004619a

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        2349    18868192+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2            2350        2610     2096482+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
If this is not what you are searching for don't hesitate to tell me how I can provide the needed information.
Old 02-16-2011, 07:42 AM   #4
Registered: May 2010
Posts: 133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Can I at least assume there is no obvious mistake?
Old 11-26-2012, 03:40 AM   #5
Registered: May 2010
Posts: 133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
It's been quite a while ago but as far as I remember I solved the problem by updating RHEL. There seems to be a bug in the initial installation version.


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