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Old 06-13-2010, 06:43 AM   #1
Michael Warren
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Registered: Jan 2005
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Distribution: Mepis
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triple boot Mepis boot problem


I have Mepis 8.5 & Ubuntu on hdc and Win Xp on hdd. I installed Mepis initially and later had boot problems. There was a disconnected HDD that came with the 2.6 Ghz P-4 and since I wanted to run Ubuntu I planned to use this HDD. During the Ubuntu install Win Xp occupied the HDD. Ubuntu and Mepis now reside together on hdc. Mepis would not boot prior to the Ubuntu install and it still will not boot. I was in hopes of not having to reinstall any of the OSes. Advice welcome!!
 
Old 06-13-2010, 07:01 AM   #2
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Warren View Post
I have Mepis 8.5 & Ubuntu on hdc and Win Xp on hdd.
I either don't understand or don't believe "hdc" and "hdd". What do you mean by those names?

We need some solid info about the partition naming as seen by Linux in order to give you any useful instructions.

IIRC, the following command in Ubuntu is often recommended to get such info to post:
Code:
sudo /sbin/fdisk -l
Quote:
Ubuntu and Mepis now reside together on hdc.
Which version of Ubuntu and did you notice whether it installed grub vs. grub2?

Quote:
I was in hopes of not having to reinstall any of the OSes.
That should be pretty easy if Ubuntu is using grub and not too much harder if Ubuntu is using grub2.

In Ubuntu you should be able to mount the partition that contains the Mepis /boot directory. In Mepis's /boot/grub/menu.lst you can find a grub entry for starting the Mepis kernel.

If Ubuntu uses Grub, you just edit that entry into Ubuntu's /boot/grub/menu.lst.

If Ubuntu uses Grub2, hopefully someone with more grub2 experience will give you some guidance. I've read enough about grub2 to make some good guesses. But real experience is more accurate.

You can translate (very slight changes) the grub entry into a grub2 entry then edit it into one of the files that feeds the creation of the grub2 menu file, then rerun the program that rebuilds the grub2 menu file.

There are problem cases for the above. I can't imagine why yours would be a problem case, but the last time I helped someone with a grub2 issue was a problem case and I had no clue why. In a problem case, you could use the Mepis liveCD to install the Grub boot sector (that normally goes in the MBR) into the partition boot sector of Grub's partition. Then add an entry for Ubuntu's Grub2 to chainload Mepis's Grub from the partition boot sector. Alternately, you could put Grub2's boot sector in Ubuntu's partition's boot sector and reconnect Mepis's Grub to the MBR and chainload the other way.

Last edited by johnsfine; 06-13-2010 at 07:11 AM.
 
Old 06-13-2010, 07:25 AM   #3
saikee
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You can boot at least 28 operating systems with 2 hard disks.

However to control the booting you must find out the disk order. This is to say which disk is the firs bootable disk. This is absolutely vital for the boot loader Grub1 or Grub2. You can find the information directly from Grub. Best is to load Mepis as a Live CD, as it still uses Grub1, and issue this command in terminal
Code:
su
grub
geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd1)
(hd0) is the first disk the Bios tells Grub and Linux and it would be the MBR in that disk controlling the rest. Post the output here for further advice.

Secondly you must find out the partitions where your Linux are residing. To this end follow johnsfine's suggested
Code:
sudo /sbin/fdisk -l
using Ubuntu Live CD and post the output here or
Code:
su
fdisk -l
when using Mepis Live CD.

Can't remember exactly but Mepis may accept the return key (no password) or "root" for root password.

Last edited by saikee; 06-13-2010 at 07:29 AM.
 
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
Michael Warren
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mepis linux 8.5 uses the KDE partition manager and it displayed the hard drives as /dev/hdc (74.53 GIB) & /dev/hdd/ (38.29 GIB). Ubuntu 10.04 terminal response was:michaelw@michaelw-pc:~$ sudo /sbin/fdisk -l
[sudo] password for michaelw:

Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000293a5

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 3447 27684817+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 6855 7116 2104515 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3 7117 9729 20988922+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 3447 6854 27369473 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 3447 6708 26191872 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 6708 6854 1176576 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sdb: 41.1 GB, 41110142976 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4998 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xbca77753

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 1956 15711538+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sdb2 * 1957 4997 24426832+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
michaelw@michaelw-pc:~$
I have no idea which grub ubuntu uses, it just says grub. If you recall in my post, I said mepis would not boot before I found the extra hard drive and also before installing ubuntu. You could repair the MBR on several of the earlier versions of mepis, but the downside was you had to repair the Win XP boot manager. I'll try some of the suggestions later. Thanks
 
Old 06-13-2010, 11:03 AM   #5
saikee
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If a Linux uses Grub1 the configuration file is /boot/grub/menu.lst or /boot/grub/grub.conf for the Red Hat family

For Grub2 the configuration file is /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

In both Grub1 and Grub2 you can see the disk order by this command
Code:
cat /boot/grub/device.map
Let us know the disk order before the next advice. Currently sda1 & sda3 could be your two Linux.

You can boot all your systems manually if you can see a Grub menu. Do you have one?
 
Old 06-14-2010, 01:29 AM   #6
Michael Warren
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sda1 is Mepis 8.5, sda3 is Ubuntu 10.04 & Windows XP is sdb1. I have alway's followed the advice of the Linux OS pros when it comes to dual-booting and placed windows first when installing multiple OSes. This PC was purchased from a State Surplus Center and came with a CRU removable HDD. So when I reconnected the HDD I put it as slave thinking it would have been cleaned. I do have a GRUB 2 boot manager and all but Mepis boots.
 
Old 06-14-2010, 02:22 AM   #7
saikee
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If you fire up Mepis live CD, get yourself into a terminal, invoke Grub1 then you can put Mepis's Grub1 in the MBR of sda, which I assume is your (hd0).
Code:
su
grub
root (hd0,0)
setup (hd0)
From this point onward try to boot each system up manually.

With the Live CD removed boot up to Mepis Grub menu, do not boot any system, just press the "esc", confirm changing from graphic to text screen, then press the "c" key to get a Grub prompt. In a Grub prompt this is how you boot up each system

for Mepis in sda1 with Grub1 (it should be bootable already but I am showing how you can access it manually)
Code:
root (hd0,0)
configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst
For Ubuntu in sda3 with Grub2 inside
Code:
root (hd0,2)
kernel /vmlinuz ro root=/dev/sda3
initrd /initrd.img
boot
For Xp (assuming you installed it as the second disk first)
Code:
root (hd1,0)
chainloader +1
boot
If you installed Xp without sda but now boot it with sda present
Code:
root (hd0,0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
chainloader +1
boot
Tell us the result and we shall advise a permanent arrangement.

Last edited by saikee; 06-14-2010 at 02:26 AM.
 
Old 06-16-2010, 03:40 AM   #8
Michael Warren
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Distribution: Mepis
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I'm not having any luck using the CLI, but the good thing is the hard drive with windows xp is dying. I plan to replace the hard drive and install Mepis on a new one. Thanks to you guys for your time and expertise.
 
  


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