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susecreamcheese 10-13-2007 02:21 PM

Suse 10.3 install failed grub filesystem type unknown
 
Goal is dual boot Suse and Vista.
I have a Acer AM1610-U1201A.
Windows Vista installed from factory.
I made recovery disks for Windows and then attempted to install Suse 10.2 from cds received from Suse. The install failed so I then downloaded Suse 10.3 from ftp and burned dvd.
Suse could not recognize the disk partitions so I left them alone, only creating a linux partition from a RAW partition.
This is what it was:
volume FS Capacity(GB)
sda1 9.76
sda5 1.48
sda3 RAW 65.87
sda2 ACER(C) NTFS 43.31
sda4 DATA(D) NTFS 111.43

I used sda3 for a linux partition. The Suse DVD allowed me to pick my SW packages and began to install, but then crashed and I had to power off. Now I boot into grub with the following:
root (hd0,
Partition num: 0, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x27
Partition num: 1, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x6
Partition num: 3, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x7
Partition num: 4, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x82

I can also see:
root (hd0,2)
Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0xf

The alt F10 key sequence does not install the factory presets.

The Vista Recovery cds fail on disk 2 with an error of:
Restore failed - reason 0xa000000e

Suse 10.2 CD fails with:
Could not find the openSUSE installation CD. Activating manual setup program. It then fails with Unable to mount CDROM. The only option that does anything from this point is reboot.

Suse 10.3 DVD
Allows reinstall, but wants to repartition the drive to remove Vista.
Choose not to change partitioning as I need to keep Vista.
Boot from hard drive results in same grub as listed above.

bigrigdriver 10-14-2007 08:51 AM

If ever there was a long discription of a can of worms, this looks like it. I don't say this to slight you in any way; it a description of what I see as a difficult mess to sort out.

start with this:
Quote:

volume FS Capacity(GB)
sda1 9.76
sda5 1.48
sda3 RAW 65.87
sda2 ACER(C) NTFS 43.31
sda4 DATA(D) NTFS 111.43

That tells me there were four partitions and one unpartitioned space when you began.
Quote:

root (hd0,
Partition num: 0, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x27
Partition num: 1, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x6
Partition num: 3, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x7
Partition num: 4, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x82
That tells me you have a type 27 (I can't find it anywhere, so it's probably specific to Acer; probably disk diagnostics or some such); type 6 is probably something like fat16 or fat32; type 7 is OS2/NTFS; and type 82 is Linux/Solaris swap. You don't have a Linux type 83 which is Linux native- where Linux would be installed.

Quote:

I can also see:
root (hd0,2)
Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0xf
(the raw unpartitioned space)

This type 0xf is win95 extended partition type (extended partitions serve as containers for other partitions).

With what you have here, I can't see the actual order of partitions on the disk. I can't tell if there were four primary partitions when you began, and tried to add another. That won't work, because there is room in the MBR for info on four partitions only. There should be, at most, 3 primary partitions, and at least one extended partition, if you want to make partitions for other OSs. The partitions for those other OSs would have to be created inside the extended partition.

Even if you created a Linux swap and Linux type 83 inside sda3, you wouldn't be able to boot Linux, because sda3 represents a fifth partition. And, as I mentioned, the MBR only holds info on 4 partitions.
It seems, on the surface, that your attempt to install Linux went far enough to write grub to the MBR, but the rest of grub (in the linux partition) is out of reach because it's in a forbidden area outside what the MBR has info about.

To sort this out, you would have to boot a liveCD distro such as Knoppix, Kanotix, or some other. When it's up and running, from a terminal, run 'fdisk -l' and write down the information. Fdisk will produce a 'picture' of the disk partition structure. We need to see that structure. How many primary partitions, where is the extended partition, what's inside the extended partition.

In the event it becomes necessary to start deleting partitions in order to re-create them in proper structure, you may be able to save the partitions to be deleted by first making backups to cd/dvd (using the liveCD distro), then build a new partition structure, following by restoring from backup media.
The dd utility can make a bit-by-bit image of the partitions, so that restoring will be an exact bit-by-bit image. I'm not certain though, if dd can write to cd/dvd. Someone else may be able to answer that.
At any rate, get the output of fdisk -l and let's see what can be done to sort this out.

verndog 10-14-2007 12:26 PM

susecreamcheese,
I know its to late now, but FYI I always use either Acronis or Ghost to image my partitions. I have never had a problem with them. It would have gotten you back to square one. Maybe you can use Acer's restore disk somewhere to get you back to factory install.

bigrigdriver, has very eloquently laid out a good plan. That "fdisk -l" linux command would help a great deal.

It's depressing when you have a new computer and loose your data. Maybe that "backup" you did still has hope once you can get back to the orignal configuration.

Did you put in your Vista disk and see if can reinitualize your Vista partition?

susecreamcheese 10-15-2007 04:50 AM

Suse fine
 
Thank you for your advice. Yesterday I installed Suse without worrying about Vista and everything went fine. Suse 10.2 still has trouble with CD, but Suse 10.3 works fine. Everything is great in Linux, I just didn't want to delete Vista because maybe I might use it someday and I did pay for it. Acer was absolutely useless for customer support and I did read how they set up strange partitions that were dedicated to restoring the setup. I suspect that the Suse install affected some of the Acer restore partitions and this is why Vista is gone.

susecreamcheese 10-17-2007 04:36 AM

Since I can't leave well enough alone, I found an Acer .iso file that allowed me to initialize the hard drive and restore Vista. Now I want to dual boot. I downloaded Knoppix 1.5.1 and booted from it, but it can't find the file system. I am left with only the commands: lsmod, mount, cat, rmmod, umount, insmod. I will try to download Kanotix instead to see if that works better than Knoppix.

susecreamcheese 10-17-2007 09:26 PM

I can't get any improvement out of Knoppix. It can't find the file system on the CD. I've tried debug and cannot see the CD installed. I do see USB drives. The nodma does not help. I see that 5.1.1 is quite old and 5.2 is overdue since April, so may never come. I suspect that 5.1.1 just does not have my CD. I had the same trouble with Suse that 10.2 could not read the CD, but 10.3 could. I downloaded Kanotix, but this was no better. Since the latest version is 2005, this is expected. Is there a more updated partition manager that would likely work? Would loading Knoppix off USB be better? Life was so much easier on the PDP-8.

susecreamcheese 10-18-2007 09:28 PM

I gave up on Knoppix and Kanotix and thought, maybe I should try Windows. Now instead of all the partitions, I can only see 1 that is 240GB (out of a 250GB). There is probably still a hidden. Vista allowed me to resize this to half. From within Vista, I then installed Suse 10.3 and it all went well. Suse allowed me to partition the unpartitioned part of the drive and also left the Vista partitions alone. I have a dual-boot Acer M1610 Desktop. Wahoo!

verndog 10-19-2007 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by susecreamcheese (Post 2929162)
I gave up on Knoppix and Kanotix and thought, maybe I should try Windows. Now instead of all the partitions, I can only see 1 that is 240GB (out of a 250GB). There is probably still a hidden. Vista allowed me to resize this to half. From within Vista, I then installed Suse 10.3 and it all went well. Suse allowed me to partition the unpartitioned part of the drive and also left the Vista partitions alone. I have a dual-boot Acer M1610 Desktop. Wahoo!

Glad to hear that you found a backup file. By the way, I stumbled
accross one of those small knoppix type programs that really works.
It's called Austrumi. The file I downloaded was "austrumi-1.5.1.iso".
You can search for it, not sure if I can post its link here.

This thing is amazing. It found both my Windows and Linux OS's and
mounted them for me. It is very fast, nothing runs off the CD!

The only problem is it's mainly in another language other than English.
But you can figure out with a little effort how things work.

I had all kinds of trouble with Knoppix, Puppy, and the like. Not with this one. check it out.


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