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Alright, so here's the deal, i've been battling with this one for a while.
I'm setting up a dual boot on my desktop between Suse 9.2 and win2k. Win2k is already on there and running fine, on an ATA disk. There is another ATA disk that is formatted as NTFS. I also have 2 SATA drives(total of 4 hard drives) There is a 10 gig root partition on the first SATA disk, and 2 gig SWAP partition on the second SATA disk, and the rest of the two disks is linux software RAIDed together as one large XFS partition. Now when I boot up my computer, and it is time for the OS to get loaded, it just displays GRUB on the screen and then hangs and doesn't do anything. The weird part is when I boot off of the install CD and just select "Boot from Hard Disk", then the selection screen for Suse Linux 9.2 and Win2k comes up and I can select either one and they work fine.
To try to solve this I have:
1) reinstalled the boot loader
2) tried having 2 seperate partitions instead of software RAIDing them together, each formated as XFS
3) tried using Reiser file system instead of XFS
none of these have gotten it to boot normal, but on all setups, as long as I boot with the install CD I can access either Linux or Win2k just fine.
So it loads Grub ok, shows a menu, and then hangs when you try any of them, or Grub doesn't show a menu and then hangs ?
If it's the first option, I'd have a close look at your /boot/grub/menu.lst. If it's the second option, then I'd check very carefully where the Bios is attempting to load the boot loader from - you could well have several installations of Grub...
I have the exact same problem, mine on a dual-boot FC3/Windows XP machine. After the BIOS loads, all that shows up is one word: GRUB; and then the computer just hangs. The funny thing is, I didn't mess with the BIOS, didn't alter grub.conf, nothing. This just sort of happened.
staubsaugen, does this accurately describe your problem?
I have exactly the same problem. I am new to Linux. I have done extensive reading before deciding to go with SUSE. I have downloaded the complete DVD ISO and verified the integrity using mdsum tool. Then I burned the ISO to a dvd.
Before installing Linux I bought a nother EIDE drive of 150GB capacity. Installed it as a secondry drive. To install Linux I booted with the DVD when it got to the point of starting YAST (after choosing the language selection) the screen became black and then I could not see the the text. After a couple of attempts I switched to TEXT MODE installation. Everything worked fine. Installed Linux on the second drive which was identified as hdb. I basically chose the default settings. For the boot loader the default setting was to install it on the Master Boot Record on the hda drive. Now after the installtion completed and the computer rebooted it just shows GRUB and hangs.
I have tried to fix the problem with booting from the DVD and tried reparing the boot loader but to no avail. It always gave me the same message and hanged what ever changes I made.
Now I panicked because I thought it destroyed my files on windows. So I booted with Windows XP and verified the the C drive was still there and contained my files.
Now for the time being can someone tell me how to launch my Windows XP again? In the meanwhile I hope someone can provide me with an answer to my question:
* DELL Dimension 2400
* Intel P4 2.8GHz
* 512 MRAM
* Two hard disks:
- c: for Windows XP contains three partitions:
First one is 39M
Second one is 35G
Third one is 8M
That's how it came from Dell
- The second hard disk is 150G which contains the Linux installtion with two partitions:
First one is for the SWAP space it is approx. 1G
Second one is for root and it is 149G
Wow, didn't realize this was happening to everyone, but I also have the same problem. I'm dual booting WinXPPro and a newly installed FC3-x86_64, and it only displays GRUB and then hangs taking no input.
But here's what really gets me. I was reading about how to restore a windows master boot record and needed my WinXP disc to get into a recovery console, but I missed the prompt to boot from CD so it booted from the hard disk and this time it actually pulled up the menu allowing me to boot either OS. But when I take the disc out and try to reboot directly from the hard disk it still fails.
My current setup is:
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Primary Master: 40GB for WinXP Pro (SP2)
Primary Slave: 20GB for FC3 (x86_64)
Secondary Master: CD-Rom
Third Master (separate adapter): 180GB for common storage
My third harddisk was connected to an onboard RAID adapter and the BIOS was seeing as an SCSI disk (even though it is ATA), I presume because the hardware is treating it as a single disk raid volume and showing the BIOS this volume as an SCSI disk. Anyway, I disconnected the power and the cable from this disk and now my computer boots fine.
By the way, I fried my FC3 installation and put on SuSE 9.2 Pro instead with the LILO Bootloader, but this didn't solve the problem. Instead of getting just "GRUB" and hanging, I got "L 99 99 99 99 ..." then it hanged. So those of you having either of these problems may want to look up info on the LILO error as well. What it looks like is that the BIOS boots either LILO or GRUB off the MBR (of the first hard disk), but then the bootloader cannot find its next stage on the disk with the Linux installation. Because disconnecting a drive on my comp got it to work, I'm assuming the problem is in my BIOS somewhere.
I hope this helps some of you get closer to figuring this problem out. If you do, please post it for us.
Alright, I've got mine fixed. This may not help some of you with more complicated systems, but here's what I did.
All of my motherboard's IDE controllers have RAID capability. My first two disks are connected to the Primary of the first controller. My MBR is on the first one, and the partition containing the latter stages of the LILO bootloader (usually /boot) is the first partition of the second drive. For some reason, the first stage of LILO (on the MBR) could not load the next stage on /boot. So to try to get it to read, I took advantage of the RAID options on my controllers. Don't ask me why this worked, it just does.
Enable RAID on the drive containing the /boot partition (or the filesystem with /boot if you don't have a separate partition for it) and make it into a JBOD (sometimes called spanning) volume with only one disk (ridiculous isn't it?). Once you have done this, check to make sure your Hard Disk boot priority is unchanged.
It sounds absurd, but it worked. Don't ask why; I can only think it has something to do with SCSI and ATA disks (the JBOD simulates SCSI on the ATA disk)
For windows XP users you can fix boot, with windows XP disk
start with windows XP disk
then repair installation
and on command prompt
after this you can try new install your Linux distribution
I've just had the exact same GRUB hangs problem. I have a dual boot system with WinXP on (hd0,0) and FC4 on (hd1,0) with GRUB in the MBR. I've rebooted at least a dozen times without any problem. Then I modified /boot/grub/grub.conf and got the GRUB hangs problem. My modifications were trivial and shouldn't cause any problem: 1) backed-up grub.conf to grub.conf.old, 2) changed timeout from 5 to 10, 3) added fallback to FC4 (I had WinXP as default), 4) commented out hidemenu.
I've had GRUB 0.95 installed on several other machines (with RHEL3) and they all worked reliably. Something must have caused GRUB to fail. I can only think of two causes: 1) The Stage 1 image of GRUB in the MBR is corrupted, 2) GRUB cannot find the next stage beyond Stage 1 to load (as Dagonius commented). The MBR suddenly becomes corrupted is unlikely but possible. GRUB cannot load the next stage because it cannot find it is more likely. As I understand, Stage 1 does not understand filesystems so the location of the next stage is a physical location on the hard disk and Stage 1 relies on the BIOS services to find this physical location.
The problem is either with 1) BIOS services or 2) the next stage changed physical location on the disk, invalidating the address encoded in Stage 1. I think it is unlikely that the problem is with the BIOS services as I was able to restore my WinXP (with fixboot and fixmbr) and everything in Windows works fine after that. That leaves (2), however unlikely that is. So, my question is: is it POSSIBLE the simple act of modifying grub.conf (or anything in /boot for that matter) could have caused the next stage to change physical location such that Stage 1 can not find it again?
I'm just a newbie and I'm sure the more experienced here would have more ideas but my belief (at least in my case) is that GRUB cannot just fail without something causing it to fail.