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Old 02-17-2005, 03:02 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: RHEL 2.1, RHEL 3.0, SUSE 9.2
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What is the source of "Error Loading Operating System"?

Like several people before me, I have run into the dreaded "Error Loading Operating System" when installing Fedora.

I was installing on a Dell Optiplex SX280 with a 40 GB SATA hard drive. This was a single boot install. As with others, the install went fine, but I got the error on reboot. As with others, I was able to boot from the CD into rescue mode, and the partitions loaded into /mnt/sysimage.

I checked the grub.conf file, and it looked good to me (with one exception; the drive and partitions were identified with an (hd0,0); should it have been sd(0,0) for an SATA drive?).

After some looking on the Internet and checking my system, I did 3 things all at the same time:

1. I enabled hyperthreading in the BIOS. The default boot for Linux was SMP, and I thought this would help.

2. I re-installed Fedora. I first tried an upgrade, but it didn't change anything. I did this mainly to enable the hyperthreading.

3. The root partition ( / ) moved from sda6 to sda3 (in other words, from an extended partition to a primary partition).

One of these (or a combination) solved the problem, and the system works.

Now, on to my question.

Most of the other threads I've been able to find concerning this error end with, "Never mind. I re-installed and it works," or, "Never mind, I made a few BIOS changes and it works." This is great as far as it goes, but doesn't help the rest of us as to the cause and what to do to correct it!

Unfortunately, I didnt' check the grub.conf file after the rebuild, and I won't have access to the PC for a few days, so I can't compare what I saw before with what's in there now. That means I can't see if it was a grub issue.

Assuming for the moment that it wasn't a grub issue, which of the other changes I made solved the problem? And why?

Old 02-18-2005, 10:11 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Australia
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some comments
I have sata and grub must see your drive as a (hdX) so no worry there

my grub kernel append is acpi=ht to enable hyperthreading

so your 3 is the only culprit as I see it......but what is left out?

I personally like you to look at /etc/fstab when U get it back and look to see if the kernel is seeing it as a
/dev/sdaX system or a /dev/hdeX system.

There was a change in the way kernel 2.6 saw sata drives.......2.4 was sdaX 2.6 was hdeX and now back to sdaX

But you can force it .........U are in control

so when U paritiion choose
cfdisk /dev/sda

and not cfdisk /dev/hde

the other stuff missing from your post is what extra settings or software U chose.

anyhow try that


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