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Old 12-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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Grub Doesn't Boot on G Netbook

I recently installed, or I should say, attempted to install, Gentoo on my Sylvania G Netbook. I've used Gentoo for about a year now on my desktop, so I am quite clear on the install process.

Well, it won't boot. I installed grub, ran grub-install (and the manual install) numerous times, in different ways, but no matter what I do, the system just skips over the hard drive and tries to boot from the network, and then proceeds to say there is no operating system.

I checked the bios, everything seems in order. There was one oddity, that the hard drive is listed as IDE 2, even though there is only one hard drive. I suppose this is not a problem, as I didn't change anything, and the factory default distro (a version of Debian) worked fine. Still, worth noting.

The boot flag is set on my boot partition, it is the first on the drive, and is EXT2.

I am wondering if maybe they were tricky and added some other kind of boot sector; maybe flash memory, for example, that I don't know about. Has anyone had any experience with more manual installs on this netbook?

The hard drive shows up as /dev/hda, but there is also a /dev/sda. Trying to fdisk it gives "Unable to open /dev/sda", file says its type is "block special". Running grub-install on it returns "/dev/sda does not have any corresponding BIOS drive", even after running it with --recheck.
Old 12-23-2009, 08:54 PM   #2
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In your kernel configuration make sure under file system, nfs, root= nfs is unchecked
Old 12-23-2009, 09:01 PM   #3
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I had a problem installing Grub myself so I tried lilo which worked. Why don't you give lilo a try?
Old 12-23-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
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I do not use Gentoo but have used a live cd based on it....sysrescuecd.

1) Can you name the actual media you are using please and its version number.

I am suspecting....heh have downloaded a network boot install cd and not a "normal" hd install cd.....which is why the kernel is a bit strange.

2) assuming you have a live cd.....can you run and post the results of

fdisk -l
(navigate to mounted hard drive....) cat /etc/fstab
ls /dev/disk/by-uuid/
ls /boot
fdisk should show us your partitions and which are bootable if any
hd fstab to see if we have a match
UUID info in case your fstab uses uuid
boot to show what kernel were installed and if /grub folder exists

I don't care if you install lilo so offer no help with grub until I at least am confident you have the correct install disk with the correct kernel.
Old 12-23-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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The system isn't getting to the kernel, so it can't be a problem with it. The network boot thing is built into the BIOS (Gentoo doesn't have a network install CD that I know of).

The exact ISO was install-x86-minimal-20091103.iso , but the problem is not in the CD, which boots and works just fine. The issue is in the install I made with it, which is being ignored by the BIOS for some reason.

I might try lilo, but I was under the impression it had issues with larger hard drives. Can't hurt, though.

All of these are typed as I don't have any easy way to get the info off the computer, so forgive any typos.

fdisk -l:
Disk /dev/hda: 30.0 GB, 30005821440 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3648 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdd6cdd6c
   Device  Boot Start   End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/hda1    *      1     5       40131  83  Linux
/dev/hda2           6  3648   29262397+   5  Extended
/dev/hda5          72  1116     8393931  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda6        1117  3648   20338258+  83  Linux
/dev/hda7           6    71     530113+  83  Linux

Installed partition fstab:
/dev/hda1   /boot       ext2   noauto,noatime       1 2
/dev/hda6   /           ext3   noatime              0 1
/dev/hda7   /home       ext3   noatime              0 1
/dev/hda5   none        swap   sw                   0 0
/dev/cdrom  /mnt/cdrom  auto   noauto               0 0
shm         /dev/shm    tmpfs  nodev,nosuid,noexec  0 0
(I am aware I somehow swapped my home and root at some point, but that is a minor issue to fix.)

Boot partition:


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