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Old 02-07-2005, 10:44 PM   #1
jordban
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Grub geom error


Hello,
Today i installed suse 9 but when i went to boot it up all i get is

"Grub geom error"

So i did what most people would do, i searched google. I came across this nice page about the error http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2003/0...eom-error.html but none of the causes apply to me, or atleast to the best of my knowedge. Anyone have any ideas?

thanks,
jordan
 
Old 02-07-2005, 11:45 PM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Re: Grub geom error

Quote:
Originally posted by jordban
Hello,
Today i installed suse 9 but when i went to boot it up all i get is

"Grub geom error"

So i did what most people would do, i searched google. I came across this nice page about the error http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2003/0...eom-error.html but none of the causes apply to me, or atleast to the best of my knowedge. Anyone have any ideas?

thanks,
jordan
You got a geometery error so the problem lies with the disk geometry... the "to the best of my knowledge" would be a tad suspect here. The possible causes you referenced are:

---------------
There are several possible causes:

1. The BIOS contains incorrect hard disk values or LBA is not activated.
2. You installed your Linux system on a new hard disk but forgot to register it in the BIOS. Therefore, stage 1 of the boot loader is loaded, but stage 2 cannot be accessed.
3. The BIOS is not able to detect the full hard disk capacity. For example, in case of a 40 GB disk, it only detects the first 32 GB. However, Linux is installed on the last 8 GB.
4. The computer BIOS is not able to address the hard disk area beyond cylinder 1024. However, the Linux boot partition (or the partition containing the kernel or other files needed for booting) is partly or entirely located beyond cylinder 1024. Usually, this problem only occurs on old machines. However, it may still happen occasionally even with new BIOS versions.
5. The BIOS cannot boot from disks attached to the second IDE controller. However, the Linux hard disk is attached to the second IDE controller. This problem, too, is rather uncommon.
6. The hard disk geometry set in the BIOS during the GRUB installation was changed posteriorly or the hard disk was inserted in a different machine or attached to a different controller after the installation.
----------------

You need to actually physically check each one of these in turn. When you do, write down what you did and how you checked. Then tell us about it - just in case you missed something.

ie. for #1 - show us what bios says about your hdd, and if LBA is active. Are these vaules autodetected? Compare with values the manufacturer wrote on the drive casing.

#2 3 4 will show up on the above check.

#5 which ide controller is this on - primary or secondary - bios check again.

#6 - I guess you havn't done anything with the drive since install. But tell us how you partitioned your drive. Can you boot from a boot-CD or floppy? If so, there's other stuff you can do. But remember, unless we know what you've tried, we cannot help you.

Mind you - quick and simple would be to re-install!
 
Old 02-09-2005, 12:05 AM   #3
jordban
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Thanks Simon Bridge!
I started writing down my hard drive info from BIOS when i noticed there were different ways of detetcing the hard drive, so i selected user defined instead of auto in the hopes that i would have more options that i didnt have in auto... Rebooted and im good to go.. I wish i could explain why this worked to help other people with the problem i have, but im stumped. Ill look into it more and hopefully come up with something good..

thanks
jordan
 
Old 02-09-2005, 07:29 PM   #4
Simon Bridge
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excellent news

Sometimes autodetecting the drive dosn't work properly for some drives (especially new drives with an old bios). Tell us your bios version and the drive type if you want to help others with, maybe, the same problem. However, just the sequence of instructions in the previous posts should be enough.

The lesson, for anyone getting here late, should be: never assume! You'll just make an ass out of u and me
 
Old 02-12-2005, 08:54 PM   #5
Mahamadmustafa
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Same Problem

i'm having the same problem as 'jordban'.

i'm running a ibm thinkpad r50, and was trying to go from winxp to 'novell linux desktop 9' and got the same GRUB Geom error on startup. i tried reinstalling like a ba-zillion times but it didn't work. (you're probably thinking, 'duh')
then i thought that maybe it was my copy of nld9, so i got out my old copy of suse9.1 and installed it, and it's doing the same bloody thing.

so i went into the bios (first time going into the bios on a laptop) and was amazed at how poor it was.. i honestly have old 386's with better bios. anyway, for the LIFE of me, i couldn't find a SINGLE way to change the configuration of my hard disk- i didn't see a single reference to LBA in the whole thing.

i could reeeeeaally use some help.

p.s.
because my system can't even get past the boot process, i thought -"hmm, let's see if knoppix works. i loaded it up, and indeed it does. the odd thing i found though, is that before this nightmare happened, my knoppix desktop had an icon for "Hard Disk Partition [hda1]".. NOW, in addition to that, it also has an icon for "Hard Disk Partition [hda3]".. please, god, help me.. i'd really appreciate it.

Last edited by Mahamadmustafa; 02-12-2005 at 08:59 PM.
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:10 PM   #6
aniliux
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hey...i have a similar problem...i have Windows Xp and a Mandrake 9.2 installation on me...which was working just fine till i played around yesterday...actually my default boot OS was Linux and i tried to chnge it to Windows...i also changed my Bootloader from LILO to grub...which is when all the problems started...now when i switched back to LILO...i get a Boot select screen...and when i select windows on it...it takes me to another GRUB bootloader..where i hafta select the OS again...and when i do that,it gives me a geom error...this problem is with windows only though...when i select linux on lilo...it boots right away(..doesn't goto grub)..
HEEEEEEEELPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!
 
Old 02-15-2005, 10:10 PM   #7
Simon Bridge
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The reply to the new posts (anilux and Mahamadmustafa) is pretty much the same as the first reply to jordban. First just manually check everything on the list to see if you actually have a problem here.

If your bios won't let you do the things you need to do, consider a bios upgrade.

For annilinux's bootloader troubles, you need to look in your lilo.conf file and post the content here... it looks like lilo in calling grub instead of windows.

also look for a grub.conf file - which must be there for grub to work the way it does.

M-stafa: (sorry, I'm just NOT typing that out - it's not hard, just long) Knoppix is letting you know that the HDD partitions are not the way you thought. This is why there is a disk geometry error.
 
Old 03-07-2005, 09:03 AM   #8
aniliux
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hey!!!
i re-installed my boot loader...so the lilo calling grub problems fixed....but the Geom Error stays on...and the research i've done on the matter tells me that its mostly due to a crappy BIOS...which i also think is the problem...coz everytime i reboot the system i hafta change the boot device sequence...(as in the changes that i make and save don't seem to stay...and the bios goes back to its default settings) plus i also hafta reselect my cpu speed everytime i start my system!!....
i cld surely use some help!!!

thanx

Anil
 
Old 03-08-2005, 06:05 PM   #9
heini
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Hi,

I seem to have the same problem as Mahamadmustafa (using a Thinkpad T41p). Kept me busy for today...

Installed Suse 9.2 next to WinXP. Now I get the "Grub Geom Error".

- Updated Bios - no change.

- Tried LILO instead of GRUB - now the screen fills with L 04 04 04 ...

- I can boot Knoppix (hda3 is the new Linux partition Mahamadmustafa. Remember, when you started you wanted to install Linux) and Access the Windows NTFS-partition as well as the Linux partition. (some date recovery done at this occasion....).

- Experimented with the partition table following this: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedor.../msg00908.html
sfdisk reports: (7752 Cyl 240 Hd 63 Sect). The label on the harddrive says (16383 Cyl 16 Hd 63 Sect).
Trying to change the head number to 16 results in "invalid data", trying 255 (as suggested in the article) sfdisk complains that it "doesn't like" these partitions and I have to use the force option - which I haven't done yet.
Any Idea, which head number is correct? fdisk says: "The bios reports 240 heads"...

- As a last thing I tried this "parted fix" (http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2004/0...booting91.html)
But it says it can't access the CD with the driver update. It's for Suse 9.1 anyway or does it apply to 9.2 as well?

In the end I could just wipe everything off and start from scratch. But I would probably end up with the same problem again when installing Suse...

Thanks for any help.
 
Old 03-08-2005, 06:18 PM   #10
heini
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oh and aniliux:

Your BIOS date reset problem indicates an empty bios/clock battery. It's a small cell on the mainboard of a desktop. In notebooks it's the same thing, but often the cell is wrapped in plastic and has a cable with connector.
 
Old 03-11-2005, 03:04 AM   #11
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally posted by heini
Hi,

- Experimented with the partition table following this: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedor.../msg00908.html
sfdisk reports: (7752 Cyl 240 Hd 63 Sect). The label on the harddrive says (16383 Cyl 16 Hd 63 Sect).
Trying to change the head number to 16 results in "invalid data", trying 255 (as suggested in the article) sfdisk complains that it "doesn't like" these partitions and I have to use the force option - which I haven't done yet.
Any Idea, which head number is correct? fdisk says: "The bios reports 240 heads"...

Thanks for any help.
Well it seems you've found your grub error all right - you have to correct it from the cmos setup: manually enter the manufacturers configuration instead of auto-detecting the drive. Do the same for every drive which cmos says is different from what is written thereon. Then try again.

Simon
 
Old 03-22-2005, 01:33 PM   #12
jhmoore
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GRUB Geom Error

Hi,

First of all, I am a Linux newbie running SuSE 9.1 Pro on an IBM T40 Thinkpad... just in case that makes a difference to anything.

I too get the message "GRUB Geom Error" when I try to boot up. Since I only have 1 HD, I know that hte problem lies somewhere in my partitioning of the drive.

My HD is partitioned as follows:

/dev/hda 37.2 GB
(*Note--since my HD is only 40 GB, I'm guessing this is just the computer detecting the HD itself)

/dev/hda1 27.8 GB HPFS/NTFS /windows/C
(Windows XP)
/dev/hda2 5.9 GB Linux native *
(Note: this is a copy of Fedora Core 3 which doesn't want to boot, a seperate problem that I intend to tackle later)
/dev/hda3 2.9 GB Extended
/dev/hda5 378.4 MB Linux swap swap
/dev/hda6 2.6 GB Linux native /
(This is SuSE 9.1 Professional)


And that is my HD. The Only OS I can boot into is SuSE 9.1 Pro. I don't particularly care about booting into FC3, but I would like to be able to get into Windows, should I suddenly feel the urge to play Age of Mythology.


Below is my GRUB menu.lst file:

# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Tue Mar 22 13:29:40 2005


color white/blue black/light-gray
default 0
timeout 30
gfxmenu (hd0,5)/boot/message

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
title Windows
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title Linux
kernel (hd0,5)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda6 vga=0x314 splash=silent desktop resume=/dev/hda5 showopts
initrd (hd0,5)/boot/initrd

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe
kernel (hd0,5)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda6 showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=off vga=normal noresume nosmp noapic maxcpus=0 3
initrd (hd0,5)/boot/initrd


I apologize for the long post, but I hope that someone will be able to help me get my bootloader to work properly.

Thanks!
 
Old 03-23-2005, 10:36 PM   #13
Simon Bridge
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Well, right back in post #1 and #2 in this thread, you'll find the basic suggestions... presumably you've tried these... please post what you tried, or why you didn't try a particular thing. If you are confused about a particular suggestion, just ask.

As before, grub geometry errors are commonly due to the bios configuration not quite matching the physical configuration of your HDD.

Simon
 
Old 03-24-2005, 04:55 PM   #14
jhmoore
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BIOS

I rebooted and went into the BIOS on startup, but I couldn't figure out how to actually get to the values for my HD. All I could see was my HD serial number.

However, I was just looking at my HD partitions in YaST... in the list above, there are 2 partitions, one named /dev/hda3 (called "Extended") and another /dev/hda5 , (labelled "Linux Swap"), both of which start at 71280. This may sound somewhat naive, but is that a bad thing, that they both start at the same place? If so, what do I do about it? And, if not, could someone explain to me how that works?
 
Old 03-24-2005, 08:05 PM   #15
youngtom
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Anyone dual booting (Doze and linux) and using Suse 9.1 need to be award of this - http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...hreadid=243931
 
  


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