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Old 07-06-2005, 08:39 PM   #1
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Arrow Boot now Hangs @ "GRUB" How do I find Stage 2's Address???

Hi there,
I had a working install of RHEL3. I am trying to resize and move around the partitions (because my stupid self figured the default "Dell" load of RHEL3 was alright). I have a situation where it seems like if I move the /usr partition (which is located around the middle of the drive), when I try to reboot RedHat just gives me "GRUB". I have also gotten different versions of this message along the way (GRUB, GRUB, GRUB...) after moving, deleting, or re-sizing the different partitions, but I have figured out how to move/resize all the others now and still have it boot. Since I have a SATA HD and I can't find a way to boot into rescue mode where it will let me "see" my drive (aka it does not have the driver for it), I have to re-image my system using Norton Ghost everytime I mess up. I read some of the Grub documentation
and it says that Stage 1 of Grub will have it "jump" (perhaps even very far?!?) to get to the Stage 2 part of the loader. My GRUB stage 1 must be in the MBR, because I have no other OS on this server, and I think that Stage 2 is not on the boot partition in the beginning of the drive, but rather "in" or "around" the 4th partition /usr. I am pretty sure about this because it was booting up fine, and then I moved /usr into the freespace in front of it using Partition Magic and then I get the "GRUB" halt again. All the FSTAB entries for mounting the partitions go by LABEL instead of /dev/sda#, so I know that's not it. It's not booting Linux at all, it's stuck in the Stage 1 of GRUB loading.

I can re-load the backup image I have of this install to find out information, or re-start for the 12th time moving the partitions around and whatnot.

Questions that would be super-helpfull if answered:

Can I find out what address (is it a sector number or partition number?) that GRUB is pointing to?

How can I get in some form of Linux rescue mode (that supports SATA Drives) to work on grub and FSTAB?

I would love to try Parted instead of Partition Magic, but don't know how to run that off a bootable floppy/cd either...

I would love to boot from floppy or cd-rom or even another small hard disk, can I get my current RHEL3 install to boot from any of those?

I have read all sorts of info on bootable linux and rescue linux disks, but none that I have tried seem to support SATA, or they would require a complete re-install of Linux on this server which I am unable to do.

Any and all help/advice is appreciated, I'm a noob, but I am catching on quick... I hope!

Old 07-06-2005, 09:55 PM   #2
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Not bad for a (self confessed) newb.
O.K. repeat after me;
Knoppix, Knoppix, Knoppix ...
Go get and burn it - you will grow to love this disk. A stand-alone distro worth it's weight in gold.

Haven't checked, but it *will* support SATA - I'd be sure of it. Get 3.9 (or 4.0 maybe if it's out yet).
Be aware that for safety Knoppix mounts all the disk partitions read-only. You have to remount them (just right-click), or maybe go get systemrecuecd (as well) and use that. Both can be got from the LQ download site.

The early loader portion of grub uses (relative) sector counts to locate what it needs. So forget trying to work it out. I don't know RHEL at all, so I couldn't guess where it would install grub - that said, /usr sounds mighty unlikely. /boot/grub would be where I'd start looking.
From a terminal try
locate menu.lst (that's list without the "i")
You'll probably find all the stage files in the same directory. You can do all the moving of the partitions from the CD based distro, and then just re-install grub from "rescue sysimage" (I think that's what RH called it). Simplest is generally best when screwing with your data.


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