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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 10-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #1
idilly
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fedora won't boot after Windows 8/triple boot Windows 7/8 Fedora 15 - no grub?


I found one related article after a Google search which lead me to here, but unfortunately the answer was not helpful - the OP was able to resolve by trying it on another computer! I think the core issue is GRUB not being on MBR. But apart from Super Rescue Disk, I have tried most other solution but the simplest, using a Fedora Live CD to rescue won't work either....so here is the details.

ASUS Core2Duo 4GB 250GB disk partitioned originally with a 130 GB c:\ for Windows 7 professional, a 70 GB partition for backup/data and then three other partitions a linux 250mb, a 2 GB swap and a 40 gb linux as well. The Linux I had installed was Fedora 15 64-bit. I paritioned the disk according to a post about dual-booting Windows 7 and Linux. Anyhow, this was earlier in the year and things have been working fine. That was until Windows 8 developer preview came along.

So, I then reduced my backup partition to 40GB and used 30GB of it to install Windows 8. Immediately after installs Windows 8 gives me an option to edit the boot menu, which only showed the Windows OS's. At that moment, I simply picked Win7 as default and then booted into Windows 7. Since in my original install, I had used EasyBCD to configure the Linux, I did the same and added a new Grub Legacy item into the boot menu with the 40GB linux partition.

Reboot and selected the Linux option and the cursor just blinks (waited for about 2 minutes). I then booted back into Windows 7 and edited using EasyBCD and changed to the 250mb linux partition (thinking I might have installed Grub on that). But on reboot the same thing happens and the cursor just blinks.

I read that installing/reinstalling windows will no doubt rewrite the MBR. If this is the case would use Super Rescue Disk guarantee to work? (I only hesitate in downloading the 200mb file as it would take me the better part of a day, not so rich in your internet resources over here!)

But since I had the original Fedora Live CD ISO, I used both Fedora LIVE USB creator and unet... and upon rebooting and selecting the USB option, they both error "missing operating system" - I then obtained a distro of puppylinux that I had and tried a usb boot of that and I had the same error. Unfortunately, this prevents me from trying to rescue using Fedora Live CD..

Although I have used Linux on and off for about 3 years, I am still very much a newbie. So any help would be greatly appreciated and I will appreciate your patience in case you have to reiterate certain instructions to me...

Thanks!
 
Old 10-02-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
smallpond
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When you install an OS in one partition it should obviously not touch the other partitions -- but this is Windows after all. Boot from the live CD, open a terminal window as root and list the partitions with:

fdisk -l /dev/sda

My guess is that your disk was set up with MBR partitions (max 4 primary), and your disk has now been improved by Windows 8 to the new GPT partition format (GUID named partitions). fdisk ought to tell you. A quick look at EasyBCD does not look promising for GPT - best not use it until you confirm.

If it is GPT don't despair, there are lots of Linux tools available to work with partition tables. In fact, too many. But have a look at this page:

http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/
 
Old 10-02-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
yancek
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Quote:
So, I then reduced my backup partition to 40GB and used 30GB of it to install Windows 8. Immediately after installs Windows 8 gives me an option to edit the boot menu, which only showed the Windows OS's
I would expect you had to create a new partition for the 30GB on which you installed windows 8?
Windows never shows Linux options in the boot menu, you need third party software like EasyBCD. It usually (from my experience anyhow) shows Linux partitions as unknown or unallocated also.

If you created a partition for windows 8 out of your previous backup space, the numbering changed.

I would agree with smallponds' suggestion. If you get an error from that, use GParted which should be on the Fedora CD and post partition information from it.
 
Old 10-02-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
idilly
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Thank you for the speedy replies.

@Yancek, yes I used EASEUS Partition Manager to shrink my backup volume and created a new partition on the remaining 30GB of free space for Windows 8.

@smallpond - I will read more about Windows 8 GPT partition. In the meantime, I cannot use the fdisk command as I cannot boot from any LiveCD. I've tried the original Fedora disk that I used, I tried a Live USB with a recent download of Fedora and a working CD of PuppyLinux and on booting to the media they all error - "missing operating system" However, they do all work on my desktop.

I've also tried Super Grub Disk and Auto Super Grub Disk and give me an error "try (hd0,0) ntfs3 no unbltr" (or something like that..). Super Grub2 at least got me to the command line GRUB2> but following the instructions on their Wiki I was unable to do much more than repeat an error about "file not found"

Would Super Rescue Disk fair better?

Since I cannot use fdisk I tried to find out from Disk Management in Windows 7 using the information given here http://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...4-mbr-gpt.html and according to that, the only option is "convert to GPT" on disk 0 - which is my hard disk, but this option is disabled. But that means the disk is still MBR partitioned??
 
Old 10-02-2011, 11:55 PM   #5
idilly
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Some progress....

After several unsuccesful attempts at booting a 4GB LiveCD/USB (which worked on my desktop), I found an old 250mb USB disk which I formatted as FAT
and got PupplyLinux on using Unetbootin. Anyhow, this booted! I am typing this from PuppyLinux and executing the fdisk command shows:

Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id Systems
/dev/sda1 1 13 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 * 13 16221 130188288 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 16222 21505 42440961+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda4 21505 30402 71462256 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
Partition 4 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda5 21505 25330 30791798+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 25330 25362 256000 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 25362 25263 2097144 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda8 25623 30402 38386688 83 Linux

Is there anyway I could now use PuppyLinux to recover my Fedora?
 
Old 10-03-2011, 01:22 AM   #6
EDDY1
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Save home?
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...792/page2.html
grub really doesn't agree with being beyond 128G on disk
http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...40&postcount=4
You need to reinstall grub
http://karuppuswamy.com/wordpress/20...rescue-prompt/
Aso windows8 most likely has another bootloader so you may have to edit it after reinstalling grub, you"ll know if you need to edit when you select wins8, because it will give a selection of wins7 & wins8.

Last edited by EDDY1; 10-03-2011 at 01:40 AM.
 
Old 10-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #7
yancek
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If you are using EasyBCD to boot, did you change the Fedora entry to point to sda6. That looks like your boot partition. Looking at your fdisk output, I expect that sda5 is your windows8 and it was previously the Fedora boot partition. I don't have EasyBCD available and can't remember how the entry selections are made.

Are you going to continue using EasyBCD or Grub?
 
Old 10-03-2011, 10:35 PM   #8
idilly
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@Yancek, I had used EasyBCD before the Windows 8 when I needed to configure the boot. It worked well. I have a feeling it doesn't do much now. Like the previous post said, EasyBCD and GPT not a good combination, even though mine is not GPT, I have the feeling that EasyBCD is no longer effective.

I have tried settings GRUB Legacy entry into EasyBCD with all 3 of the Linux partitions. In each case, when selecting that option while booting, it simply shows a cursor blinking continuously - I had waited well over a few minutes.
EasyBCD also has an option "GRUB not installed on MBR" and I believe it then searches the partitions for the boot partition, even in this case it just returned an error.

I don't really care for recovering the existing Fedora installation - all my data is in the accessible FAT32 partition.

What I would like to do is re-install Fedora or Ubuntu. But to do this, I cannot seem to get any LiveCD, LiveUSB to work. I managed to get a copy of Ubuntu on a different 4GB Sandisk USB from my friend and this actually booted and continued to boot Ubuntu but all it did was get to the Ubuntu logo and just stayed there (I tried about 5 times). I then used the same USB as a Fedora LiveUSB. Again I had success and Fedora booted but only up to the logo.

I am now thinking there maybe something more fundamental wrong in my laptop? That it is not able to read the linux partitions or do anything with the linux files found in the USB? I don't understand it, but it does point to such an issue....What do you think?
 
Old 10-04-2011, 12:16 AM   #9
EDDY1
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1 question, did windows change the partition to windows extended partition?
Quote:
/dev/sda3 16222 21505 42440961+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda4 21505 30402 71462256 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
 
Old 10-04-2011, 01:52 AM   #10
idilly
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@Eddy, RE: That extended partition was created by Windows or at least it was considered "unusable" space system reserved, way back when I installed Windows 7 (a year ago perhaps)...

After installing windows 8, this partition appeared in Windows Explorer (previously, although it was there it wasn't visible), however, I do not see any folders/files in the partition (show all enabled). Disk Management shows it is a 100mb NTFS primary partition labelled as "system reserved" and has 70mb of free space.
 
Old 10-04-2011, 02:22 AM   #11
idilly
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booting from LiveUSB - tried with Fedora LiveUSB creator, Unetbootin and Universal USB Installer

Kingston 4GB FAT32
Fedora/Ubuntu - says "missing operating system"

Sandisk 4GB FAT32
Fedora/Ubuntu - both boot to screen with option like "boot Fedora-15-live-x86.....", "verify and boot Fedora-15-live-x86...", "default", "boot", "memory test" etc. Same for Ubuntu....

But choosing "default" returns me to the Windows MBR with Wins7 and 8, and either the boot Fedora, verify and boot fedora or boot takes me to the Fedora/Ubuntu logo and then just remains frozen on the very last bit (perhaps 5-10%) -of like the blue bit that gets covered by the white bit on Fedora (sorry! best description I can offer)

If I press ESC I have loads of white on black text that goes something like:

/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.3/usb1/..............(18726)
/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.3/usb1/..............(18727)
/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.3/usb1/..............(18728)

and every so often it just refreshes and counts up from (00001) to like whatever number it last stopped on and then stays stuck and then repeats, increment of about 100 or so every time.
 
Old 10-04-2011, 11:38 PM   #12
idilly
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Thank you all for your help...the issue has changed slightly.

It was obvious that Wins8 was the reason my Fedora installation wouldn't boot. But it was also clear that even though the Linux files existed in the Linux partitions there was no way of recovering them, as the LiveCD/LiveUSB just wouldn't boot. Then @EDDY1 asked if Windows created the extended partition and I said yes, way back when I installed Windows 7. That wasn't accurate. Because I went back on PuppyLinux (the only thing that booted from USB) and I used GParted to inspect the /dev/sda partitions and then I remembered that it wasn't Windows that created the partition but the original Fedora installation (post- Wins7 installation). Because there was already 3 primary Windows partitions then (100mb system reserved windows boot partition, Wins7 C: drive, and my D: "data" drive), I had to create an extended partition to create the Fedora partitions for Swap and Main.

Anyhow, when Wins8 came along, I shrunk my primary D: "data" partition from 70GB to 40GB, so that I could use the 30GB for Windows Developer Preview. But what happened was that the 30GB was moved (not sure how/why) inside the Extended partition that was created for the Fedora. Then installing Wins8, well that just changed the picture completely, probably rewriting MBR (?) or the partition table, and perhaps making, for the average user, the Fedora partition no longer available. The only way I could ever get Linux on there, was to get it out of the Extended partition that Wins8 was in.

So I did just that. Using GParted, I went ahead and delete the Extended partition leaving about 60GB of unallocated space. Then I booted Wins8 Setup and created a new partition of 30GB for Wins8. At the speeds nowadays, re-installation os's are a breeze so in 10 minutes I was back to where I was with Wins8 and at least 30GB of free space to install Linux.


Now this is the interesting part. The LiveUSB..it boots now. Both Ubuntu and Fedora, they boot just fine into the desktop. No errors. No missing operating system etc. I guess the errors were because Linux couldn't boot some partitions???

So, then I went ahead to configure the 30GB of unallocated space as Fedora. But booting into Fedora and beginning the installation, suddenly my partition table did not appear as it should have. It should have shown 3 primary partitions, 1 logical and 30GB of free space. Instead it only showed 3 primary partitions and the logical partition and free space was bundled into the Wins8 partition (mounting this in Fedora didn't show the files).

Came back onto Wins7 and somehow my d: "data" partition had been deleted!!! Luckily, I has EASEUS partition manager and I was able to recover that partition. Fearing that it might happen again, I thought I'd try an alternative route and use Ubuntu with the "install inside windows" option. So, I used the EASEUS partition manager to create a new partition of FAT32 in the free space. And then went ahead with that installation option. After which, I had to reboot and then into Ubuntu at which point I get the error "no root file system defined. Use partition manager to fix this". I thought it was because the fs was FAT32, so I repeated the steps after uninstalling with Wubi and fs as NTFS. Still same error!

Reading around, it seemed it was a bug with Wubi and the only solution was to boot into Linux with LiveUSB and do an installation. Leaving the 30GB NTFS partition, I went ahead and booted into Ubuntu and tried to install it. But now, something totally different is happening. My whole HDD is being read as unallocated in the Ubuntu installation menu and in GParted. fdisk -lu shows all the partitions and I can access all the partitions using Wins7 and 8. But now, I cannot install Ubuntu as I cannot read the partitions on the HDD...

I guess for all intensive purposes, the "Fedora won't boot issue" is now sort of resolved. There was no way, at least none I could find reading around, of recovering that installation when Wins8 had been in the extended partition and done its thing. So, I guess the issue is "Resolved". ...so if you think I should post my new issue as a new post...then please let me know....else, any ideas of how to go ahead and install my Ubuntu on the new 30GB partition, either through Wubi or LiveUSB.
 
  


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