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Old 02-10-2009, 04:32 AM   #1
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black screen with only the word grub on it after fresh install of ubuntu 8.10

Hi all , I just install ubuntu 8.10 on my desktop machine .

it is a 5 years old computer , and have only IDE support on the motherboard.
In order to create a dual system , i bought a new WD 1T SATA H.D . Also i bought PCI-SATA connection .

Now for the tricky part . Linux recognize my hard disk as sda , sdb , sdc - where the new sata h.d is sda and the two ide are sdb and sdc .

I created a /boot partition on my sda linux h.d and i'm guessing ubuntu install grub to that partition (there is no boot loader section in the ubuntu installation process .. why is that ? )

When i boot my machine , the bios recognize the disks as hda , hdb and i'm not sure if he recognize the new sata disk at boot time . He can only boot from the ide drives .

so , i reinstall grub using the ubuntu live cd . i did the fallow :
sudo mkdir /mnt/tmp_boot
sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/tmp_boot
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/tmp_boot /dev/sdb

Now , i dont know if i reinstall grub giving him the right root directory (sda1 is my /boot partition ) But ntldr was destroyed and now i'm getting a black screen with the white word GRUB on it and nothing more.

what can i do ? how can i be sure if grub is able to access the new sata disk ? i will appreciate any advise
Old 02-10-2009, 05:10 AM   #2
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The kernel files, menu and other OS files are located at /boot/ directory. the grub menu is /boot/grub/.
but you usually can hit the escape and get into the grub menu at the boot up time.
I think it defaults to 3 seconds and most of the time we dont even see the menu.
see if you can hit the esc key and then you can edit the lines by pressing the e key.etc.
Old 02-10-2009, 06:12 AM   #3
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I tried the esc key , but nothing happen , Nor any other key or key combination . The only think i can do ,is a hard reset. When i install grub into the MBR of the first ide drive (or any other drive ) . What really happen ? do grub copy any files into the MBR ? i guess not ...

So , what does grub writing to the MBR ? i think i need to change that , but i dont know what that is ...
Old 02-10-2009, 06:19 AM   #4
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(there is no boot loader section in the Ubuntu installation process .. why is that ? )
When all the pre-installation configuration questions have been asked and answered, Ubuntu presents a summary of all the decisions you made before going ahead with the installation. At the bottom of that particular window is a button called "Advanced", this is where you'll find it automatically selects hd0 as the drive to install grub, and this is where you can change it if you like.
Hd0 is the first drive set to boot in the bios, normally, that would be the drive with the operating system you had before creating a dual boot.

I just installed the same OS in my laptop, because I have a "better" boot manager already installed, I tried to set grub to install to the Ubuntu partition, it always produced an error and aborted the installation. I kind of like Ubuntu, but no matter what version I've installed, it's always the same story, "NO INSTALLING GRUB TO PARTITION, ONLY MBR OR I GIVE YOU THE FINGER".

Boot up into a live session with the CD and run the four commands below to install it where you want it. First you'll have to run command: fdisk -l to figure out which drive is which and where your Ubuntu /boot partition is. I'll assume it's /dev/sdc1 for the root command in the example below, correct it to match what you found with the fdisk -l command:
sudo grub
root (hd2,0)
setup (hd0)
Grub counts from "0", hd2 is the third drive (/dev/sdc), hd0 is the first, which is where the computer will look for a boot loader.
If you screwed up your Windows partition and it won't boot, you'll have to repair it first, then repair grub.
Old 02-10-2009, 07:26 AM   #5
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Well , thanks for the replay , but i am still unable to run grub . Still all i get is a black screen and the word GRUB in the left corner .

I run a little google search , and found out that the main problem is my pci-sata and my bios . according to google , i need to unable the bios to boot from the pci-sata device . But i just can do that .. maybe i need to do a bios update ..

I'm guessing that grub is unable to read the /boot partition because he has no sata or scsi support . When running the system from the Ubuntu LiveCd , i can see all the drives since there is sata support build into the kernel . (This is only my guess ) I think i need to insert a sata / scsi support to grub . Is that possible ? or am i way off ?

I think there is another way of doing that . i can reinstall NTDLR , start XP , create a /boot partition on my slave ide drive . Then log into the Ubuntu LiveCd , copy the /boot partition to the new ide partition and then reinstall grub to the first ide drive and point it to the new boot partition .. I think i will try that ..
Old 02-10-2009, 08:43 AM   #6
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A little bit of progress ...

Well , i did it . I created a new boot partition on my hdb drive (it is at the end of the disk , and i set it to be primary - hope it's enough ) Then i copy the old /dev/sda /boot partition to the new /dev/sdc boot partition , and reinstall grub . Nothing change , still grub freeze.

Then i change the file . The old one was :

hd0 /dev/sda
hd1 /dev/sdb
hd2 /dev/sdc

The new file is :

hd0 /dev/sdb
hd1 /dev/sdc

Now , when i boot the machine . I'm able to get into grub . There is no menu or anything , but i can use grub to boot into my XP . Now , i just need to find out how to insert the new sata pci and new sata disk into grub . There is no fdisk or any other partition / disk scanner in grub .

How can i find out what drive grub can see ? and what you think will be the best way to rewrite the file ?

thanks .
Old 02-10-2009, 09:03 AM   #7
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How can i find out what drive grub can see ?
If you can log in to Ubuntu then run the following commands from Grub prompt (grub>) doing it as root (sudo):

geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd1)
geometry (hd2)

increasing the number for as many drives as you have. Compare this output to the output of "fdisk -l" command so you know which drives grub sees as which numbers. You should be able to use this to set up your file.


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