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Old 06-28-2008, 12:45 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Can't boot... Bad CD drive?


I have a Toshiba A135 laptop, came with Vista. Was dual-booting with Ubuntu. Tried to upgrade my Ubuntu install last night, but the install froze at about 25%, with the CD drive making a somewhat unusual noise (about this time, i thought, "yeah i should have backed up those last two years of pictures of my kids before doing this...")

So i restarted, and it appears to be trying to read the Ubuntu install CD, but shortly comes up with Grub Error 15. Perhaps something went wrong (CD drive half-broken?) in the middle of updating the boot sector? Not the end of the world; in similar situations I've just used a bootable CD to go in and restore the boot sector...

But I haven't been able to boot from the cd (GRUB Error 15 every time); except for the first time i popped in the Toshiba recovery cd. Came up with the option to basically wipe out and restore my disk, but i didn't want to lose the pictures on the vista partition! So i quit that, and now that cd getting skipped at boot, going straight to my GRUB error.

Any suggestions about how i can get in and back up my pictures? it would be great if I didn't have to wipe out the whole thing, but I fell short on boot options with a laptop that only has the CD drive, which isn't working! There is a LAN boot option in the BIOS (and a FDD option) but I haven't found instructions for using that. I've heard of the usb stick boot, but assume if i don't see it in the BIOS boot order, it's not available.


Old 06-28-2008, 02:09 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2004
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So i restarted, and it appears to be trying to read the Ubuntu install CD
with or without the CD in the drive?
Grub Error 15
Was there any more information with that error message?
Old 06-28-2008, 02:23 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
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From "Solving Boot Problems with Grub - 2nd Edition"
Grub Error 15 : File not found
This error is returned if the specified file name cannot be found,
but everything else (like the disk/partition info) is OK.
It may not be a boot sector problem, but a problem within /boot (or the subfolder /grub). Grub stage files incompletely installed or an incomplete menu.lst file.

Of course, if the cd drive has coincidentally failed you won't be able to resolve the problem until the drive is replaced, or the hard drive is moved to another machine to complete the installation.
Old 06-30-2008, 06:49 AM   #4
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You can find /boot and /grub from the GRUB comannd promt. See
Old 06-30-2008, 08:58 AM   #5
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Indpls
Distribution: Laptops: Debian Jessie XFCE, NAS: OpenMediaVault 3.0
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I know w/ XP..

You could boot your Windows disk into recovery mode, go to a DOS prompt, run fixmbr and fixboot. It would then clear grub, and allow you to boot straight into windows.

The easiest way to backup your pictures, is get a thumb drive thats big enough to hold them all, or get an external USB drive and keep backups like you're supposed to. Once you've got one of the two, boot a Live CD, and move all your pictures onto the external drive, then attempt your recovery options.



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