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Old 09-01-2006, 08:15 PM   #1
Agent_White
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Can't Boot from Linux Partition


I've installed SuSE 10.1 on an extended partition, sharing a hard disk with WinXP. This, from what I understand is a very standard setup, and it seems to have completed successfully. Now, I have a problem with actually getting to booting it up.

I installed the Grub bootloader on the linux boot section. Now I need some way of redirecting the usual boot up sequence to that linux partition. I wasn't given the option to create 'boot floppy' during the install, and it wouldn't have helped anyway having no floppy drive.

Can anyone help... please?

ac
 
Old 09-01-2006, 08:32 PM   #2
J.W.
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Welcome to LQ! GRUB is designed to offer both the Windows and Linux booting options. Can you please post the contents of your GRUB file
 
Old 09-02-2006, 05:26 AM   #3
Agent_White
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hmmmm, I don't actually know where I would find that or how could access it (if its on the other partition).
 
Old 09-02-2006, 06:39 AM   #4
syg00
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Due to (severe) limitations in the M$oft boot-loader, there are some gymnastics you will have to perform to access your new system.
Better option is (generally) to install grub to the MBR, and use it to give you the option of booting to Linux or XP. I say "generally" because when I tried Suse (10.0) I thought it was a piece of crap that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Hopefully you can reboot the Suse install CD/DVD, and use the system you installed on the hard disk (this is known as chroot'ing). From there you will need to copy the (Linux partition) boot sector record to Windows and update your boot.ini. Probably requires a sharable (preferably fat32) partition seeing as you don't have a floppy - or maybe a writeable CD.
Do a search here on LQ - been covered plenty of times; should be threads that explain it for you.
As I said, better option is to re-install grub to the MBR - don't know if Suse offers that as an option.
 
Old 09-02-2006, 07:08 AM   #5
Agent_White
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Thanks for your help. I would have already installed grub to the MBR if wasn't for the millions of other people saying dont, or its not a good option or whatever.

What would you recommend other that SuSE then? I'm easy, someone else reccomended SuSe to me. I would ultimately like to be running web/mail server ... eventually.

cheers
 
Old 09-02-2006, 07:29 AM   #6
debiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00
Due to (severe) limitations in the M$oft boot-loader, there are some gymnastics you will have to perform to access your new system.
Better option is (generally) to install grub to the MBR, and use it to give you the option of booting to Linux or XP. I say "generally" because when I tried Suse (10.0) I thought it was a piece of crap that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Hopefully you can reboot the Suse install CD/DVD, and use the system you installed on the hard disk (this is known as chroot'ing). From there you will need to copy the (Linux partition) boot sector record to Windows and update your boot.ini. Probably requires a sharable (preferably fat32) partition seeing as you don't have a floppy - or maybe a writeable CD.
Do a search here on LQ - been covered plenty of times; should be threads that explain it for you.
As I said, better option is to re-install grub to the MBR - don't know if Suse offers that as an option.

I was trying to search for the man page for yast, what a gui piece of fluff... I guess that's what its designed for, anyways if you can get to a recovery console from the Install CD and chroot to the partition that is / for the install that you did, do a

grub-install /dev/hda

That should soothe your woes. There is really no reason at all to use the Windows bootloader, unless you have no Windows CD to repair the mbr should you ever decide to remove your linux partitions completely.

Looking at the options for rpm compared to those of deb packages, it seems so limited at the command line. I'm sure glad I didn't start out on an rpm based distro, because with all the reinstalling, reconfiguring of packages I did when I first started, I would have torn my freaking hair out.

As for different distrobutions. It's possible to lean down any installation of Linux, but I think some are so automatically bloated that I wouldn't install them over Windows. From just the small amount of reading on rpms that I have done, I would never go with an rpm based distro, and that's just my personal preference. I think deb based distros have so much more versatility and ease of use at the command prompt.

The choice of distro reallly depends on how deep into learning Linux you want to get. If you just want an OS that runs your computer, any distro will do (Including SUSE) So if that's the case stick with what you got (just get the grub to work :P ) If you would like to learn the intricacies of Linux it's been said that no one knows more about Linux then a Slackware user. The learning curve is a lot steeper. I remembering installing Slack when I was 14, and I was utterly confused (and as a result stayed away from Linux for about 6 years). I'm sure the installtion procedure in Slack has improved vastly since 1995 though (or at least I would hope so :P )

If you spend a little time on SUSE and you find it bloated and "newbish", but would still like a relatively simple installation process, I would slim down to something like Ubuntu (and give deb package management (pm) a shot. The deb pm just seems to me to be so much more configurable. I don't think the installation procedure is as GUI pretty as YAST, but then pretty and good (with software as with women) are not always the same. The reason I would not suggest Debian is that stable for most people is outdated, and testing and unstable (at least at the moment) seem to be going through a pretty drastic transition period.

Last edited by debiant; 09-02-2006 at 07:43 AM.
 
Old 09-02-2006, 07:39 AM   #7
syg00
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Go have a look at Ubuntu - we have just installed it at work to test as a (IBM) DB2 UDB server.
Has a few too many services running for my liking, but for (hopefully soon ex-)Windows users, it is like being at home.
Just install it right over the top of your Suse - no de-install required.

There are better solutions, but the advantage is at best minor, even for experienceed users. Go check it out.
 
Old 09-02-2006, 11:57 AM   #8
Agent_White
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Ok, i've installed everything from scratch, with a difference.. two hardrives. windows on 'hda' and suse on 'hdb'. I also installed GRUB into the MBR on 'hda'.

Now when I reboot, it goes straight into windows, no GRUB. but.. when I set BIOS to boot from the second linux harddrive, it goes GRUB and hangs, just saying "GRUB". Surely that shouldn't happen if I said to install it on the 'hda' disk.

Anyway. With the rescue disk I can 'chroot' to the linux install. and I type "grub-install /dev/hda" which returns "/sbin/grub: Not found". I think it's right, I can't find any refference to grub anywhere in the directories that are available to access here.

Does anyone have anymore suggestions please?

I am teetering on the edge of just getting rid of windows and not bothering with dual boot. But I would, just for the challenge, like to get it to work.
 
Old 09-02-2006, 01:19 PM   #9
debiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent_White
Ok, i've installed everything from scratch, with a difference.. two hardrives. windows on 'hda' and suse on 'hdb'. I also installed GRUB into the MBR on 'hda'.

Now when I reboot, it goes straight into windows, no GRUB. but.. when I set BIOS to boot from the second linux harddrive, it goes GRUB and hangs, just saying "GRUB". Surely that shouldn't happen if I said to install it on the 'hda' disk.

Anyway. With the rescue disk I can 'chroot' to the linux install. and I type "grub-install /dev/hda" which returns "/sbin/grub: Not found". I think it's right, I can't find any refference to grub anywhere in the directories that are available to access here.

Does anyone have anymore suggestions please?

I am teetering on the edge of just getting rid of windows and not bothering with dual boot. But I would, just for the challenge, like to get it to work.
My grub is in /usr/sbin. If you're ever looking for a file from root type fine / -name <filename>

Do you have a grub folder in the boot directory if not then grub was not successfully installed, and you should do /path/to/grub-install --root-directory=/boot /dev/hda
 
Old 09-02-2006, 07:00 PM   #10
syg00
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Looks like grub isn't installed properly/fully.
grub-install is just a wrapper script - it and grub should have been installed into /sbin.
You need a boot-loader. Not optional - you can't remove Windows until you can get a working Linux loader.
Grub can be obtained directly from the project homepage, or just use something like Knoppix to do the grub-install. Pass it "--root-directory=/boot/grub" (most likely) to get things installed properly.

I'd recommend junking Suse altogether - but it might be a learning experience for you.
I gave (the polite version of) my opinion of Suse above.
I was unable to get either grub or lilo succeessfully installed.

Last edited by syg00; 09-02-2006 at 07:02 PM.
 
Old 09-03-2006, 04:55 PM   #11
Agent_White
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Thanks for help guys. I discovered that on the main hard disk, there was a pre-partitioned Fat32 area which housed "system recovery", but in windows this remained completely covert. This was at the "front" of the hard disk, so maybe contained the boot sector / MBR (i say this because I couldn't find the boot.ini file in the C:\). I felt this may have been hindering my progress, so just went ahead and and got rid of windows altogether.

SuSE is successfully installed, for better or worse. For the success factor of actually having something installed and working, it's a plus. I was going to try Fedora Core 5 which I got a hold of, but whenever I install it, it never loads desktop environment (i think it's GNOME by default), just goes to command line. I guess this is something todo with video card? (ATI Radeon X550). I tried the "startx" command, but produced an error (away from the computer, can't remember it now).

I was able to install the relevant ATI Driver into SuSE, so I am aware of the 'xorg.conf' file. I took a look at it in Fedora, and seems it already picked up the ATI X550 card. So not sure whats going on there.

Anyway, thanks again.
 
  


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