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Old 02-16-2009, 10:33 AM   #1
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Question Dual Boot WinXP - Grub error 21 and 17 with removable hdd bays

Hi guys.. I have seen similar errors on this site but nothing that completely matches my scenario.

Let me start by saying I'm a newbie so bare with me.

The operating system in question is ubuntu 8.1

My PC is setup in the following manner. Two removable Hard disk drive bays coming off the motherboard. The first bay being IDE0 Master and the second being IDE1 Master. I have 3 winxp installs on different drives that I just plug in and load at will. Also I have a Promise ultra 133tx sata card to handle a sata hard drive 200GB that obviously is in there full time and was always used just for data storage with no operating system. I also have a removable CD drive I use to install things that are on bootable CD becuase the 2 cdroms attached to the promise sata card never seem to boot the disk even tho it detects bootable media during startup.

ok so here is what I did...I bought another removable drive to try i plugged in my cdrom drive into BAY 2 and my new HDD into bay 1 so now none of my winxp disks are in the machine at all so there is no way to mess them up. I proceeded to install ubuntu flawlessly and have found ubuntu to be a very promising operating system. Was very pleased until I tried to go back to one of my XP installs so I could do my work. So to recap now ubuntu drive was removed from Bay1 and replaced with my xp install so now there is just the XP drive and the sata drive. Receiving GRUB error 21...tried other XP drives the same thing happens. So tried with no disks in the bays with the same error that lead me to believe that somehow grub was installed on the sata drive for some reason and not on the drives directly from the primary controller on the motherboard. So I looked around for an answer and tried the FIXMBR command from the winxp cd recovery console to no avail...i tried FIXMBR with a windows drive in bay 1, also with no drives in the bay and also with the ubuntu install in bay 1 but I still get an error tho this time it is error 17.

So now here is what I find...If I unplug my SATA drive power source inside my computer and put in my ubuntu operating system in the HDD bay it loads up no problem. Also If I put my XP drive in it also loads no problem. But when I reattach my sata drive and try to load xp it fails again.

So I guess my question is HOW can I remove GRUB from my SATA drive considering in my situation it doesn't really seem needed.

Thanks in advance
Old 02-16-2009, 11:37 AM   #2
Registered: May 2008
Location: California, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.10
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I think it would help to first get a clearer picture of your setup, so how about downloading the Boot Info Script to your Ubuntu desktop (can be the Live CD), open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and do:
sudo bash ~/Desktop/boot_info_script*.sh
That will create a "RESULTS.txt" file in the same directory from where the script is run, namely your desktop; please copy/paste the contents of the RESULTS.txt file to your next post, highlight the copied text, and click the pound/hash sign "#" graphic button in the forum message box so that the text will get "code" tags put around it. The results of that script will help clarify your setup and hopefully what the solution to your booting problem might be.
Old 02-18-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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Hi guys
Please help. I have 2 hard drives, the master has XP and the slave have ubuntu. The fist hard drive had viruses so i wiped out everything and reinstall XP without touching the second hard drive. Now i start my computer i can boot up the linux. I need to install the grub but i don't know how to proceed . Please be specific in your answers because i am new in linux. Please help so i can recover the 2 operating systems and run them as it was before.
Old 02-19-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Distribution: CentOS 6, CentOS 7 (with Mate), Ubuntu 16.04 Mate
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Hi Tony,

I suspect that the issue may be with the Promise card. I have one IDE drive and 2 SATA drives in my Dell server. All are attached to the motherboard. The OS - Ubuntu 8.04 - is installed on the IDE drive and it boots fine. This tells me that IDE drives are preferred in the boot order. That said...

Some years ago I had a SCSI drive attached to an Adaptec controller card and a couple of IDE drives in a PC. It booted from the drive connected to the Adaptec controller. I believe that I could go into BIOS setup (on the PC) during boot and tell it to boot or not to boot from the Adaptec card - or perhaps it was within the Adaptec BIOS which also presented a configuration option during boot. Anyhow...

Have a look at the documentation for the Promise card and/or the PC and see if you can make the Promise card not bootable. If that approach does not work - post your results and I am sure someone will come up with plan B.

Old 02-24-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Smile Well my solution

Hi guys I'm back thanks for the input...although stopping the promise card from being bootable did not solve my problem entirely, I changed the config on the promise card to non-bootable as well as in the motherboard bios I set the primary disk as well as disabling the ability to look for other devices to boot from.

I'd think that would help but I would just get a no operating system found error now. So I unplugged the power from my promise card sata drive and since i had 3 removable hdd's for the bay I inserted 1 at a time and booted off the xp cd into the recovery console then used

cd \
fixboot c:
bootcfg /rebuild

After doing all 3 drives and plugging back in the power to my promise card hdd, booting into xp started to boot properly on all 3 xp drives.

Unfortunately my 1 drive that had ubuntu 8.10 ceases to boot up.

Wondering what would be the best way to install it now.

My thought would be to unplug the power to my promise hdd before reinstalling ubuntu to my removable hdd.

anybody have an easier method then to open my computer again?

Thanks in advance


boot, dual, grub, hdd, loader, removable, ubuntu, xp

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