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Old 01-23-2005, 12:37 AM   #1
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Dual Boot with Windows 2000 and Mandrake

First of all I am a tech with absolutely no knowledge of Linux at all. I downloaded and burnt a copy of MEPIS (because it can be run from the CD) And I fell in love with Linux from that point on. I then downloaded and burnt Mandrake because I heard that it was the best for small business and home use. OK now to the issue:

I have dual booted many many windows systems but his is the first time I have attempted a dual boot with Linux. So I backed up my data and resized my windows partition to 30 GB. (BTW 512MB DDR, 80GB HDD, AMD XP 2100 CPU) and left the rest of the drive unformatted so linux can do its thing.

- Windows booted OK once that was done.
- I rebooted and inserted Mandrake 10.1
- The install went OK - I used GRUB as the boot loader and when I rebooted it showed Linux, Fail Safe, Linux-NOFB and Windows. I booted into windows with no problem.
- I rebooted again to get into Mandrake ... got to the boot loader and this is what happened:

- I chose "Linux" and clicked on "Verbose" (to see what was happening). And everything looked fine until it got to "Mount USB File System" at that point it stopped responding.

- I rebooted and then chose "Fail Safe" Once again it start to load OK until I got ..."Tell INIT to go to single user mode
INIT:Going Single User
and that was as far as it went.

- I rebooted a third time and chose "Linux-NOFB" and exactly the same as the first attempt.

I also tried all three without using "Verbose" mode and the same thin happened.

Now I assume that seeing that Linux started loading that the bootloader was installed OK. But I want to know how to get it working or if I did something wrong.

Any assistance would be highly appreciated.


PS what a way to spend your birthday!!!
Old 01-23-2005, 02:42 AM   #2
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Hmmm...I get the impression that nobody has any ideas,,,,,I'll wait
Old 01-23-2005, 02:51 AM   #3
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Well, in short (and obvious) one of your USB devices doesn't like the kernel.

The good news is, you have a working system when you boot into failsafe. You can issue commands from that point. The only things that come to mind are:
1. Disable mounting the USB filesystem on boot (which may render some/all USB devices unusable) - temporary solution
2. Recompile the kernel to include the right hardware - permanent solution; Mandrake may have guessed incorrectly when installing

To do #1, edit your /etc/fstab file, and comment out (add a '#' to the beginning of the line) the entry for "usbfs". This might not stop the "Mount USB File System" message from popping up, but it ought to prevent that startup sequence from doing anything meaningful (like lockup the system).

To do #2 will require a bit of reading, and depends on your kernel version. You can see your kernel version by issuing this command:
uname -r
I'm sorry I don't have a link to give you, but there should be a ton of threads about compiling the kernel if you use the forum's search feature. You should also be able to find 50 tons of pages with a search on google.

Last edited by Dark_Helmet; 01-23-2005 at 03:04 AM.
Old 01-23-2005, 02:58 AM   #4
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Use a rescue disc or a boot floppy or something to be able to safely access the files on the Linux partition. Mount whichever partition (if you have more than one) and try "vi /etc/inittab". Does it say anything about runlevel 1? If so, change the "1" to a "3" and try any choice the bootloader gives you except for "Linux". This tells it to go into multi-user mode, which is probably what you want. I honestly don't know what's going on when it locks up when checking for that USB drive though. I am fairly new to all this as well.

Umm...yeah, good thing guys like Dark_Helmet are around. Sorry if I gave you the wrong information.

Last edited by voyciz; 01-23-2005 at 03:00 AM.
Old 01-23-2005, 03:20 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2004
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I wrote the following before anyone else posted. I just refreshed and found other posts. This was my first impression:

I don't use Mandrake, but I'll try to help if I can.

"Tell INIT to go to single user mode
INIT:Going Single User

Not exactly what I would have expected. I guess knoppix failsafe has spoiled me a little. This is intentional behavior. "Single user mode" is also called "run level 1". Its a text only mode that let's you diagnose problems and tinker with the system if it is misbehaving (which it sounds to me like it is). The command line in linux is kinda like DOS, but most of the commands are different (the interpreter here is called "bash").

You've probably already tried booting up without USB devices pugged into your system. If you haven't, try that first.

Your current prompt doesn't look like it shows you your current path. If you ever get lost, and need to know which directory you're in, try "pwd".

I would start by looking at the boot up log. It is stored in /var/log/boot.msg . Try the following:

cd /var/log

This will let you see all the log files. My system shows boot.msg and boot.omsg . I believe that the first of the two is the boot log from the last time I started it up, and the second is the older log from the previous. You probably want boot.omsg . Try:

less boot.omsg

Less is a useful file reader. You can use the up, down, home, end keys to navigate the file, and 'q' to quit.

Now to respond to other posts:
"09:37 PM
11:42 PM
Hmmm...I get the impression that nobody has any ideas,,,,,I'll wait "
(pacific standard time mind you)

Patience. Please. Especially when we should be sleeping (lol).

Idea #1 sounds in order, though I would still first check to boot log since he can get at it. #2 sounds a bit drastic (though he may find it necessary in the future).

Aborted Fetus:
Run level one is intentional here. Apparently Mandrake has chosen runlevel one as part of their failsafe. Besides, I would expect the default runlevel to be 5 (I think 5 is more common than 3 for gui, though 3 is sometimes used. 3 is usually normal text mode).

I don't know which editors Mandrake installs by default. I wouldn't recommend 'vi' for a newbie. That is one editor that must be learned before it is useful. I'd use mcedit or nano if you have them available. you might want to try putting a # at the begining of the /etc/fstab line referring to usbfs (like Dark_Helmet suggested).

I don't think you need a rescue disk as long as you can get into run level 1. To make you aware, most distro's have a recover function on their installation CD's. You could probably use your MEPIS CD as a rescue platform. I recommend knoppix generally.
Old 01-23-2005, 02:19 PM   #6
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Sooooo Sorry everyone for the following comment:

"Hmmm...I get the impression that nobody has any ideas,,,,,I'll wait "

I had gotten soo worked up trying to get this box working that I totally lost track of time. I had no idea when I did the post that it was the wee hours of the morning.

Anyway .... you guys rock!!

After the posting of my problem I reformatted my 80gig and now have only Windows 2000 on one partition of 30 gig and the remainder left as unpartitioned space so that Linux can use that space as it needs to. I also am now using LBA mode for my hard drive in order do away with the 8 gig boot sector barrier.

When I add Mandrake again (later today) I will take your suggestions to heart and give them a try.

I have one other quick question. I run a business and would like to take advantage of the stability of Linux in order to run Windows....therefore I will be purchasing VMWare so I can run windows from within Linux. The problem is is I know nothing of this program can you all make a few suggestions of which version I should get or if there is a better program out there for running Windows from within Linux?

I'll keep you all posted.
Old 01-23-2005, 02:24 PM   #7
Registered: Jan 2005
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i don't know much about VMWare but still on the usb topic. If you still have an error i think that it would be helpful if you isolated which usb device is giving you the problem. Take out one device, reboot to see if that is the one causing the problem. Do this will all of your devices and then look up the compatability of the problematic device.
Old 01-23-2005, 06:03 PM   #8
Registered: Aug 2003
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Unless you are going to be doing some very serious server jobs, I would recommend the latest VMware Workstation 4.5.2 for linux (you can download a test version either as an rpm or as a tar.gz about 39MB.

Admittedly on a Windows Host sytem (Win2k) I have been quite happily running a NTServer guest running SQL Server and an accounting package called Visual Accountmate plus a few other databases (all on a 384MB RAM 866Mhz Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop) and it was just as quick as the really world servers in the business that I was consulting in.



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