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Old 01-28-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: 28N,82W
Distribution: XP,Ubuntu 9
Posts: 473

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Fatal Error when installing Grub (Ubuntu) on Dell E1505 laptop

hello all,

i have a dell e1505 laptop on which I am trying to dualboot ubuntu with xp and vista. The hard drive is a stock sata, dualbooting xp and vista currently. XP and Vista are in the first two partitions. third partition is meant for liunx (ubuntu). i spent some time installing ubuntu, but in all of my 4 attempts, the grub failed to install. Does anyone know why?
I chose proper partitions when installing (there are 4 in all, with one extra for swap).
Here's what I noticed.
1. When trying to install, all the partitions are mounted in /media/sdb, with 1 for XP, 2 for Vista, and 3,4 left alone. so i mount / for /media/sdb3 and swap at /media/sdb4.
2. before installing, when i do an fdisk in terminal, i get an error 'unable' to do somethings (blah)...

what is annoying is that the installation takes an hour, and grub fails at the very end (95%). if i knew in advance that grub doesn't install at all, i wouldn't make an installation attempt at all.
this is a very proper ubuntu cd i downloaded only a couple of days ago, and actually installed on a desktop. it's just that i can't install it on my laptop. i wonder if vista bootloader has anything to do with it.

if anyoneone has seen this problem before, and knows how to fix it, please let me know. thanks in advance for your help.
Old 01-29-2008, 05:54 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Atlanta
Distribution: Centos, knoppix, Fedora, Mepis, Zenwalk, Mint
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how is your setup, are you booting all your Os's from grub. i had the same problem with my Ubuntu, the only way it's happy is if you install it's grub to MBR. If you have a standalone grub booting all your Os's this is no problem since, Ubuntu is installed and working just it's grub thats not working. So what is your setup.
Old 01-29-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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so i mount / for /media/sdb3 and swap at /media/sdb4.
This caught my attention. It appears you are running from live CD.

I am wondering why the partitions are showing as sdb_. fdisk should tell us. Depending on how you logged in to the live Linux, you may need to use sudo fdisk ... or sudo /sbin/fdisk

When you run the installer, you should not be concerned about where anything is currently mounted. You would tell the installer to make / the mountpoint for sdX3. Swap does not get mounted.
Old 02-08-2008, 12:38 AM   #4
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: 28N,82W
Distribution: XP,Ubuntu 9
Posts: 473

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
I just got fed up with trying to install Ubuntu. So I tried FC8.

I had the same exact problem. The OS seems to install fine, but when it comes to installing GRUB in MBR, both Ubuntu and FC8 seem to fail (3 FC8 attempts, in addition to several Ubuntu attempts).

This is a stock Dell E1505 laptop. First partition has XP, second Vista. Currently, Vista loader is in MBR. I am trying to get FC8/Ubuntu in 3rd partition.

I did some googling around, and decided to launch Linux in rescue mode, but neither the disk nor any partitions are mounted in /mnt/sysimage. I couldn't manually load either.

Is there anything I can do manually mount the disk, then chroot so as to install GRUB?

TIA. I am beginning to get frustrated.
Old 02-13-2008, 04:27 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: 28N,82W
Distribution: XP,Ubuntu 9
Posts: 473

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Finally, figured out what the problem was. For some reason, not sure if it was because of Windows XP/Vista, the partition in which FC was installed was marked FAT16. I just changed the partition ID to ext3, and grub install just went fine.


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