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Old 08-14-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2008
Location: Upstate NY
Distribution: DSL / Debian
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GRUB Problems - Error 15

Hello. Linux newbie here... I have searched previous posts about GRUB problems and most seem to center around dual boot systems. I have tried explanations found there without success. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction here. Hopefully...

Some quick background: I had Windows XP installed on a 40GB HD / 1GB RAM desktop. I attempted to install Ubuntu but failed midway through the process. The result was that nothing would boot. No problem though because I backed up all data and was sick of Windows anyway.

I have a Live Linux CD (DSL-N) that actually works with my wireless card! I installed DSL-N to my hard drive as a temporary measure. Everything works fine. Wonderful! I then purchased Linux Bible (2008 Edition) with some 16 distros included on disc. However, despite the fact that the discs are supposed to autorun upon booting the computer, my computer checks the CD drive and then boots up DSL-N. Ugh!

I have reformatted the entire hard drive using fdisk, created a single partition (hda1), and run mkfs and fsck successfully. Attempting to boot the computer now results in a GRUB error.

GRUB Loading stage1.5
GRUB loading, please wait...
Error 15

And then the computer hangs and nothing happens... The computer will not pick up the CD from Linux Bible. If I place the DSL-N Live CD in the CD drive I can boot into that without problem.

I attempted an fdisk /MBR as I read somewhere but this returns the message:
Unable to open /MBR

The best I can figure is that I need to completely remove GRUB from BIOS to be able to boot anything other than my DSL-N Live CD. Is this correct? How do I accomplish this?

I would like to install Debian off the CD that was included with the Linux book. I do not have a Windows disk and really have no interest in reinstalling Windows anyway.

Thanks in advance for any help on this problem.
Old 08-14-2008, 10:27 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Kolkata, India
Distribution: Debian 64-bit GNU/Linux, Kubuntu64, Fedora QA, Slackware,
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Install a distro first...and its grub to mbr
That is all.

In the BIOS keep the boot order as
2. hd0
3. hd1 etc

If there is no cd in the drive, the 1st hard disk will be booted.
Old 08-14-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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Wink this should help :)

i had the same issue once

Last edited by kylibar; 08-14-2008 at 10:56 AM.
Old 08-14-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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You had DSL installed and then re-formatted, did you re-install DSL? It could just be a bad disk from Linux Bible, check it in another computer if you can. Grub can't find a file to boot, error 15. The fdisk /mbr command is to restore windows to master boot record. Do you still have windows installed? Grub isn't in the BIOS. Your computer does the POST and then looks to the mbr for the start of a bootloader. If you have your computer set to boot first from CD and the CD doesn't boot, the CD is probably bad if you can successfully use other CD's. Try the CD in another computer.
Old 08-14-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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I have reformatted the entire hard drive using fdisk, created a single partition (hda1), and run mkfs and fsck successfully. Attempting to boot the computer now results in a GRUB error.
When you did that, you removed ALL operating systems. The first stage of grub is still in the MBR (the boot sector of the hard drive), but the rest of grub no longer exists. So, boot hangs and you get error 15.

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.
Grub is telling you that the partition is OK, but it can't find the specified file (the next stage of grub) to continue booting.

Since the CDs from the book don't boot, but your DSL livecd does boot, you can only conclude that the CDs from the book are defective is some way: either scratched, or boot script not working, something is not working as it should. Either that or they are not intended to boot. Perhaps you are supposed to copy the iso from the cd, then burn it to cd. Even if it isn't supposed to work that way, you should be able to copy the cd to disk, then make an iso to burn to disk, keeping in mid the issue of md5sums (see the last paragraph).

Running fdisk /MBR is pointless since you don't have windows installed now that you have formatted the drive.

To install Debian you need a disk that boots from the cd drive. If the disk from the book doesn't work, I's suggest that you install DSL (sincd the partition is formatted for Linux). Then download the Debian iso and burn it to cd (don't forget to compare the md5sum of the downloaded iso with the md5sum at the site you download from). Then use that to install Debian. The same applies to any other distro you choose to try.
Old 08-14-2008, 02:54 PM   #6
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Registered: Jul 2008
Location: Bangladesh
Distribution: Ubuntu
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install any linux version from CD.
GRUB installs in MBR. this can solve ur problem.
no need to re-install windows. u r right!
we r all tired of windows & linux shows us a new way...

i think the 1st solution of ur post by amani is best.
try like this.


dsl, dsln, error, grub

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