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devinnull 02-10-2006 11:02 PM

RHEL-First boot Issue-GRUB
OK-I just installed RHEL4 (32bit) from DVD and all went fine. I remove the disk at the end of the install and then reboot only to have the system hang after post with a simple "GRUB" being the last bit of progress.

I've double checked and tweaked the boot order, pulled out any non critical parts and so forth. Any ideas on what might be hanging?


saikee 02-11-2006 05:25 PM

If Grub has not been installed properly you may have to manually boot your RHEL4.

Task G of "Just Booting Tips" in my signature refers. You need to make a bootable Grub floppy first.

The manual booting instructions are the steps you ultimately needed to put into /boot/grub/menu.lst.

devinnull 02-11-2006 11:13 PM

Thanks for the reply. You have put some great stuff together as reference!

Let me give a little more detail just in case...this is just "feeling" like more then GRUB being broken since I have run the install several times now. My fear is that some of my hardware is too new and I'm just up a creek. I am however not in an area of strength for me and I'm glad it happens to be one of yours.

I have 3 "drives".
/sda [this is a 130GB stripe on a 3ware add on card]

/sdb [this is a 238GB mirror on the same add in card](I want to format this FAT32 later and share between the two systems but I'll wait to break that after I have a system running)

/sdc [this 80GB JBOD is where XP and GRUB are installed via the onboard nVidia SATA controller. C:/ of XP system]

/sdd [agains JBOD via nVidia controller. d:/ of XP system]

During the RH setup it asks me what drives to include as part of the install and I proceed with only /sda being selected with the option of "remove all linux partions".

I recently (last weekends project) had the REHL4_64 installed and running just fine but removed it and started this install after several problems that were becoming too much for me to handle at this early stage.

Anyhow, if any of this chnages anything then please let me know and thanks again for you time.

devinnull 02-12-2006 02:16 AM

New problem-internal clock?
OK-I got past the GRUB error I was having. At least for now.

I unplugged the other drives save /sda and installed GRUB to this same drive. I'd assume I can now go in and tweak GRUB to also offer my XP install on /sdc as an option.

The problem I'm having now is a whole new deal. I'm running up2date to get things patched up and I notice my machine is typing duplicate letters every once in a while. Then all of a sudden the screen saver cam on even though I was browsing the internet at the time. Like the default 10 mins had passed in an instant. Now I can't type the password in fast enough bacause the second I hit a key I type maybe 5-20 characters.

Anyone have any ideas here? My thought is to let it keep running up2date and then reboot if I can to see if any of the patches clean things up.

saikee 02-12-2006 02:34 AM

You setup looks fine to me. As long as the disk order is not changed between sda and sdd your two systems should work satisfactory.

It is quite common for an installer to fail to implement the boot loader and many a time I have to boot the system without any configuration file.

In order to boot a Linux you need to know its kernel and initrd names which are always stored in /boot directory. This information is accessible as long as you have a Live CD or the installlation CD, which has a rescue mode as it is a Red Hat.

My guess is you got a possibly defective /boot/grub/menu.lst created by RHEL's installer. So using a Grub floppy is the best way to kick start it as you can release the booting instruction one line at a time, as per /boot/grub/menu.lst. Grub will respond to each line and so you can see and sort out the problem pretty quickly. 90% of the problem is to do with the partition references.

You can make the Grub floppy with the current system now.

Just boot up with the installation CD and into the rescue mode so that you have kernel up and running. Ask Linux to tell you where is the directory with Grub's stage1 by

find / -name stage1
You should find the Grub's two essential files stage1 and stage2 are stored in directory like /usr/share/grub/i386-pc-RedHat. Just change directory to it, drop in a floppy and "dd" these two files across

dd if=stage1 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
dd if=stage2 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 seek=1

Once you got the Grub floppy made you are half way there. Just follow "Just booting tips"

If you run into trouble list the content of (the "l" here is a small "L")

fdisk -l
here as it tell us the partitioning scheme of your 4 Sata disks and enable us to guess the root partition of your RHEL. If you have let RHEL a free hand to partition the disk it should have installed it in multiple partitions and possibly using LVM too.

Your disk order should be defined by /boot/grub/

List the content of /boot/grub/menu.lst if you can't make it boot both systems.

Finally when RHEL is booted it will load the partitions according to the instruction in /etc/fstab so this file is usefull for others to diagnose your booting problem.

devinnull 02-12-2006 04:11 AM

Awesome stuff!
It seems 2.6.9.x_SMP has issues with dual core CPUs. I've just spent 24 hours getting this thing to boot but I'm now been able to run up2date so we'll see if the new kernel will help.
I'm pretty beat so I think I'll head to bed so I don't ruin what I've managed to scrap toether already. I'll try to fix GRUB in the AM. Thank you very much for the help thus far saikee.

devinnull 02-12-2006 07:03 PM

Thanks saikee...
saikee. Thank you for the help! I now have RUB up and running with the option to boot to XP or my RHEL install. Thank you!

I did move GRUB back to the MBR on /sdc so that I didn't have two instances of it. I can just see me forgetting in a couple months and breaking the wrong GRUB.

saikee 02-12-2006 07:10 PM

Great news!

So we all can enjoy Linux.

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