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Old 12-01-2010, 02:02 AM   #1
kyleryner
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tried to do dual-boot in Ubuntu, won't load WinXP. How to fix MBR?


Hi all,

Im still a newbie at Linux., although I did dabble in it for a while and even managed to install some dualboot systems a couple of years ago on old laptops (until I reformatted and sold them). I still try them out using Live CDs/USBs from time to time.

With Ubuntu 10 and LinuxMint 10 providing much better UI experience, I want to install Linux again on my laptop as a dualboot..

I managed to install Ubuntu 10 on my IBM Thinkpad X40 from a LiveCD/USB Flashdisk. (I had to research extensively to figure out how to do this)

Using a Windows Partition software, I had to manually make 2 partitions (Ext4 and Swap). I dont recall having to do that before, i seem to remember it was done for me automatically..

Booted Ubuntu LiveCD again and from there installed a multi-boot system with the ff choices:

* Ubuntu 10.10,
* Ubuntu 10.10 safemode
* memtest
* Windows XP Professional (SDA1)
* (forgot the name, but its the Hidden Recovery Partition) (SDA2)



* Ubuntu runs fine when selected, I can access the C drive (Windows and Data files)

* Choosing WindowsXP, NOTHING HAPPENS, screen blinks and then goes back to the GRUB menu.

* Choosing the last option, i can see the IBM Recovery progress bar, then BSOD. (I thought I destroyed this partition, but when i boot and press the blue ACCES IBM button on the laptop, it successfully enters it so i dont mind it not working in the GRUB menu)

My question: How do I fix the MBR so i can boot WindowsXP again?



I tried to research and here's what i found so far from many similar threads in various forums:

1. I THINK my problem was in installing Ubuntu form the LiceCD/Flash Disk, in the partition settings I set BOOT From Windows XP Professional (SDA1).

2. I need to do a FIXBOOT command from windows, (but i cant access windows)

3. I can use Windows Setup CD and use the Recovery Console to fix the MBR, but my problem is I dont have a CD drive or the Setup CD, I can only reinstall using the hidden partition (restore to factory settings)

4. I read of a software in Linux SuperGrub/Supergrub2 . I dl'd the ISO but i dont have a CD drive or diskette drive to boot from, I only can boot from a flash disk, and i dont see steps on how to make a bootable flash disk that runs SuperGrub.

5. I downloaded and ran TestDisk in Linux, it says my heads don't match (255 vs 240), but when i tried to see if i can change geometry, it seems it will mess with the partitions I made.

6. If i can boot back to Windows, I can maybe use EasyBCD or Vistabootpro to make a multi-boot system to replace Grub. (I used Vistabootpro on my desktop to dual-boot Windows7 and WinXP)


So bottomline, I need help in figuring out what to do next to restore Windows XP or make it that GRUB can launch it from its menu. . I did try to research as best as I could, but it seems there are many variations of this problem with different scenarios and different solutions.

Hope someone can give advice..

Thanks in Advance!
 
Old 12-01-2010, 02:31 AM   #2
yasaswisrikanth
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1.ubuntu allows to dualbooting windows and itself.But it have to be done once you first install windows and then ubuntu.

2.you have to select the default layout that is selected by ubuntu, if you create partitions manually then problems might occur.

3.another best way is install ubuntu inside windows any drive(minimum 4 GB) using wubi.exe provided by livecd.

4.You can ask for a free livecd by creating an account at ubuntu.org.

5.If you want to install linux from usb there is a software available for making installable usb for almost any linux distro.
 
Old 12-01-2010, 04:10 AM   #3
kyleryner
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Registered: Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yasaswisrikanth View Post
1.ubuntu allows to dualbooting windows and itself.But it have to be done once you first install windows and then ubuntu.

2.you have to select the default layout that is selected by ubuntu, if you create partitions manually then problems might occur.

3.another best way is install ubuntu inside windows any drive(minimum 4 GB) using wubi.exe provided by livecd.

4.You can ask for a free livecd by creating an account at ubuntu.org.

5.If you want to install linux from usb there is a software available for making installable usb for almost any linux distro.
hi yasaswisrikanth,

thanks for the reply.

1. My laptop already has Windows XP, so i installed Ubuntu alongside it and want to dualboot it. The Linux Install did in fact make a multi-boot menu (I think its GRUB2) and shows me the choices. My problem is, WindowsXP shows up as one of the choices but when i select it, nothing happens (wont boot into Windows XP or even give an error message)

2. Choosing the default layout did not work for me, I only had 2 choices: Try Ubuntu, Install Ubuntu. When I choose Install, another 2 choices.. Erase Entire Disk and Make Manual Partitions... then I couldnt get anywhere else till i made my own EXT and SWAP partitions.

3.I've used wubi before, and i liked it. But after a few months the partition got corrupted, i read thats the problem with wubi, the linux install gets corrupted easily when something goes wrong with windows or something. So now i wanted to make a "true" linux install.

4. I already downloaded and tried out ubuntu.10.10-desktop-i386.iso as well as ubuntu.10.10-netbook-i386.iso. (at first I wanted to install netbook version since i have a small and few years old laptop, but i decided to install desktop version since it seems to have more features?)

5. I use universal-usb-installer.1.8.1.2 to make usb-bootable linux livecds for both Ubuntu 10 and linuxmint 10, i tried installing both, they gave me the same initial problem of setting partitions/boot area till i finally made my own partitions. I am however wanting to make SUPERGRUB2 bootable as a flashdisk, bec so far i read i can only make bootable cd or diskette, and my laptop doesnt have either drive.

As I said, now my laptop can boot Ubuntu no problem, and i can even see my Windows Drive C with all my old data, I just cant boot into WindowsXP anymore.

My last resort would be to backup my files using Ubuntu (because I am dumb enough not to backup my files first before attempting all this.. anyway this is my secondary pc with mostly non-essential and easily replacable files) and then to reinstall WindowsXP fresh (using IBM recovery) Its just gonna be a pain and will take forever.

Anyway, I appreciate the help..

Hope someone can give me some additional advice...

thanks again...
 
Old 12-01-2010, 03:41 PM   #4
yancek
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If you can boot Ubuntu, post the contents of the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file which contains your Grub menu. It should show an entry for xp, if not someone who uses Grub2 should be able to help you. You could check the Grub2 tutorial in the link below, Section 5.A:

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html
 
Old 12-02-2010, 04:41 AM   #5
kyleryner
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Registered: Apr 2007
Posts: 22

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
If you can boot Ubuntu, post the contents of the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file which contains your Grub menu. It should show an entry for xp, if not someone who uses Grub2 should be able to help you. You could check the Grub2 tutorial in the link below, Section 5.A:

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html
hi yancek,

thanks for the reply.

well in my quest for a solution, i inadvertently corrupted Ubuntu.. I tried one solution I read, installed LILO (it says it will fix the MBR) but it ended up making Ubuntu NOT bootable, so no Ubuntu, no WindowsXP... (although I could still use the LiveCD on the USB flashdisk..whats the term for that anyway, LiveUSB? )

Grub menu still shows options.. I tried the Ubuntu (Recovery) selection.. showed a bunch of messages.. ended with "could not find etc etc ". I rebooted again, Ubuntu started up! then said i had a corrupt something something, rebooted again and now Ubuntu is fine once again in my laptop..

Im just amazed that it seemed it recovered on its own bec I dont know what i did exactly (except choose the Ubuntu Recovery selection) and it fixed itself. Now if only Windows could that as well..

Also, I just wanted to say that its hard to find CURRENT solutions for my problem since searching online mostly shows older posts, which when I tried to do I find out is already outdated.

Some of the things I downloaded and tried:

LILO, SuperGrub2 (couldnt figure out how to boot it from USB), Testdisk (just for Partitions I guess,not MBR), MS-SYS. (This one, MS-SYS seemed to be a good solution, but as i said it seemed outdated or I cant figure out how to run it properly).

I can only follow basic commands in using Terminal.. mostly Sudo install, Sudo apt-get, that sor of thing. Anything more than 3 lines and i get nervous..

anyway, sorry for rambling..

Now that i have Ubuntu back, Ill post the Grub contents already (will do it in the next post)

Thanks again.
 
Old 12-02-2010, 04:52 AM   #6
kyleryner
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Registered: Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
If you can boot Ubuntu, post the contents of the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file which contains your Grub menu. It should show an entry for xp, if not someone who uses Grub2 should be able to help you. You could check the Grub2 tutorial in the link below, Section 5.A:

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html
#
# DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
#
# It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
#

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
set have_grubenv=true
load_env
fi
set default="6"
if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
save_env saved_entry
set prev_saved_entry=
save_env prev_saved_entry
set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
saved_entry="${chosen}"
save_env saved_entry
fi
}

function recordfail {
set recordfail=1
if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
}

function load_video {
insmod vbe
insmod vga
}

insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
set gfxmode=640x480
load_video
insmod gfxterm
fi
terminal_output gfxterm
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
set lang=en
insmod gettext
if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then
set timeout=-1
else
set timeout=10
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
set menu_color_normal=white/black
set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.35-23-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
recordfail
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-23-generic root=UUID=a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0 ro splash quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-23-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.35-23-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
recordfail
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.35-23-generic ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-23-generic root=UUID=a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0 ro single splash
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-23-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.35-22-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
recordfail
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-22-generic root=UUID=a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0 ro splash quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-22-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.35-22-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
recordfail
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.35-22-generic ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-22-generic root=UUID=a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0 ro single splash
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-22-generic
}
### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin
}
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set a35ecd33-bd2d-4281-a0ee-337895fcc5a0
linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
}
### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
menuentry "Microsoft Windows XP Professional (on /dev/sda1)" {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ntfs
set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2e88fc8688fc4db9
drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
chainloader +1
}
menuentry "Windows NT/2000/XP (on /dev/sda2)" {
insmod part_msdos
insmod fat
set root='(hd0,msdos2)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 1b33-0a00
drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
chainloader +1
}
### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries. Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment. Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
if [ -f $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
source $prefix/custom.cfg;
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###


Thats my grub entry..

Note it has 2 each of Ubuntu, Ubuntu Recovery and Memtest.
I can select Windows XP Professional (sda1), screen just blinks for a half second, then back to menu.
"Windows NT/2000/XP" (sda2) is the laptop's hidden partition where the Windows Install and other maintenance are located. Choosing it will show the IBM Recovery progress bar, but it ends in Blue Screen of Death. However when i just pust the ACCESS IBM button on the laptop when booting, it goes in properly with no problem.

Windows files and my data can be seen within Ubuntu, I already backed up my data on a USB external HD.

Just dont know how to fix the Grub or MBR so Windows XP can boot again.

Im just wondering why there is no easy one click solution available in linux for this (sort of like a Regcleaner for example). I imagine this a a very common problem especially since newbies tend to go for dual boot system since they still need Windows to be around in case Linux gets too intimidating for them..

Hope some Grub2 experts can help.

Thanks!!
 
Old 12-02-2010, 05:00 AM   #7
Desdd57
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Wow - and this is "Newbie" stuff ??
 
Old 12-02-2010, 05:03 AM   #8
EDDY1
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Your ubuntu-live-cd is all you need.
You've already most likely installed grub to mbr.
Desktop version:
boot live-cd
when prompted choose
"try ubuntu"
wait until you see an icon that says "examples"
double click "examples icon"
press arrows to expand these directories starting with:
File sytem
usr
share
applications
now all you have to do is find "terminal" and open it
enter commands
sudo apt-get install grub-pc
sudo os-prober
sudo update-grub
reboot
 
Old 12-02-2010, 05:54 AM   #9
kyleryner
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Registered: Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
Your ubuntu-live-cd is all you need.
You've already most likely installed grub to mbr.
Desktop version:
boot live-cd
when prompted choose
"try ubuntu"
wait until you see an icon that says "examples"
double click "examples icon"
press arrows to expand these directories starting with:
File sytem
usr
share
applications
now all you have to do is find "terminal" and open it
enter commands
sudo apt-get install grub-pc
sudo os-prober
sudo update-grub
reboot
hi Eddy1,

thanks for the help.

I actually have Ubuntu 10.10 installed and running on the laptop already (it was messed up but got better) and of course I also have the LiveCD in USB flashdisk form.

At first I tried out your tips from Ubuntu running off my hd (not the livecd). I did not notice any error messages, i dont think there were but im not sure because i was eager to reboot). No change, GRUB still shows the selections, but Windows XP still wont boot when clicked. (not even any error message, screen just blinks for a while like its gonna do something then back to Grub menu again. Why doesnt it even say "not found" or something?

I then rebooted using LiveCD (from USB flashdisk), thinking maybe its different and repeated same steps. This time I noted the messages:

To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
See "man sudo_root" for details.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install grub-pc
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
grub-pc is already the newest version.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo os-prober
/dev/sda1:Microsoft Windows XP Professional:Windows:chain
/dev/sda2:Windows NT/2000/XP:Windows1:chain
/dev/sda5:Ubuntu 10.10 (10.10):Ubuntu:linux
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo update-grub
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: cannot find a device for / (is /dev mounted?).
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$


"error: cannot find a device for / (is /dev mounted?)."
rebooting also showed no change.

hoping for more ideas....

thanks again!
 
Old 12-02-2010, 06:14 AM   #10
kyleryner
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Registered: Apr 2007
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just to be sure,

I rebooted Ubuntu from my harddisk (not LiveCD) and did the steps again:

I was right before, there was no error messages: Says generating grub.cfg...done



allen@allen-ThinkPad-X40:~$ sudo apt-get install grub-pc
[sudo] password for allen:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
grub-pc is already the newest version.
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
linux-headers-2.6.35-22 linux-headers-2.6.35-22-generic
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 8 not upgraded.
allen@allen-ThinkPad-X40:~$ sudo os-prober
/dev/sda1:Microsoft Windows XP Professional:Windows:chain
/dev/sda2:Windows NT/2000/XP:Windows1:chain
allen@allen-ThinkPad-X40:~$ sudo update-grub
Generating grub.cfg ...
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-23-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-23-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-22-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-22-generic
Found memtest86+ image: /boot/memtest86+.bin
Found Microsoft Windows XP Professional on /dev/sda1
Found Windows NT/2000/XP on /dev/sda2
done


Why is it showing different results from the LiveCD? (USB) Is there a difference?

The LiveCD way showed errors, this one didn't...


and @Desdd57,

Yes, this is newbie stuff for me since I cant even get past the 1st step (on how to install Linux alongside WindowsXP! :-)


Im really hoping i can still find a way.. i know it just needs a tiny peice of code in the MBR to tell it to do this, but i cant find the way to do it!

Otherwise i will have to reinstall windows xp and linux (maybe linuxmint this time). But then ill be back to square one on how to properly install a dual-boot system.. (there are plenty of similar posts out there on this, but i STILL cant figure it out!!) hence, the newbie thing again
 
Old 12-02-2010, 06:36 AM   #11
impert
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Quote:
I tried one solution I read, installed LILO (it says it will fix the MBR) but it ended up making Ubuntu NOT bootable, so no Ubuntu, no WindowsXP... (although I could still use the LiveCD on the USB flashdisk..whats the term for that anyway, LiveUSB? )

Grub menu still shows options.. I tried the Ubuntu (Recovery) selection.. showed a bunch of messages.. ended with "could not find etc etc ". I rebooted again, Ubuntu started up! then said i had a corrupt something something, rebooted again and now Ubuntu is fine once again in my laptop..
You've been thrashing about a bit . . . Maybe your MBR is not as it should be.
Code:
sudo apt-get install grub-pc
which you have apparently run, installs grub 2, but not to the MBR. For that you need, from within your Ubuntu installation:
Code:
sudo grub-install
sudo grub-update
After which all should be rosy . . .
 
Old 12-02-2010, 08:02 AM   #12
kyleryner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impert View Post
You've been thrashing about a bit . . . Maybe your MBR is not as it should be.
Code:
sudo apt-get install grub-pc
which you have apparently run, installs grub 2, but not to the MBR. For that you need, from within your Ubuntu installation:
Code:
sudo grub-install
sudo grub-update
After which all should be rosy . . .
hi impert,

I've had so many responses from people who've been trying to help me with this problem. Im very grateful and humbled. Linuxquestions is really the best Linux forum out there!

yes, ive been thrashing about a bit.. ive been trying out different methods to restore being able to boot Windows XP. I think the first mistake i made was when i first installed Ubuntu and i had to make manual partitions (1 EXT, 1 for Swap) then I had to choose where to place the Boot (sorry, cant remember the exact details now, can do that later if i reboot to the LiveCD again and try the Install button again)

I did try your code,

the results were

Quote:
allen@allen-ThinkPad-X40:~$ sudo grub-install
install_device not specified.
Usage: grub-install [OPTION] install_device
Install GRUB on your drive.

-h, --help print this message and exit
-v, --version print the version information and exit
--modules=MODULES pre-load specified modules MODULES
--root-directory=DIR install GRUB images under the directory DIR
instead of the root directory
--grub-setup=FILE use FILE as grub-setup
--grub-mkimage=FILE use FILE as grub-mkimage
--grub-probe=FILE use FILE as grub-probe
--no-floppy do not probe any floppy drive
--recheck probe a device map even if it already exists
--force install even if problems are detected
--disk-module=MODULE disk module to use

INSTALL_DEVICE can be a GRUB device name or a system device filename.

grub-install copies GRUB images into /boot/grub (or /grub on NetBSD and
OpenBSD), and uses grub-setup to install grub into the boot sector.

If the --root-directory option is used, then grub-install will copy
images into the operating system installation rooted at that directory.

Report bugs to <bug-grub@gnu.org>.
allen@allen-ThinkPad-X40:~$ sudo grub-update
sudo: grub-update: command not found
allen@allen-ThinkPad-X40:~$
so the messages I got were

sudo grub-install
install_device not specified.

sudo grub-update
command not found

(this is from running Ubuntu off my HD installation in the laptop, NOT the live CD)

anyway, thanks for help impert.
Is there anything else I can try?
 
Old 12-02-2010, 09:48 AM   #13
yancek
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Check the link for the Grub tutorial I posted earlier. For reinstalling Grub2, Section 4.G, for updating Grub2, Section 4.C;
To reinstall Grub2, boot into Ubuntu and run the command: sudo grub-install /dev/sda (assuming your hard drive is sda?)
to update Grub2 run the command: sudo update-grub. It is "update-grub" not "grub-update".

I don't use Grub2 so I haven't tried these myself. Might be good to review the tutorial.
 
Old 12-02-2010, 10:37 AM   #14
EDDY1
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Windows takes 2 partitions
having windows xp and windows xp pro takes 4.
 
Old 12-02-2010, 10:41 AM   #15
EDDY1
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Quote:
Found Windows NT/2000/XP on /dev/sda2
done
I think this is windows xp recovery partition.
 
  


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