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Old 07-14-2014, 05:31 PM   #16
wizard10000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
My understanding of EasyBCD is that is a modified version of Grub built to run on windows (Grub4Dos).
Interesting. I didn't know EasyBCD used grub4dos; bootpart used to just make an image of the Linux boot sector, place the image in the root of c: and allowed you to edit boot.ini

Also, EasyBCD works with Windows XP now also - no need to go chase down bootpart.

+1 to virtualbox if one has the hardware; I run a copy of Win7 Professional in a VM for the once or twice a month I absolutely have to have Windows.

Last edited by wizard10000; 07-14-2014 at 05:35 PM.
 
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:51 PM   #17
SteveH_66
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Thanks for all that great information folks! Yanek, I don't know what happened either, but when I was using Hiren's boot disk and everything to look for it, it was weird. The partition management program the boot version of linux on Hiren's was using showed what the file systems were on the different directories, none of them were showing as linux file systems, all 4 partitions were showing as NTFS. I am pretty sure that sda2 was the partition Mint was on, whenever I was booting I am pretty sure GRUB2 was showing sda3 being the partition with Windows 7 on it.

So, like I said, I didn't make any changes myself and particularly no partition changes, and that error message about the partition not existing and grub rescue made me think it was a partition problem as well. And after trying all the steps from the posts I got carefully step by step, making sure there were no spelling errors or what have you, I was thinking something with the partitions since none of the fixes were working. They did seem simple and straightforward, and in all the posts they stated as you did that the procedure to restore the grub were simple, so I figured something serious had happened since the fixes never worked.

But I've gotten a lot of good information from all of you who have posted here in this thread, so hopefully it was just a fluke and if I install carefully this time maybe any grub problems in the future WILL be an easy fix with good install procedures and the resources you have all given me. Many thanks for all the help and information everyone!

P.S. This was an original factory install from Acer that crashed, so it is anyone's guess what kind of crazy partitioning scheme they used and where the boot was set up from, but my new install is from an actual Windows 7 disk so maybe it that will help as well.

Last edited by SteveH_66; 07-14-2014 at 05:55 PM. Reason: added information
 
Old 07-14-2014, 10:32 PM   #18
yancek
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Quote:
I didn't know EasyBCD used grub4dos
I just read that somewhere in the last week and can't remember the site. The wikipedia articul below has some info on it, apparently neosmart modified grub4dos which is a modified version of Grub. I do remember seeing 'neogrub' when I used EasyBCD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyBCD

It's possible you had Mint on an ntfs partition if you used the mint4win software. This is pretty much the same as the Ubuntu wubi (Windows UBuntu installer) which installs Mint inside windows as a program, similar to installing in a virtual machine. I think you would have remembered if you had done that. Wubi is not longer supported so I doubt if mint4win would work on a new release. Also, if you used mint4win I don't believe it would use Grub as wubi would put an entry in the windows bootloader so I expect Mint did the same.

I would suggest that you downoad and run bootinfoscript when you get Linux running. This is a bash script which will give you detailed information about your drives/partitions, boot files, uuid as well as your grub boot menu. Handy information to have at any time. There is a link in the Description box explaining how to use it.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/bootinfoscript/
 
Old 07-15-2014, 03:55 AM   #19
SteveH_66
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Hi Yancek, yes I would have remembered that and it wasn't the way I installed. While watching the video linked to by jross in his post, about the alternative method of dual boot, the guy who did the video mentioned that all kinds of Windows things can mess up your dual boot grub even including Windows Updates. I can't say for sure but I believe I saw this and other things listed as possible culprits in that crime when looking for solutions to get my grub back, in various posts, but since I can't remember which posts I might have read that in I can't really say for sure Microsoft was guilty But it's the only thing I can think of. This alternative method in that video was quite interesting, and I a seriously considering giving it a try.

It does not appear that this would be a total fix for the grub wipeout via windows problem, but using EasyBCD it did appear that it would be a fairly easy fix in the future. My understanding from the video is that it lets Windows boot loader handle choosing which OS to boot, not an idea I like but you know how Microsoft likes to be the top dog in everything, so at least it might make dual boot easier to fix when it messes things up.

If I can find enough of my apps that either have linux versions or that will run under Wine, or after I learn enough about running an OS under VM, I am seriously considering pulling the plug on Windows on my system or putting it on Linux under VM - if that won't bring on a whole new set of problems.
 
Old 07-15-2014, 09:11 AM   #20
wizard10000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
I just read that somewhere in the last week and can't remember the site. The wikipedia articul below has some info on it, apparently neosmart modified grub4dos which is a modified version of Grub. I do remember seeing 'neogrub' when I used EasyBCD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyBCD
Interesting link - I get it now.

EasyBCD works the way I thought it did if grub is installed on the first Linux partition; it copies the boot sector to the root of c: and then BCD calls that image; but if it doesn't find grub or lilo grub4dos is an option but requires a little manual confuration -

Quote:
The traditional chainloading method creates an image of the GRUB/LILO bootsector on the local disk and loads this image during boot-time in order to chainload the second bootloader which should already be configured to boot into Linux or BSD. EasyBCD has profiles for and officially supports the chainloading of GRUB (Legacy), GRUB2, LILO, eLILO, and Wubi (for Ubuntu).

EasyBCD also ships with NeoGrub, a customized build of Grub for Dos, which can be configured by editing C:\NST\menu.lst with the standard Legacy GRUB syntax for directly booting into the needed Linux or BSD partitions, or chainloading another bootloader to load the OS in question.
All in all it's a nice little package. Back in the day in addition to walking barefoot in the snow to and from school (which, BTW was uphill both ways) if you wanted to chainload a Linux bootloader you used dd to make an image of the Linux bootsector, dropped it in the root of c: and then manually edited boot.ini to add Linux as a menu option.

bootpart changed all that, but it's only compatible with XP and below; EasyBCD will do XP through Win8.

cheers - and thanks for the clarification on how EasyBCD works.
 
Old 07-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #21
yancek
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If your bootloader gets messed up and you are using EasyBCD to boot both systems, the problem will occur if you are unable to boot windows since EasyBCD resides on the windows partition. So if you are unable to boot windows, you are unable to do any repairs and you may be unable to access either system. You can download an iso which contains EasyBCD but it is no longer free, $19.95USD.

The video link is about 35 minutes longer than it needed to be. It's basically "How to use EasyBCD to boot Linux". The only reason I can see to use it is if you are totally unfamiliar with Linux but familiar with windows and/or you have a new OEM install under warranty. Some manufacturers will not repair a computer which has software that was not original with the install, such as the Grub bootloader. Other manufacturers will. So basically, EasyBCD is a modified version of a modified version of Grub. The advantage with the original Grub is that it is on any installation medium and repairing Grub can often be done with a single, simple command.

Last edited by yancek; 07-15-2014 at 09:58 AM.
 
Old 07-15-2014, 09:30 PM   #22
jross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
If your bootloader gets messed up and you are using EasyBCD to boot both systems, the problem will occur if you are unable to boot windows since EasyBCD resides on the windows partition. So if you are unable to boot windows, you are unable to do any repairs and you may be unable to access either system. You can download an iso which contains EasyBCD but it is no longer free, $19.95USD.
That's not the way I interpreted the explanation in the video. He said the MBR seeks out the first device, so if the windows bootloader or linux goes down, it will seek out the other one. Also, I don't understand what you mean by "EasyBCD resides on the windows partition". Again, my interpretation was he said all he did was use Easy BCD to add an entry to the windows bootloader. So, to me he just used it as an "editing tool" and it doesn't "reside" anywhere, it was used and that was the end of its role.

Quote:
So basically, EasyBCD is a modified version of a modified version of Grub. The advantage with the original Grub is that it is on any installation medium and repairing Grub can often be done with a single, simple command.
Again, I am not following your logic compared to the video's explanation. The set up just has the windows bootloader having a entry which allows it to point to Grub (which is located on the linux root partition). When you click the linux option, the Grub loads as it would in a traditional set up, which would still be available for repair.

That is the way I understood it anyway.

Last edited by jross; 07-15-2014 at 09:33 PM.
 
Old 07-15-2014, 11:52 PM   #23
yancek
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The MBR doesn't seek out the first device. The BIOS settings determine which device and that is usually the mbr on the first device but it can be changed to a second or third or other device. The mbr is at a specific location on any hard drive. It can contain a very tiny bit of code, 512bytes and it doesn't do much more than point to the partition which contains the boot files. This happens whether it is the Grub or windows bootloader. Almost all the necessary files to boot a Linux or windows system are on the system or boot partition, if a boot partition exists.

Quote:
Also, I don't understand what you mean by "EasyBCD resides on the windows partition"
EasyBCD is a software application. You go to the neosmart site from windows, download it to your windows partition and that is where it is and you can use it from there to modify boot files. After editing, it isn't used. My point is that if the bootloader gets corrupted and you are unable to boot your windows system, you can then not access EasyBCD to try to repair because it is on the windows partition. As I said above, they used to allow a download to put it on a CD to boot from which would be more useful but now they charge $19.95USD.

If you have used EasyBCD you will see that it uses what they call 'neogrub' and that is a modification of a windows software 'grub4dos' which is a modification of the actual Grub.

Quote:
When you click the linux option, the Grub loads as it would in a traditional set up, which would still be available for repair.
True. The same could be done in the reverse, using Grub on the mbr and booting to windows. The problem as I stated above is what if you can't boot either. With Grub, you have your installation CD/DVD with Grub on to repair the bootloader. If you can't boot either using EasyBCD for any reason you can't use it because it is on the windows partition and inaccessible.

The tutorial would more accurately have been titled "How to use EasyBCD to boot windows and Linux" and he could have left off the first 30+ minutes of the tutorial.

Last edited by yancek; 07-15-2014 at 11:56 PM.
 
  


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