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Old 11-13-2003, 04:26 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Moncton
Distribution: shrike
Posts: 11

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Grub with Multi-drives/Multi Redhats

Hello all, i'm @ wits end right now trying to figure out how to get grub booting my most recent linux installation so let's start @ the beginning. HDA=XP HDB=Redhat9 with 2 kernels HDC=Redhat 9 with 2 kernels using grub as bootloader. Copy of grub.conf as follows:

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd1,0)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hdb2
# initrd /initrd-version.img
title Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-20.9)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-20.9 ro root=LABEL=/ hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-20.9.img
title Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-8)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=LABEL=/ hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-8.img
title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
title Redhat Copy Cat (2.4.20-8)
root (hd2,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=LABEL=/ hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-8.img
title Redhat Copy Cat Kern2 (2.4.20-20.9)
root (hd2,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-20.9 ro root=LABEL=/ hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-20.9.img

This is my "rendition" of what i beleive to be valid entries for booting redhat 9 on hdc (last 2 Redhat copy cat). However everytime i select it (redhat on hdc) from the boot menu redhat from hdb is booted......where am i going wrong. Does my problem lie in the kernel number inside the brackets beside the title?) FYI, installed XP first, Redhat 9 on hdb with Grub bootload, Redhat 9 on hdc last no bootloader installed during installation of OS. Partition layout for both hdb & hdc are duplicate. This whole setup with 2 redhat installations allows me to "attempt" anything i'd like on hdc without destroying my hdb installation. I'd like to ditch the floppy for booting to hdc very much and just select it from the menu. Can anyone shed some light as to what i'm doing wrong?
Old 11-13-2003, 05:59 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Mandrake, SUSE, Fedora
Posts: 122

Rep: Reputation: 15
If you take a close look at the "root=LABEL=/" argument you will see that you are using it to refer to two different partitions. The solution is to relabel the partitions. It would probably be easier to relabel both of them to avoid confusion. To boot RH9 on hdc you will have to select it in the grub menu and then press "a" so you can edit the kernel arguments. Change "root=LABEL=/" to "root=/dev/hdc1" and hit enter.

Once you do manage to boot there is a good chance that RH9 on hdc may complain about not being able to find the root filesystem when it tries to fsck it and remount it. In the case it will drop you to a maintainace shell. You can still make you changes using the maintaince shell. It you do get dropped to a maintaince shell you have probably managed to boot off hdc. It you don't get dropped to a maintainace shell then you have booted off hdb. Assuming your root filesystem on /dev/hdb1 is ext2/ext3 then you can relabel it using e2label.

# e2label /dev/hdc1 "rh9_2:/"

You may also do this from after booting RH9 from hdb if you wish. If you are in the maintainance shell then you will need to remount the root filesystem and in read-write mode before you can make the necessary changes to /dev/fstab.

# mount -wo remount /

The line in fstab that you have to change will either look line

LABEL=/ / ext3 defaults 1 1


/dev/hdc1 / ext3 defaults 1 1

Find this line and change it to


If you have booted RH9 from hdb then you will have to mount the root filesystem of RH9 on hdc somewhere so you can edit it.

# mkdir /mnt/hdc1
# mount /dev/hdc1 /mnt/hdc1

The last step is to edit grub.conf, which ever partition you have it on, and change the entries for the second copy of RH9 to

title Redhat Copy Cat (2.4.20-8)
root (hd2,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=LABEL=rh9_2:/ hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-8.img
title Redhat Copy Cat Kern2 (2.4.20-20.9)
root (hd2,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-20.9 ro root=LABEL=rh9_2:/ hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-20.9.img

The final step is the reboot and check if you can boot RH9 off hdc.


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