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Old 08-29-2003, 08:48 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
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win xp + redhat 9.0 GRUB problem

I had win xp pro installed on my machine and had just installed an additional hard drive. I decided to install redhat 9 on the new hardrive. I think I installed the GRUB bootloader and selected

/dev/hda Master Boot Record (MBR)
and not
/dev/hdb1 First sector of boot partition

which were the two options.

Now when I start up right after the dell logo, i get a screen that just says


with a cursor blinking right after it. it does not noticably respond to any keystrokes except ctrl-alt-del at which point it restarts the computer.

If anybody can tell me what I did wrong, and why, and how I can fix it, that would be great.

i also tried to repair the MBR using the FIXMBR command in the recovery console of win xp. But I cant even get to the console because it just wont accept my admin password for some reason.

thanks in advance.

Old 08-29-2003, 09:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2001
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Distribution: RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, SUSE
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You will need to re-install it back into the MBR.
Use your Linux boot disk to boot into Linux.
At the command line, type:
grub-install /dev/hda
Also, you may need to make some modification to the GRUB configuration file (/boot/grub/grub.conf).
Old 08-29-2003, 11:23 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Distribution: Red Hat 7.2/8/9, Fedora Core 1/2/3, Smoothwall, Mandrake 7.0/10, Vecter 4, Arch 0.6, EnGuarde
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Find someone who has any version of windows or Dos 6.22 or higher.

Have him give you a floppy 3.5' disk with the system files in it. Be sure it also has FDISK.

(Optional) On bootup, ensure you log into BIOS and enable boot from Floppy.

Place the floppy in the 3.5' drive and start your computer up.
-Keep in mind, if your booting into your hard-drive, try pushing f8 or esc while in boot up (new BIOS provide ablity to choose physical boot drive)

When the computer is up and running in DOS (Comannd Line), ensure your in the A:\

Type fdisk /mbr then reboot

Windows XP should start up.

From there, go to

Download the Acronis OS Selector 8.0.

Install the Acronis OS Selector 8.0.

Reboot and select Linux as your boot option.

Then choose Linux in Grub.

* If it works, ignore the very next line with the ** and continue.

** If it doesn't work, ignore the rest and reinstall Linux.

Go into root and type df

Note which drive is Linux loaded on. Example, mine is hda2.

Type if=/dev/(drive)(mine would be /dev/hda2) of=/linux.bin bs=512 count=1

A file called linux.bin will be made on your / directory.

Mount your floppy (example: mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy)

Copy the file into your floppy.

Then unmount your floppy (example umount /dev/fd0)

Take the disk out of your computer.


Choose to uninstall Acronis (option in the software in MBR)

After it uninstalls, it will reboot, then put you back into Windows XP.

Put floppy back in.

Right mouse click my computer.

Select properties.

Switch to the tab "Advanced"

Select the button "Settings" under "Startup and Recovery"

Push the button "Edit"

Add this line at the end of anything you got in there C:\linux.bin="Red Hat Linux"

Save and exit.

What this will do is give you the option to switch over to Linux "FROM" booting into Windows XP.

If you set Grub to have the option to boot into Windows XP, you will be able to go back and furth on boot up.

Ultimately, this will let you know if there is a problem with grub starting up Windows XP or another program causing conflicts.

If a problem apears to be grub, but you can still load into Linux, using the Windows Bootloader will still give you the option to load into Linux without effecting Windows XP.

Last edited by dolvmin; 08-29-2003 at 11:26 PM.
Old 08-30-2003, 01:16 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 3

Original Poster
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Thanks for the responses. I got my problem fixed though. i ran grub-install /dev/hda. It didnt work, but now it didnt get stuck at 'GRUB" screen. it gave me an error 21. (I think thats partition not found or somehing of the sort). I wne to the BIOS setup and saw that my 2ed hard drive was OFF. I set it to AUTO and eveything works fine now.

Thanks for the responses.

Old 09-10-2003, 09:33 AM   #5
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Distribution: Red Hat 7.2/8/9, Fedora Core 1/2/3, Smoothwall, Mandrake 7.0/10, Vecter 4, Arch 0.6, EnGuarde
Posts: 289

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Glad to hear it.


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