Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

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Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:12 am

Hi.
Yesterday I decided to install Linux Mint onto my PC and dual booting it with Microsoft Windows XP. And after downloading the program from here, burning it onto a DVD, I started installing Mint.
I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 with 110 GB harddrive, 1024 MB RAM and 1,73 GHz Centrino Duo.
However, after installing Linux, when I rebooted the PC, I got a message saying "Error 16".
And ever since yesterday I've been struggling trying to fix this. I've been searching the whole Internet after solutions to fixing the GRUB, and I've both tried this:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224351
and even tried the unofficial program SuperGRUB. ( http://supergrub.forjamari.linex.org/ )
But nothing has worked out.
A friend of mine who knows Linux Mint a lot more than I do, has tried to help me. But he is astonished why is help doesn' give any results.

When trying to restore GRUB in Terminal, everything turns out fine, and it seems to be working:

Code: Select all
grub> sudo grub

    GNU GRUB  version 0.97  (640K lower / 3072K upper memory)

 [ Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported.  For the first word, TAB
   lists possible command completions.  Anywhere else TAB lists the possible
   completions of a device/filename. ]

grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
 (hd0,4)

grub> root (hd0,4)
 Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

grub> setup (hd0)
 Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... yes
 Checking if "/boot/grub/stage2" exists... yes
 Checking if "/boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5" exists... yes
 Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd0)"...  15 sectors are embedded.
succeeded
 Running "install /boot/grub/stage1 (hd0) (hd0)1+15 p (hd0,4)/boot/grub/stage2
/boot/grub/menu.lst"... succeeded
Done.

grub>


But when I reboot the PC, the error pops up again. According to my friend it seems like the whole 'grub' is gone, and that there's no use restoring something that isn't there, but I need to install it again. But I don't know how.

Does anyone know what I can do? I really need to use my Windows again now, but I can't get into it. This has given me a really bad first impression of Linux after wondering about getting it for so long.. :cry:

I appreciate all help I can get.
Joddvar
 

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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Fred on Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:12 pm

Joddvar,

First thing, stop trying to "fix" your problem with Supergrub. Use the Supergrub disk to boot into your installs. Since you don't know what the issue is, there is no reason to believe that Supergrub can fix it. It is a very powerful and helpful tool, but it can get you in trouble too.

First, you need to get back your Windows install. You can use your Windows install or recovery disk to fix the windows boot back so that it boots as it did before you started your little adventure into Linux. If you don't have your install disk you can fix the Windows install with Supergrub also, I believe.

Next, use Supergrub to boot into Mint. Look in /boot and see if you have a grub folder. If so, open that folder and see if you have a file called menu.lst. Also look and see if you have files called stage 1, stage 1.5 and stage 2. If you have all this close your file manager, whatever you were looking at it with, and open a terminal. Type:

sudo grub

root (hd0,4)

setup (hd0)

quit

This assumes that you are booting from the first hard drive and your /boot folder, which in your case is probably part of /, is located in sda5. Check this by looking at your partition table in a program call Gparted. It is located in your Mint menu.

If all the above checks out and is done without errors, when you reboot you should get the nice Mint grub menu. From this menu you should be able to boot into Linux or Windows.

There is a "gotch" floating around out there... There have been a few systems that Microsoft has evidently pushed the BIOS supplier into better cooperation with Vista, to put it nicely, and not allowing anything else to boot. So the BIOS messes with the MBR to prevent Grub from working. I don't know if you are using Vista or not but this is an outside possibility.

Try what I suggested first and lets see what the results are. Be careful and try not to make typos. :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddar on Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:14 pm

I did try now to boot Windows with Supergrub, but then i come to this page that tells me to run "Express Test" "Custom Test" and things like that. So I do an "Express Test" and when it is done, I return to the same page, exits, and my PC starts booting again, once again showing Error 16.
Joddar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:55 pm

Joddar wrote:I did try now to boot Windows with Supergrub, but then i come to this page that tells me to run "Express Test" "Custom Test" and things like that. So I do an "Express Test" and when it is done, I return to the same page, exits, and my PC starts booting again, once again showing Error 16.

Sorry I can't edit.
Now I tried the second option in Supergrup, "Boot Windows from 2nd partition", an here the boot sequence of Microsoft Windows XP, actually started but ended quick with blue screen... :/
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:00 pm

Joddvar wrote:
Joddar wrote:I did try now to boot Windows with Supergrub, but then i come to this page that tells me to run "Express Test" "Custom Test" and things like that. So I do an "Express Test" and when it is done, I return to the same page, exits, and my PC starts booting again, once again showing Error 16.

Sorry I can't edit.
Now I tried the second option in Supergrup, "Boot Windows from 2nd partition", an here the boot sequence of Microsoft Windows XP, actually started but ended quick with blue screen... :/


Posting again.
I finally found a Windows reboot CD, but when I chose "repair" it came up with that C:/ didn't exist!
But when I enter Linux Mint again using the CD I still have all my files...
Any Help?
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Fred on Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:19 pm

Joddvar,

ok, boot back into mint with Supergrub and open Gparted and post a screen shot of your partition table. Let's see what you have there.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:04 pm

Okey,
Haven't been able to boot properly with supergrub before, so for now i use the CD.
Here's the screenshot:
Image
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Fred on Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:23 pm

Joddvar,

I have to be honest with you my friend. I don't see a lot of hope in your partition table.

First, you have got a lot of something in your Windows partition. You are already using almost 75 % of the available space. Windows does not like to operate on a full disk. It won't be long before the Windows system begins to slow way down. So I wouldn't recommend adding much more data there. Also, did you defrag your Windows install before you shrunk it to get space for Linux? If not you could have corrupted your Windows install, especially with no more spare space than you have in it.

Your Mint install partition is way too small. You have no head room at all there. It will never be serviceable in 2.25 Gig. I would never even attempt to install Mint 4 on less than 4 Gig.

I know this is not what you want to hear, but if I were you I would use a a small fast Live cd, like Puppy Linux and start getting your data off this hard drive. When you have backed up all your data to another hard drive, I would delete your Linux partitions and try to use your restore disk to reinstall Windows. Then put only the data that has to go in the Windows C drive back. Keep the rest on a separate drive. At that point you can see what kind of space you have for a Linux install. I would suggest about a 10 Gig. partition for Mint 4 and 2 Gig for Swap as a starter system. If you can't get that I would have serious reservations about the worth of the effort.

Always defrag Windows before shrinking that partition. It is much safer to do that.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:16 am

So, that's it then?
Well, I better start copying from C:/ over to my extern harddrive. :-\
I did find a grub folder on a different partition though. :P
But I guess it's no use after all.
Thanks for all the help btw. Fred! :D

Guess I'll wait a while before I start playing with linux again. :(
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:19 pm

This is never going to end eh..?
I can'y use the Windows installation CD to install Windows. :P
When I choose to install Windows, and then agree to the rights and terms, and come to the screen where I am going to choose where to install XP, there is one partition there (107,5 GB thingy..), but it says that the installationprogram has no access to this disc, but I still press Enter (Install), blue screen pops up, telling me there's something wrong with a file setupdd.sys.
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Fred on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:40 pm

Would someone that is more familiar than I with Windows installation problems please help this young man?

Thanks much.

Fred

EDIT: I strongly suspect he corrupted his Windows install when trying to shrink the Windows partition to install Linux.
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby clem on Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:24 pm

Hi Joddvar,

I think the liveCD itself contains 2.5GB once decompressed so it's likely your Linux system or even the boot itself might be corrupted. As for Windows I got used a long time ago not to troubleshoot it, just reinstall it whenever it decides to stop working ;)

I recommend:
- you backup all your data
- you delete all your partitions with the liveCD
- you install windows on the empty hard drive
- you install mint afterwards but this time you give it 10GB.

It's a pity your first experience is such a failure, but it's understandable if you only gave the system 2GB...

Clem
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby McLovin on Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:06 pm

b4 you wipe it all in despair and loose all your data, try this.
Insert the Windows XP install disk, select repair, (there should be an option about using a command prompt, been a while since XP for me) and once you are in the command prompt, enter either "fixmbr" or fdisk/mbr" (they both do the same thing, but try the fixmbr first) this will restore the original XP mbr and you will be able to boot into XP again.
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:39 am

Thanks for all the great tips, but I see now that I do have a problem with the Windows XP CD. Because there was no CD with my PC, and those that I've tried haven't worked. So I talked to Dell today, and they agreed to send me a new XP-CD which is supposed to work on my PC. (I believe it has something to do with old CD not being compatible with the new SATA drives or something)
Joddvar
 

Postby Joddvar on Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:28 am

v__v
That didn't work either...
*Calling up Dell again
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Fred on Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:32 pm

Joddvar,

I am really sorry that your first experience with Linux has been so problematic.

I am afraid that the next song and dance you will get from Dell is going to be that "Linux has ruined your hard drive and you need to buy another one." This is pure, unadulterated bull tocky!

If you think you now have a good copy of Windows that is compatible with your computer, and it still won't work, I would suggest you zero the drive and start over. The information you need to do that is in the thread below.

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=11079

The next time, make sure you defrag your Windows install before trying to shrink it. Also, you can consider a Windows partition full when it reaches 80%. So make sure you calculate the minimum Windows partition size to be at least 20% larger than the maximum amount of data you plan to have in it. Also remember that you need aprox. 10 Gig for a reasonable Mint install, plus the swap partition. The swap partition should be about twice the amount of physical ram you have, not to exceed 4 Gig. total, ram plus swap.

Post back if you have questions.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:30 am

Was I supposed to just write this in as it is written?:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdx or sdx
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:41 am

Joddvar wrote:Was I supposed to just write this in as it is written?:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdx or sdx


I did that now (with sudo in front) And I believe it said that it deleted everything, but I still couldn't use the CD. :\
Joddvar
 

Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Fred on Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:42 am

Joddvar,

substitute the hard drive designator for sdx. Example:

For the first hard drive sdx = sda So it would be:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

If the drive is listed as hda (IDE drive) then use that instead of sda.

As I pointed out, you must be root or sudo root to use this command. sda or hda must be mounted also. If you are using Puppy, you are root so you don't have to put anything else in.

This is a very powerful command. It will destroy all data on the drive. That is what it is suppose to do. That is why you are using it. Don't play with it on a drive that has data on it that you wish to keep. :-)

Fred

The command will take a while to execute. If you put the wrong designator in it will finish immediately because there is no data there. The drive doesn't exist. :-)
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Problems with GRUB, Error 16.

Postby Joddvar on Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:33 pm

Thank you very much Fred! :D
Windows XP is now up running, and I've started installing all my different programs and applications, and in a few days, it will look like nothing has ever happened.
Joddvar
 

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