Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby Fred on Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:20 am

madmanmick,

When you complete the tasks that I gave you above, you will have installed grub to the MBR of sda.

As I said in my earlier post, the secret is to not tamper with your bios settings. Put them like they were when you gave me the partition table and leave them like that. Changing the bios settings changes the partition table in the MPT, which scrambles everything.

Good luck,

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: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:37 pm

Hey Fred, I was about to give that stuff a try - but - I just noticed that the final build of Elyssa is out! (When stuck in exams, news seems to pass me by). So, I think I will format my linux drive and install the new Mint 5 (I have nothing on my home partition so I don't really mind). When it comes to installing the GRUB (At the end of the installation), I do not want to point it to hd0 do i? Last time I did that it installed to the root of the linux drive (which is hd1 in my boot sequence), so I'm assuming I have to point GRUB to sda?
Thanks for all your help!
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby Fred on Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:56 pm

madmanmick,

Well, based on your previous experience I would do it just like you did before. Then the files I did will still be correct.

When you are finished check your partition table and see if it is still like what you sent me. If it is, all the instructions I gave you will still be accurate. Just make sure your bios is set where you are going to leave it. Remember, every time you change it you scramble the master partition table and all bets are off. :-)

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: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:50 am

Hey Fred, I just reformatted my Linux drive and installed Mint, and pointed the grub install to /dev/sda (my windows drive). Now everytime I load up the computer, instead of getting GRUB like I should, i get the "Windows did not shut down correctly, please choose from the following options" screen (I can choose to boot safe mode, normally, safe mode with networking etc.) So I am currently just booting into Windows. Where the hell did GRUB go! Was I supposed to tell it to install GRUB to sda1?
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby Fred on Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:15 am

madmanmick,

Set your bios exactly the way it was when Windows was booting properly and you got the partition table you posted to me.

Try booting. Then use the Mint live cd and open Gparted and check the partition table and see if it is still exactly like what you posted for me.

If it is still all the same then follow my original instructions. Don't mess with the bios.

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: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:35 am

The BIOS is set correctly as it was initially to boot windows. I ran the live cd under this setup and installed to hd1, and pointed grub install to sda. Obviously it has had some impact on the windows drive considering every time I boot windows it asks me how I wish to boot it. By the way, sdc1 is a storage drive (you asked in an earlier post). I'll check the partition table now from the LiveCD.
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:53 am

Hey Fred, the partition table looks fine. Here are GPARTED screenshots.
I noticed also that the sdb1 isn't flagged as boot, I take it that means GRUB is not installed there, which means it IS installed on sda (sda1 is flagged as BOOT, but that also denotes windows boot I assume). Whats the problem? Why won't GRUB boot?
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby Fred on Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:03 am

Is this like it was when you posted it? It appears that the installer is not seeing this partition table when it installs, so the partitions are not correctly identified in the install. I believe that is why your fstab and menu.lst were wrong.

Now that it is installed, we should be able to fix the fstab and menu.lst and reinstall grub and be ok. At least that is what I am thinking. I posted everything you should need to do that. Just follow the instructions I posted earlier.

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: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:16 am

Fred, I am currently running Mint 5 through the LiveCD. I checked the contents of the Linux drive (hd1), and modified the FSTAB file. However, seeing as previously I had told GRUB to be installed to sda, there is no /grub folder in /boot on my linux drive - so I can't edit menu.lst. Also, I can't seem to be able to mount my NTFS drives, one of which probably contains the GRUB folder (presumably sda)? I'm a bit perplexed right now. I want to do another Mint 5 reinstall, but I don't know where to tell it to install the Boot Loader - if i leave it at (hd0), it installs the to the root of my linux drive (hd1, which was my whole issue to being with - having to change BIOS to boot GRUB), and if i change it to /dev/sda (as I did just before), it installed *somewhere* on my XP drive, but when the computer boots it completely misses the boot loader and GRUB and goes straight to NTLDR, giving me the options to boot XP in safe mode or normally.

How can I do JUST a GRUB reinstall? If i were to do this, should I tell it to install the the root of hd0,0?
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby Fred on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:58 am

madmanmick,
ok... assuming you are on the Mint live cd desktop. go to /media/sdb1. You should see the file system of your Mint install. open /boot and you should see the grub folder. open the grub folder and you should see a file called menu.lst. If grub is installed anywhere there will be a grub folder containing a menu.lst on /media/sdb1/boot

To install grub you use the root and setup commands. refer to my instructions. That is how grub is installed. Like I said before, if you follow my instructions you will have installed grub to the MBR of what is currently sda, which I hope is the drive that your Windows install is still on. :-)

To edit the menu.lst from the live cd type:

gksu gedit /media/sdb1/boot/menu.lst


To edit fstab from the live cd type:

gksu gedit /media/sdb1/etc/fstab

I think I am seeing the confusion now. You are having a hard time editing the actual hard drive Mint install.

Post back if you don't understand what I just posted.

Fred

EDIT: When you look at /media/sdb1, if you don't see your Mint file system then look at /media/sda1 and see if it is there. If it is adjust the editing commands above to reflect that. I think it will be on /media/sdb1 however.
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: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:10 am

Ok Fred, it seems that I missed the part of your earlier post that said to run:
Sudo grub
root (hd1,0)
setup (hd0)
quit

My bad... I will run that, and from what I understand that will install GRUB to my sda (hda, hd0 - my Windows drive). I'll do that right now, and see what happens. Though i'm fairly sure when I installed Mint 5 Final I pointed the GRUB install to sda anyway, so it should already be there. Will report back soon - sorry for any confusion.

I just ran the above code in console, and here are the results:


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> root (hd1,0)
Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

grub> setup (hd0)
Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... no
Checking if "/grub/stage1" exists... no

Error 15: File not found

grub>

I think that means that there is infact no GRUB install on sda (I assume that sda is the same as hd0)... which is where I told Mint5 to install it to - where could it have gone! GRUB isn't on sdb1 either... and when i ran a file search it didn't find a menu.lst anywhere (but I assume it wasn't checking the NTFS drives seeing as they weren't and would not mount). Ideas? Should I reinstall Mint5 - and if i do, where should i tell it to install the boot loader (at the end, under advanced which I'm sure you already know haha).
Thanks again!
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby Fred on Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:33 am

madmanmick,

No matter where grub is installed there is a grub folder placed in /boot of the Mint install. If you don't have a grub folder in /boot of the Mint install file system it says that grub was not installed at all... anywhere. You can not see where the grub kernel is installed. the only indication that you have is the confirmation you receive when you run the setup command.

If you tried to install it to (hd0) the last time, install it to (hd1) this time. At this point, I don't care where it installs. I will be happy if it installs anywhere. We can always change the grub kernel location, but it is a lot harder to get the other half of grub into the /boot folder.

Fred

EDIT: I have seen... or actually heard of a couple of systems that had a problem with the hd notation. Try sdb as the location for the grub and see if it will take it.
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: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:38 am

OK I am going to reinstall Mint now and point the GRUB install to hd1. Will check back in when it is done.
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:26 am

Ok, here's the latest.
I did a Mint reinstall, and told it to install boot loader to hd1. I restarted the computer, and it booted straight into XP, so i restarted it once more and booted into the Mint5 liveCD. GRUB is installed on sdb1 under /boot/grub. I then proceeded to backup and modify my fstab with the contents you gave me in the earlier email. I then also backed up and modified the menu.lst, except that I changed the XP root to (hd0,0) and delete the map commands as there were not needed. I then loaded console and ran 'sudo grub':
root (hd1,0)
setup (hd0)
It went through a few commands, and no errors there. So I quit and restarted the computer, and it is still wanting to boot straight into XP. This is like my main problem right from the beginning - GRUB is located on hd1, and the only way I can boot into Linux is by changing the BIOS order so that hd1 becomes hd0.

What do I do from here? How can I get the computer to go to GRUB first rather than NTLDR?
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:07 pm

Any ideas Fred?
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby Fred on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:24 pm

madmanmick,

This gets stranger all the time... lol

I know, it isn't funny. I am sure it is quite frustrating on your end.

Maybe it is actually seeing sda as sdb. Try installing grub to the mbr of the other disk, sdb. It is booting off of one of them.

run 'sudo grub':
root (hd1,0)
setup (hd1)
quit

That should put the grub kernel on sdb. Maybe Linux is seeing it as sdb when the computer is seeing it as sda. It's worth a try and shouldn't hurt anything.

A note on the above commands. The root command tells the grub kernel where the menu.lst is. The setup command tells where to install the grub kernel. The grub kernel is very small and to put it very simply serves to point and execute the commands in the menu.lst with the help of stage 2 which is also located in the /boot/grub folder.

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: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:15 pm

Haha don't worry about it, I take it with a grain of salt. I opened up sudo grub, and firstly ran find /boot/grub/stage1 and it said it was located on (hd1,0), which is my linux drive (I checked the /boot folder, there is /grub and stage1 inside). So then for good measure, I ran setup (hd0) once more, which should install it to my windows drive? I then ran find /boot/grub/stage1 again, and it said it was still located on (hd1,0). So it hasn't found a GRUB install on my windows drive... I then tried what you said, and ran root (hd1,0) and then setup (hd1). I checked again with find /boot/grub/stage1, and it said (hd1,0). So it always seems to be installing to hd1 no matter what I write!

If it had in fact installed to hd0, should i be able to see a /boot folder in hd0,1 (My windows partition)? Or is the /boot folder hidden from view to any file explorer (being on the root of the harddrive)? If that is the case should I try running setup (hd0,1) - which would install it to my XP partition?

I'll reboot the computer now and see what happens, though my predictions are grim.

EDIT:

The computer is still booting straight into Windows with no hint of GRUB. I am now more than lost as to what to do. I also tried running the 'boot linux from local drive' option from the Mint LiveCD (which should theoretically boot the Mint install on my hard drive) but it just booted straight into Windows... I think I'll have a fiddle now with the SuperGRUB disc to see if it can boot Windows or Mint.

EDIT EDIT!!!:

I just ran SuperGRUB, and guess what! It detected the GRUB install as on hd2,0!!! That means that the LiveCD was incorrectly finding the partition table, and that LINUX is actually installed on hd2 (sdc) instead of hd1! I'm now in hdd Mint5, and running GPARTED to find what the partition table actually is! I'm also going to run sudo grub and find out where it is ACTUALLY installed! WHAT A MESS!

EDIT EDIT EDIT!:

Sorry for this confusing post, but I figured best to keep updating this one than making new posts. Turns out that GPARTED is still finding my linux drive as sdb, even though superGRUB detected it as hd2 (THIS IS REALLY STRANGE). In GPARTED, sda is still the windows drive, sdb is Linux, and sdc is storage. Normally I would say that would imply that sda = hd0, sdb = hd1 and sdc = hd2. However, supergrub found linux on hd2 - sdc, yet GPARTED says linux is on sdb, which means that sdb is actually hd2. What is going on!
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:50 pm

OK LATEST HERE.

I can now boot both Windows and Linux from SuperGRUB disc. SuperGRUB detects GRUB as being installed on hd2s1 (sdc1), and if I load that, it loads up the standard non GFXGRUB boot menu.
The options I am given are:
Linux Mint, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic
Linux Mint, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic(recovery mode)
Linux Mint, kernel memtest86+
Other Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows XP Home edition

All of them boot correctly - menu.lst is setup so that Linux Mint's root is (hd2,0) instead of (hd1,0 which doesn't work). And Windows XP's config in menu.lst is simply:
root (hd0,0)
savedefault
chainloader +1

Evidently, GRUB is working as it should be- it's just located in the wrong spot. Is there an option I can run from the SuperGRUB disc that will fix the location of my GRUB file so that I can boot into GRUB without having to use SuperGRUB disc?
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby madmanmick on Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:39 am

Fred, just letting you know that I have solved the problem. I used SuperGRUB disk to fix the GNU/Linux GRUB installation, and it moved my existing GRUB to the root of hd0, so now GRUB is correctly booting upon system start, and both OSes start fine. Thanks so much for all your help, I really do appreciate it!
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Re: Strange dual boot difficulties (XP and Mint 5) - need advice

Postby ukstar on Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:26 pm

I am not an expert but this is the way I have installed dual boot for various distros in the past, and it works for me.
I have two sata hard drives, XP on the first and Mint on the second.
This is far the easiest way to dual boot I have found so far.

I like to keep my XP MBR, don't like any linux distro overwriting XP.
I always set up a boot, a swap and the "/" partitions.
When installing Mint or any other distro that let's you choose where to put the mbr,
click on advanced and put your mbr on the first sector of boot partition, then carry on with the installation.
When you re-boot you will obviously only get Windows.
Now you download bootpart from http://winimage.com/winimage.htm. Make sure the .exe is on the root C:\ partiton in Windows.

OK. Now run bootpart and you will see Mint there on your second drive.
You should get something like
1 type=83*, thats what you want,
type;
bootpart 1 mint.lnx Mint

exit
reboot
You should now see Windows XP and Mint.

This is my menu.lst
Also comment out, otherwise you will get that message and think it's not working.
# gfxmenu=/etc/grub/message.elyssa

title Linux Mint, kernel 2.6.24-18-generic
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.24-18-generic root=/dev/sdb3 ro quiet splash
initrd /initrd.img-2.6.24-18-generic

title Linux Mint, kernel 2.6.24-18-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.24-18-generic root=/dev/sdb3 ro single
initrd /initrd.img-2.6.24-18-generic

title Linux Mint, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic root=/dev/sdb3 ro quiet splash
initrd /initrd.img-2.6.24-16-generic

title Linux Mint, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic root=/dev/sdb3 ro single
initrd /initrd.img-2.6.24-16-generic

title Linux Mint, kernel memtest86+
root (hd1,0)
kernel /memtest86+.bin

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
title Other operating systems:
root


# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda1
title Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
root (hd0,0)
savedefault
chainloader +1

You can of course set up within Windows to make Mint the default.
Hope this helps
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