Trouble booting after loading to external

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Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:14 am

i partitioned my external hdd (wd). I took out my internal hd just to be safe when i was messing around with the external. after partitioning the external and installeding mint 6 it will load fine as long as my internal hard drive is not in the picture. after putting my internal hd back in and booting from usb it comes up with the common error i keepr reading about. "missing modules (cat/proc/modules;ls /dev) Alert! /dev/sda3 deos not exist. I'll post the screen shot of my external hard drive partition. I'm assuming something is wrong with the bootloader? i dunno i would really appreciate any input.
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:17 am

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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby viking777 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:33 am

My guess is that when you installed without the internal drive in place, your external drive was called sda. When you put your internal drive back in I am pretty sure that the internal becomes sda and the external drive sdb (use a live cd and gparted to confirm this). You will either need to reinstall grub so that it point to sdb3 (which is possible but difficult and you will probably still have to edit menu.lst by hand) or install mint onto your external drive again but this time with your internal hard drive in place (much easier).
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:09 pm

so my partition set up looks ok? i took my internal hd out just to be safe i didn't mess w/ anything on it. guess i'll try everything the same way with it installed.
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby viking777 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:04 pm

Sure your partition set up is OK (on your external drive) anyway Linux is amazingly tolerant of different partition setups. You don't actually need a
/home partition (I dont have one) you don't even need a swap partition (if you have a reasonable amount of memory) so what you have will certainly work.

Put your internal drive back in and then, if you want to be doubly sure of what you are doing, boot from the live cd and run gparted. Have a look at your disks and partitions and make absolutely sure you know what is where - even draw a little diagram in the same way that gparted presents the disk layouts if that makes you more certain. Then when you install make ABSOLUTELY sure that you choose manual or custom disk partitioning (whichever it is called) and make sure you put the '/' partition on the third primary partition of your external drive (which I think will be /dev/sdb3, your home partition on the first extended partition of your external drive (which I think will be called /dev/sdb5, and put your swap partition on the second extended partition of your external hard drive (which I think will be called /dev/sdb6).

I am sure that will work.
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm

ok i did what you said and now when i boot from my internal hd it loads linux but only does it when the external is plugged in. when i try to load from usb it has something like error 21 grub loader and when i load from the internal hd when the external isn't plugged in it will give me the same error. So the only thing i can do is have the external plugged in and select load from internal which infact it is loading from my external and i have no idea what happened to windows xp!

here's some screen shots...

Here's my internal and external hd that shows up when i'm about to partition after selecting install

Image

Here's my partition set up. Do i just leave the sda alone (this is what i did the first time when i got the problems)

Image
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:02 pm

ok tried it again and says error 22 no such partition
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Fred on Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:19 pm

Jace05,

Ok... first, you are confusing the issue greatly by changing the boot drive. Set your BIOS to boot the first hard drive, that Windows is on, and leave it that way. The partitioning you show in the last screen is fine. Install it like that and everything should be ok. You should be able to select the system that boots from the grub menu, not from the BIOS.

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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:37 pm

Ok this is whats going on:

Without the external drive in this is what happens:
"Grub loading stage 1.5"
"Grub loading, please wait"
"Error 21"

With external drive in:
when selecting internal hdd boot the linux mint screen comes up with the multiple linux mint boot options and then there is the other operating sys. option where windows xp shows up. i can boot both linux or windows but this is only when the external hdd is plugged in and only when i select the internal hdd boot option.
When i select the usb boot option i get the same linux screen where i have several bootable options along with the windows option. When i select linux it says "Error 22: so such partition" When i select windows it says "Starting up... Invalid System Disk, Replace disk and press any key to continue."

I don't understand how this is happening. It's like it's viewing my external hdd and my interal hdd. any input?
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Fred on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:54 pm

Jace05,

Ok... If I understand you correctly, sdb is your external drive. This is where you have your /boot partition and its menu.lst file. The way you have it installed you must have your external drive installed in order to boot anything. Selecting to boot the usb drive from the BIOS just changes the boot sector that is referenced for boot. There is nothing in that boot sector. The grub kernel is in the boot sector of the internal hard drive.

If you want to be able to boot without the external drive connected you need to have the /boot partition located on your internal hard drive. Your / partition for your Linux install can still be on the external drive but it won't actually boot unless the external hard drive is plugged in. The Windows install will then boot with or without the external drive connected however.

Trying to boot from the BIOS will not do anything but give errors. Leave it set to boot from the internal hard drive.

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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:54 am

so what i did was remove the sdb2 /boot and now / is sdb. still im getting the same errors and nothing has changed. i still have to boot from the my external which is recognized as my internal hdd
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:05 am

Jace05,

You missed the point. The boot folder/partition has to be on the sda or internal hard drive. When you reinstalled and put the / on the external hard drive with no /boot partition the boot is still on the external hard drive. It is part of / now.

In order to get it to boot with the external drive installed or not installed, /boot needs to be on sda, the internal hard drive. The Linux Mint / can stay on the external hard drive, but your /boot partition needs to be on the internal hard drive so it will work with or without the external drive connected.

Fred
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:14 am

here's my screen shot

Image

so what i need to do is edit my ntsf (sda) and change it from " do not use the partition" to "ntfs" and have it as /boot... right?
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:16 am

Hang on a min. and let me look at what you have.

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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:41 am

Jace05,

Your ntfs partition is full! My guess is that it is really s-l-o-w. You really need to get some of the data off of it while you still can. You are right on the edge of Windows not working at all. If I were you I would move at least 10 Gig. off sda to the fat32 partition. Then defrag the ntfs partition and shrink it by about 64 MB. Take the 64 MB plus the 8 MB and make an ext2 partition for /boot.

Create a 12 Gig. ext3 partition on sdb for Mint /. And a swap partition of about 2 Gig. Create any other data partitions you want to have on sdb.

Then install your Linux Mint with the /boot partition on sda2 and the / and swap to sdb.

That should get what I think you are looking for.

Fred
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:10 pm

is this what you were explaining to do?

I got this error message after trying to proceed

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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Jace05 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:42 pm

ok so my partition is now set to the one shown above

with the external hd unplugged it loads the internal hd and the linux boot options comes up along with the "other operating systems" where windows xp shows. when selecting windows xp it loads fine but when selecting linux it has the error screen.

with the external hd is plugged in i select to load from usb and has an error. when i select internal hd i can load linux but not windows.

so i guess my question is how do i set it up so windows will load auto when the external isn't plugged in instead of showing the linux boots as well as the windows boot.

also how do i get it set up so when the external is plugged in i can select usb boot instead of internal boot to load linux. if that makes sence
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:23 pm

Jace05,

We are just not communicating. I don't blame you, it is me not being able to express myself effectively. Let me try again.

You seem to want to change the boot with some key combination/BIOS setting. Don't. You do all the boot selection from the Grub menu, not by changing the boot drive. You set the BIOS so it boots from the internal drive, the one that has Windows on it. You do this when the external drive is plugged in. To do this you boot with the external drive plugged in. You should see the internal drive as sda1, and it should have Windows on it. Once you have this set in your BIOS you leave it alone. You do not change this to usb boot, sda2 boot or any other option available in BIOS to boot OSs.

You make the install of Mint with the /boot partition on sda1 and the / partition on sda2 and let the installer put the grub kernel in the boot sector of sda, hd0.

Without changing anything, the external drive still plugged in, when you boot you should be able to boot into Windows or Mint from the grub boot screen. When you boot without the external drive plugged in you should be able to boot Windows but not Linux from the grub boot screen. The reason being that the Mint install is on the external drive which is not plugged in.

At no time should you try to change the boot drive from the BIOS. Always use the grub boot screen, with the BIOS set to boot the internal, sda drive. That should never change regardless of what OS you are trying to boot.

I hope this is making some sense to you. :-)

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: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Gigonua on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:12 pm

Hey, I just bought a 500GB WD external hard drive and I have been trying to install linux on it too. It would be pretty easy to install GRUB to the master boot record like you are saying Fred. I don't want to do that however. I want to find out if there is a way to install GRUB on the external hard drive so that I can take my hard drive to different computers without installing GRUB to the MBR. Is there a way to do this?
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Re: Trouble booting after loading to external

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:57 pm

Gigonua,

Sure, don't do it like I am suggesting in this thread however. Put your install all on the external drive, ie. no separate /boot partition. The last screen of the install, I think it is, there is a button labeled "advanced" that will allow you to install grub to your desired location. Install grub to the mbr of the drive you are installing Linux to.

Lets say you have an external drive being recognized as sdb, which you install Linux to. Select to put the grub kernel in (hd1). Then when you boot a computer that gives you the option to boot the external drive it will boot Linux. It won't boot Windows however, just your Linux install. You could put a few typical Windows boot stanzas in the menu.lst but it would be hit and miss, depending on the computer you were trying to boot with. :-)

Fred
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