XP won't boot from GRUB

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XP won't boot from GRUB

Postby onionparadise on Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:50 pm

This has probably been brought up before, but solutions I've found don't work or are inconsistent with each other, so I'm going to go ahead and ask for help.

I've got a 2002 desktop computer with an AMD Athlon 2900+ processor, 80GB hard drive, 512 MB RAM, running Windows XP Home Edition. I decided to finally start using Linux, so I partitioned my hard drive using the tools in the Mint 7 Installation, creating a 1024 MB SWAP partition and a 10.3 GB EXT3 partition, just like the installation instructions said. I continued with the installation and installed Mint 7. Mint 7 works beautifully, and boots just fine from GRUB. However, I don't intend to solely use Mint 7 on this machine, so I restarted the machine and next tried selecting Windows XP from the GRUB startup menu. I get a black screen and the words "Starting up..."

and that's it. That's all it does. It just displays "Starting up..." and does nothing. I want my Windows XP to boot. And there is no way in hell I'm reinstalling Windows, because unless the Mint 7 installer started playing around with the XP partition, which the installation guide and the installer promised it wouldn't do, there's no problem with XP, and the problem lies with GRUB. Does anyone know how to solve this problem?
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Re: XP won't boot from GRUB

Postby Aging Technogeek on Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:00 pm

Open a terminal and enter:
Code: Select all
 gksu gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst


and post the response here so we can see what your grub is doing.

Also, run Partition Editor and post a copy of your partition table.
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Re: XP won't boot from GRUB

Postby onionparadise on Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:21 pm

menu.lst:

Code: Select all
# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
#            grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
#            grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
#            and /usr/share/doc/grub-legacy-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
#
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not change this entry to 'saved' or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default      1

## Graphical boot menu location
gfxmenu=/boot/gfxmenu/linuxmint.message

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout      10

# Pretty colours
color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line)  and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
#      password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

#
# examples
#
# title      Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root      (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader   +1
#
# title      Linux
# root      (hd0,1)
# kernel   /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro
#

#
# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

### BEGIN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/sda3 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=(hd0,2)

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
##      alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
##      lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=quiet splash

## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
## e.g. lockold=false
##      lockold=true
# lockold=false

## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenhopt=

## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenkopt=console=tty0

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
##      altoptions=(single-user) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
##      howmany=7
# howmany=all

## specify if running in Xen domU or have grub detect automatically
## update-grub will ignore non-xen kernels when running in domU and vice versa
## e.g. indomU=detect
##      indomU=true
##      indomU=false
# indomU=detect

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
##      memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
## can be true or false
# updatedefaultentry=false

## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
## can be true or false
# savedefault=false

## ## End Default Options ##

title      Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)
root      (hd0,2)
kernel      /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic root=/dev/sda3 ro quiet splash
initrd      /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-11-generic
quiet

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

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


I removed the recovery-mode and memtest options at the advice of a friend, who said I'd probably never use them and I still have the installation disc anyways, and also renamed the Linux entry from the original cluttered title to just "Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)" and renamed the XP title to "Windows XP".

Partitions:
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Re: XP won't boot from GRUB

Postby Fred on Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:18 pm

onionparadise,

Oh my friend... I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you leave me no choice. In a nutshell, the bad news is, your problem isn't grub. All is well there.

Let me point out a few problems first. A Widows partition should be considered full at around 80%. From there on it will become s-l-o-w to a fault, until it won't run at all. As your gparted shot shows, you are about there now. So even if you get it working, the end is in sight if you don't make some space.

Did you defrag your XP install at least once or twice before you shrunk it? My crystal ball tells me you probably didn't. A mostly full, fragmented NTFS drive is likely to get corrupted when shrunk. There is no coming back from that, short of a reinstall. I can hear you in the distance; "Now you tell me!" Sorry. :-)

All is not lost yet though. There is a little sliver of potentially good news. Windows, when it goes through a traumatic experience like loosing a big chunk of its' available space, may refuse to boot the first few times. It may just need to reacclimatize itself to its' new environment, so-to-speak. Boot it 4 or 5 times, letting it try to boot for several minutes each time. It may recover and still work for you.

If it does, don't become complacent and decide the problem is solved. The things I said above are still valid and the end is still in sight. You need either more storage or less data. Soon! :-)

Fred
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Re: XP won't boot from GRUB

Postby onionparadise on Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:53 pm

Hey, thanks for the advice.

I don't think it's fragmentation. I actually did a full defrag right before creating the linux partitions (I figured, this is scary enough, I want my system in tip-top shape to make sure it gets through). Good thing too, it had been a while and it took some 10 hours to fully defragment and opened up about a gig of space. I've been thinking of adding more memory soon anyways; now that laptops come with several hundred gigabytes of space, I figured my desktop should not be sitting at only 80 overall.

That's good to know that it can sometimes take a while for Windows to get used to it. That gives me hope. If that fails, then luckily for me my XP install cd has several options, including repair only system files, run system restore remotely from cd, and a partial restore that wipes anything new past a restore point (which in this case would be right before the linux installation). If Windows doesn't get acclimated, then maybe that will help.
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Re: XP won't boot from GRUB

Postby Fred on Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:03 pm

onionparadise,

Yes, you have options related to recovering XP that most don't have. I wish you 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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