Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

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Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Cesc on Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:31 am

hey guys! i'm new to the forums and new to linux mint. i wanted learn more about linux, but somehow i encounter some problems. so, here i go:

i run a sony vaio vista home 32bit notebook and recently installed linux mint on an external hdd drive. i partitioned a swap and 2 ext3's. the installation went well but somehow i missed the option to turn off grub installation to mbr. and there's my problem! now everytime i try to boot it gives me the grub error 21! but besides that, it somehow seems that i can't boot vista anymore! i tried several things like terminal commands or win xp boot cd but that somehow doesn't help my vista! i don't have a vista install cd cause it came preinstalled on my notebook. can you guys give me some hints about what to do now, how to get vista back to work and setup my linux mint on an external hdd without any problems?

i'm german, please excuse my english :)

greetings, cesc
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Nicki on Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:42 am

You should at least have a recovery partition on you computer. This one should be reached from BIOS.

Otherwise you can restart your machine with the Mint Live-CD and go in to the partitioner program (GParted). Check if you have the boot flag set to your external drive and if then, change to your Vista drive, the first one. This should be the reason why you have got the error 21. This means that BIOS can't find a bootable drive on your system. It must always be the first drive.

It will sometimes be some problem with having Linux separate on another drive, so why can't you have it on your Vista drive. Side by side?
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby mcash454 on Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:00 am

Nicki wrote:You should at least have a recovery partition on you computer. This one should be reached from BIOS.


I had a similar problem, and when I booted to my Vista recovery partition it did not help at all. It merely reinstalled Vista, but didn't change the partitions or the mbr at all. So I was still unable to boot to anything.

What I ended up doing was booting to the Mint liveCD and deleting all the partitions that were associated with the linux installation. Then I reinstalled mint by manually setting up the partitions, which it sounds like you tried to do the first time.

I'm far from an expert, so my problem may have been different from yours. I think I had a GRUB 22 error, but am not 100% certain.
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Cesc on Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:04 am

ok, i did what nicki said. i activated boot flag on the external partition which contains linux mint and now i get grub error 17! is it because the lba flag is set? shall i un-flag it?

[edit] so i un-flag'd lba and tried to reboot. now it says it's loading (without an error) but it take too long so i guess it doesn't really boot or just really take forever! my question now is, is there any way to delete grub via live cd, if yes, how do i do it? cause maybe i'll just go back to windows first and try to found out more about this whole external hdd installation stuff :(
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Nicki on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:34 am

mcash454 wrote:
I had a similar problem, and when I booted to my Vista recovery partition it did not help at all. It merely reinstalled Vista, but didn't change the partitions or the mbr at all. So I was still unable to boot to anything.


Did you realy recover the disc "as it was from the factory"? This option should also replace mbr.
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Nicki on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:35 am

Cesc wrote:
[edit] so i un-flag'd lba and tried to reboot. now it says it's loading (without an error) but it take too long so i guess it doesn't really boot or just really take forever! my question now is, is there any way to delete grub via live cd, if yes, how do i do it? cause maybe i'll just go back to windows first and try to found out more about this whole external hdd installation stuff :(


No, you should mount the flag on your Vista disc. Not the Mint disc/partition.
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Cesc on Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:00 am

i tried to flag lba on the vista disc but somehow it doesn't change to flag'd o_O
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Nicki on Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:55 am

Sorry about that. This should work, so we need more help from the forum.
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby Cesc on Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:02 pm

it's okay, just a bit frustrating if you can't boot stuff cause nothing works! i now try to install mint on the vista partition and try to get it starting without the whole external hdd idea! so maybe i can fix the mbr via vista if i get it to boot :/

[edit] okay guys, i finally made it happen! i installed mint on my laptop hard drive as i said and now everything works just fine! i'll try to figure things out now and maybe keep mint on my notebook ;) thanks for all the help though!

cesc~
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Re: Can't boot Linux or Vista! :(

Postby mcash454 on Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:27 pm

Nicki wrote: Did you realy recover the disc "as it was from the factory"? This option should also replace mbr.


Yeah, I did a full factory restore, but it did not eliminate my GRUB error. It was quite disappointing at the time, but I survived :D
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