Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

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Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby uzername on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:52 pm

Mint overwrote my grub install with grub2, which wouldn't boot anything. I had to boot from rescue CD into Arch and restore grub. No matter what I add to grub, though, it won't boot Mint. I tried using labels, even, but I still get various errors at boot (no such partition, can't find disk, can't find file, etc.). Here's what's in menu.lst for Mint now:

# (4) Linux Mint
title Linux Mint
root=LABEL=Mint
kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/a26a7941-e589-419a-8cc1-d5c9d1d436ae ro vga=773
initrd /initrd.img

Mint is on /dev/sda2, according to what Arch says, but neither (hd0,1) or any other value works (tried hd0,0, hd1,0, hd1,1, some hdx,msdosx values, and even a few others that there's no disk for, lol). Can anyone assist me? I really want to start using Mint, but I can't solve this.
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Re: Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby xenopeek on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:16 pm

Moved here as this is about Arch Linux. And, erm, well here is the help on the Arch wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GR ... 28GRUB2.29 :roll: So you need to load the Linux Mint installation DVD again, and manually now install GRUB2 to /dev/sda2. Then follow the example on Arch wiki.
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Re: Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby uzername on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:24 pm

I wondered where it went. :p

I did install it to /dev/sda2 in Mint. When that didn't work, I couldn't boot anything - I think the partition designations are changing from OS to BIOS/grub, is that possible? I used the UUID and label, like I said, but nothing is working.
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Re: Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby xenopeek on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:29 pm

As the example shows, easiest is to chainload GRUB2 from GRUB Legacy. You may try gathering some diagnostics with the boot info script, as detailed here: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=95062#p545770. You can run that from the live session of the Linux Mint installation DVD. It will help oyu figure out whether indeed GRUB2 is installed correctly and to which partition. Then just copy & paste the example from the wiki, and adjust to number one down (as example is for /dev/sda3 and you want /dev/sda2).
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Re: Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby uzername on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:21 pm

Here's what I'm getting:

Code: Select all
mint@mint ~ $ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 640.1 GB, 640133946880 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77825 cylinders, total 1250261615 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0000a260

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *          63    58935295    29467616+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2        58935296    66426879     3745792   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4        66428775  1250258624   591914925    5  Extended
/dev/sda5        66428838   121124863    27348013   83  Linux
/dev/sda6       121126912   804724735   341798912   83  Linux
/dev/sda7       804726784  1250257365   222765291   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80025280000 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders, total 156299375 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0004036b

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1              63    42203135    21101536+  83  Linux
/dev/sdb2        42203136   156297215    57047040   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdc: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1              63   312576704   156288321   83  Linux

mint@mint ~ $ sudo grub-install /dev/sdb2
grub-probe: error: failed to get canonical path of /cow.
Path `/boot/grub' is not readable by GRUB on boot. Installation is impossible. Aborting.

mint@mint ~ $ sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt
mint@mint ~ $ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sdb2
grub-probe: error: failed to get canonical path of /cow.
/usr/sbin/grub-bios-setup: warning: File system `ext2' doesn't support embedding.
/usr/sbin/grub-bios-setup: warning: Embedding is not possible.  GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists.  However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged..
/usr/sbin/grub-bios-setup: error: will not proceed with blocklists.

mint@mint ~ $ sudo chroot /mnt
mint / # grub-install /dev/sdb2
grub-probe: error: cannot find a device for /boot (is /dev mounted?).
Path `/boot/grub' is not readable by GRUB on boot. Installation is impossible. Aborting.

mint / # ls
bin   dev  home        initrd.img.old  lib64       media  opt   root  sbin     srv  tmp  var
boot  etc  initrd.img  lib             lost+found  mnt    proc  run   selinux  sys  usr  vmlinuz
mint / #


In Arch, however, fdisk lists that drive as /dev/sda, and for some weird reason the other one as /dev/sdd:

Code: Select all
# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80025280000 bytes, 156299375 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0004036b

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1              63    42203135    21101536+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2        42203136   156297215    57047040   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdd: 640.1 GB, 640133946880 bytes, 1250261615 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0000a260

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdd1   *          63    58935295    29467616+  83  Linux
/dev/sdd2        58935296    66426879     3745792   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdd4        66428775  1250258624   591914925    5  Extended
/dev/sdd5        66428838   121124863    27348013   83  Linux
/dev/sdd6       121126912   804724735   341798912   83  Linux
/dev/sdd7       804726784  1250257365   222765291   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes, 312581808 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1              63   312576704   156288321   83  Linux


and grub legacy boots Arch from root (hd0,0). So where is it actually booting from? I'm confused :?
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Re: Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby xenopeek on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:07 pm

Perhaps somebody more knowledgeable can step in and suggest a next step. That disks can be numbered differently with the /dev/sdXY notation is a known problem of that notation, it can even change from boot to boot for some BIOSes. Why did you install with ext2 though? Ext4 is the default and would allow embedding.

Anyway, if you have Linux Mint on a completely separate hard disk you can also try installing GRUB2 to the MBR of that hard disk. That shouldn't need embedding.
Code: Select all
sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sdb

(Only difference is the /dev/sdb2 on the last command is changed to /dev/sdb.)
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Re: Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby uzername on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:30 pm

That's another weird thing - it is ext4! Don't know why it's saying ext2 there, makes me think it's trying to write somewhere else.

Mint installed grub2 to /dev/sdb during the install. That wouldn't boot anything, which is why I restored grub legacy from within arch. I don't know a next step, either, except maybe try reinstalling Mint and this time selecting "alongside existing OS" instead of "something else," and then hope Mint will install a working grub2 from that option.

Thanks for your answers, it's a tough problem.
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Re: Can't Boot Mint from an Arch System with Grub

Postby uzername on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:48 am

Still can't boot Mint. Not sure how to proceed or what to try next. Don't really want to totally wipe existing Arch installation. Can anyone assist?
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