SOLVED .... Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

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claggan
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SOLVED .... Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Previously had Linuxmint (14 I think) as a dual boot with XP. Worked fine. Decided to install latest version 16. Removed old. Downloaded 16 Cinamon and burnt to DVD. Boots fine from DVD and works fine. Installed on SSD drive which also has XP. All three Linux partitions seem to be fine and hold proper data. Computer refuses to boot either to XP or to Linuxmint. Just goes to Dell diaagnostics (which I ran .... and all is well) and on exit does the same. I have tried the laft shift key wile booting etc ... but nothing works. Have an Nvidia card whish daused no problems the last time. Have updated the driver to Ubuntu (but only on the DVD). If I were to re-install with this new driver would that help ?? I am tempted to remove the three partitions and try again to a different drive. Incidentally, during the install, I lost the partitions on another drive which I used as a clone of the main SSD. I was now thinking of using that drive. It has been a very disappointing experience so far. I was hoping to use this computer exclusively for Linux and a new system for anything else.
Last edited by claggan on Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
iowabeakster
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by iowabeakster »

It sounds like grub got messed up, moved, or deleted, in the shuffling of operating systems (possibly to that other drive, and maybe that's where mint 16 got installed, and since that is not drive that you have selected to boot from in your BIOS, it can't boot). The graphics card drivers will have nothing to do with booting (at least very the first stage of booting).

There is a helpful little tool called boot-repair. The link provided is for ubuntu, but it will work exactly the same with Mint.

Boot up your DVD of mint. Follow 2nd option, when Mint is up and running from the DVD. That last command will install boot-repair, and start running it. Just click the "Recommended repair" button once it starts running. It's worked many many times for me. Basically, it will find the installed systems on your drive, reinstall grub, and update it, so that grub knows where to find your operating systems and begin booting them when selected. Unless you did something fancy with your boot partition, the "recommended repair" should take care of you.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
marvinudy
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by marvinudy »

claggan,

If you installed Mint and have more than one drive, ssd/spin, in your machine, you may have allowed Mint to install the boot loader onto the wrong drive. With several drives, use the 'select boot' option key, sometimes F-11 to access the drive boot choices. Give them all a try and see what you get. You may still have good systems installed.

For my 'windows' friends with two drives, we install Mint on the second drive and install the 'boot loader' into the MBR of the second drive and they select which drive to boot from using the F-11 key.

Best regards,

marvinudy
claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Thanks for both replies ...
Iowabeakster ... I tried the boot repair - the first line of code worked, but when I typed in the second line I get the message ....
E: Unable to locate package boot-repair.

Mauvinudy .... I tried what you suggested ... I am assuming that I hit any key to get to the 4 otions ... the second of which is the compatability mode. At the end of that I had no options offered and when I hit a key it went to the same place as it does when I try to boot from my main drive which has Mint and xp on it.

If i try to select boot from local drive I get the same result ..... Dell diagnostics.

I am lost ...

I am thinking of trying to remove the three linux partitions and see if I can still use XP.

If not then I really have a mess.

Thanks for your suggestions ... any more would be welcome ....
iowabeakster
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by iowabeakster »

When you try the first command, does it ask you to verify adding the repository [by asking you to hit enter] from where you would download the boot-repair from?

That first command should then also do a second thing: sudo apt-get update
Does it do the update?

I've ran boot-repair from a live-USB numerous times (never tried from a live-DVD). Do you have the ability to make a live-USB instead, and booting from that (instead of the DVD)?

Or simply creating a different live-CD (or DVD) like in option 1, from the link above, that already has boot-repair installed?

edit---I had another thought, are you connected to the internet while running your live-DVD? You need to be, so you can download boot-repair.
claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

I re-ran the boot-repair and it did find the correct location and did run the boot-repair. It took quite a while and then it tried to prepare a log of it (i forget the exact words) and it ran for 30 minutes before I stopped it - seemed to be in a loop.
I rebooted from hard drive and it booted ... very slowly.
I got my five options ..
Boot linuxmint
Boot Linuxmint recovery mode
Memory test
Memory test
Boot to XP on/dev/sdb5

The last option does not work ... it simply recycles to a choice of the five options again.

I have also run the recovery option once.
The first option works fine.
iowabeakster
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by iowabeakster »

awesome. you got it now :D

Boot to the linux mint (the regular one, not recovery).

Update the system.

Once you have it all updated, reboot it again to linux mint (the top one).

Then, open a terminal and enter those two commands from the 2nd option of the boot-repair link again (add repository & update, install & boot-repair).

It'll probably run much much faster than the live-DVD on a regularly installed system. See if that will get your XP install to boot.

And do you know which drive you are booting from?

report back with the results
claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Thanks again for your suggestions. As an ex-programmer from the 70's I really want to use Linux and become proficient. I did all that you suggested and the results are as follows:
I know which drive I am booting from .... my main SSD 240 GB drive
Can not boot to XP from option 5
Option four (new) is now Boot to Dell utility partition .... which only runs diagnostics and on exit returns to Boot again
During the Boot-Repair it told me that this partition was too small and I must remove some files (which I did) ... It was obviously going to write to it.
Boot from Linux Mint (option1) is fine

As before, at the end of Boot Repair. it starts to create a boot-info summary ...
This process seems to get in a loop .... had to terminate (after 40 minutes) by hitting power off key.

Incidentally .... when the system hangs, or I can't get out of a procedure, and I try to Restart ... the system hangs on a blank or LM Logo screen.

So I have to do more work to find out why I have lost my XP Boot ....
oldtraveler
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by oldtraveler »

You might try instaling Grub Customizer in Mint. That program should see all the OS on your disk. Choose XP as default to see if it will boot XP. You can then change back to a diferent Default OS if you choose.
iowabeakster
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by iowabeakster »

I know which drive I am booting from .... my main SSD 240 GB drive
Is that "main" drive /dev/sdb (or maybe /dev/sda) ?

I noticed in a post you had earlier, you said:
Boot linuxmint
Boot Linuxmint recovery mode
Memory test
Memory test
Boot to XP on/dev/sdb5
So it is trying to boot XP from the /dev/sdb drive.

You also said further above:
I lost the partitions on another drive which I used as a clone of the main SSD
So that makes me wonder which one is the clone, and which one is the ssd. Obviously, if it is trying to boot from from the cloned drive, that got wiped, it's not going to boot.

Anyway. If that XP installation is still on your SSD, you CAN still fix this (probably by going into the advanced options in the boot-repair program, there are options for fixing windows systems). I just have no experience with fixing a windows boot.

You can check out the advanced options in boot-repair, and see what is in there and try stuff on your own if you want (warning, danger, alert).

My advice would be to go back to link above (boot-repair). There is another link on that page, to a discussion thread (an Ubuntu discussion forum). And seek advice there. Since boot-repair isn't able to finish the report, you will probably need to provide a lot of details of your drives, and grub.
claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Thanks again .... I think I have downloaded the Grub Customiser program (it shows up in the APPs) but I don't know how to get it to run.
And yes SDB5 is on my SSD (not the clone) as is XP.

I will look for the advanced Boot-Repair option as you suggest ...
oldtraveler
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by oldtraveler »

Open Grub Customizer and then the "general settings" tab. In there select your XP as the defualt and then save. Reboot and see if XP boots.
claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Sorry but I didn't explain myself too well ... what I have is - under system settings/admin/PPA's are entries for boot-repair and grub-customiser (two for each).
Cant load from there
Exactly where do I run it from ... and how .... it find it hard to locate files/programs on Linux.

Having played around a bit ... when I boot now ... it says "loading grub" .. hit ESC to enter ...
Did so and there is no XP boot option there.
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austin.texas
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by austin.texas »

Boot into your Mint that you have installed.
Open a terminal, and enter the command -

Code: Select all

sudo update-grub
Now you should have Mint and Windows on the GRUB menu when you reboot.
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018
claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Thank you. Would love to but now my boot to Linux from my hard drive has gone too. I can only boot from DVD. And of course the update-grub won't work now. And all my efforts to rebuild my Windows Mbr have failed due to corrupted files. So if I can't get my Mint hard drive boot back I only have one option left.
Uninstall Linux Mint and pay someone to get my Windows Mbr back.
I can look on the experience as a horror show or the ultimate learning experience .... and I made my living designing software.

If I get over it I will try again but on system with nothing else on it.
I did not expect so many problems since I had it working before quite well.

In the meantime I would appreciate any info on how to Uninstall Mint 16, as the aarticled I read on the net are very unclear.

And thanks to all those who helped ...........
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austin.texas
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by austin.texas »

The procedure to uninstall is simply to delete or format the partitions that linux is using.

However, there are several ways to approach repairing your boot process, allowing you to boot Windows and Mint
Super Grub Disk program - http://www.supergrubdisk.org/
Boot Repair program - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot- ... _in_Ubuntu
terminal commands - http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/245 and https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2 ... via_ChRoot
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claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Tried the first option ... Supergrubdisk.
Gparted would not work because it said I was not operating from Root.
Anyway I used SDB5 as the partition has EXT4 classification and that is where the existing Boot/Grub folders are.
It took several efforts to get the SUDO mount SDB5 to work

But the next command sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sdb produces ...

grub-probe: error: failed to get canonical path of /cow.
Path 'mnt/boot/grub' is not readable by grub on boot. Installation is impossible. Aborting
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austin.texas
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by austin.texas »

claggan wrote:grub-probe: error: failed to get canonical path of /cow.
Path 'mnt/boot/grub' is not readable by grub on boot. Installation is impossible. Aborting
That same problem was reported here, and the person then successfully used Boot Repair -
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 67#p741603
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018
claggan
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by claggan »

Ran boot repair as you suggested.

Ran os-prober ... found the three as expected ..

sdb1 Dell Utility
sdb2 Microsost XP
sdb5 Linux Mint

Mounted sdb5

Ran grub-install etc .... on SDB

Result ...

grub-probe: error: failed to get canonical path of /cow.
Installation finished. No error reported.
Mint@mint ¬ $

Now I boot to hard drive and get the Gnu Grub
with a Grub prompt ....
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austin.texas
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Re: Lost both boots after Linuxmint 16 Cin. Install

Post by austin.texas »

claggan wrote:If I were to re-install with this new driver would that help ??
It looks like that idea may be your easiest way out.
During installation, choose the "Something Else" option so that you can designate sda5 as /, and your existing swap partition as swap. That way you won't have to repartition anything, and won't affect your other partitions.
Be sure to install the bootloader (grub) to sda, not sda5. That should be the default (at the bottom of the screen when you are choosing the partitions).
Last edited by austin.texas on Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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