Grub bootloader problem...
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Thread: Grub bootloader problem...

  1. #1
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    Grub bootloader problem...

    Sorry for the new thread, but I feel this problem wouldn't get the attention it deserves at the end of the previous topic. Please forgive me.

    Anyway I installed linux redhat 8.0 to dual boot with xp. I completed the installation without a hitch and double checked everything. Upon reboot at the end of the installation, the grub bootloader did not start. Instead windows xp started as normal. I wondering how I can get my pc to recognize the Grub bootloader on the mbr (where i believe redhat installed it by default). I don't have a linux boot disk (didn't see option for creating one during installation), but is there anyway i can create I bootdisk now? Even though installation is over? Anyone experience a similar situation and solved this problem? Or anyone suggest any possible fixes? Thanks.

  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    You probably failed to install GRUB into the MBR, or it got overwritten
    after installation. This can happen when you install windows after
    installing LINUX. Windows always installs its own bootloader by default
    without prompting.

    But since you didn't install windows afterward, I'd guess that it put GRUB
    somewhere other than the MBR.

    You may be able to get in to the system using the install CD. While in the install
    program, press ALT F1 (or F2) to get a prompt. I don't know how much
    capability this gives you.

    Also, you may search the web for someone who makes generic rescue
    disks. Otherwise, just reinstall.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, I like the first to options because if I reinstall that means I lose the 8 gigs I partioned for linux on the failed install, right?

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    I personally run lilo on my dual boot systems. Did you create a boot up disk when you installed redhat 8.0 on your system? I can't remember with redhat but with linux mandrake you can do an "upgrade" install and it will automatically rewrite the MBR. It will do this even if you don't upgrade anything. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    if I reinstall that means I lose the 8 gigs I partioned for linux on the failed install, right?
    No, just reinstall on the same partition(s) again and everything should be rosey. When you get to the bootloader screen during the install, you should just take all teh defaults that Red hat offers you. That will install grub to the MBR, autodetect your Windows XP installation, and configure everything accordingly.

    Or, if you can get your hands on a rescue disk (like a Slackware or Gentoo installation disk), you can fix your grub by hand. I posted the instructions here.

    I think I'm going to write a tutorial on Linux bootloaders, since this questions seems to be coming up quite a bit lately.
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

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    Problemchild, the thing is, I chose the bootloader defaults the first time around, so it should have installed on the mbr. I guess it is possible that xp overwrote the mbr, but why? It was already installed prior to the linux installation. However, I do recall redhat giving me a warning message apon entering disk druid, which said something along the lines of, "there was an inconsistenty with the /hda1..." followed by the same warning for the hda2. I'm not sure if my problem and these warnings are related, it's doubtful though.

    About the rescue disk, why wouldn't the redhat installation disk work in booting me into linux to fix grub?

    Let me give quick briefing,

    I have a...
    c drive (primary) ntfs for xp...hda1
    d drive (logical) ntfs for xp.....hda2
    h drive (extended partion from d drive) ext 3 \root dir.....hda6 (not sure why linux recognized it as 6 and not 3)
    i drive (extended partion from d) swap....hda7

    -grub bootloader installed supposively on mbr (chose defaults)
    -told linux to boot dos by default in bootloader settings.
    -No Boot partion (perhaps I need one?)

    Thanks for the replies, further insight is welcome.

  7. #7
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    c drive (primary) ntfs for xp...hda1
    d drive (logical) ntfs for xp.....hda2
    h drive (extended partion from d drive) ext 3 \root dir.....hda6 (not sure why linux recognized it as 6 and not 3)
    i drive (extended partion from d) swap....hda7
    OK, something is screwey here. hda1 looks good. If your second partition is logical, it should be hda5, not hda2. If it's showing up as hda2, then it's primary which may cause problems with Windows, but Linux should be OK with it. Extended partitions are primary partitions that contain logical partitions, but they themselves do not contain filesystems - just other partitions. An extended partition should show up as a primary designation (hda1-hda4).

    If your description of your scheme is accurate, your partitions should look something like this in Linux fdisk:

    hda1 primary NTFS Windows
    hda2 extended
    hda5 logical NTFS
    hda6 logical ext3 /
    hda7 logical swap

    But I think this is all moot, because I don't think any of this would affect your grub setup.

    -told linux to boot dos by default in bootloader settings.
    Have you checked the delay setting before booting Windows? If it's set to 0, you wouldn't see grub and just go straight to Windows.

    -No Boot partion (perhaps I need one?)
    No, you don't normally need that.
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

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    Nice reply problemchild, I just checked the windows delay settings (in Conrtrol Panel>> Performance and Maintenance>>System>>Advanced>>Startup and Recovery). The delay until the operating system was listed was 30 secs, so I suppose the delay setting isn't the problem.

    One thing I wanted to ask, why can I not use the linux redhat installation disk to boot into linux if the slackware and gentoo install disks are able to boot into it? (referring to your first reply). Thanks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    The reason I mentioned those other distros is because their installers boot you straight to a root command prompt. I've never used a Red Hat disc for this purpose, so I'm not precisely sure how you would go about getting to a plain command prompt. If you can get there, it will work fine.

    Once you get there, just mount your Linux partition and follow the steps I outlined in the link above.
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

  10. #10
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    Above, RCGreen mentioned how I could get to a prompt from teh redhat installation disk. After reading your post on repairing grub, I'm still unsure about how to mount my root partion from the prompt.

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