Problem with GRUB boot manager...
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Thread: Problem with GRUB boot manager...

  1. #1
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    Problem with GRUB boot manager...

    I just installed Mandrake Linux (had lockup problem with Slackware on this PC) and used GRUB as boot manager (duel booting WinXP and Mandrake).

    The problem is, when I try to boot Mandrake it locks up, and when I try to boot into WinXP I just get a nice, cold black screen.


    I've Google'd and searched the forums trying to find an answer but nothing seems to be working. x_x

    I can't seem to find the 'HP Recovery CD' (not my PC, was helping a friend transfer over to Linux and kinda screwed his PC up, d'oh!)


    Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong, or a way to fix this? (Only access to an OS I have is Helix, SLAX won't seem to boot for some reason).

    Thanks in advance, and sorry for the n00bishness and trouble.
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  2. #2
    AO Senior Cow-beller
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    Everything I've seen and used says XP prefer's ntloader...I always make the boot sector of my linux partition a binary (with DD), copy it to the windows partition, and make a boot.ini entry.

    But all that aside...we don't know what's wrong cuz there isn't much info. What is the disk drive laid out like? How many/what type partitions, what is installed where, what errors, etc? Did you create a recovery diskette for Mandrake?

    You can always boot with knoppix/helix and mount the HDD and make changes, if you know what you're doing. Give us some more info...I'm sure we can work it out.
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  3. #3
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    Where is GRUB installed?

    I believe this is the key.

    IIRC, there are 3 choices... MBR, boot disk, or superblock.

  4. #4
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    Grub is in the MBR, there are 2 partitions (WinXP, hda1) (Mandrake Linux, hda5).

    There are no errors, Mandrake just locks up during boot, and WinXP won't start booting (black screen after booting from GRUB).


    Willing to give all the info I can, sorry for lack-of but it's not giving me much to work with. x_x



    Edit: going to reboot and post the exact point Mandrake locks at.. maybe that'll help.
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  5. #5
    AO Senior Cow-beller
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    Ok...well, to help you get your friend back to a state of functionality, you should throw any 'ole XP install disk in and do an emergency recovery. I forget the exact steps (and we're leaving for a night of debauchery and celebration here in a bit, so no time to look it up), but basically, you want to go through and select the Emergency Repair option I think. That should eventually take you to a command prompt/dos mode. FDISK /fixmbr is the command, I believe. That should make the MBR windows friendly again.

    To get Mandrake booting (without having to do a damned install of Mandrake all over again, as many folks will do...and which is NOT necessary) you'll need helix/knoppix/INSERT something that can read the linux partitions. I have a good help text file somewhere on how to pull the first 512 bytes off the linux partition, and make it a data file on windows, so the NTLDR can boot linux and still be happy (since it doesn't play well nicely.)

    I'd suggest getting your friend recovered back to windows for the moment, and we'll work on getting Linux booting tomorrow (after some aspirin, bananas, and LOTS of water...I expect the hangover to be momentous!)

    Happy New Year!
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. --Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
    "...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  6. #6
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    Thanks, the problem I'm having is:

    I have no windows restore, install, or boot disk.. and no way to burn one, unless someone can englighten me as to how I can using the Helix GUI.

    The 2 lines of text directly before the Mandrake lockup:

    Probing IDE interface ide0...
    hda: WDC WD800AB-22CBA1, ATA DISK drive

    I'm so lost here, *sigh* thanks AO for helping me out on this.


    (and thanks MsMittens for moving thread here, I posted in the Newbie question area since I thought it'd get more 'traffic', sorry.)
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  7. #7
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    Angry

    I reinstalled the Windows bootloader from the Mandrake recovery disk, and I get the error:

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.
    <windows root>\system32\hal.dll

    I haven't touched the WinXP partition during any part of the install, aside from changing the MBR, so it's either looking in the wrong spot, or looking for a file that never existed. Any recommendation on how to fix this?

    Also I've been looking around Google for ways to fix this, does anyone know any site with a working floppy .img for a Windows boot disk, or a boot manager that would actually work? Anything to get an OS back on this system. x_x

    Thanks again.
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  8. #8
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    google "Hiren's Boot cd", incase u don't already have it. It contains many utilities including a few mbr tools, one of which searches for the old windows boot data and rewrites it. not sure of what that tool is called though.

  9. #9
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    Hi mattgilberg,

    Just a polite reminder not to post in old threads....if the dates are flashing chances are the problem's been solved or it's been long forgotten....either way it's too old to bother with.

    Eg

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