Re: Grub did not install on dual boot machine.

From: P Gentry (
Date: 01/20/04

Date: 20 Jan 2004 13:42:40 -0800 wrote in message news:<>...
> > > I did exactly what I did the last time that I installed AS 2.1.
> > > It worked on the other machine.

What _exactly_ did you do? Why did you think doing so would produce
desired results? Exactly same hardware? Disk layout? Already
installed software? Phase of the moon?

> The odd thing though. Grub worked fine with the mbr on the
> first partition of my other Dell. It is also FAT 16.

How, why did you "install" Linux on a FAT16 partition. The fs is not
FAT16, is it?

> And originally, this machine worked with Lilo, until I whacked it
> with fdisk /mbr.

Did you also whack it by running _any_ kind of Win based file/disk
> I'm wondering about lilo. If I install a second kernel, can I
> modify lilo to choose one of the two different linux kernels?

See below re: grub. It would be similar. But why not do it like the
"working" box -- similarity breeds ... fewer headaches!

> > The really puzzling thing now is, "how did this happen?" If you've
> > restored the NTLDR to the MBR so that you have access to XP and you
> > have access to Linux via a boot disk, you can try to find some log
> > file that _may_ provide a clue. I'll make this a part of my snoop
> > quest.
Speaking here of Linux log/error messages or output of dmesg command.

> I snooped already. There are two files that are on my other machine,
> that are not on the one giving the problem. But, they don't look
> like anything significant.
> -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 0 Nov 23 22:49 bootlog.prv
> -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 61977 Jul 21 19:07 usbufi.mdm
> file usbufi*
> usbufi.mdm: MS-DOS executable (EXE), OS/2 or MS Windows
> bootlog.prv is an empty file.
> > The "hidden" partition on hda was put there by Dell. They are not ...
> I think by Dell. It has a lot of Dell proprietary diagnostics
> that ran when I couldn't configure grub right the first time. You
> actually need three lines in grub to boot with it. makeactive is not
> found in the texts.
> rootnoverify (hd0,1)
go here but don't mount fs
> makeactive
mark this part active (required by Win)
> chainloader +1
invoke NTLDR
> > Before going to the trouble of yet another installation, I would check
> > with both Dell and RedHat mailing lists (and Google, as always) to see
> > if there are any reported gothchas. You may have to use the Dell
> > supplied(?) multi-boot loader or NTLDR to have this box properly
> > multi-boot.
> >
> > I'll post again after snooping the FAT 16 issue and let you know what
> > I find.
> >
> What do you think of this type of hacking?
> Uninstall grub. Then, try grub-install
> Do you think it would work?
> Thanks a lot.

I've been nursing a cold ...

As a general rule, I don't take this approach in Linux before trying
to figure out what/why it went wrong. Shot-in-the-dark recovery
obscures the underlying causes _and_ the clues that will help.
Otherwise, you're likely to repeat the error in the near/distant

In your case, I would delete the ext partition and set up a "proper"
disk structure, ie., at least a separate /boot and / (root) primary
partitions with others (/swap, /home, /usr, /tmp, /var) in ext
partition. Of course, trying to keep 3 RH installs on one disk does
complicate things. Why all 3? Why not one "installation" with three
kernel images? I'm assuming this is some kind of tryout setup, but
not sure how easy it would be to keep the configs separate -- just a

The other thing is _how_ did you install these RHEL's? Do you
actually have cds? Drive imaging from other computer? Re-checked
your BIOS settings as other poster suggested? Running these under

Anyway, your particular problem could have any number of causes and
cures. Really depends on what you did and what you're aiming at. Win
OSs like to pretend they're the only thing on a disk -- I tend to let
them. Here I would use NTLDR in MBR and keep grub in the boot
partitions of the Linuxes -- have one "main" grub that does the menu
and loads the selected Linux.

Googling produced very few results with your errors and none of them
indicated success or failure, ie., outcome unknown. I'll list them at

Whether you re-install the RHs from scratch or try to fix your current
problem, there is nothing I can do without the previously requested
output -- it's the only clue I could have re: your _actual_ disk
layout and the filesystems installed. Still can't figure the "File
system type unknown, partition type 0x6" error. Linux ignores this
piece of info -- grub does not? How does Linux mount them? Need a
copy of /etc/fstab.

Need following output from Linux:
[user]$ df
[root]# sfdisk -g -uS -l -x /dev/hdb
[root]# fdisk -l /dev/hdb
[root]# dmesg | grep hdb

Looking/checking for inconsistencies or outright setup errors. How
does this output compare with the "working" box? (The "broken" box
output is all I need).

Google searches:
grub linux partition type 0x6
grub linux "Error 17: Cannot mount selected partition"
grub linux "extended partition"
"logical partition table" linux
linux fdisk -t type "extended partition"

grub urls of note:
[above may match your version of grub -- what info doesn't reveal]
[above accords with what I was thinking has happened to you]
[above dated 11/03 -- you're not the only one with grub worrries]

the only hit with a setup like yours (ie., all of Linux in ext
partition -- poop does occur)

Did not run above searches in Google's Groups. Advise that you do so.

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