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wierdest dual boot problem ever!!!!!

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hi all

i have winxp installed on my 80gb SATA.

i installed redhat 9 on my 20gb PATA by NOT connecting

SATA hdd to the cpu for some reasons.i installed grub on mbr.later i came to know that redhat 9 doesnt suppport sata so i cudnt get my linux to dual boot winxp.


i got fedora 4 recently .so to install it, i formatted my PATA totally by booting using dos and fdisk.i also deleted all the partitions.i think deleting all partitions will erase all records of linux,no?



i burn isolinux image of fedora on a cdrom as i am using isos to install it. on rebooting , i pressed enter to log in to graphical mode.

the booting started and then suddenly i started getting these kind of messages:


SIS_IDE : probe of 0000:00:02.5 detection with error


...things now move very fast i cant see....


VFS:cannot open root "<NULL>" or unknown boot (8,3).

please append a correct"root=" boot option

kernel panic not syncing :VFS unable to mount root fs

and loads to rubbish...


then the screen wud get stuck and i wud have to reboot



i hav tried several times ( even detached my sata to do it and next time pata and next time with both attached(phew..) )but in vain.


help plz.....



update : as prescribed in sum forums i put garbage vaalue and then press linux mediacheck.AND fedora starts to install...


BUT its not detecting any of my harddisks!!!!!!


HELP plz

[Edited by ambardeep on 2006-07-02 09:50:47]


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This is not the wierdest dual boot problem ever. It is actually a common problem that folks make.


When you install Linux, you want to have both hard drives in the system, with the bios boot order the way you want to dual boot.


If you take the Windows XP disk out, then put it back in after the installation, you can't expect Linux to know about it, can you? You also can't expect XP to dual boot, without making some changes.


You are correct, RedHat 9 does not do sata. It is an old release, before sata support was added in.


So, let's take a look at your hardware. What make and model computer is this? If you built the system yourself, what motherboard is in the system? This will tell us what exact sata interface that you have and support for it with Fedora whatever version.


What make is the pata drive in the system? Why? This tells us the options for formatting your hard drive correctly and getting rid of any MBR which may be invalid.


What you have is a pata drive that either still has the MBR written to it (if you have the bios boot order with the pata drive set first), or you wrote over the MBR on the sata drive (if it is the first in the boot order in the bios) and have a pata drive with mixed partitions on it.


DOS boot disks and using fdisk in DOS will not delete all the information on the pata drive, especially if Linux was installed and a bootloader to the MNR. Not unless you really know what your doing.


VFS:cannot open root "<NULL>" or unknown boot (8,3).

please append a correct"root=" boot option

kernel panic not syncing :VFS unable to mount root fs

and loads to rubbish...


Fedora's grub can't find the root filesystem on the pata drive, as the partition setup is most likely incorrect with the multiple attempts to install.


Also, if you took out the sata drive during the installation, then put it back in, most likely the designation of the drives has changed, so Grub can't find Fedora where it expects it.


From all the posts that have been on the forum for Fedora Core 4, I suggest trying Fedora Core 5.


But either way, you need to install Fedora with some changes during the installation with how the bootloader is configured (the order of the drives at boot), as Fedora assumes that you are installing on the only hard drive in the system, unless you tell it otherwise. You must be careful where Grub and the bootloader is installed and have BOTH hard drives in the system.


Of course, unless you know what you are doing.


Please bear with me. It is difficult to know what you have done with all these installation attempts and manipulations of your partitions. essentually what you want to do is;


1. Get rid of any current partitions on the pata drive.


2. Have both drives in the system, with the bios boot order the way that you will keep it. No changes after the installation.


3. Install Fedora with the bootloader to the MBR of the drive that is the boot drive, not any other.

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thaknx for ur reply!


ok sorry for hyping it up!( well i panicked when i saw the kernel panic!)

the boot bios order when i installed was floppy/cdrom/pata.

since sata is not detected by redhat 9 i think it wont matter whether it was connected or not !( actually earlier ,whenever i wanted to boot windows i had to change boot bios to sata and to pata for linux).thats why i thought to switch to fedora4.


now information abt my system:


asembled pc, motherboard Asus K8S-MX

harddisk 1.seagate:baracudda 7200.7 80gb sata

2.samsung sv2042h 20gb pata


information abt pata drive:

1.yes,i did have pata in this bootorder floppy/cdrom/pata

2.i made partitions on my pata using partition magic

hdd1 -ex3 6mb

hdd5- vfat 6mb

hdd2- ex3 101 mb /boot

hdd3- ex3 12gb /

hdd4- 957 mb /linux -swap

everything went well & i successfully installed rhl9.

then i changed all of these to fat32(bcos

of sata incompatibility with rhl9) and formatted

them using partition magic and later deleted all

partitions using dos and fdisk(i didnt format any using


3. yes,i chose to add grub to the mbr during installation

of rhl9 on pata (remebber sata isnt detected by rhl9

so no question of mbr on it!and also i removed sata

physically when installing!)

4. i cant get fc5 now since i have limited bandwidth


5. i got ur point to install grub on same drive so that i

can dual boot ,but now fc4 doesnt detect any drive.

what shud i do!

6. i can reinstall rhl9 on pata again with both drives(

sata's presence doesnt matter as its not detected by

rhl9) if it will solve the matter!i mean i will

install rhl9 again then remove/unistall it using some

proper procedure (if somebody cud tell me that too)that will probably remove it from mbr and then i can install fc4 without encountering any problem that i am facing now!


plz pardon my lack of knowledge and do reply!


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Now that we have more information about your system, some more things become clear. this is why it is beneficial to have the information.


It would seem that Fedora Core 4 does not have native support for your sis chipset. See the threead located here. So the kernel panic is related to this problem.


I know this is titled Fedora Core 3, but read down the replies and you see that the problem exists with FC 4 as well.


I suggest that if you want to run linux, specifically Fedora, then you need FC 5 to install it without a lot of headaches. Esspecially if you want to dual boot with the sata drive with XP on the system.


You are also missing one point that I was trying to make. If you want to keep the sata drive on the system to dual boot XP;


1. You must keep the sata drive with XP in the system, otherwise Fedora or otherwise does not know about it.


2. In order to dual boot successfully, the order of the boot drive in the bios must be the same as when you installed Windows XP. So, I assume that when XP was installed, the sata drive was the only drive in the system, or it was set f\irst in the bios boot order. If you change this to pata, when you will not be able to boot Windows XP in a dual boot environment, as you changed the boot order to other than when XP was installed. The Windows boot.ini file is expecting to find what it needs in the same logical order when XP was first installed.


Remember, if you change the boot order in the bios back to sata, XP will boot. This is because the XP bootloader is on the MBR of the sata drive, AND the drive is in the logical order that it should be (when XP is installed).


So you must have ther drives in the correct order when either OS is installed.


So if you want a dual boot environment;


1. Keep the bios boot order the same as when you installed Windows XP, I assume sata first.


2. Install Fedora Core 5 (or a patched version of Fedora Core 4, as per the article).


3. Make sure that the Grub bootloader is located on the MBR of the sata drive, or the first drive in the boot order of the bios, where XP is located.


If you have problems downloading FC 5, because of bandwidth issues, consider buying a set from a vendor. There are several around that are inexpensive, such as Linux Central . The complete set for $10.95 USD.


One more consideration. This motherboard is an AMD 64 bit system? You can either get the i386 version of Fedora, or the x64 version, if it is available. Either will work fine.


There are also other distros that should work on your system, so you are not limited to Fedora, as your only choice.

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ambardeep, your thread, as well as several other ones on this subject, has finally prompted me to write an article on the subject of installing Fedora or Linux. it will contain several considerations related to the same issues that you have experienced. I will post a location for it on this thread when it is finished. Do not worry, it will not contain any reference to one specific thread or person! Nor will it contain any material from any specific posts, except mine.


Questions like your have come up many, many times. So it is time to document such considerations, so I do not repeat my posts over and over. This way, I can reference my thoughts and explanations more easily.

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thankx for ur reply danleff,

after reading ur comments and visting that forum, i tried to switch back to redhat linux 9 until i get fedora5.

but now there is a new problem!:x ;( :x ;(


The rhl9 setup wont continue!

it says bcos of the bootloader that is still there in the pata drive it cant continue.how do i remove it! plz suggest a method!!


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I would not recommend going back to RH 9, for the same reasons. But I noticed that your drive has been formatted several times with various filesystems. I would zerofill the drive, which will erase everyting on the drive, including the MBR. See the utility from Samsung located here. that will do the job.


What you want to do is low-level format the drive (erase HDD). This will allow you to start over, as if the drive was new and has no data on it at all. Note the directions provided.

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