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FC5 / WinXP DualBoot 2HDs Grub won't load


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#1 SideshowMel

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 02:58 AM

I am very new to Linux, so I installed a clean FC5 onto a separate HD than my Windows XP drive. In FC5, the package manager says grub is installed, but I still have to switch the HDs in the BIOS to determine which OS to use, there is no Grub prompt of any kind. I may have missed a step, as I'm not really sure exactly how to prodeed. When I was first installing FC5, it said it could not read the partition data from either drive, which is why I installed it on the smaller drive. I'm guessing I need to run some software on my Windows drive to restructure the partitions or something, I'm not sure. If that is the case, what software?

Also, FC5 sees my XP drive and vice versa, but neither can read data from the other. This doesn't surprise me with Windows (which is partly why I'm migrating), but what do I need to do to set up FC5 to read my Windows data?

Intel D915GAV w/ P4 3G
IBM Deskstar IDE 40GB HD (Linux)
Seagate SATA 120GB HD (Windows)

Does anybody know what I should try next? Thanks

#2 danleff

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 06:59 AM

My comments will be brief, only because we have dioscussed this on multiple threads in the last few months.

Quote:
I am very new to Linux, so I installed a clean FC5 onto a separate HD than my Windows XP drive. In FC5, the package manager says grub is installed, but I still have to switch the HDs in the BIOS to determine which OS to use, there is no Grub prompt of any kind. I may have missed a step, as I'm not really sure exactly how to prodeed.


You installed Fedora using all the default settings, which placed Grub on the IDE drive, not your boot drive. Fedora assumes you want grub installed on the drive that you install it to, unless you tell it otherwise.

Quote:
I'm guessing I need to run some software on my Windows drive to restructure the partitions or something, I'm not sure. If that is the case, what software?


If you previously partitioned all your drives with Windows, or used the nTFS filesystem, this could have been your problem.

You can actually use windows itself to make free space on the Windows drive, so Fedora will install on it. However, you already have Fedora on the second drive and I suggest that you try to get this going correct first.

Quote:
Also, FC5 sees my XP drive and vice versa, but neither can read data from the other. This doesn't surprise me with Windows (which is partly why I'm migrating), but what do I need to do to set up FC5 to read my Windows data?


Windows does not read Linux partitions natively.

Fedora will read NTFS partitions, with a package installed to do so after the installation. However, writing to NTFS volumes is not fully supported yet, so don't expect this.

Fedora reads fat32 partitons natively.

I'm just starting to complete an article on the whole subject, but it is not finished yet. However, you can read it here. Part of the article will answer, or attempt to answer your questions. Remember, this is a work on progress.

Also, see this thread which points to some of the recent threads on this subject.

#3 SideshowMel

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:19 AM

Thanks for the info, even though I'm sure you probably hate repeating yourself I am really appreciative. I had search through the threads but I couldn't find anything which applied to me. I will read your article and perhaps wait until it is fully completed before I try to get it working.

#4 SideshowMel

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:26 AM

Also, your article specifically states not to disconnect my XP HD before I install FC5. You also say not to change the boot order in the BIOS. Oops, there was no info about dual HDs on the Fedora website. Man, I wish I had read that first. So I guess my new question is, would it be better to start over with a fresh install of FC5 (keeping the XP drive installed but re-partitioning it first) or is it possible to fix now? Also, what tool in XP do I use to repartition (I know it's a Windows question, and if you don't know I will figure it out). Thanks again.

#5 SideshowMel

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:34 AM

So I read all of the posts and it seems like it is POSSIBLE to get it working without re-installing. If I have to reformat the Fedora drive that's ok, I just really don't want to lose any windows data. So before I go through that again, exactly what changes (and how) should I make to the Windows drive so that the Fedora installer will see it properly?

#6 danleff

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 06:25 PM

Your comments have prompted me to make some additions to the article, to make it more complete.


Quote:
Oops, there was no info about dual HDs on the Fedora website.


I know. There is no easily found information on this on the Fedora site. I wonder about the wiki page?


Let me look more at my article and get back to you. But you have three options;

1. Try to recover grub to your boot drive. I have not done this before w/o having the Windows drive installed, then putting it back into place. So, I want to look at this more fully. Fedora has some quirks that I have found in this process.

2. Re-install Fedora to the second drive, making sure that the Windows drive is in the box and also making sure that the bootloader is set to install on the boot drive.

3. Make free space on the Windows drive (if you have room) and install to the first drive.

Revising my article to add some points may help with this process.

Disk management in XP is discussed in this Microsoft Article, but it is overly complicated and somewhat confusing, I think.

#7 SideshowMel

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 12:49 AM

So you recommend I start over with Fedora? Should I at least try the repair utility on the FC5 core disc? In the meantime, I am going to backup some Windows data then try to use partition magic or something similar to create a FAT32 partition. And by the way I have plenty of free disc space on both drives. Thanks again.

#8 SideshowMel

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 12:52 AM

Also, for the sake of experimentation, and to help everyone out there, I don't care if I lose all data on both drives, but I want to try every possible option first so everyone out there can learn from my mistakes...

#9 danleff

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:34 PM

Thereare some pitfalls that I have seen in trying to use the recovery process, but this may be related to my complicated system setup.

If you re-install Fedora, there are also some problems making sure that you install to the correct MBR (when using two hard drives and installing to a second hard drive) which I have not tried yet myself.

There is usually always a way to recover. but, this may require a little work.

But, if you want to throw caution to the wind, try the method that I discussed here.

1. Boot into rescue mode using the Fedora Installation disk.
2. Allow the install disk to detect your installation and mount sysimage.

3. Try the alternate command;

grub-install --recheck /dev/hda

If this works, and grub comes up on reboot, note if there is an "other" option, which would be Windows XP. If not, don't worry yet.

Realize, that if things get mucked-up, that you will lose the ability to boot into XP right off. But, if you have your full installation CD of windows, you can recover, if needed. So, data is one thing, but can you afford to muck-up XP?


#10 SideshowMel

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:34 AM

I have a new idea of something I want to try. First of all, let me tell you what I've tried since I last posted:
I used partition magic to re-partition 25GB to FAT32 and added the new partition as a logical partition (on the end of the drive). I rebooted and ran the repair utility twice, once with the fedora drive as primary and second with the SATA drive primary. Each time I ran the shell command
#chroot /mnt/sysimage
then used the exit command to reboot. The problem is unchanged, but I guess the good news is that it hasn't gotten any worse, I can still do what I've been doing, but that's annoying. I even tried the "upgrade" utility on the fedora install disc, hoping taht would change the MBR, which it would, except that it never actually completed the update process because (big surprise) there were no available updates on the disc. (I had hoped it would do it anyways, but no such luck).
Here's what I want to try, please tell me if I'm gonna completely hose myself with this plan:
I would like to create a new 10GB partition as the PRIMARY partition on the windows drive (SATA, and of course I will have that set in the BIOS first). This will have the unfortunate side-effect of overwriting the existing MBR and not letting Windows boot. I intend to immediately run the full Fedora 5 install on this new partition, which SHOULD see both drives, and both of the existing OS's (plus the new FC5 I am about to install). From there, I want to set GRUB to load off that partition, where I can choose FC5 of secondary drive, FC5 of primary drive, or WinXP.
I know this would leave me with two copies of Fedora 5, and I really plan to only use the one I have installed already, but this way I can remove that IDE (secondary) HD at any time and I won't affect the boot order of the computer.
Now, as you may already know, there are 2 separate MBR's on each drive. I have 3 questions about this procedure:
-WIll creating this new primary partition have a catastrophic effect on my existing WinXP iunstallation?
-Will this "new" installation of FC5 overwrite the existing MBR's on BOTH drives and subsequently fix this problem while preserving all existing data?
-Does this sound like a wise step? (again remember that, AS A LAST RESORT, I have considered the possibility of complete data loss)

Thanks again.

#11 SideshowMel

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:41 AM

Also, that link you sent is great, except that I am trying to get this dual HD / dual-boot wirking with a combination of SATA and IDE.

That being said, I have decided for many reasons that I would prefer to have my SATA drive be primary, with the bootloader loading off this drive. (the SATA connection is faster, that particular HD spins at a faster RPM, and the IDE isn't actually mine, although the friend who loaned it to me hasn't asked for it back in over 1 year). So, between my previous post and this one, what should I try next?

#12 SideshowMel

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:44 AM

Also, not that it matters at this point, but I neglected to state in my intial post that I have WinXP Pro, not home.

#13 SideshowMel

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:54 AM

To answer your last question, I have all the installation discs I need to start from scratch. Complete data loss, including MBR and key OS files, is OK, as long as I've tried every other possibility first. Thanks again...

#14 SideshowMel

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 02:01 AM

Sorry for all the multiple posts, but I re-read your entire tutorial, including the section about sata drives, and I thought perhaps I should try this first:

make SATA drive primary, then
run linux rescue, then

#chroot /mnt/sysimage
#grub-install --recheck /dev/sda

Will that install grub on the sata drive (and hopefully give me a menu when I boot off that drive)?

#15 danleff

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 07:19 AM

I will try to answer your questions, one by one, but I have limited time right now.

You need to stick to one plan.

Quote:
I used partition magic to re-partition 25GB to FAT32 and added the new partition as a logical partition (on the end of the drive). I rebooted and ran the repair utility twice, once with the fedora drive as primary and second with the SATA drive primary. Each time I ran the shell command
#chroot /mnt/sysimage
then used the exit command to reboot. The problem is unchanged,

The only reason that you may need a fat32 partition, is if you want to share information easily with Fedora and windows, without installing the Linux NTFS package to recognize the NTFS partition.

By running just chroot /mnt/sysimage, gets you to the root of Fedora, so you can run any additional commands, like grub-install. Exiting and rebooting withour running any commands does nothing to change anyting.

Quote:
I even tried the "upgrade" utility on the fedora install disc, hoping taht would change the MBR, which it would, except that it never actually completed the update process because (big surprise) there were no available updates on the disc. (I had hoped it would do it anyways, but no such luck).

Using the upgrade option does nothing, as you are not up[censored] from one Fedora release to another.

Quote:
I would like to create a new 10GB partition as the PRIMARY partition on the windows drive (SATA, and of course I will have that set in the BIOS first). This will have the unfortunate side-effect of overwriting the existing MBR and not letting Windows boot. I intend to immediately run the full Fedora 5 install on this new partition, which SHOULD see both drives, and both of the existing OS's (plus the new FC5 I am about to install). From there, I want to set GRUB to load off that partition, where I can choose FC5 of secondary drive, FC5 of primary drive, or WinXP.

DO NOT create any other partitions, especially a pirmary partition at the beginning of the drive. This will render Windows XP unable to boot, as you have changed the partition structure and logical order of the partitions. The Windows XP boot.ini file is now set to boot windows on the first partition of the sata drive. This wilkl result in a failure to boot Windows XP. The install Fedora, you want [b]empty, unpartitioned space
on the primary drive.

Quote:
Now, as you may already know, there are 2 separate MBR's on each drive. I have 3 questions about this procedure:

Right now, you have Grub only on the MBR of the second drive and the Windows boolopader on the sata drive.

Quote:
WIll creating this new primary partition have a catastrophic effect on my existing WinXP iunstallation?

Yes, as described above. Do not create any partitions on the beginning of the sata drive.


Quote:
Also, that link you sent is great, except that I am trying to get this dual HD / dual-boot wirking with a combination of SATA and IDE.

You need to have the order in the bios setup as when Windows XP was oririnally installed on the system. In your case, sata first, then the ide drive second.


Quote:
To answer your last question, I have all the installation discs I need to start from scratch. Complete data loss, including MBR and key OS files, is OK, as long as I've tried every other possibility first.

So, you do not have a full installation CD for Windows (one CD), but recovery CD disks for recovering the whole system?

Quote:
Sorry for all the multiple posts, but I re-read your entire tutorial, including the section about sata drives, and I thought perhaps I should try this first:

make SATA drive primary, then
run linux rescue, then

#chroot /mnt/sysimage
#grub-install --recheck /dev/sda

Will that install grub on the sata drive (and hopefully give me a menu when I boot off that drive)?

Yes, it will install the grub bootloader on the MBR of the sata drive. but what I do not know for sure, is if Grub will pick up the windows XP information, since the XP installation (drive) was not present when you installed Fedora originally.

Try it and see. If Windows XP is not detected, you can try to add the entry in Grub later on to boot XP, with a little work.

#16 SideshowMel

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 10:58 AM

So, you do not have a full installation CD for Windows (one CD), but recovery CD disks for recovering the whole system?

I DO have an installation CD, and I DO have all my crucial data backed up. I DO NOT have an image of my current setup.

I am going with the fedora repair / grub install option, and I will set the partitions I previously created to unpartitioned space first. Here we go...

#17 danleff

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:55 PM

Just to clarify what I meant;

Windows XP installation CD = Full installation CD of Windows XP (one CD)

Recovery disks = On pre-installed systens,like Gateway or HP systems, a full XP CD is often not included, but a CD or set of CD disks to recover the whole system. This erases all partitions and sets the system to it's original state.

ghost image = an image of the system in it's current state.

#18 SideshowMel

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:20 PM

Well I had been repartitioning to suit my needs, and Partition Magic had a critical error and froze. I had to reformat my Windows parition and create new unpartitioned space for Linux. I wanted a FAT32 partition too, which I now have. So basically, I started from the beginning and actually did it right this time. The Fedora installer saw the hda, and I deselected it, selecting only the sda and chose to use free space to install linux. Well Fedora and Windows are both installed on separate partitions on sda, and Grub works fine to boot either one, but Fedora does not see the other hard drive at all, even though the installer did. Weird. I don't realy know how to get it to detect the hda, but at least now I have a stable system w/ working grub and dual-boot procedure. BTW, how do you change the default OS that grub chooses? Thanks again for your help.

#19 danleff

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 05:11 AM

Quote:
but Fedora does not see the other hard drive at all, even though the installer did. Weird. I don't realy know how to get it to detect the hda


Yes, Fedora does know that the other hard drive is there. In order to see the contents of the other partitions on the other drive, you need to mount them.

You can see the partitons on both drives by issuing the following command, as root user, in a console;

/sbin/fdisk -l

Where l is the small letter "L" in -l

I will try to find a good, short tutorial on how to mount partitions.

I assume that you want to change the default booting OS to Windows, or is fedora booting to fast before you can select either OS?

You can alter the /boot/grub/grub.conf file to accomplish either delaying the timeout to boot Fedora, or choose the OS that boots by default. There is a good GUI to do this from within Fedora. You may just need to install this package in order to use it, as I think that it is not installed by default.

Sometimes, the default boots too quickly and newbies miss the options.



#20 Wilhelmus

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 12:33 AM

Originally posted by danleff:
Quote:
There is a good GUI to do this from within Fedora. You may just need to install this package in order to use it, as I think that it is not installed by default.


I take you are meaning:
system-config-boot?

It was not installed by default to my FC5, I used
yum install system-config-boot
to get it. Requires Internet access. smile

If your Internet is not yet working:
Insert Fedora DVD to drive and it should automount it and start whatever file browser you are using. If not, doubleclick the 'FC/5 i386' dvd image on your desktop.

Then browse to Fedora/RPMS/.
Start typing system-config-boot. And it should search and select it(system-config-boot-0.2.11-1.2.i386.rpm). Rightclick it and select 'Open with "Software Installer". Enter your root user password. It should be now installed.

If you are using GNOME, select GNOME menu->System->Administration->Bootloader. Boot Configuration should start.






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