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fixing mbr


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Hi all!

Lately I have been using the Mandriva (2011) Grub bootloader as the main bootloader. The only thing is that I have been having a few problems with Mandriva (which worked very well until a few days ago.Last time I reinstalled I messed it up installing nvidia and upon rebooting I got an "out of range" message and even trying to reboot into safe boot didn't work so I reinstalled and on rebooting I had Grub and choosing either mandriva or safe boot gave me a blinking cursor below all the details ( youknow; kernel whatever, UUID=, blah blah,blah.

The main problem is that I have 3 hd (one sata and 2 IDE) and some distros are on the Sata (mandriva,openSUSE,mageia) while others are on a IDE (fedora,centos) and if I try to open just about anything but mandriva I get a "file not found".

I just managed to boot into CentOS using Super Grub and I am willing to use its bootloader as the main one ( doing a "grub-install /dev/hda" or something similar but I am worried that a reboot would take me nowhere or maybe it would fix some of the problems).

What do you think?

If I have 1 bootloader working I can adjust the entries which I do all the time. Like during the last reinstall of mandriva I adjusted the entries for CentOS and Fedora making one hd1,... and the other hd2,... so that at least one of them would work but it didn't.

I am going to stay here in CentOS for the rest of the day waiting for a suggestion before attempting to reinstall Mandriva and if I get a bootloader working then I will leave the mandriva bootloader on its / partition.

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Sorry!

Well let me think now. I know that lately I have been using legacy in Mandriva. Wait a minute I am in OpenSUSE! And here is what I see;

rejean@linux-whtf:~> cd /boot/
rejean@linux-whtf:/boot> ls -l
total 28356
-rw------- 1 root root	  512 Sep 10 15:55 backup_mbr
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root		1 Aug 29 13:22 boot -> .
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root	 1236 Jul 15 10:34 boot.readme
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   131322 Aug  4 04:12 config-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root		0 Aug 29 13:19 do_purge_kernels
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root	 4096 Sep 10 15:55 grub
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root	 4096 Aug 29 13:23 grub2
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   25 Sep 10 15:55 initrd -> initrd-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 14776203 Sep 10 15:55 initrd-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   176760 Jul 16 22:33 memtest.bin
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   581632 Sep 10 19:57 message
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   221977 Aug  4 05:22 symvers-3.4.6-2.10-desktop.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root	  520 Aug  4 05:22 sysctl.conf-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  2483003 Aug  4 04:59 System.map-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  5711925 Aug  4 05:22 vmlinux-3.4.6-2.10-desktop.gz
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   26 Aug 29 13:19 vmlinuz -> vmlinuz-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  4912784 Aug  4 05:00 vmlinuz-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
rejean@linux-whtf:/boot>

 

so how would I know which one I am using?

 

P.S. I am in Yast right now, and bootloader but it is taking a while to read the partitioning.

Edited by réjean
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securitybreach

Sorry!

Well let me think now. I know that lately I have been using legacy in Mandriva. Wait a minute I am in OpenSUSE! And here is what I see;

rejean@linux-whtf:~> cd /boot/
rejean@linux-whtf:/boot> ls -l
total 28356
-rw------- 1 root root	  512 Sep 10 15:55 backup_mbr
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root		1 Aug 29 13:22 boot -> .
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root	 1236 Jul 15 10:34 boot.readme
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   131322 Aug  4 04:12 config-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root		0 Aug 29 13:19 do_purge_kernels
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root	 4096 Sep 10 15:55 grub
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root	 4096 Aug 29 13:23 grub2
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   25 Sep 10 15:55 initrd -> initrd-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 14776203 Sep 10 15:55 initrd-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   176760 Jul 16 22:33 memtest.bin
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   581632 Sep 10 19:57 message
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   221977 Aug  4 05:22 symvers-3.4.6-2.10-desktop.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root	  520 Aug  4 05:22 sysctl.conf-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  2483003 Aug  4 04:59 System.map-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  5711925 Aug  4 05:22 vmlinux-3.4.6-2.10-desktop.gz
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   26 Aug 29 13:19 vmlinuz -> vmlinuz-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  4912784 Aug  4 05:00 vmlinuz-3.4.6-2.10-desktop
rejean@linux-whtf:/boot>

 

so how would I know which one I am using?

 

If your running Grub-legacy, you will have a menu.lst file:

ls /boot/grub/

 

Of course, you have a grub and a grub2 directory so hard to tell.

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If your running Grub-legacy, you will have a menu.lst file:

ls /boot/grub/

 

Of course, you have a grub and a grub2 directory so hard to tell.

exactly that's why I was hoping that running Yast->bootloader would tell me but it is not responding after going halfway through. I cannot even close it.

 

rejean@linux-whtf:~> ls /boot/grub/
default		 ffs_stage1_5	  minix_stage1_5	 vstafs_stage1_5
device.map	  iso9660_stage1_5  reiserfs_stage1_5  xfs_stage1_5
device.map.old  jfs_stage1_5	  stage1
e2fs_stage1_5   menu.lst		  stage2
fat_stage1_5    menu.lst.old	  ufs2_stage1_5
rejean@linux-whtf:~> ls /boot/grub2
fonts  grubenv  i386-pc  locale  themes
rejean@linux-whtf:~>

Edited by réjean
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It took an eternity but here is what I get;

screenshotfrom201209111a.th.png

 

Should I go ahead and agree to "set as default" then reboot and hope it works?

Edited by réjean
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Well it didn't work. I rebooted and the bootloader was still the mandriva one so I tried changing the order of the hard drives in the BIOS to no avail so I reinstalled Mandriva. At least I can now boot into mandriva and probably OpenSUSE (not sure about CentOS and Fedora. I can change the mandriva Grub to make them work later).

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Okay!

So how can I add an entry for centos into mandriva grub if mandriva grub is legacy and centos is grub2?

 

Here is what I had that used to work;


title CentOS (Final)
root (hd1,1)
configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst

title Fedora (Laughlin)
root (hd1,7)
configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst

 

for both centos and fedora.

 

I managed to add SUSE by doing something like:

#mkdir /mnt/suse
#mount /dev/sda9 /mnt/suse
#chown -R rejean /mnt/suse/boot/grub/menu.lst

 

so that I could open it in kwrite then I copied the entry and pasted it into mandriva Grub /menu.lst and made sure that the (hd0,8)_ were matching.

 

I have tried to do the same with centos and fedora but no luck so far. Will keep on trying.

 

Yeah! I'm in CentOS. I had to replace (hd1,1) by (hd2,1). The problem may be the same with Fedora.

And I am in Fedora. It took me a while but I've got it working and I sent myself an email @yahoo with the content of my mandriva Grub.

Edited by réjean
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V.T. Eric Layton

We've been here before, Rejean...

 

http://forums.scotsn...c=56572&hl=grub

 

Réjean,

 

The above was in no way meant to be a smart-ascii comment. I was just linking to a previous thread here where solutions to your current issue were discussed and resolved. I wouldn't want you to think that I was telling you to RTFM in any way. You know that's not my style. However, when I re-read that short post, I felt that you might take it the wrong way.

 

Regards,

 

~Eric

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Réjean,

 

The above was in no way meant to be a smart-ascii comment. I was just linking to a previous thread here where solutions to your current issue were discussed and resolved. I wouldn't want you to think that I was telling you to RTFM in any way. You know that's not my style. However, when I re-read that short post, I felt that you might take it the wrong way.

 

Regards,

 

~Eric

I know you were trying to help Eric.

The fact is that this time I was somewhat asking more for an opinion than just a fix. I could have gone ahead and simply do a "grub-install" and see what I could have gone out of it but I like to have at least one distro that I can login in case something goes wrong. Maybe I should have a special partition just for /boot. I might see if I can find some reading about it.

Anyway I always appreciate your help and the one from everyone else. You know that. And now that I have re-read your reply it is true that it might have looked like a RTFM to someone else, but not me

Edited by réjean
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V.T. Eric Layton

I believe that burninbush posted a really excellent method for creating a bootable partition with a stand-alone (not dependent on any distro) GRUB that can be used to multi-boot many operating systems. I wish I had bookmarked it. Maybe he'll pop in here and explain it to us again. :yes:

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http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?showtopic=45890entry326936

 

There's the post. Summary: make a tiny first partition that is bootable, install grub to it, and then NEVER replace it or overwrite it. Thereafter, you only need to edit that first partition's menu.lst file to boot whatever new distro you add on the rest of the disk. You can resize / add / remove following partitions without affecting the first part. It's an end solution to all those booting problems. If you will also take a copy of the disk's MBR sector then you can recover that first partition [from later screwups] by just replacing the MBR from a stored copy.

 

This scheme has saved me endless hours of restoring and reloading after install screwups. Only real difficulty is that you have to remember to do that first, the next time you wipe the whole disk and start over. It has to be on the first partition to preserve all other options for the drive.

 

If you use msdos to make it bootable then you can use grub4dos [instead of traditional grub] -- which works the same, and then you can use a small msdos editor on that first part to do your menu.lst edits when putting on a new linux distro. If you make the part [say] 2gb, then you can also use it to store frugal installs of something like pmagic or Slax.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Thanks, bb!

 

If you care to make a fresh new thread about that method, I will lock it and add it to our Standard Tutorials section. It'll make it easier for all to find from then on. :yes:

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Of course there's another option:

1. Install aptosid*, put Grub in MBR during install

2. Whenever you install a new distro, run update-grub

3. ???????

4. Profit! :whistling: ;) B)

 

*Also works with Debian wheezy

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