Grub hangs after moving Point Linux to SATA disk.

Grub hangs after moving Point Linux to SATA disk.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 08 Dec 2014, 03:00

A few days ago I move my Point Linux installation (actually, 3 operating systems: Point Linux, MS-DOS, and Windows-XP-Home) from a 120GB PATA (IDE) hard disk to a 500GB SATA hard disk. I managed to get 2 of the OSs (MS-DOS and Windows-XP-Home) to boot from the new disk, but not Point Linux. When I try to boot Point Linux, I just get the following on my screen:

GRUB _

No list of operating systems to boot from, no further video activity, no hard disk activity, and no response to keyboard or mouse. Apparently Grub just barely starts running then crashes. What could cause this?
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Re: Grub hangs after moving Point Linux to SATA disk.

Postby Maroman » 08 Dec 2014, 16:50

LoneWolfiNTj wrote:When I try to boot Point Linux, I just get the following on my screen:

GRUB _

No list of operating systems to boot from, no further video activity, no hard disk activity, and no response to keyboard or mouse.

try to install grub manually (U can find manuals in the net) with livecd. but probable problem is in your moving/installing procedure. and even if you have grub installed there is no guarantee linux and other os will work. I'm afraid you should install (not move - are you sure all addressing is relative not absolute?) systems one by one with point as the last one. moreover I do not know if it's possible to keep both dos and windows. as far as I know xp should be installed at the first partition of the first disk (where to put dos?).

good luck,

updated. sorry I'm trying to read once more your post but do not understand. you can run ms systems but can't point? you should explain all configuration. generally grub is the first loading program. it should start from mbr of first bootable disk. grub subroutins (cp. here /etc/grub.d) find all existing systems. and all systems should bi visible assuming linux and grub are installed properly.
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Re: Grub hangs after moving Point Linux to SATA disk.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 09 Dec 2014, 05:07

Maroman wrote:
LoneWolfiNTj wrote:When I try to boot Point Linux, I just get the following on my screen:

GRUB _

No list of operating systems to boot from, no further video activity, no hard disk activity, and no response to keyboard or mouse.

Try to install grub manually (U can find manuals in the net) with livecd.

Ok, I'll look into how to do that.

Maroman wrote:But probable problem is in your moving/installing procedure. and even if you have grub installed there is no guarantee linux and other os will work.

Everything works except Linux.

Maroman wrote:I'm afraid you should install (not move - are you sure all addressing is relative not absolute?) systems one by one with point as the last one. moreover I do not know if it's possible to keep both dos and windows.

Yes, double-booting and triple-booting computers are very common, and quadruple-booting systems are possible. (And more, if one operating system is "layered" on top of another, like Windows 3.1 on MS-DOS 6.22.) Hard disks with "MS-DOS" type partition tables (which apparently accounts for nearly all desktop, laptop, and notebook computer hard disks these days, including most Windows and Linux computers) can have a maximum of 4 partitions, either 4 primary (capable of booting operating systems), or 3 primary and 1 extended (not capable of booting, but capable of being "sliced" into several "slices" (aka "logical drives", aka "logical partitions"), each with separate file systems and for separate uses.

My old setup was like this:

Boot Manager = Powerquest Boot Magic on Master Boot Record (sda track 0)
sda1 = Point Linux Boot ("/boot") 100MB (EXT4) (contains grub and the kernel; Boot Magic points here)
sda2 = MS-DOS 6.22 500MB (FAT16) (bootable OS; Boot Magic points here)
sda3 = Windows XP-Home 100GB (NTFS) (bootable OS; Boot Magic points here)
sda4 = Extended Partition, sliced into the following slices:
sda5 = Linux Swap 2GB (swap) (swap space for Point Linux)
sda6 = Linux "/" 10GB (EXT4) (main file system for

That worked fine, but "/" was waaaaaay too small. So I just moved everything from my original 120GB PATA disk to a 500GB SATA disk. Everything (including the UUID codes for the partitions) remains the same except for sizes:

Boot Manager = Powerquest Boot Magic on Master Boot Record (sda track 0)
sda1 = Point Linux Boot ("/boot") 100MB (EXT4) (contains grub and the kernel; Boot Magic points here)
sda2 = MS-DOS 6.22 500MB (FAT16) (bootable OS; Boot Magic points here)
sda3 = Windows XP-Home 200GB (NTFS) (bootable OS; Boot Magic points here)
sda4 = Extended Partition, sliced into the following slices:
sda5 = Linux Swap 2GB (swap) (swap space for Point Linux)
sda6 = Linux "/" 200GB (EXT4) (main file system for Linux)
sda7 = Akiba 87GB (NTFS) (misc data accessible by both Linux and Windows)

At first, the only thing that booted was Windows-XP.

On my MS-DOS 6.22, turned out that GPartEd had completely botched the copy job. Some files (such as "command.com") it copied but reset the "system" attribute; other files ("io.sys" and "msdos.sys" which is the OS kernel for MS-DOS) it failed to copy at all! Apparently GParted decided, in its infinite wisdom, that when I said "copy" and "paste", I didn't *really* mean a verbatim copy-and-paste. So it made a "non-system" copy-and-paste instead, copying everything *except* critical system files. So I had to erase the MS-DOS partition and re-copy using Acronis Disk Director; then MS-DOS worked correctly.

I should probably do the same with Point Linux and it would likely work; but alas, I'd have to buy a brand new copy of Acronis Disk Director (or other similar partition managing & cloning software), because the version I have is from about 2010, and it doesn't recognize the EXT4 file system.

Maroman wrote:as far as I know xp should be installed at the first partition of the first disk (where to put dos?).

Each OS goes in its own primary partition of sda. Then install a decent boot loader on your MBR (track 0 of sda). Decent boot loaders will "hide" all partitions which might interfere with the operating system you choose to load, by temporarily changing their partition type in the partition table to something the OS doesn't recognize. For example, if you load Windows-XP, the boot loader changes the MS-DOS partition type to "hidden-dos" so that Win-XP can't see it. (Loading MS-DOS won't require any hiding because it can't see NTFS or EXT4 file systems anyway.)

Powerquest Boot Magic works for all of this, even though it's antiquated as hell and hasn't been updated in decades. But I'm sure there are other boot managers out there that will do the same thing if you ever have a hankering to cram 3 or 4 operating systems on 1 hard disk (such as, because you can't currently afford to own 4 computers, or because you don't have the space to put them, or don't want to lug around 4 computers when 1 will do).

Maroman wrote:updated. sorry I'm trying to read once more your post but do not understand. you can run ms systems but can't point? you should explain all configuration. generally grub is the first loading program. it should start from mbr of first bootable disk. grub subroutins (cp. here /etc/grub.d) find all existing systems. and all systems should bi visible assuming linux and grub are installed properly.

That appears to be where something is going wrong. Either grub isn't loading *at all* (which would account for the command "GRUB _" appearing on my screen then nothing further happening), or Grub launches, but can't find any OSs for some reason, so crashes silently and catastrophically (though I'd think it would at least print an error, such as "misconfiguration" or "can't find any valid OSs" or even just "unknown error, press any key to restart system"). But no, it just says "GRUB _" and sits there with a flashing cursor and does nothing.

I'll look into re-installing just "Grub", as you suggest. If that doesn't work, I'll try to scrape up some modern partition cloning software that recognizes EXT4. (Darn, I wish now I'd used EXT2, which Acronis Disk Director fully understands.) If that doesn't work, I'll go back to using my 120GB disk again; no way I'm going to do a complete re-install of everything back to "default", which would entail loosing many hours regaining all of the added packages and customizations I've done since my original install onto the 120GB disk.

Hmmm. Actually, I think the first thing I'll try is this:

1. Plug in both new and old hard disks
2. Boot from Live CD
3. Mount BOTH so-called "/boot" directories to separate mount names (such as "/media/boot1" and "/media/boot2").
4. Launch superuser console and use cp with appropriate switches to copy old "/boot" to new "/boot" verbatim, retaining original owners and permisisons on everything, and retaining all links, even if they appear "broken" (which they will, because no "/boot" directory will exist yet) and overwriting everything.
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Re: Grub hangs after moving Point Linux to SATA disk.

Postby Maroman » 09 Dec 2014, 17:14

as I can see you have all at one hard disc. try point livecd and the following command
Code: Select all
sudo fdisk -l

in terminal to see what really you have at your disk (I do not know that tools you've mentioned). moreover how do you know windows is running good? if you installed grub there is no way to run any os if grub failed (it's your case). you can start either windows bootloader or grub. there is no third way.
please try to write more clearly and concisely. it might help to understand your way of thinking.

going back to systems and space. I used to have three systems at one 80GB disk. 10GB for xp (at the first bootable partition), point, semplice each and rest for additional fstab mounted partition. I wonder if you need 200GB for windows. is there any reason to use different partition for boot (in this case be careful with manual grub recovery)?

cheers,
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Re: Grub hangs after moving Point Linux to SATA disk.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 10 Dec 2014, 09:33

Maroman wrote:as I can see you have all at one hard disc. try point livecd and the following command
Code: Select all
sudo fdisk -l

in terminal to see what really you have at your disk (I do not know that tools you've mentioned).


Thanks, but not necessary. I took your advice ("Re-install Grub manually from Live CD") and that worked fine! All is now up and running again! Thanks!

The Grub re-install was a bit gnarly. I first tried:

mount /dev/sda1 /boot-new
grub-install --boot-directory=/boot-new /dev/sda1

But I got "Embedding not possible in this configuration. Would have to use blocklists, and blocklists are unreliable. Aborting install."

So I FORCED the issue:

grub-install --force --boot-directory=/boot-new /dev/sda1

I got "Embedding not possible in this configuration. Would have to use blocklists, and blocklists are unreliable. Installing anyway. Install completed without error."

:D

So my Point Linux is now back up and running. (Using it now.)

Maroman wrote: ... how do you know windows is running good? ...


By using it. I had little choice while my Linux was offline.

Maroman wrote: ... there is no way to run any os if grub failed ...


My Grub is in sda1 boot record, not sda MBR.

My main boot loader, on sda MBR, is "Powerquest Boot Magic".

I *could* put Grub on the MBR, yes. But I prefer Boot Magic for its look and feel, and for its OS-specific passwords. It's a very old boot loader, but still quite serviceable. So I use Boot Magic as main bootloader, and Grub as secondary. That's why even though my Grub had failed, I was still able to get into Windows: I just select "Windows" instead of "Linux" on the Boot Magic boot screen.

Maroman wrote: ... is there any reason to use different partition for boot? ...


MS-DOS 6.22, being a 20-year-old OS, doesn't understand LBA (Logical Block Addressing), so it goes by the CHS numbers it gets from BIOS. And it can't understand cylinder numbers over 1024, and it can't address hard disk space over 2GiB. Likewise, earlier Windows versions wanted the first few tracks of the Windows partition under 1024 cylinders, or it couldn't boot. Hence I got into a habit of making the first two partitions rather small, with Windows as partition 3, so that the first few cylinders of Windows are under the 1024 cylinder boundary.

Modern versions of Linux and Grub don't care, however, as they don't get CHS numbers from BIOS (apparently they use LBA directly). So these days, I could probably do triple booting of MS-DOS/Windows/Linux by putting MS-DOS as partition 1 (primary, 500MB), Windows as partition 2 (primary, 200GB), Linux / as partition 3 (primary, 200GB) with /boot as a folder of / rather than as a separate partition. Then put an Extended partition for data either on the remaining space of sda, or on a separate hard disk sdb. But old habits die hard. Hence my use of a separate partition for /boot.

With changing technology, all this will go out the window as MS-DOS-type partition tables are replaced by GUID partition tables, which will be necessary to access hard disks over 2TB. (With the most modern LBA and partition tables, 128PiB (144115TB) of hard disk space can be accessed.) I don't know anything about GUID partition tables yet. A research project for the future.

As for why the heck I'd want an old dinosaur like MS-DOS 6.22 on my computer in the first place, I use it for certain old game programs, and I just like antique things. It's certainly not a very practical OS these days. But none the less, I think I'll install Windows version 3.1 on my MS-DOS 6.22. Now where did I put those old install floppies.... :twisted:
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