Sabayon borked my machine setup.

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Sabayon borked my machine setup.

Postby onederer » Wed May 26, 2010 16:10

Hi all,

I triple boot in my desktop machine. It is a single chip 64-bit computer. I previously had another OS installed in the outside USB docking port for SATA hard drives. The whole system worked fine until I encountered Sabayon. Plugged into the dock adapter, is a 1TB SATA hard drive. In that, I had difficulty to install Sabayon. The pre-installer didn't like LVM, ext4, or Auto partition (manual partition only could be achieved to proceed with the installation). If any of those parameters above, was utilized, the pre-installer immediately crashed before starting to install the final phase of the installation. Well, I finally got it going and it installed the OS.

While Sabayon was installing the final phases of the OS's files, it finally came to installing Grub. It asked me if I want, or don't want to install Grub. I gave it the okay. However, while it was doing the procedure to install Grub, I noticed that I was NOT given the option to install the Grub where I needed to put it. It was not my intension to allow Grub to install in the internal hard drives. But it did! I wanted Grub to be installed inside Sabayon's own drive. It was too late. I was hoping that I could "fix" the problem afterwards.

Well, that wish never happened, which is why I'm here. I was able to get Windows (internal hard drive) running using the "SuperGrubDisk". So I know that the OS is intact. But no matter what I tried, I couldn't get PCLinuxOS running. It just isn't seen by Grub. I chroot(ed) into PCLOS. I did get it running that way (it still is intact). I checked if the /boot/grub/menu.lst was still intact, and it was. While inside PCLOS, one more time I was able to invoke "Grub", and this time it was able to see the bootup parameters using the 'find' command. So I ran 'grub-install (hd1)', and 'grub-install (hd1,0)', so that I may maybe succeed. In both instances, Grub came back with a report of 'no errors detected'.
So I gave it a "reboot" command. When the machine was rebooting, I was holding down the eject button on the DVD drive. I quickly pulled out the Partition Magic CDROM before the drawer quickly closed again. I expected to see PCLOS come up, but instead, all I got was "grub rescue". Totally useless application. The commands didn't work, and I still didn't have PCLOS running.

I plugged SABAYON back into the external USB hard drive docking station. Rebooted the machine again. Sabayon came up. When Sabayon is running, it's Grub application, allows me to select Windows, or itself. But not PCLOS!
Sabayon boots up in an odd fashion. Why does it create a RAM drive for booting? Why can it boot Windows and itself, when the internal Grub can't anymore?

This is what I need:
I need to restore Grub the way it was (it worked just fine) before I installed Sabayon.
I need to have PCLOS be the master bootup OS, using Grub.
I need to have PCLOS's Grub to be able to activate Windows.
I need to have PCLOS's Grub, to be able to activate itself.
I need to have PCLOS's Grub, to be able to activate the external OS in the USB hard drive, and not the other way around.
And I apologize, but I've run out of ideas, and not smart enough (experienced) to proceed any further. I'll have to depend on more qualified Grub experts to get around this. And it took me a very LONG time to setup PCLOS, and I'd hate to do that all over again. Possibly also, that all the MBR's are botched. Can you help me? And a word to the developters: Please fix Sabayon so that one can select where Grub can be placed during the OS's installation. Had I had that choice, the only botched thing could have possibly happened would have been the Sabayon's installation. Now I'm sorry that didn't tell Sabayon NOT to install Grub anywhere! I didn't know the consequences of my decision at that time.

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Re: Sabayon borked my machine setup.

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu May 27, 2010 1:31

PCLinuxOS 2010 uses Grub Legacy (a.k.a. Grub1) by default. Sabayon Linux 5.2 uses Grub2 by default. Grub Legacy and Grub2 are effectively two different bootloader products and are incompatible, although each can be configured to chainload the other. Furthermore, Grub2 is beta release software and still flaky. Nevertheless Grub2 is 'the future' and various Linux distributions (including Ubuntu) have already adopted it as the default bootloader. Grub2 still has limitations and no doubt some bugs, and using it becomes even more complicated when mixing it on multiple-boot PCs with distributions that use Grub Legacy.

I'm going to suggest three alternative ways to try to resolve your current problem:

1. Use the Windows bootloader to chainload Grub Legacy for PCLinuxOS and Grub2 for Sabayon Linux

To do this you would need to perform the following two main steps:

1a. Restore the MBR on the internal drive to the Windows Vista/7 MBR code

You can do this either by using a Windows Vista/7 installation disk or a Windows Vista/7 System Recovery Disk that you made when you first bought the PC. If you don't have a Windows Vista/7 installation disk and you didn't make a Windows 7/Vista System Recovery Disk then you can download the latter from various Web sites (Download Windows 7 System Recovery Discs is one such site in the case of Windows 7).

You can then boot the Windows installation/recovery disk, launch Windows Recovery Environment and run Bootrec.exe to restore the MBR (see How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows for instructions). That way you should be able to boot at least Windows Vista/7.

1b. Configure the Windows Vista/7 bootloader to chainload Grub Legacy for PCLinuxOS and Grub2 for Sabayon Linux

Boot into Windows Vista/7 now that the MBR has been repaired, download EasyBCD 2.0 Beta from the NeoSmart Technologies Web site, install it and then use it as per the instructions on the NeoSmart Web site to configure the Windows Vista/7 bootloader to chainload Grub Legacy in the PCLinuxOS boot partition and Grub2 in the Sabayon Linux boot partition.

2. Configure the Windows Vista/7 bootloader to chainload Grub Legacy for PCLinuxOS, and configure Grub Legacy to chainload Grub2 for Sabayon Linux

If you have trouble configuring EasyBCD to include both a Grub Legacy distribution and a Grub2 distribution in the Windows bootloader menu, then an alternative would be to configure the Windows bootloader to chainload Grub Legacy in the PCLinuxOS boot partition and then configure Grub Legacy to chainload Grub2 in the Sabayon Linux boot partition. To do that see the instructions Chainloading to GRUB2 in the Gentoo Wiki article on Grub2.

3. Restore Grub Legacy to the MBR and use it to chainload Windows and Sabayon Linux

If you are not prepared to use the Windows bootloader and configure it using EasyBCD then you could: a) restore Grub Legacy to the MBR either by using Super Grub Disk or by booting the PCLinuxOS LiveDVD, chrooting into the PCLinuxOS HDD installation and using Grub Legacy commands (see Gentoo Linux Handbook - 10. Configuring the Bootloader* or No OS boot selector [Solved]); b) configure Grub Legacy's grub.conf in the PCLinuxOS boot partition to chainload Sabayon Linux (see the above-mentioned Gentoo Wiki Grub2 article) and to chainload Windows (I expect grub.conf is still configured as such on the PCLinuxOS boot partition).

* Note that the Gentoo Linux Handbook is currently written for Grub Legacy.

Note that partition numbering starts at zero in Grub Legacy but starts at one in Grub2. Disk numbering starts at zero in both Grub Legacy and Grub2. Thus /dev/sda1 would be (hd0,0) in Grub Legacy but (hd0,1) in Grub2.

By the way, posting a request here to the SL developers may well not be read by the applicable person. I suggest you either create a thread in the appropriate shed (forum), which is 'Artwork and Development Suggestions', or file a bug report detailing what happened (see link 'Bugs' at the top right of this page).
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