ntldr

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ntldr

Postby fluxam » Mon Aug 06, 2007 19:36

I'm embarrassed, ashamed and apologetic that I cannot figure out how to fix this.
Sabayon 3.4 64-bit failed -- halted -- at the install GRUB stage. I had a hard drive with an HP FAT32 recovery partition, a Win32 partition and a Windows XP64 Pro (aka X64) partitition.
Ever since then, I cannot boot into any OS except by having a Windows CD installed in the drive; if not, there's that cannot find ntldr message.
I would have liked to preserve that FAT32 restore partition, but I can manage without it. I have reinstalled X64 to the partition immediately following that one, and Linux is now at the end of the drive.
GRUB will load -- and works fine for OS selection -- only if the Windows CD is in the drive.
Yes, I've tried the Windows fixmbr and the fixntloader utility disk, as well as the Super Grub Disk.
I'd like to make a fresh start using GParted to wipe my main hard drive -- wiping MBR --
and then reinstall X64 afresh, and finally install Sabayon.
I'm asking for instructions on how to use GParted to do that -- do I merely delete all partitions?
I'm familiar with GParted, but I suppose I'd use some other utility if it's needed. I just need a fresh MBR, I think.
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Postby phzi » Mon Aug 06, 2007 19:53

Your MBR problem definitely sounds odd. Update your BIOS maybe? FixBoot/FixMBR should destroy grub and make windows boot, so if Windows isn't booting after that, you're windows install must be completely messed.

To do a fresh start, you can use gparted (a GUI for fdisk/mkfs), or terminal apps to delete all the partitions on your drive.

I'd recommend something like:
Create partition1 ext3 - 512M (for /boot)
Create partition2 swap - (double your ram, or the same amount as your ram if you have 2048MB+)
Create partition3 ext3 - 1/3 remaining drive (for linux /)
Create partition4 ntfs - 1/3 remaining drive (for Windows)
Create partition5 fat32 - 1/3 remaining drive (for sharing between Windows/Linux)
(these are just vague suggestions, you may want to skip the fat32 part; or make the Linux partition larger then the Windows partition; or vice-versa).

Don't necessarily worry about actually formatting the partitions at this time, just get the layout on disk.

If you create the above partitions, then reboot and install Windows X64 (to the NTFS partition of course), after that, reboot and install Sabayon (using manual partitioning, telling it that Partition 1 = /boot and Partition 3 = /).
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Postby fluxam » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:48

Okay, I've discovered the cause -- the PC attempts to boot off a removable USB drive (but not off two firewire Omega drives). I thought that it might be just the one Maxtor, but plugging in another WDC USB drive has the same effect.
When I don't have USB drives plugged in, the PC boots normally.
I think this can be fixed in the BIOS, but I'm scared and exhausted from all this and I'd really appreciate it if somebody would tell me what to change. I'm baffled as to what caused the booting change.
In Phoenix-Award BIOS, first boot is floppy (which I don't have), second the LiteOn CD/DVD, and third is HDD Group, which only mentions the WDC 160 Gb internal.
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Postby phzi » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:31

That makes sense. Just browse thru the boot options in the bios, there will be something related - and personally, I always remove the floppy boot option, since I don't have one (and disable it in the bios (usually first page)).
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Postby fluxam » Wed Aug 08, 2007 23:18

What does not make sense is why boot priority changed -- I had never touched BIOS settings. The troubles started only after Sabayon and the failed GRUB write.
I can't find a way to remove the external drive from booting options, though I did manage to change the sequence so the internal drive is first. The PC now boots into Win X64 normally.
These misadventures are costing me over 50 hours of time just to get back to where I was on Saturday. Since my time is worth $50 per hour, Sabayon is very expensive.
I'm wondering whether the installer interpreted my computer as having RAID. And, I'm suspicious of what I saw involving logical volume manager.
Of course, if I try again (my first 3.4e ISO failed MD5 verification), I'll unplug that USB external.
Linux is free! (... if your time has no value.)
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Postby mauri.omissoni » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:04

phzi wrote:I'd recommend something like:
Create partition1 ext3 - 512M (for /boot)
Create partition2 swap - (double your ram, or the same amount as your ram if you have 2048MB+)
Create partition3 ext3 - 1/3 remaining drive (for linux /)
Create partition4 ntfs - 1/3 remaining drive (for Windows)
Create partition5 fat32 - 1/3 remaining drive (for sharing between Windows/Linux)
(these are just vague suggestions, you may want to skip the fat32 part; or make the Linux partition larger then the Windows partition; or vice-versa).


i have made bad experiences with fat32 filesystem as common partition for win and linux cause of the 4 gb file limit. once i downloaded a 4,3 gb file on it (sabayon 3.3) and i wanted to copy the file from fat32 to an 200 gb ext3 partition. error: file too big.
now i use an ext2 common partition as it exists a freeware ext2 driver for windows that works quite well.
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Re: ntldr

Postby mktyap » Thu Aug 09, 2007 13:17

fluxam wrote:I'm embarrassed, ashamed and apologetic that I cannot figure out how to fix this.
Sabayon 3.4 64-bit failed -- halted -- at the install GRUB stage. I had a hard drive with an HP FAT32 recovery partition, a Win32 partition and a Windows XP64 Pro (aka X64) partitition.
Ever since then, I cannot boot into any OS except by having a Windows CD installed in the drive; if not, there's that cannot find ntldr message.
I would have liked to preserve that FAT32 restore partition, but I can manage without it. I have reinstalled X64 to the partition immediately following that one, and Linux is now at the end of the drive.
GRUB will load -- and works fine for OS selection -- only if the Windows CD is in the drive.
Yes, I've tried the Windows fixmbr and the fixntloader utility disk, as well as the Super Grub Disk.
I'd like to make a fresh start using GParted to wipe my main hard drive -- wiping MBR --
and then reinstall X64 afresh, and finally install Sabayon.
I'm asking for instructions on how to use GParted to do that -- do I merely delete all partitions?
I'm familiar with GParted, but I suppose I'd use some other utility if it's needed. I just need a fresh MBR, I think.


No need to GPart unless you really want to: First create a grub boot floppy. See http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual ... loppy.html
Then at the Windows prompt type "fdisk /MBR" to restore Windows default boot. Just my preference to boot all linux with some external device and leave the MBR alone.
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Postby fluxam » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:25

Thanks to the last two! I appreciate your solicitude.
I have a working X64 now. I had to reset preferred boot drive priority.
Last night I installed 3.4e and the process got to 100% completed and then the installer window went dead with a greyed-out Next. Presumably, that was the GRUB write failure.
Fortunately, there's no sign of GRUB at boot and X64 is launched.
But, the idea of a GRUB CD (not floppy!) so as to start Linux without jeopardizing Windows is quite appealing. I'm guessing that I could use the Sabayon that got installed last night.
Which GRUB CD creation method do you experts favor? (URL, please!)
I'm still interested because this is the only 64-bit distro that gets my 1680x1050 screen and Linksys/Racal2500 wi-fi.
Linux is free! (... if your time has no value.)
fluxam
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