[conspire] Help with GRUB

Paul Zander paulz at ieee.org
Wed Nov 4 10:26:41 PST 2009

to follow the suggestions has lead me into an “interesting”
obstacle course.

I burnt a CD for Kubuntu 9.10.  Very nice interface, but I spent a
long time searching through the applications looking for a plain
terminal window.  I did find a command line, but it only executes one
command and closes.  Eventually I tried the command `xterm &`. 
That opened a terminal window.  However, it doesn't have root
privileges.  Anyone know the root password for Kubuntu running off

I tried SystemRescueCD.  It starts with a big caution note.  Do not
attempt to mount directly to /.  Instead `mkdir /mnt/mydir` and mount
files there.  Does grub care where it is in the file system when
following Tony's suggestions?

I still seem to be blocked from doing what needs doing, I have some
more description on the problem.

grub attempts to start windows, it halts on an error for unknown
partition 0x82.  I believe that 0x82 is LinuxSwap.  Actually this
symptom has been around since the original grub install, but instead
of halting, it flashed the message on the screen and proceeded.

grub attempts to start Debian, it halts on unknown partition type
0x7.  http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=294074
suggests that my current problems may relate to how the MBR was
written when re-installing windows.  The same page tells how to edit
menu.lst to re-map the drives.

now I puzzle out how to either find an editing program on the
rescueCD, or work around the permissions to write menu.lst under

--- On Sun, 11/1/09, Tony Godshall <tony at of.net> wrote:

From: Tony Godshall <tony at of.net>
Subject: Re: [conspire] Help with GRUB
To: paulz at ieee.org
Cc: conspire at linuxmafia.com
Date: Sunday, November 1, 2009, 10:00 AM

1. Boot from a liveCD (e.g. Ubuntu or SystemRescueCD)
2. mount / (and /boot if any) manually
3. grub4. root (hd0,0)      (assuming /boot is in drive 0 partition 0)
5  setup (hd0)      (assuming you are booting off drive 0)6. quit
7 sync&&sync&&sync&&shutdown -r now8. remove livecd once drives have been unmounted 

The above has worked for me many times.  you'll have to adjust hd0 and hd0,0 to something else if your linux partition is not on the first drive or not on the first partition.  You'll probably want to check the contents of /boot/grub/menu.lst too before you start grub

Best Regards.

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM, Paul Zander <paulz at ieee.org> wrote:

At a Cabal a while ago, I was helped set up a PC to dual boot 'doz and Debian.

Recently windoz developed an ailment and had to be reinstalled.  I totally expected the MBR to be re-written and I would have to do some follow up to access GRUB.

Well that is NOT the state I found myself in.  Early during the windoz install, the system was rebooted and went directly to windoz.  However after some drivers were installed and the system rebooted again, the boot process went to GRUB.  That, I suppose, was the good news. 

The BAD news is that GRUB is unable to launch either OS. 

I am thinking that the first step is to download and burn Debian install CD (for net install because I hopefully don't really have to down load most of Debian.)  But after that, actually figuring out what to do with GRUB
 could be its own set of puzzles.

So I am asking for suggestions of what to do next

Thanks in advance



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