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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
PC won't boot Puppy or Windows XP (grub appears damaged)
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 12:53    Post subject:  PC won't boot Puppy or Windows XP (grub appears damaged)  

My system:
Biostar M7NCG 400 motherboard (FSB running at 266Mhz)
AMD Athlon XP 2000+
Seagate Ultra ATA 100 40Gb
Crucial DDR RAM PC2700

I have a single hard drive partitioned with Windows XP and Puppy (can't remember which version was installed -- oops)

Fdisk shows my partitions:
/dev/sda1 (boot) NTFS
/dev/sda2 Linux

I recently had the cmos battery go bad and upgraded my memory from 500Mb (PC2100) to 2Gb (PC2700). I don't know if these issues are related to my problem, but they might be in some way. I ran memtest and it says the memory is working fine.

So here is my problem...
My pc won't boot. It appears that I managed to damage the Grub installation somehow. I originally thought I had a virus so I deleted both partitions using Testdisk. I thought I would be able to reformat the hard drive after I deleted the partitions. I have since restored the partitions using Testdisk, but I seem to have damaged the boot loader in the process.

Have I destroyed my HD? Can I fix this problem? When I boot the PC, I get Grub error 17 so it seems like part of Grub is there, but it can't find the kernel or something?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 13:02    Post subject: Re: PC won't boot puppy or windows xp (grub appears damaged)
Subject description: I'm new to linux and need help restoring grub. My pc won't boot either partition of my hard drive.
 

boron wrote:
I originally thought I had a virus so I deleted both partitions using Testdisk. I thought I would be able to reformat the hard drive after I deleted the partitions. I have since restored the partitions using Testdisk, but I seem to have damaged the boot loader in the process.

GRUB has two components - stage1 is in the MBR of your hard drive and stage2 is in the boot partition. So if you deleted your partitions, you have erased stage2 and your system won't boot.

Boot off your Puppy CD, go to the System menu and run Gparted.

Delete all your current partitions and rebuild them (assuming that you willing to lose the data).

Then run Grub4Dos Bootloader Config. It will rebuild GRUB for you.
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 13:11    Post subject:  

I'm running Lucid Puppy 5.1 and I don't see that option under Menu > System.
I've tried Menu > System > Grub bootloader config and Bootmanager configure bootup. Neither of those choices have worked for me. When I try to run [bootmanager configure bootup], it gives me an error message and says I have to create a personal save file first even though I thought I already had one. Isn't this the same file that is created when you save a file at the end of a session with the bootable cd?

By the way, Gparted says my drive is unallocated. It doesn't show my partitions even though Testdisk and Fdisk show them.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 13:32    Post subject:  

boron wrote:
I'm running Lucid Puppy 5.1 and I don't see that option under Menu > System.

Are you talking about Grub4Dos? It's definitely in Lupu 528, but maybe the early versions don't have it. You should upgrade to a newer Puppy.
Quote:
By the way, Gparted says my drive is unallocated. It doesn't show my partitions even though Testdisk and Fdisk show them.

If Gparted doesn't show any partitions, you need to fix this first. Look in the Gparted menu for Device > Create Partition Table. Then build new partitions.

Quote:
I've tried Menu > System > Grub bootloader config and Bootmanager configure bootup. Neither of those choices have worked for me. When I try to run [bootmanager configure bootup], it gives me an error message and says I have to create a personal save file first even though I thought I already had one. Isn't this the same file that is created when you save a file at the end of a session with the bootable cd?


Bootmanager Configure Bootup does not apply to your situation. I don't see how you could already have a working save file when your hard drives are corrupted. Just to be sure, boot off the CD using the "puppy pfix=ram" option.
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 14:21    Post subject:  

I tried booting with the pfix=ram option and I got a message saying "could not find kernel."

Gparted won't let me create a new partition table -- it just says "error creating partition table."

I have a cd with Lupu 5.2.8, but it gives me this message after trying to boot: "kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: unable to mount root fs on unknown block (0,12). Does this mean I had a bad iso image when I burned the disk?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 15:38    Post subject:  

boron wrote:
I tried booting with the pfix=ram option and I got a message saying "could not find kernel."

Did you type "puppy pfix=ram"?

Quote:
Gparted won't let me create a new partition table -- it just says "error creating partition table."

If you ignore that error, can you still create new partitions in the unallocated space?

You may want to make a CD of Parted Magic and use it to clean up your hard drive.
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 17:22    Post subject:  

I can't find any way to ignore the error in Gparted about creating a new partition. It doesn't give me any options after I try to create a new partition -- it just says "error while creating table" and then I just click OK.

I downloaded Wary Puppy 5.3 and tried running Grub4Dos. The only way I was able to run this successfully was by installing it on a usb flash drive. I tried booting Windows after I booted Grub from the flash drive. Here's the message that was posted:

(hd1,0)
will boot NTLDR from drive=0x81, partition=0x0 (hidden sectors=0x3f)

It left a cursor next to a # prompt. Does that mean it booted into DOS or should it have booted Windows GUI?

The Grub4DOS boot menu did not list my Linux partition.

I am able to save the pup file because it saves to my usb flash drive not to the hard drive.

I was able to boot Puppy using the puppy pfix=ram command. I goofed the first time and didn't type "puppy" first. When I run Puppy totally in RAM, it is mounting/showing my Windows partition on the desktop, but when I click on the icon nothing happens. It won't open to show me any files.

Last edited by boron on Thu 29 Nov 2012, 19:42; edited 1 time in total
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 19:38    Post subject:  

I once had trouble getting Gparted to create a new partition table. I had to select the option several times before it worked.

This is why I recommended that you get a Parted Magic CD.
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 12:01    Post subject:  

Thanks for all the help yesterday!

I tried using Partedmagic yesterday, but had trouble booting it. I get the first menu which gives me access to some programs.

I'm running a scan of my hard drive right now using the MHDD program. The scan is showing a lot of errors. Should I go ahead and erase everything? If I do, what is the next step? I just want a clean hdd so I can install Puppy. I am not going to partition the drive after all this mess. I'm kicking Windows to the curb.

Last edited by boron on Fri 30 Nov 2012, 12:48; edited 1 time in total
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 12:31    Post subject:  

To summarize: You have tried booting various Puppies and none of them would let you create a new partition table through Gparted. Now you are running a hard drive scan that reports errors.

That would suggest that the drive is failing.
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 12:52    Post subject:  

Is it worth trying the low level format in MHDD or should I just save time and buy a new drive?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 13:10    Post subject:  

Try this first: Boot off a Puppy CD and run
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

Does that generate error messages?

Then run Gparted again and try to make a new partition table.
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 13:47    Post subject:  

Here's the message after running the dd commands:

dd: writing '/dev/sda': Input/output error
1+0 records in
0+0 records out
0 bytes (0 B) copied, 0.000292273 s, 0.0 kB/s

I tried Gparted again with no luck.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 13:56    Post subject:  

Assuming that sda is your hard drive, that's bad news.

Can you find an old spare hard drive somewhere? If you buy a new drive, make sure that you do NOT buy a SATA model.
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boron

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 14:44    Post subject:  

The only other hd I have is a Western Digital Caviar 12100 (2Gb) 40 pin IDE drive from a pentium 1 system. I'm not sure if it's compatible.
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