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Thread: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

  1. #1
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    Default Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    I run into an interesting error attempting to install a second version of openSUSE on a large hard drive. The error is:
    Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS


    My HD setup:
    Code:
    hal1000:/home/oldcpu # fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00094fab
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1               1       12748   102398278+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2   *       12749       16572    30716280   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3           16573       16827     2048287+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda4           16828      182401  1329973155    5  Extended
    /dev/sda5           16828      176027  1278773968+  83  Linux
    /dev/sda6          176028      177939    15358108+  83  Linux
    /dev/sda7          177940      182401    35840983+  83  Linux
    Code:
    hal1000:/home/oldcpu # df -Th
    Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda2     ext3     29G  6.2G   22G  23% /
    udev         tmpfs    3.0G  192K  3.0G   1% /dev
    /dev/sda5     ext3    1.2T  278G  863G  25% /home
    /dev/sda1  fuseblk     98G   30G   69G  30% /windows/C
    sda2 ( / ) and sda5 (/home) are my openSUSE-11.1 and it works fine.

    I tried to install openSUSE-11.2 milestone4 on sda6 (/ ) and sda7 (/home). Grub gave me this error, no matter where I tried to locate grub. I tried boot from extended, boot from MBR, boot from root, I tried it with and with out writing generic code to MBR, and with and with out setting active in partition table for boot partition. Knowing 11.2 has a bug where it falsely reports an error did not help remove the "fog" In most cases I ignored the grub error, and tried to boot (which did not work).

    I finally tried the "boot from MBR" last, after which as expected my PC would not even boot 11.1, so I had to use the 11.1 installation DVD to do a "repair installed system", repair my MBR and then once repaired put back my original menu.lst (as the menu.lst from the "repair installed system" is rather primitive" ) . This repair stuff is no dramas, as this is relatively easy, but all these failed grub efforts are rather time consuming (and a bit hard on the ego). So my PC boots 11.1 no problem. But I can't boot the installed (and partially setup) 11.2.

    I then tried a hand edit to the menu.lst to see if could manually force a boot on sda6 (which has 11.2 mostly installed) as such:
    Code:
    # Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Thu Jul 23 19:58:42 CEST 2009
    default 0
    timeout 15
    gfxmenu (hd0,1)/boot/message
    ##YaST - activate
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
    title openSUSE 11.1 - 2.6.27.25-0.1
        root (hd0,1)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27.25-0.1-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part2 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part3 splash=silent showopts vga=0x346
        initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.27.25-0.1-default
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
    title Failsafe -- openSUSE 11.1 - 2.6.27.25-0.1
        root (hd0,1)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27.25-0.1-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part2 showopts ide=nodma apm=off noresume edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off processor.max_cstate=1 x11failsafe vga=0x346
        initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.27.25-0.1-default
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
    title openSUSE 11.2 milestone4
        root (hd0,5)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part5    resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part5 splash=silent showopts vga=0x346
        initrd /boot/initrd
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
    title Windows
        rootnoverify (hd0,0)
        chainloader +1
    The entry with "title openSUSE 11.2 milestone4" is a hand hack/edit.

    But again, when I selected the "milestone4" option (hack) in grub I get the Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS
    (note the other grub options work fine).

    I'm wondering is this because sda6 is about 1.3 terrabytes after the MBR ? or am I over looking something silly. I don't want to move around partitions if this just me being silly and overlooking something. I also don't want to write bug reports 'cause of something silly I have done.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    I googled and this:
    http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/GRUB

    Sorry I can't research it now, got to log off.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    I googled and this:
    http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/GRUB

    Sorry I can't research it now, got to log off.
    Thanks caf4926. Don't worry 'bout researching it.

    I had examined that link earlier, but what it had to say 'bout the grub error referenced old PCs.
    Error 18

    Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS

    This error is returned when a read is attempted at a linear block address beyond the end of the BIOS translated area. This generally happens if your disk is larger than the BIOS can handle (512MB for (E)IDE disks on older machines or larger than 8GB on others.). In more practical terms this means the BIOS is unable to start executing the kernel because the kernel is not located within the block it can access at boot up time.

    This can be circumvented by creating a boot partition at the beginning of the disk that is completely within the first 1023 cylinders of the harddrive. This partition will contain the kernel.

    Read more: http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/GRUB#ixzz0MIrBs5MH
    There are other web sites that quote other examples/limitations, but none that I could decisively point a finger at. I vaguely recall reading another refering to a 160GB limitation - and another saying there were no limitations with latest hardware. My hardware is all very new, so in my case it still left me puzzled ...

    Now I can move my partitions around, but given the partition in the middle is over 1 TB in size, I'm not too keen on moving things if I do not have to. I am more interested in understanding this than trying to fix it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    A few thoughts come to mind. First, my guess is your BIOS does not like
    where you are trying to put your boot loader data, and that is based on
    the data here:

    http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/man...#Stage2-errors

    That could be wrong, though, and I'm suspicious of the response there due
    to the fact that you can boot anything, at all, from /dev/sda2 which looks
    to be around 100 GB into the drive on its own. I doubt I can help on this
    as Grub is something that usually works for me and I do not often try
    booting on drives anywhere near your size (though if you want to give me
    one I'll try it... ;-) ).

    In other news, in your hacked menu.lst file, I'm concerned about the
    resume= section that you set for your new partition. It has the same
    partition specified as you are using for booting, and I am not sure that's
    a great idea. Usually I thought the swap partition was used for these
    things (as is the case with your 11.1 configuration section) and I do not
    think your current configuration will let you resume properly with 11.2
    ..... ever. Anyway I could be off there but it's a thought and not likely
    related to your booting problems.

    As one last note while browsing around online I found some posts here that
    made me wonder if you should have your MBR hosting the first bits of code
    for Grub:

    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...y-bios-552499/

    Good luck.





    oldcpu wrote:
    > I run into an interesting error attempting to install a second version
    > of openSUSE on a large hard drive. The error is:
    > ::Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS
    > ::
    >
    > My HD setup:
    >
    > Code:
    > --------------------
    > hal1000:/home/oldcpu # fdisk -l
    >
    > Disk /dev/sda: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
    > 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders
    > Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    > Disk identifier: 0x00094fab
    >
    > Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    > /dev/sda1 1 12748 102398278+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
    > /dev/sda2 * 12749 16572 30716280 83 Linux
    > /dev/sda3 16573 16827 2048287+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    > /dev/sda4 16828 182401 1329973155 5 Extended
    > /dev/sda5 16828 176027 1278773968+ 83 Linux
    > /dev/sda6 176028 177939 15358108+ 83 Linux
    > /dev/sda7 177940 182401 35840983+ 83 Linux
    > --------------------
    >
    > Code:
    > --------------------
    > hal1000:/home/oldcpu # df -Th
    > Filesystem Type Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    > /dev/sda2 ext3 29G 6.2G 22G 23% /
    > udev tmpfs 3.0G 192K 3.0G 1% /dev
    > /dev/sda5 ext3 1.2T 278G 863G 25% /home
    > /dev/sda1 fuseblk 98G 30G 69G 30% /windows/C
    > --------------------
    >
    >
    > sda2 ( / ) and sda5 (/home) are my openSUSE-11.1 and it works fine.
    >
    > I tried to install openSUSE-11.2 milestone4 on sda6 (/ ) and sda7
    > (/home). Grub gave me this error, no matter where I tried to locate
    > grub. I tried boot from extended, boot from MBR, boot from root, I tried
    > it with and with out writing generic code to MBR, and with and with out
    > setting active in partition table for boot partition. Knowing 11.2
    > has a bug where it falsely reports an error did not help remove the
    > "fog" In most cases I ignored the grub error, and tried to boot
    > (which did not work).
    >
    > I finally tried the "boot from MBR" last, after which as expected my PC
    > would not even boot 11.1, so I had to use the 11.1 installation DVD to
    > do a "repair installed system", repair my MBR and then once repaired put
    > back my original menu.lst (as the menu.lst from the "repair installed
    > system" is rather primitive" ) . This repair stuff is no dramas, as
    > this is relatively easy, but all these failed grub efforts are rather
    > time consuming (and a bit hard on the ego). So my PC boots 11.1 no
    > problem. But I can't boot the installed (and partially setup) 11.2.
    >
    > I then tried a hand edit to the menu.lst to see if could manually force
    > a boot on sda6 (which has 11.2 mostly installed) as such:
    >
    > Code:
    > --------------------
    > # Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Thu Jul 23 19:58:42 CEST 2009
    > default 0
    > timeout 15
    > gfxmenu (hd0,1)/boot/message
    > ##YaST - activate
    >
    > ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
    > title openSUSE 11.1 - 2.6.27.25-0.1
    > root (hd0,1)
    > kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27.25-0.1-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part2 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part3 splash=silent showopts vga=0x346
    > initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.27.25-0.1-default
    >
    > ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
    > title Failsafe -- openSUSE 11.1 - 2.6.27.25-0.1
    > root (hd0,1)
    > kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27.25-0.1-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part2 showopts ide=nodma apm=off noresume edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off processor.max_cstate=1 x11failsafe vga=0x346
    > initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.27.25-0.1-default
    >
    > ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
    > title openSUSE 11.2 milestone4
    > root (hd0,5)
    > kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part5 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST31500341AS_9VS14DG6-part5 splash=silent showopts vga=0x346
    > initrd /boot/initrd
    >
    > ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
    > title Windows
    > rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    > chainloader +1
    > --------------------
    >
    > The entry with "title openSUSE 11.2 milestone4" is a hand hack/edit.
    >
    > But again, when I selected the "milestone4" option (hack) in grub I get
    > the ::Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS
    > :: (note the other grub options work fine).
    >
    > *I'm wondering is this because sda6 is about 1.3 terrabytes after the
    > MBR ?* or am I over looking something silly. I don't want to move
    > around partitions if this just me being silly and overlooking something.
    > I also don't want to write bug reports 'cause of something silly I have
    > done.
    >
    >

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    My method would be to have either manually add the entry in to the menu.lst of 11.1 or use Yast - Bootloader. But you have done this without success

    Did you try super grub disk? Just a thought

    Maybe John will have some inspired thoughts.

    I don't have any drives so big which means I have no experience here really. I tend to opt for more and smaller drives. (Rather than eggs all in one basket) But: (I realize you'll have a backup anyway.)
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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    I thought the error 18 limit is for older technology drives/bios's and I thought the newer drives didn't suffer from that.

    Here you've got 1500 Gig and you're installing beyond 176028 from a total of 182401 which in linear terms is 90%+ (FWIW) so it's right up there. I wonder if this is too much, even for a new technology drive? I don't know, I just wonder.

    I think the idea of a /boot partition lower down is to locate the kernel and or the initrd lower down (but I'm not sure on that). If you made e /boot lower down, perhaps using Gparted to move the so-called left boundary of sda5 a bit to the right, you'd have a boot partition some where near the 150Gb mark. Of course, you'd have to adjust the fstabs of 11.1 and any other Linuxes. And there'd be a heap of backing up of data to do before using Gparted. Maybe not feasible?

    The other option is to put generic code in the MBR so it looks for an active partition and put the active flag on a low partition like the extended partition and tell yast's loader to boot from the extended partition. But I don't really know if that would work either.
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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    My only contribution in this is a case where I had to make a /boot on a lower address because the BIOS could not reach high enough. But in that case GRUB gave an error 17. Details are here: GRUB error 17 in fase 1.5 - openSUSE Forums
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    I confess I am a bit puzzled by this current installation problem. Of course it is not a major issue because openSUSE-11.1 boots, and because I already have openSUSE-11.2 on a separate PC, but I would like to understand this. ... why does the partition fail on this massive hard drive? Is it the hard drive? or is it the grub configuration ?

    I currently have a PC out on loan to a friend (probably for at least another month) and as soon as I get that PC back I will change it to a hot backup, and I will set up everything for my nominal day-to-day operations on that "returned on loan" PC, and then with that available as a "hot back up", I will shuffle the partitions of my current PC around with something like:
    • sda1 = primary 100 GB WinXP
    • sda2 = primary / (25 GB for openSUSE-11.1)
    • sda3= primary / (15 GB for Linux distro's under test)
    • sda4= extended
    • sda5= logical swap (2 GB or so)
    • sda6 = logical 1.2 TB or so for /home for openSUSE-11.1
    • sda7 = logical 25 GB or so of /home for Linux distro under test
    If I had considered this more carefully when I first set up this PC, I would have set things up that way to start with.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    I would still like to know if you tried super grub disk?

    It's an intriguing one for sure. If only I could get my hands on it! Loads of fun
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    Default Re: Grub error installing second openSUSE on Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    I would still like to know if you tried super grub disk?
    I have played with super grub disk in the past. I am also curious.

    But I am also unusually conservative. ... Since this is my main PC (my Intel Core i7 920 ) I don't want to take any chances. So I am going to wait a month until my athlon-2800 PC is returned (which used to be my main PC), and when I get it back, I will set it up as my main PC, and then "play" with the partitioning of the 1.5 TB drive on the Core i7 to see what I can learn.

    I know, its slow, .. but I guess the patience (and money) to do this comes with old age. I am pushing the envelope of my knowledge here, and when in uncharted/new territory there is always a risk. Conservative person that I am, I truly do hate taking any risks.

    But I do hope to learn (eventually) what is amiss here.

    Thanks for all the input/suggestions !!

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