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Thread: GRUB Problem

  1. #111
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    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    For some reason or other that link I gave you earlier wasn't working
    http://public.bay.livefilestore.com/...f.zip?download

    As to my instructions:
    I'm not sure Test Disk is the way to go. I was thinking you might need it but, as I see this situation, whatever fudging you do with the existing mess is always going to be a mess. Hence my earlier recommendation to backup your files and start fresh. If you really must have windows, then I'm sure you can get hold of a install CD somewhere. So long as you have your own Product key, you'll be fine. I might even send you a CD myself but I'd need to know the exact version you have.

    But IMO windows could just be a crutch you no longer need.
    I have it installed. But I never use it. It's just become a testing ground for grub multi boot situations.
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  2. #112

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    No, caf4926, I think oldsioux has just accessed the first screen of testdisk. However I think we may be able to leave testdisk out of things for now - we can revisit this if required.

    It may be better to do a trial run of deleting partitions, on a copy of the sony-front.raw clone mounted on a loopback device. It doesn't matter then if oldsioux gets it wrong. Just work on another copy until things go correctly.

    So, as a first step, we can amend the Grand Plan in #92 by doing a clone of the first 3400 cylinders with the partitions just as they are.

    1.1) Open a command prompt.
    1.2) Same as 5.1)
    1.3) Same as 5.2)
    1.4) Almost the same as 5.3) except that we should assume you may have badblocks on the laptop HDD and pad the output with filler zeros if required:

    dd if=/dev/sda of=sony-front.raw bs=$((255*63*512)) count=3400 conv=noerror,sync
    Will take about an hour.

    1.5) Still in the sony-clone directory, take a copy of the copy.

    cp sony-front.raw sony-front-bak.raw
    This gives you a master copy of the clone, which you should not amend. It is only used for regenerating sony-front.raw if things go south.

    Note, this means you have to provide an extra 27GB on the USB drive so ~ 54GB total. I take it you are going to use the 500GB monster?

    1.6) Mount the partial clone on a loopback device.

    Find the name of the first unused loopback device:

    losetup -f
    Normally this will return /dev/loop0 but it could be /dev/loop1 etc. I will assume /dev/loop0 from here on, but amend commands as required.

    Mount the partial clone:

    losetup /dev/loop0 sony-front.raw
    You have now made the file look like a hard disk and you can treat it as such.

    1.8) Unfortunately, the sony-front.raw file contains an invalid partition table because we only have a pseudo HDD of 3400 cylinders but the original sda6 extends all the way to cylinder 14401. cfdisk will probably object to this situation so we use the deplorable (but flexible) fdisk to tidy things up.

    fdisk /dev/loop0
    Ignore any warnings.

    List the partition table with 'p', Enter,
    Make sure all the partitions are listed with device names:

    /dev/loop0p1 (==/dev/sda1 on the actual hard disk)
    /dev/loop0p2 (==/dev/sda2 on the actual hard disk)
    etc

    Delete partition 6 with 'd' Enter then '6' Enter

    Write the partition table back to the pseudo disk with 'w' Enter

    fdisk will then terminate.

    1.9) See if cfdisk can list the contents of sony-front.raw

    cfdisk /dev/loop0
    Does it work? Can you see partitions 1 (loop0p1), 2 (loop0p2) etc with some free space (24MB?) at the bottom?

    Exit cfdisk with 'q' Enter.

    1.10) Unmount sony-frontraw from the loopback device

    losetup -d /dev/loop0
    And we are done.

    If things went horribly wrong, then delete sony-front.raw and recreate it.

    cp sony-front-bak.raw sony-front.raw
    and do the whole thing all over again from 1.6) until you get it right.

    Report back here when you are happy.

  3. #113

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    And I, of course, forgot that in 1.8) you also have to delete partition 3 with 'd' and Enter then '3' and Enter.

  4. #114

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    For some reason or other that link I gave you earlier wasn't working
    http://public.bay.livefilestore.com/...f.zip?download
    My first attempt to retrieve it was on the laptop using PartedMagic... then I couldn't find where it got saved.

    So, I tried with the Compaq and found the link wasn't working.

    After that I re-tried finding the files on the laptop and they were in /root.

    I'm impressed with the way that is written. Very easy to understand and follow.

    Thank you. It was very informative.

    As to my instructions:
    I'm not sure Test Disk is the way to go. I was thinking you might need it but, as I see this situation, whatever fudging you do with the existing mess is always going to be a mess. Hence my earlier recommendation to backup your files and start fresh. If you really must have windows, then I'm sure you can get hold of a install CD somewhere. So long as you have your own Product key, you'll be fine. I might even send you a CD myself but I'd need to know the exact version you have.
    That's comforting to know. :+}}

    But IMO windows could just be a crutch you no longer need.
    I have it installed. But I never use it. It's just become a testing ground for grub multi boot situations.
    I *very* freely admit that you are right about windows being a crutch... my way old 'machine level' days (circa, 1970s 1980s) were in CP/M and DOS. Similar...?... hmmmm, but notsomuch... and the older I get with deadlines pressing it is more like throwing away a comfortable old pair of house shoes because a new pair looks better.

    I like what I see in Linux... and would like to STAY here. I've only fallen back on 'the other guy' about 4 times in the last year, and those were simply because it was faster to determine if a problem was hardware related.

    And, well... I happened to trip across 'KDEwin' and was *way* impressed that the KDE environment could be had on "the other guy". It was tempting! To say the least... but... I actually had to 'buy' a new copy of ZoneAlarm just to try out KDEwin (which BTW had a rather huge immediate problem of needing mySQL installed on the machine for KMail to work. :sigh: )
    I actually caught myself thinking that one could have the best of both worlds... but got over it when "the other guy" mysteriously locked up and wouldn't let go. Geez...
    It's those mysterious 'lockups that won't let go' that are infuriating me into liking Linux much, much better every day.


    Anyway, I'd like to restore Win XP Pro just to prove it can be done... but, now that I've found, this time around, that there are some really nice and *helpful* people in the SuSE Forum... well... maybe I will just make myself fight the urge to use the, uh... umm... "Crutch". :+}}

    In the meantime... I'm reading and rereading each of the posts that seem to be spelling out exactly how we are going to approach getting started with the '1st Run' of this plan, and although cautious (to say the least) I have no doubt we will be able to achieve the goal.

    Re-reading the 'how-to' posts and the files you linked me to has started helping me to feel less stressed over this. And I'm beginning to think that maybe Linux isn't nearly as daunting as I had previously believed.

    I'm looking forward to the days ahead, now.

  5. #115

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by plodder View Post
    No, caf4926, I think oldsioux has just accessed the first screen of testdisk. However I think we may be able to leave testdisk out of things for now - we can revisit this if required.
    Correct... it was only the first screen. I was too scared I'd accidentally click something or hit "Enter" if I went any further than that.

    It may be better to do a trial run of deleting partitions, on a copy of the sony-front.raw clone mounted on a loopback device. It doesn't matter then if oldsioux gets it wrong. Just work on another copy until things go correctly.
    ......
    Note, this means you have to provide an extra 27GB on the USB drive so ~ 54GB total. I take it you are going to use the 500GB monster?
    Clarity (mine)... by 'loopback device' are you referring to the Maxtor 500GB monster as the loopback device?

  6. #116

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Loopback device (more correctly loop device) is just a mechanism for making the file sony-front.raw (which contains the data from the first part of you HDD) look like an actual (smaller) HDD. You can then use cfdisk, fdisk, testdisk etc on it.

    More here from the much maligned Wikipedia:

    Loop device - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You will see what I mean when you start working with it. Good luck.

  7. #117

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    I'm still here... reading and re-reading between the real life things going on around here.

    It may be a couple more days before I can get done making my notes and take that leap of faith... but will be doing so A.S.A.P.

    Thanks for being so patient.

  8. #118

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Hello...

    At long last my life has returned again and I'm *still* wanting to complete this task to see if it can indeed be a good test case.

    Is there still anyone, or everyone, previously involved in this 'test case' that is still willing to help me and oversee this operation?

    Please accept my apologies at my way too long absense... things are back in my lap, now.

    I hope all is still a go for lift off, on the message #90.

    Thanks

    Sylvia
    oldsioux

  9. #119
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    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Has anything changed?
    Can you just give us a brief of your situation again, save us reading the whole thread from head to tail
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  10. #120

    Default Re: GRUB Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    Has anything changed?
    Can you just give us a brief of your situation again, save us reading the whole thread from head to tail
    Will be glad to give a brief... but, will be a few minutes or hours... *I* will have to reread and gather the last of the details discussed to make it clear where we left off, k? :-}}

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