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Thread: I installed GRUB to the MBR where rEFIt lives

  1. #1

    Default I installed GRUB to the MBR where rEFIt lives

    When I start up [Macbook 7,1 (intel)] I see a menu I believe is called GRUB. From here, it is impossible to boot into OSX, although this is displayed as an option.
    I have since reading a few other threads discovered I was supposed to install the bootloader to /, which is dev/sda5 on my hard drive,
    not to the MBR, and with GRUB2 not GRUB2EFI
    Yeah 13.1 is working fine, but I can't get back into OSX10.6 and all of my school files are on there. I'm supposed to be doing some homework today or asap, so a prompt bit of advice would be very appreciated!

    /dev/sda1 /boot/EFI
    /dev/sda2 apple snow leopard
    /dev/sda3 ubuntu raring (doesn't run very well, but that's not important. I will delete this as soon as i can)
    and these next 3 are new from this morning's openSUSE install:
    /dev/sda4 1.89 gb swap
    /dev/sda5 ext 4 /
    /dev/sda6 ext 4 / home

    Anyways I was hoping you could tell me what I need to do in order to get my rEFIt cleaned up.
    Everyone says make sure you don't install over the refit and I'm afraid I didn't read that until afterward.

    from the rEFIt troubleshooting page: "To fix this problem, you need to install GRUB / LILO in the boot sector of your Linux partition instead, then remove it from the MBR. I’m not aware of a ready-made tool that can safely do that removal. Please ask for help on a Linux forum if needed."

    Should I reinstall refit? Or is there a way I can remove the GRUB from the MBR?
    also, I'm not 100% sure GRUB is on the MBR because I can't access the “Partition Inspector” application that is on the rEFIt disk image, which is what rEFIt suggested here: rEFIt - Documentation - Choosing Windows boots Linux
    I'm running OSX, not Windows... I'm really just lost

  2. #2

    Default Re: I installed GRUB to the MBR where rEFIt lives

    Re: Need help for installation on my macbook

    by Knightron

    I think this answers my own question but if I could get someone to validate this will be okay it would be nice. I'm just being nervous, I think. I'm hesitant to delete all of the partitions except for my OSX partition because this step-by step begins with booting into Os X and I can't do that. Perhaps there is a different process?

    1) Boot into Os X. Remove all your partitions related to Gnu/Linux with disk utility and then remove refit.
    2) Reboot
    3) Run the updates tool for Os X and make sure the system is up to date.
    4) reboot again back into Os X.
    5) With disk utility make a partition for Linux again, and maybe even a swap.
    6) I recommend another reboot just so the partition table can refresh
    7) Boot Os X and install Refit again.
    8) reboot again just to make sure the Refit menu is appearing, and then load Os X; if Refit doesn't appear, reboot until it does, it has taken me two reboots before it has appeared.
    7) insert Opensuse 12.2 installation disk and reboot, starting the install
    8) proceed with the install, and select advanced partitioning, or what ever it's called at the partition part
    9) Make sure you know which is the right partition you made for Linux and select '/' for it; and set swap for the swap partition, ect.
    10) The partitioning part is very important to get right, if you don't know the technicalities behind the partitioning, and are just blindly following these steps, i suggest you tell us some more about your partition table so we can help you to avoid whipping out Os X or something.
    11) continue with the install until you get to the summery part 'installation settings'. You will want to pay special attention to the bootloader location because this is the most important part
    12) Make sure you have 'Grub2' selected under 'booting' and not GrubUEFI, or what ever the other one is called.
    13) Make sure the boot loader will be installed to '/' and not the mbr. "Status location: /dev/sda*"
    once that's all done press proceed and let the install go. Once done, reboot and hopefully a little penguin comes up. If it does or doesn't select Os X anyways and make sure it boot fine.
    14) reboot again, and this time see if Windows works fine.
    15) finally reboot again and check out Opensuse.
    16) Windows should not be loading Grub before it boots windows
    17) If everything is good and working, then you're fine to proceed doing what ever you want, but if it's not, then try use the partition tool and see if it can fix the problem, reboot and see if it's working now.
    18) Lastly if a partition isn't working and that stupid partition tool can't fix it again, reinstall Opensuse the exact same way onto the same partition again. It's stupid, but i've had to do that before and for god knows why it has fixed the issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: I installed GRUB to the MBR where rEFIt lives

    Quote Originally Posted by xxm3wtw0 View Post
    When I start up [Macbook 7,1 (intel)] I see a menu I believe is called GRUB. From here, it is impossible to boot into OSX, although this is displayed as an option.
    Yes, unfortunately grub2 is not able to load current Mac OS X using "traditional" XNU loader. It is able to simply chainload Mac OS X EFI loader itself. What you can try"
    • on GRUB2 menu screen press "c" (single character) to enter grub2 command line
    • execute the following commands
      insmod hfsplus
      search --set root /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
      chainloader /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
    • This should get you to standard Mac OS X loader screen. If it works, let me know, we try to create permanent boot menu entry for it.

    For reference:

    I do not know Mac well enough to suggest how to remove grub2. Although I'm really surprised you managed to get grub2-efi running by just installing openSUSE ... I had to explicitly bless it (actually, the whole partition) from Mac OS X to achieve it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I installed GRUB to the MBR where rEFIt lives

    This is what happened:

    grub> insmod hfsplus
    grub> search --setroot /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
    error: unspecified search type
    grub> chainloader /System?Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
    error: file '/System?Library/CoreServices/boot.efi' not found

    this is weird because it seems like on this other macbook that's the correct file path. maybe refit alters the place of booting?

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