GRUB L99 Error

I installed openSUSE 11.0 the other day, and after the installation, the system seemed to be working fine. However, after I rebooted the system, instead of being greeted by a friendly GRUB screen, I get the following screen instead:

L99 99 99 99 99 99 (ETC)

It’s the strangest error I’ve seen in a while… I tried runnign the repair utility on the suse dvd, and it claimed to successfully reinstall GRUB, but I still get the same error.

Any ideas?

Sounds like a LILO error, indicated by the L (as in LILO) and the number 99 “invalid second stage index sector (LILO)”.
Perhaps the previous boot loader was LILO?

Make sure GRUB was installed in MBR, possibly by reinstalling it with grub-install. But of course, first you need to access your system. Use your SuSE DVD, boot into rescue mode, mount the root partition somewhere, chroot to somewhere, run grub-install to the hard disk device without a partition number. In my case that would be

grub-install /dev/sda

Then reboot and see what happens.

Don’t know how to do the mount/chroot maneuver? Let us know and we can go into further detail.

When this error occurs it usually is due to grub stage1 (in the MBR) not being able to find its stage2 due to a geometry problem, or possibly holdover code.

Was lilo ever on the machine? Any previous boot loader?

Check in the bios IDE setup. Try “LBA” if not set; you will probably have to reinstall grub to get the geometries right. I suggest doing that from the command line e.g. the DVD Rescue System or Live-CD, rather than the Repair System module - you’ll be better assured in the grub feedback that it installed properly. From the command line as root, done thusly:

grub                    ##takes you into the grub shell
find /boot/grub/stage2  ##tells you which partition grub is on
root (hd<x>,<y>)        ##where x and y are exactly what the previous command returned
setup (hd0)             ##installs to MBR
quit                    ##finishes and exits

@rackham -

I just discovered the other day that the grub-install script included openSUSE is not the vanilla script in the grub package; it has been modified to use the /etc/grub.conf batch input file last created by YaST. Which of course means that if the install needs to be different now than when YaST was prev used, it will fail. The original grub-install (as included in Debian, etc.) is now called grub-install.unsupported.

@mingus725 -

Would you look at that :open_mouth: For how long has it been that way?
Then using the grub interactive shell like you advice is surely the way to go.

Yea, I was surprised, too. Have no idea when that change was made. The script has a note indicating that the reason was that the vanilla script “guesses” and is not as reliable as YaST.

Besides, that’s a Debian/Ubuntu thing, right? :wink: