Problems with GRUB Error 18

I’ve used different linux distributions and ive never had a dual or multi boot problem with any of them with windows xp or vista except for the opensuse 11.0 DVD install. Ever since I installed it, every time i boot up my machine (VPR Matrix, P4 2.40 Ghz, 1GB RAM, nvidia 7300GT 512MB)the error GRUB Error 18 shows up. So each time that happens, i cant do anything, so i just did a clean install with windows. All i did with opensuse 11.0 was run the dvd install and everything installed normally. It booted into opensuse 11.0 KDE 4 and everything was great, until i turned my machine off… then the GRUB Error 18. ive tried different things but nothings working and im wasting my time. Desired boot:Windows XP Pro, Ubuntu Studio 8.04, Opensuse 11.0 someone plz help im still kind of new to linux

Explanation of grub error 18:

The generally used fix seems to be creating a small partition at the beginning of your drive and mounting it as /boot

It should be possible to have both your ubuntu and suse boot files on the same partition, as long as you edit the grub entries accordingly

Something like this should work

On /boot make directories for suse and ubuntu (/boot/suse and /boot/ubuntu), each directory would have the files normally found in /boot for that particular distro

In your grub entry for suse then you would need to have something like:

kernel /boot/suse/vmlinuz [followed by your usual options]
initrd /boot/suse/initrd

(ubuntu’s would be similar to:
kernel /boot/ubuntu/vmlinuz [followed by your usual options]
initrd /boot/ubuntu/initrd

There are other scenarios like putting one distro’s boot files in a folder in another distro’s /boot directory, again as long as you edit the grub entry accordingly

It does seem a bit odd though that it booted once, and then threw up a grub error 18 when you next tried to boot, if bios was able to locate the boot files once you’d expect it to locate them a second time unless something had changed

try doing a repair using the install dvd, boot from it, then try repair. seems odd. if i remember right then i think windows needs to be on the 1st partition of the 1st drive so maybe this could be an issue?

I’ve had xp on other partitions and drives numerous times, it’s currently on the second partition of my third drive

Not that I boot it very often but it runs fine

Grub error 18 is related to limitations with bios not being able to read ‘far enough’ to locate files and I’m not sure why even if windows did need to be on the first partition of the first drive, it would cause a grub error when it’s somewhere else

I don’t really think what windows ‘likes’ should affect whether grub works or not, or whether suse boots or not, it would only be the windows affected

Out of curiosity potosino11, did you let grub install to a partition or to the mbr?