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Trouble booting Win XP with grub

From: Peter Jay Salzman
Subject: Trouble booting Win XP with grub
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 10:55:45 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi all,

I'm a recent lilo convert, so I'm rather new to grub.


I recently had to reinstall MS Windows XP (sigh), and I'm now having trouble
getting grub to boot it.  GNU/Linux boots fine.  When booting XP, I see:

   Disk error
   Press any key to restart
   Missing operating system

The System

BIOS is set to boot off the PATA drive.  The drives on the system are:

   hda PATA: (all ext3)
      Various backup partitions.  Expendable.  Contains the system's MBR.

   hde SATA: MS Windows XP (all FAT32)

      hde1 (hd1,0) MS Windows OS (bootable)
      hde2 (hd1,1) D drive
      hde3 (hd1,2) E drive

   hdg SATA: GNU/Linux (all ext3)

      hdg1 (hd2,0) /boot
      hdg2 (hd2,1) /var
      hdg3 (hd2,2) swap
      hdg5 (hd2,4) /home
      hdg6 (hd2,5) /
      hdg7 (hd2,6) /usr/local

Grub Configuration

Grub was installed on /dev/hda.  My grub menu looks like this:

   title    Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.10
   root     (hd2,0)
   kernel      /vmlinuz-2.6.10 root=/dev/hdg6 ro

   title    Windows NT/2000/XP
   map (hd0) (hd1)
   map (hd1) (hd0)
   rootnoverify (hd1,0)
   chainloader +1

What I tried

When I installed XP, I removed the PATA drive so XP thought it was
installing itself onto the "first drive".

After finding that XP wouldn't boot, I tried:

   1. disconnect the PATA drive
   2. run the Windows XP recovery console
   3. use "fixmbr" and "fixboot".
   4. reconnect the PATA drive

But it didn't work.  I'm a little reluctant to repeat the above procedure
without taking the PATA drive out because I don't want to lose the ability
to boot into GNU/Linux.  I'm also very unknowledgable with Microsoft's
operating systems.

I don't understand why this isn't working:

   * BIOS boots of the PATA drive.
   * Grub is installed in the MBR on the PATA drive.
   * Windows first bootloader is on the MBR of (hd1)
   * I'm not sure how Windows boots after that, but I assume this is where
     the problem is.  What exactly happens once the MS first bootloader
     is loaded?

Any ideas?  I'm on unfamiliar ground all around.  Should I try running
fixboot with the PATA drive still connected?


Every theory is killed sooner or later, but if the theory has good in it,
that good is embodied and continued in the next theory. -- Albert Einstein

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