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Re: No Such Disk error - please help

From: Felix Miata
Subject: Re: No Such Disk error - please help
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2010 14:15:33 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (OS/2; U; Warp 4.5; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090827 SeaMonkey/1.1.18 (PmW)

On 2010/01/29 16:53 (GMT-0600) Jami composed:

> I installed Ubuntu v.9.1 on an external USB HDD to test out the OS, and GRUB

Do you mean Ubuntu 9.10? The address@hidden list might be a
better place to ask this. Asking for help for Grub 0.9x here is more likely
to get you a directive to upgrade to Grub2 than a solution.

> was installed along with it. With my external HDD connected, GRUB loads and
> prompts me to boot Ubuntu (on the external) or Windows Vista (on my primary
> HDD, connected via SATA 0). However, if I turn on my computer with the
> external HDD disconnected, GRUB still tries to load, and returns an
> unresponsive grub recover prompt.

Likely Ubuntu did as it is hard to get it not to do and wrote Grub to the MBR
on your SATA 0, but its menu.lst file to your USB Ubuntu / or /boot, and thus
doesn't have any instructions what to do without the USB connected.

> My boot priority is 1. Primary 2. Removable 3. CD-ROM
> I'm confused as to why GRUB would even try to load if it is affiliated with
> the removable HDD, since the removable is second in my boot priorities. If

Grub currently is installed across two disks:

1-MBR code on SATA 0
2-everything else on USB

Without both, a vital part of the boot process is missing, so boot fails.

> GRUB is not dependent on my external HDD,

Oh, but it is! Everything it needs, except for a single sector, is on USB.

> I am confused as to why it fails
> to boot windows or give me the option to boot windows. My primary HDD had
> nothing to do with my installation of Ubuntu or GRUB.
> I have read the instructions on installing GRUB, and am worried I will make
> my primary drive unbootable if I try. I have read the help archives and
> manual as well, but couldn't make sense of any troubleshooting within. I'm
> fairly tech-savvy for a normal user, but everything I read was way over my
> head.

Take a look at where you'll find
instructions for creating a Linux boot sector file on your Windows boot
partition, and modifying boot.ini on your Windows partition to create a
Ubuntu menu entry. Do this with your USB disk attached, and when ready, and
leaving it attached, use your Grub menu to boot Windows, and when the Windows
boot menu comes up, try to boot Ubuntu.

Once this works you'll need to "install" Grub to the / or /boot partition on
your USB. Even though most of Grub is there now, the critical boot sector of
your / or /boot partition probably is unprepared due to the use of its
bootstrap code residing on SATA 0 currently.

After all the above is completed, you can then use Windows repair or FDISK to
install a new generic MBR to SATA 0, or the restore original boot loader
function of Ubuntu, and also set the Windows boot/system partition active.
>From then on, Windows should boot and run exactly as before regardless
whether booted with or without the USB disk, but give you the option to boot
Ubuntu any time the USB disk is attached.

If you want Grub to be your primary boot loader, it'll have to be installed
entirely on disk(s) that are always available during boot.

When you next respond in this thread, include the output of 'fdisk -l' from
an Ubuntu shell or terminal prompt. It wouldn't hurt to also goto a Grub
prompt and do 'find /boot/grub/menu.lst' and share that output as well.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious
people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any
other."                      John Adams, 2nd US President

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***

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