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Thread: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    86

    Angry Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    Hello, I was working with Reevine a while back on my problem. I have an Hp Pavillion DV 1000 series laptop with Windows XP Home on it with a 100gb hd in it. I also have a 650 gb external hard drive which plugs into one of my USB ports. If I don't have the external hard drive plugged in I get the following "loading stage 1. stage 1.5 grub, error 21. if I plug the USB Hard Drive in and reboot, it goes to a grub menu showing ubuntu 3 diff entries then windows xp home at the bottom. If I select windows by scrolling down to it and press enter it will boot into windows properly. BUT the external hard drive must be connected. I want to be able to leave the external hard drive unconnected and boot into windows or Ubuntu, which I later installed on the hard drive in my laptop without the external hard drive connected, hoping this would correct the problem. It didn't I am posting below that shows up when I typed into the terminal the following, which I got from another post in the forum. >gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst. Then this is what opened up in menu.lst

    default 0
    timeout 10

    ### BEGIN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
    ## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
    ## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

    ## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

    ## ## Start Default Options ##
    ## default kernel options
    ## default kernel options for automagic boot options
    ## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
    ## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
    ## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
    ## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
    ## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
    # kopt=root=UUID=31d86eaf-586d-4d6b-a6f4-ee17d37b48ca ro

    ## default grub root device
    ## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
    # groot=31d86eaf-586d-4d6b-a6f4-ee17d37b48ca

    ## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
    ## e.g. alternative=true
    ## alternative=false
    # alternative=true

    ## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
    ## e.g. lockalternative=true
    ## lockalternative=false
    # lockalternative=false

    ## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
    ## alternatives
    ## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
    # defoptions=quiet splash

    ## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
    ## e.g. lockold=false
    ## lockold=true
    # lockold=false

    ## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
    # xenhopt=

    ## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
    # xenkopt=console=tty0

    ## altoption boot targets option
    ## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
    ## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
    ## altoptions=(recovery) single
    # altoptions=(recovery mode) single

    ## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
    ## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
    ## alternative kernel options
    ## e.g. howmany=all
    ## howmany=7
    # howmany=all

    ## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
    ## e.g. memtest86=true
    ## memtest86=false
    # memtest86=true

    ## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
    ## can be true or false
    # updatedefaultentry=false

    ## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
    ## can be true or false
    # savedefault=false

    ## ## End Default Options ##

    title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-11-generic
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-11-generic root=UUID=31d86eaf-586d-4d6b-a6f4-ee17d37b48ca ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-11-generic

    title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-11-generic (recovery mode)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-11-generic root=UUID=31d86eaf-586d-4d6b-a6f4-ee17d37b48ca ro single
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-11-generic

    title Ubuntu 8.10, memtest86+
    kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin

    ### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

    title Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    root (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1
    savedefault
    makeactive

    title Other operating systems:
    root

    Can anyone help me change a setting to the correct setting to boot to the grub loader that will appear if the error message is gone, which shows up after booting with the external hard drive connected which show windows xp and ubuntu that began appearing after I installed Ubuntu on my internal hard drive in hopes of correcting this problem the other day, which as I said did not correct the problem I am having. Please, anyone who can interperate the above code and can advise me what to change or do to correct this load (boot up) problem would be greatly appreciated


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    7,419
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    disconnect the external drive, and follow the instructions in the link below in my sig ("restore grub").

    And use smaller font next--no need to "yell"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Beans
    86

    Cool Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    Sorry, I didn't know I was yelling. Is this size ok for normal use? Please don't assume I know what you mean by go to below. I am very new at Ubuntu and have no Linux experience, that is how I got into this mess to begin with. I do appreciate help, any help from Ubuntu users. Those that can guide me through a problem. I happen to love Ubuntu, and wished I had known a long time ago about it, I would have dumped windows about a hundred crashes and problems long ago., but until I learn something I can not make an immediate change. I do learn fast, and am willing to follow any helpful instructions. If you can and want to help me I would appreciate it, but again do not assume I know what you are talking about, I thank you for your response and for your telling me I was shouting, the print was to small so I increased it, but I increased it to much. Thank you again, and any help will be greatly appreciated, by anyone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Eldorado, NM
    Beans
    5,009
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    Here is the link for reinstalling grub after disconnecting your external drive:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224351
    -merlin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Beans
    287
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    I have had the exact same issue before, the problem is that your grub menu is stored on your external hard drive which is what the computer looks for when it boots. Get yourself a live cd and follow the instructions given above to reinstall the grub menu onto your internal HD (don't worry its not as scary as it sounds)

    Good luck,
    James

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Beans
    86

    Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    Hello James and Logos34, Thank you for your response. I just got home from Church and coffee. Should I go to Windows and correct this problem or should I do it from Ubuntu in the external Hard drive? I did go to the terminal here in Ubuntu on my external hard drive and ran the code with the cable plugged in. It came up with the following.

    -laptop:~$ >sudo grub
    Probing devices to guess BIOS drives. This may take a long time.
    I then closed the terminal and opened it again and entered the grub and this is what I came up with,

    grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
    (hd1,4)

    grub> root (hd1,4)

    grub> root (hd1.4)

    Error 11: Unrecognized device string

    grub> root (hd1,4)

    grub> setup (hd1,4)
    Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... yes
    Checking if "/boot/grub/stage2" exists... yes
    Checking if "/boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5" exists... yes
    Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd1,4)"... failed (this is not fatal)
    Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd1,4)"... failed (this is not fatal)
    Running "install /boot/grub/stage1 (hd1,4) /boot/grub/stage2 p /boot/grub/menu
    .lst "... succeeded
    Done.



    When I tried to do as it instructed the terminal window read Drive does not exist. I have my Ubuntu desktop edition cd from Canonical. Is that the live cd or do I need to download it from somewhere? If I have the proper cd now, do I just insert it? will it go to the proper boot? I did install it to windows (Without changes to windows) but that did not work, as I said in my post above. It seems the only way I can get to Ubuntu terminal is in the external drive and when it is disconnected it disconnects me from the internet. Please advise. I will be up for a while yet tonight, but if no one responds I will wait until tomorrow then begin again. I do appreciate the help..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    7,419
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    Quote Originally Posted by ladydonna View Post
    When I tried to do as it instructed the terminal window read Drive does not exist. I have my Ubuntu desktop edition cd from Canonical. Is that the live cd or do I need to download it from somewhere? If I have the proper cd now, do I just insert it? will it go to the proper boot? I did install it to windows (Without changes to windows) but that did not work, as I said in my post above. It seems the only way I can get to Ubuntu terminal is in the external drive and when it is disconnected it disconnects me from the internet.
    Sounds like you did a Wubi install the second time (runs ubuntu inside your XP partition), which is why the grub restore method didn't work.

    Yes, the shipit CD from Canonical = live cd.

    What I would suggest it this: since you appeared to (re)install grub successfully to the MBR of the external drive, reboot and go into your computer Bios at startup (press F1 key I think), look for a boot menu and change the hard disk boot priority from the internal to the usb drive. If it boots ubuntu, then all you have to do is restore XP bootloader to the internal disk, like this. Or download the Super Grub Disk (--> Advanced). From now on, all you have to do to boot windows is choose it from the grub menu. If the usb drive is disconnected you'll boot straight into windows. No more error message.

    If by "did not work" above you meant that ubuntu did not even install in wubi mode, then there;s nothing more to do. If it did appear to install but won't boot you'll obviously have to remove it.

    About the usb drive problem: when you install ubuntu on an external drive, the Grub bootloader is written by default to the MBR of the first detected drive, '(hd0)', which is always the laptop internal drive. This means that even though the grub IPL (initial program loader) is on the internal, when you boot it looks for menu.lst (grub menu), which resides on the ubuntu root partition on the external drive. So if it's disconnected, you get a grub error. I don't know why the developers have never figured out a way to prevent this, because it causes a lot of confusion. A lot of people now boot, or would like to boot, linux from a external usb disk...seems nearly everybody has one these days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Beans
    86

    Smile Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    Thank You Logos34. I appreciate you definitive post. I will try that. But let me add, I think I understand what you are suggesting, but I do not need to go to the Bios to load the USB port, as, If the external drive is plugged in I can boot to the external grub menu which gives me the choice of selecting Ubuntu or Windows. when I make the selection, another menu appears, letting me again choose Ubuntu or Windows. If the drive is unplugged, all I get is the Error 21 in black screen. If I understand you, you want me to unplug the USB external drive and then go to my Bios and set it to boot to the USB drive? I have not gone to the Bios yet today, but will as soon as I send this post. But in previous visits to the Bios, I think it only gives me the choice of my Hard drive, an A drive, Which this laptop does not have, or to the CD/Dvd drive. No option to boot from a USB port. Again, I really appreciate you posting in such an easy to understand wording and instructions to me. I think you are on the right track to solving my problem, yes I did install Ubuntu on my internal hard drive using the option to install inside Windows with no changes to my system. Should I uninstall it? It wont open anyway from inside windows or in the initial boot up, as it only goes to the Error code 21 if the external is unplugged, as I said. I will await your reply and am now going to try as you suggest in your previous reply.. Thank You, Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Beans
    86

    Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    Hi I went to the bootloader, link you gave me. It says using live cd open a terminal. The only way I know to open the terminal in within the installed Ubuntu on the external hard drive, whic I simply follow the same instructions it gives in the link with the exception of using live cd. I guess I just don't know how to use the live cd, when I put it in, it asks for the language then gives me options like install it or chec the cd for erroes etc, how do I access the terminal from live cd?. Thanks again Logos34, Respectfully, Donna..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    7,419
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Can not boot to windows without external hard drive attached

    To get to a terminal on the live cd you need to load the desktop. Select the first option "Try ubuntu without any change to your computer". Then Applications>Accessories>terminal

    As far as the Bios and usb goes, you're looking at the device boot priority (floppy, hdd, cdrom)...there's a separate hard disk boot menu (or submenu) which allows you to select another boot disk from among multiple hard drives. Poke around (check 'boot' tab first).

    The reason it seems to be automatically booting directly to the external is that, like I said above, grub is in two parts--one (tiny) part is on the MBR (first sector) of the internal disk, the other part (menu.lst, stage2 etc,) is on the root partition on the usb. So when you start your machine the bios looks for a bootable drive, finds the internal drive sda, then grub looks for the menu.lst and stage1 on the / partition.

    I don't know why it's going through two menus, though.

    Leave the usb attached. (I originally suggested you unplug it to simplify restoring grub. But that's before I knew you did a wubu install).

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