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Thread: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    4

    Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    I tried to install Ubuntu on my Macbook Pro 5,1 today. I had problems before, so I 0'd out my drive, reinstalled OS X, installed rEFIt, partitioned my HD, erased the windows partition with the disk utility, and got all the way to the installation. However, when I choose Advanced Options towards the end of the install dialogues, where I'm supposed to choose a dev/ option, there is a repeat.

    ie.
    Options:
    dev/sda-1
    dev/sda1
    dev/sda2 <- I think this is the OS X partition
    dev/sda-1

    As a result, I can't choose sda-1. When I erased the boot camp partition through GParted, it was listed as dev/sda3. What should I do? I don't want to eff up my partition tables. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by wartron; May 21st, 2010 at 01:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    39

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    Wow, um, I'm having a pretty much identical problem, on a MBP 6,2

    I followed these instructions, and got hung up there, with the same dialog. Couldn't select install GRUB on sda3.

    I just continued installing without installing GRUB, but there is no option to boot into ubuntu. Anyone know a way of adding it now? Should I just delete that partition and try again?
    Last edited by 24601oxy; May 21st, 2010 at 04:06 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    4

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    this is totally driving me crazy. someone out there has to have an idea or SOME form of advice...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Beans
    2,930
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    Just read a few installation manuals, which worked for other people. There is much info about this subject on http://mac.linux.be, a place to bookmark.
    Linux on your Apple Mac │ iLinux
    http://mac.linux.be
    http://www.mintppc.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dallas
    Beans
    12
    Distro
    Ubuntu Studio 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    Here's the work-around (cross-posted from another thread on Page 1). I hope this helps!

    Ok. I had the same problem as all of you seem to have, but fixed it thanks to another thread in this forum.

    Rather than link directly, I'll post the workaround here, though your mileage may vary.

    1. Start out by backing up your mac to an external drive.
    2. Install ReFIT. (restart two times, and it will take effect).
    3. Open Boot Camp and set up a windows partition.
    4. Shut down and boot into the Lucid install disk.
    5. Select the option to try linux without installing (ie. boot into the live CD).
    6. Open gparted (System > Administration)
    7. Use gparted to delete the boot camp partition.
    8. Remain in gparted, and create a tiny partition just after the mac partition (512M should be plenty). Name it BOOTCAMP or something memorable and set the file system as NTFS.
    9. Apply changes. (BE SURE TO APPLY CHANGES.) Then exit gparted.
    10. Start the Lucid installer from the desktop. Follow the locations and language and whatnot. When it asks you to prepare the disk, choose "Specify partitions manually."
    11. Select the partition you just created (which should be /dev/sda3) , choose Change --> use as NTFS. At Check Format choose mount point = /windows.
    12. Select the free space. You'll need to create two partitions here, one for Ubuntu, and one for Swap at the end. I set upFor the first partition, choose Use as Ext4, mount point = / . In the remaining section (I used 4096 bytes, ie. 4 Gig) choose Add --> use as Swap. Click ok.

    If everything worked as expected, you'll have 5 partitions: sda1 (EFI); sda2 (OSX); sda3 (NTFS); sda4 (where Ubuntu will go); and sda5 (the swap).

    13. Go through the rest of the installation. On the last screen (screen 8, iirc) click the Advanced button and choose to install the boot loader to /dev/sda3, which should now appear.

    Click Install and wait 20 or 30 minutes while Ubuntu installs.

    14. when the installation is complete, restart. In the rEFIt menu, choose the partition tool and resync.
    15. Power down your computer.
    16. Power up and you should be just fine.

    If you're not dual-booting, you should still choose to set up a special partition for GRUB, since it will whack out your EFI even if Ubuntu is the only thing there. (Get into the live CD, go gparted, wipe the drive, set up a partition for GRUB, one for Ubuntu, and one for the swap, and be sure to install GRUB in dev/sda2/ instead.)

    Good luck! I hope this works out for everyone. It worked brilliantly on my revA Macbook (1,1), and I'm typing this from the Mac partition.


    Oh. And I just realized that I have my notes from my install, and they include a link to the thread where I originally found this. All credit goes to Jacques4x4 who originally developed this method.


    Edit: I'm now on the Ubuntu partition, and realized that I forgot to mention one small thing. When you start up Ubuntu via rEFIt, the GRUB will assert itself and give you some additional boot options (straight Linux, safe Linux, shutdown, OSX, and something else, if I recall). GRUB will automatically boot into Ubuntu after 10 seconds, or you can just hit 'return' and boot right into Ubuntu. Not a big deal, to me, but those of you who really value your boot up times may want to search for a way to teach GRUB to shut up.
    Last edited by jamesixgun; May 23rd, 2010 at 01:43 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    4

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    Oh my god, worked perfectly. Thank you sooooooooooooooooo much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    London
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    7

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    Baffles me, i thought the boot-loader had to always be installed on the same partition as ubuntu. In-fact i have successfully dual booted Hardy Heron on mac and when installing i put the Boot-loader onto the same Partition as Hardy Heron and it worked a treat. Although i discarded Hardy in the end. Then i switched to Lucid Lynx hoping for a better distro, but it wouldn't boot into it after the install, it just said GRUB in the top left of a black screen with a flashing cursor.

    Frustrated but not going to give up, i wiped my whole hd and just installed Lucid Lynx to see what it was like. Now i have wiped my HD all over again and am back on just snow leopard but even more determined to try again and dual boot. I have just tried again but this time hit the same snag you guys have had, being, after selecting install on largest continuous free space (which it stated in the ubuntu guide) and then clicking the advanced button i was unable to select /dev/sda3 as the bootloader, /dev/sda3 wasn't even in the list, which thinking about it makes sense because it hasn't been assigned to anything, it is just free space. SO WHY ON EARTH WAS THAT TUTORIAL EVEN WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED? GOD only knows.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Bristow, VA
    Beans
    35
    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    I had the same problem as you. First time I installed Lucid I shose /dev/sda and nuked my hard drive. Decided to try a different distro because I was so pissed at Ubuntu.

    I did a full write up with pics on my blog. Although it outlines installing Linux Mint, the process is exactly the same for Ubuntu. Hope it helps.

    http://johnatilano.com/dual-boot-mac...nt-9-on-a-macb
    15" MacBook Pro 5,1 (2.8Ghz)
    Dual-Booting: Mac OS X 10.6 / Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Beans
    1

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesixgun View Post
    Here's the work-around (cross-posted from another thread on Page 1). I hope this helps!

    Ok. I had the same problem as all of you seem to have, but fixed it thanks to another thread in this forum.

    Rather than link directly, I'll post the workaround here, though your mileage may vary.

    1. Start out by backing up your mac to an external drive.
    2. Install ReFIT. (restart two times, and it will take effect).
    3. Open Boot Camp and set up a windows partition.
    4. Shut down and boot into the Lucid install disk.
    5. Select the option to try linux without installing (ie. boot into the live CD).
    6. Open gparted (System > Administration)
    7. Use gparted to delete the boot camp partition.
    8. Remain in gparted, and create a tiny partition just after the mac partition (512M should be plenty). Name it BOOTCAMP or something memorable and set the file system as NTFS.
    9. Apply changes. (BE SURE TO APPLY CHANGES.) Then exit gparted.
    10. Start the Lucid installer from the desktop. Follow the locations and language and whatnot. When it asks you to prepare the disk, choose "Specify partitions manually."
    11. Select the partition you just created (which should be /dev/sda3) , choose Change --> use as NTFS. At Check Format choose mount point = /windows.
    12. Select the free space. You'll need to create two partitions here, one for Ubuntu, and one for Swap at the end. I set upFor the first partition, choose Use as Ext4, mount point = / . In the remaining section (I used 4096 bytes, ie. 4 Gig) choose Add --> use as Swap. Click ok.

    If everything worked as expected, you'll have 5 partitions: sda1 (EFI); sda2 (OSX); sda3 (NTFS); sda4 (where Ubuntu will go); and sda5 (the swap).

    13. Go through the rest of the installation. On the last screen (screen 8, iirc) click the Advanced button and choose to install the boot loader to /dev/sda3, which should now appear.

    Click Install and wait 20 or 30 minutes while Ubuntu installs.

    14. when the installation is complete, restart. In the rEFIt menu, choose the partition tool and resync.
    15. Power down your computer.
    16. Power up and you should be just fine.

    If you're not dual-booting, you should still choose to set up a special partition for GRUB, since it will whack out your EFI even if Ubuntu is the only thing there. (Get into the live CD, go gparted, wipe the drive, set up a partition for GRUB, one for Ubuntu, and one for the swap, and be sure to install GRUB in dev/sda2/ instead.)

    Good luck! I hope this works out for everyone. It worked brilliantly on my revA Macbook (1,1), and I'm typing this from the Mac partition.


    Oh. And I just realized that I have my notes from my install, and they include a link to the thread where I originally found this. All credit goes to Jacques4x4 who originally developed this method.


    Edit: I'm now on the Ubuntu partition, and realized that I forgot to mention one small thing. When you start up Ubuntu via rEFIt, the GRUB will assert itself and give you some additional boot options (straight Linux, safe Linux, shutdown, OSX, and something else, if I recall). GRUB will automatically boot into Ubuntu after 10 seconds, or you can just hit 'return' and boot right into Ubuntu. Not a big deal, to me, but those of you who really value your boot up times may want to search for a way to teach GRUB to shut up.
    Golden ticket after an arduous search. Willy Wonka's factory finally opens to me! Thank you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Beans
    2

    Re: Boot loader issue with MacBook Pro 5,1 Ubuntu install

    this worked great for me too.

    weird thing though...when i run reffit, it gives me the option to boot either mac, ubuntu, or windows...i haven't installed windows on my comp so this seems odd to me. i haven't tried to see what happens if i choose to boot this imaginary windows.

    but since ubuntu seems to be running fine, i don't plan to try to fix this until maybe i know something about partitions lol.


    thanks!


    edit: ok when i boot in "windows on partition 3" it just boots into ubuntu..weird. anyone know why this happens?
    Last edited by xlollie106; January 6th, 2011 at 03:56 AM.

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