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Thread: Explanation For Failed Grub Installation

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Explanation For Failed Grub Installation

    I am an experienced Linux user (I have been running Arch Linux for over 2 years, I started out on Ubuntu 5.04 many years ago ) and last night I attempted to install Kubuntu 12.10 on my girlfriend's HP Pavilion G7 and everything went smoothly until the very end of the installation where it installs Grub. The installer failed due to grub and I tried to run sudo grub-install /dev/sda manually and it said that /boot/grub wasn't accessible during boot, so instead of installing it to the MBR I attempted to install it to the partition (sda4) but got the same error. I was going to create a separate boot partition but was already at the maximum of 4 primary partitions since the HP Tools (factory image, diagnostics and all that good stuff)occupied the first partition, Windows 7 boot files occupied the second partition, Windows 7 itself occupied the third partition and Kubuntu occupied the 4th partition.

    After looking up a few solutions, none applied to her and were all about (fake/software) RAID. So giving up for the moment, I rebooted only to find that Windows 7 would get to the "loading" screen for about a minute or two then BSOD and reboot. I tried to run start up repair but W7 couldn't detect the installation, so I tried the Windows installation disk and it wouldn't even detect the stupid HDD!

    I booted up the Kubuntu live dvd once again and made sure that the HDD hadn't spontaneously died or got corrupted, everything was there. I went into the partition editor and noticed that the EXT4 partition that Kubuntu was installed on said that it had a corrupted Superblock. On a whim (since it was getting really late and I had to go to sleep)I deleted the EXT4 partiton and rebooted. To my surprise Windows booted like it did before I even attempted any of this.

    In my years of using Linux I've have never seen something like this happen before. Does anyone know what would cause Windows 7 to BSOD and have the Installer not detect the HDD? Also how can I get Grub to install properly since she is allowing me to do it again and I want to get everything right this time so that I will give a good impression of the stability of Linux?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Segur De Calafell, Spain
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Explanation For Failed Grub Installation

    Does the laptop use Intel SRT? That is sort of combination of hdd + ssd as fast cache disk. They are sort of joined together, and partitioning it will not produce the same results as a single disk.

    Another possibility is that the kubuntu partition was created with some error. Partitioning tools usually display blank disk (without any partitions) if there is error in the partition table. Deleting that partition made the error go away, so everything worked again.

    And if you create the linux partition as logical, not primary, you can have more than 4. The logical partitions on the disk must be next to each other, and in that case one extended partition is created that holds them like a container. The disk can have 3 primary + 1 extended partitions. But having separate /boot is not needed, especially if that /boot is not close to the start of the disk. It is useful only in special cases and most often when close to the start. In 99% of cases you don't need it as separate partition.

    The weird partitioning result and the grub failure could point to Intel SRT since in that case the hdd+ssd are in a sort of fakeraid.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Chicago Suburbs
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    Hidden!
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Explanation For Failed Grub Installation

    +1 on Darko's comments.

    We also are seeing more & more UEFI systems.

    Best to see exactly where you are at.

    Post the link to the BootInfo report that this creates. Is part of Boot-Repair:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Info
    Boot Repair -Also handles LVM, GPT, separate /boot and UEFI dual boot.:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
    You can repair many boot issues with this or 'Create BootInfo' report (Other Options) & post the link it creates, so we can see your exact configuration and diagnose advanced problems.
    Install in Ubuntu liveCD or USB or Full RepairCD with Boot-Repair (for newer computers)
    http://sourceforge.net/p/boot-repair/home/Home/
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuSecureRemix
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Explanation For Failed Grub Installation

    It's not an Intel SRT drive and neither is it a UEFI system (unless its unlisted).

    Here's the product page: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...roduct=5078509

    Any other ideas? Its possible that the partition was erroneously created.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Explanation For Failed Grub Installation

    In that case you can try creating the partition again and give it another shot.

    If you tried to shrink the win7 partition using the installer, that might have created wrongly the kubuntu partition somehow. In order not to break win7, you should shrink its partition with windows Disk Management.

    If right now you have the unallocated space created by deleting sda4, just go ahead.
    If win7 is taking the whole disk, shrink it with Disk Management, not the kubuntu installer.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Explanation For Failed Grub Installation

    I had the thought to allocate 50 GB for Kubtuntu when I had reinstalled Windows 7 a week or two ago, so the error wasn't caused by shrinking the partition. Maybe Partition Editor screwed up, I'll used parted or fdisk next time.

    I'm not going to have access to the laptop for another two weeks so I can't really test anything on it :-\

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