View Full Version : [all variants] Can I boot from MBR without a bootloader

January 17th, 2010, 06:18 PM
This is a somewhat weird situation. I have an old laptop and am trying to install Xubuntu. It has no CD drive and cannot boot from USB. It can however boot from PXE.

I have successfully installed Xubuntu this way. However, it will not boot after install. I'm not sure what happens but somehow after GRUB (or LILO, I have tried both) something happens and it can't find the hard drive. (This is not specific to Xubuntu, anything that requires a bootloader behaves the same) After trying a bunch of things I installed freeBSD which has the option of booting from the MBR rather than installing a bootloader like GRUB. It boots into freeBSD without any problem. The problem is I don't want to use freeBSD.

I tried installing Xubuntu without installing GRUB but it won't boot at all. So the complete Xubuntu install is on the hard drive but I don't know how to fix the MBR to get it to boot. I am able to netboot into something like Tiny Core Linux. Is there any way to boot into that and then fix the MBR so that I can boot the Xubuntu installation?

January 19th, 2010, 02:54 AM
Oddly, the Debian Lenny installer worked without any problem and the system will now boot into a Gnome desktop.