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Thread: GRUB Error 18

  1. #1
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    GRUB Error 18

    I recently got a new 250GB hard drive for my Dell Inspiron 6000, and want to set up dual boot with Windows XP and Ubuntu 8.10

    I installed Windows first on a 150GB partition (I didn't realize Ubuntu could shrink partitions) and got that working. I then put in the Ubuntu CD, and made 2 new partitions, 60GB ext2 for my root directory (is there any merit to choosing other formats?) and 3GB for swap, leaving me with ~30GB unallocated.

    After I installed Ubuntu, I restarted my computer and got GRUB error 18. I've read that this sometimes occurs when things exceed 137GB, but I have no idea how to fix this problem.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: GRUB Error 18

    one option would be to use the livecd and gparted to shrink the partition in question, and the reinstall grub (should be a guide somewhere)

    heres an example

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubunt...-wipes-it-out/

    but make sure you know which disks/partitions are which on you setup first.....e.g. change hd0 to the correct drive
    Last edited by renzokuken; November 3rd, 2008 at 11:43 AM.
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    Explosion at pie factory in Huddersfield.
    3.14159265 confirmed dead !!
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  3. #3
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    Re: GRUB Error 18

    Quote Originally Posted by renzokuken View Post
    one option would be to use the livecd and gparted to shrink the partition in question, and the reinstall grub (should be a guide somewhere)

    heres an example

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubunt...-wipes-it-out/

    but make sure you know which disks/partitions are which on you setup first.....e.g. change hd0 to the correct drive
    But simply shrinking the partitions to fit within 137GB would defeat the purpose of buying a new hard drive in the first place. I'd like to keep my partitions as specified (that is, Windows at 150GB, Ubuntu at 60GB, and ultimately use the leftover as a shared drive).

    Is there a way to put what GRUB needs at the beginning of the disk so I can preserve everything else?

  4. #4
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: GRUB Error 18

    well i've just done a bit of reading and it seems you need to have the linu kernel in the first 1023 sectors of the harddrive........not overly sure how to do this though personally but i bet its very hard to do successfully without screwing your XP install

    my personal suggestion would be to start from scratch and use a different partitioning scheme.

    e.g.

    15gb Windows
    15gb Ubuntu
    1gb Swap
    then the rest as a large storage area that is accessible (ntfs-3g?) from both OSs

    if you dont fancy reinstalling windows.....maybe scratch the ubuntu install, reduce the XP partition right down and then install ubuntu in the remaining space.
    Last edited by renzokuken; November 3rd, 2008 at 01:51 PM.
    ======================================
    Explosion at pie factory in Huddersfield.
    3.14159265 confirmed dead !!
    ======================================

  5. #5
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    Re: GRUB Error 18

    Quote Originally Posted by winniedemon View Post
    Is there a way to put what GRUB needs at the beginning of the disk so I can preserve everything else?
    Unfortunately, just putting Grub at the beginning of the disk is not enough; you also have to put all of Ubuntu's boot files within reach of BIOS, so that means the entire /boot directory. You could use Ubuntu's partition editor gparted to shrink your Windows partition at its beginning by ~200 MB, and then create a ~200 MB /boot partition at the front of your drive. If you the reinstall Ubuntu, all you have to do is specify that first 200 MB partition with a /boot mount point, and you should hopefully be all set. Let me know how it goes or if you run into trouble.

  6. #6
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    Re: GRUB Error 18

    Quote Originally Posted by caljohnsmith View Post
    Unfortunately, just putting Grub at the beginning of the disk is not enough; you also have to put all of Ubuntu's boot files within reach of BIOS, so that means the entire /boot directory. You could use Ubuntu's partition editor gparted to shrink your Windows partition at its beginning by ~200 MB, and then create a ~200 MB /boot partition at the front of your drive. If you the reinstall Ubuntu, all you have to do is specify that first 200 MB partition with a /boot mount point, and you should hopefully be all set. Let me know how it goes or if you run into trouble.
    I ended up doing a variant of this. Since I had the free space, I figured I'd just move everything to the right by the 200MB. In retrospect, this was a poor choice because it took a long time to move everything. Either way, I reinstalled Ubuntu and everything works fine now. Thanks for the help!

  7. #7
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    Re: GRUB Error 18

    You're most welcome, and that's great news you got it working. Cheers and have fun.

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