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Thread: GRUB and partition problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    GRUB and partition problem

    I've been using windows vista since I bought this VAIO laptop, now I've installed Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, I've had some issues installing and configuring it, but finally it's working and it's awesome.

    During the installation process, I created a 10GB partition in my internal disk (with windows vista home edition), but the installation didn't work, so I installed Ubuntu on an external disk (it's a 500GB - 120GB for Ubuntu / 380 for files). Now when I start my computer, if the external disk is plugged there's a menu so I can choose which OS I want to use. If it's not connected, it only shows a cursor blinking for a while and then appears something about GRUB issues, (I modified the booting options to USB device first), while the external HD is connected, everything works fine, but what I need is that if the External HD is not connected, windows vista starts automatically, I suppose that the partition I first created is causing this.

    1. Is it possible to "re-assign" that 10GB partition to the original 200GB partition?
    2. If Nº 1 is not possible, simply formatting that space will solve the problem?
    3. Can I connect my external HD to any PC and will show me the GRUB options, so I can use my Ubuntu 10.10 OS?

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    11,522

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    Please boot into Ubuntu and post the output from Terminal of:

    Code:
    sudo parted -l
    BTW that's a lower case L at the end.

  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    Thanks for your answer, this is the result:

    Code:
    Modelo: ATA FUJITSU MHY2200B (scsi)
    Disco /dev/sda: 200GB
    Tamaño de sector (lógico/físico): 512B/512B
    Tabla de particiones. msdos
    
    Numero  Inicio  Fin    Tamaño  Tipo     Sistema de ficheros  Banderas
     2      9814MB  200GB  190GB   primary  ntfs                 arranque
    
    
    Modelo: Seagate FreeAgent Go (scsi)
    Disco /dev/sdb: 500GB
    Tamaño de sector (lógico/físico): 512B/512B
    Tabla de particiones. msdos
    
    Numero  Inicio  Fin    Tamaño  Tipo      Sistema de ficheros  Banderas
     1      32,3kB  400GB  400GB   primary   ntfs
     2      400GB   500GB  101GB   extended
     5      400GB   496GB  96,5GB  logical   ext4
     6      496GB   500GB  4136MB  logical   linux-swap(v1)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    France
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    I've also come across this issue. It seems that grub installs itself on the HDD that you select during installation, but overwrites the MBR of the first HDD in the system, pointing to the boot partition of the external drive. Best option is to manually install grub to the MBR of the external disk, then use your vista install CD recovery console to "fix" the MBR of your internal HDD.


    This command will install grub to the MBR of the external disk(sdX is external HDD /dev/sdb above):
    Code:
    sudo grub-install /dev/sdX
    then use Windows Vista install cd and run the following from the recovery console (with external drive unplugged):

    Code:
    Bootrec.exe /Fixmbr
    Now your internal disk will boot vista and you can use compmgmt.msc (Computer Management) to resize your windows partition to occupy the entirety of the disk.

    To boot Ubuntu on the external disk, you will need to select that as the boot device in the BIOS when it's plugged in, usually by pressing F12 (or something similar) during the initial boot screen, and selecting the external drive (this should bring you to grub).

    See here for more info: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

    and here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2
    Last edited by Synthetic Sam; January 10th, 2011 at 08:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    Thanks for your answer.
    This is the result after installing GRUB to the MBR of the external disk:
    Code:
    miguel@miguel-VGN-NR250FE:~$ sudo grub-install /dev/sdb
    [sudo] password for miguel: 
    Installation finished. No error reported.
    I don't have any vista install/recovery CD disk, so as soon as I get one I'll post the results.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    France
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    Quote Originally Posted by miglos View Post
    Thanks for your answer.
    This is the result after installing GRUB to the MBR of the external disk:
    Code:
    miguel@miguel-VGN-NR250FE:~$ sudo grub-install /dev/sdb
    [sudo] password for miguel: 
    Installation finished. No error reported.
    I don't have any vista install/recovery CD disk, so as soon as I get one I'll post the results.
    That output looks fine. Windows XP CD won't work for Vista unfortunately, so it will have to be Vista/7 disk to fix the Windows Bootloader MBR.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    Quote Originally Posted by miglos View Post
    Thanks for your answer.
    This is the result after installing GRUB to the MBR of the external disk:
    Code:
    miguel@miguel-VGN-NR250FE:~$ sudo grub-install /dev/sdb
    [sudo] password for miguel: 
    Installation finished. No error reported.
    I don't have any vista install/recovery CD disk, so as soon as I get one I'll post the results.
    You do now.
    http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/window...disc-download/





  8. #8
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    Apr 2008
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    11,522

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    For lack of a Vista disc you can also use Lilo to create a Windows readable mbr just by booting into Ubuntu and running:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install lilo
    Code:
    sudo lilo -M /dev/sda mbr
    Regarding this:

    Is it possible to "re-assign" that 10GB partition to the original 200GB partition?
    It appears that 10GB is unallocated:

    Code:
    Modelo: ATA FUJITSU MHY2200B (scsi)
    Disco /dev/sda: 200GB
    Tamaño de sector (lógico/físico): 512B/512B
    Tabla de particiones. msdos
    
    Numero  Inicio  Fin    Tamaño  Tipo     Sistema de ficheros  Banderas
     2      9814MB  200GB  190GB   primary  ntfs                 arranque
    But the 10GB appears to be at the beginning of the drive which scares me a bit. What did you use to create that 10GB partition? I always prefer resizing Vista and Win7 using only their own partitioning tools.

    Anyway, if Windows boots OK, I'd be very reluctant to move the beginning of that Vista partition.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    Quote Originally Posted by kansasnoob View Post
    For lack of a Vista disc you can also use Lilo to create a Windows readable mbr just by booting into Ubuntu and running:

    ...
    Out of curiousity, why is Lilo not used by default in Ubuntu?
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: GRUB and partition problem

    Thanks for your answers, to all of you!
    So, after creating a readable windows MBR with these commands:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install lilo
    sudo lilo -M /dev/sda mbr
    will I be able to load Vista automatically if my external HDD is not plugged in?

    That 10GB partition was created using the Ubuntu installation disk, what should I do with that -unallocated- 10GB partition?

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