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Thread: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

  1. #1
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    Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    I figured it is about time I stopped running in circles.

    Win 7 was installed first, Lubuntu second. This resulted in the Grub prompt and "no such partition". Attempts to use Grub from the prompt were unsuccessful. A simple ls would list the available drives, but attempting to list the contents of any drive would not work and get the "unknown file system" message. After each failure I would boot to the Win 7 DVD so I could use "bootrec /fixmbr" and "bootrec /fixboot" to get my win 7 installation back. I have tried various things with no success so far. In addition to my Lubuntu DVD and my Win 7 DVD, I now have a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD and the Boot Repair disk. I even have Lubuntu on a USB drive ... which was of marginal usefulness. I have tried various things with no success off each of those disks.

    The Lubuntu install and partition is still there. I can see it when I boot to the Lubuntu Live DVD. Using Paragon ExtFS I can access it from Windows and access the files themselves.

    Here are two paste.ubuntu snapshots.

    This is prior to the last boot repair attempt:
    http://paste.ubuntu.com/6912546/

    This is after the last boot repair:
    http://paste.ubuntu.com/6912596/

    I had to use bootrec again so I could boot into Win 7.

    I have been at this for about a week and a half. This includes a complete wipe of the HD, fresh partitioning, and fresh installs of Win 7 and Lubuntu. Rather than do something drastic to break the circle I figured it was time to seek help here in the forums.
    Last edited by inq2; February 11th, 2014 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Additional info and clarity

  2. #2
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    Welcome to the Ubuntu forums

    I don't see any obvious error in the pastebin informtion.

    1. Please describe in detail what is happening, when you try (tried) to boot!

    2. What is the setting of the BIOS/UEFI? You have an MSDOS partition table, that means you should run in BIOS mode (not UEFI).

    3. Which version of Lubuntu are you trying?

    4. Please describe the computer:

    - Brand name and model
    - CPU
    - RAM (size)
    - graphics chip(card
    - wifi chip/card

    When we know about these things, it will be easier to give relevant advice.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    I just finished editing the original post for clarity. It was written late at night after hearing some bad news.

    To answer your questions ...

    When I boot I get the message "no such partiton" and followed by the grub prompt. ls shows the drives but I get "unknowfile system" when I try to list drive contents.

    I am using Lubuntu LXLE 64 bit ... 12.04.4

    The computer is a "put together" from old parts using an old MSI motherboard from a Medion PC, an MS 7123 ... it is from 2005 (using BIOS date). Programs like CPU-Z and Speccy report the MB as NF-CK804. The BIOS is locked so there are only a tiny handful of settings I have access to. I have a request in elsewhere to unlock it, but not hopeful. Apparently AWARD Bios's are problematic for unlocking. As far as I know the motherboard is BIOS. When Win7 was installed on the cleaned drive, it partitioned with MBR. I have assumed MBR throughout this whole process. The chipset is Nvidia nForce4.

    CPU is an Athlon X2 3800+ and I have 4 Gig ram installed. Graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT. The wireless card appears to be a D-LInk DWL-Ag530. I have had no problem connecting from the Live DVD boot.

  4. #4
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    And thanks for the welcome!

  5. #5
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    For such an old computer I would also try a 32-bit flavour, re-spin or distro based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:

    LXLE, Bento, Bodhi, or Precise Gnome Classic Tweaks with LTS until April 2017 or Xubuntu with LTS until April 2015.

    There might be problems with the Nvidia graphics card, that you might fix temporarily with the boot option nomodeset. See this link

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootOptions

    and then you should try to install one of the proprietary drivers for nvidia graphics, for example 173 or 304

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-173
    or
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-304

  6. #6
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    Unfortunately I can't do that from the grub prompt. I guess I should also have said that I can't boot into Linux either.. Right now I can always reverse things enough to boot back into Win 7 (using bootrec), but I lose the ability to boot into Linux.

    I have been pondering a few things today. I tried a couple more installs varying where grub was to be installed, and then I did something different. I deleted the Linux partitions and created a new one with a reduced size. The next time I got the grub rescue prompt and did an 'ls' I realized it listed 4 partitions. It finally dawned on me that previously I had seen 2, then 3 partitions, but never 4. That reminded me of a problem between age of the bios the ability to recognize drives greater than ... I think it is about 2.2 Tbytes. That has me thinking about the existing partitions and their sizes.

    I am going to try another install, but I am going to reduce the size of the NTFS partition and make the linux partition smaller too and see what happens.

    I'll update you with what happens.

  7. #7
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    btw, I just install the 3 Tbyte drive about 2-3 weeks ago when my old 250G drive started to fail. Lubuntu worked fine as a dual install with Win 7 on that drive. The nVidia graphics drivers worked fine under LXLE as well.

  8. #8
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    What happens if you make a GPT (GUID partition table) on that drive? I think it can manage larger disks than MSDOS partition tables.

  9. #9
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    Some old BIOS may not recognize the very large drive. But you have to use gpt if you want to use the full size as MBR(msdos) only goes to 2TB.

    Some old BIOS only boot from the first 137GB of a drive, so I often suggest smaller / (root) partitions of 20 or 25GB. If using gpt and booting with BIOS, you also need a bios_grub partition of 1 or 2MB unformatted with the bios_grub flag. I have gpt but on smaller drives 160GB & 60GB SSD booting with BIOS.

    My desktop from late 2006 has Intel CoreDuo with 4GB of RAM and I also have the nVidia 9600GT as my original 7600GS blew out its capacitors (literally).
    I use 64 bit Ubuntu but use fallback/flashback not Unity.

    Because of the nVidia card I have to use nomodeset on install, and on every boot until I install the nVidia drivers. You can install current, current-updates or even the experimental versions. Do not install the old version like 173 as that is for legacy cards.
    My working install has current-updates, but in some of the newer install I have installed experimental & it has also worked.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  10. #10
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    Re: Grub can't find Windows 7 (no such partition) after Lubuntu install

    I will have to try the GPT thing. I recall converting from MBR to GPT, on the old drive, but I can't remember which program I used for it.

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