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Thread: [SOLVED] Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Hi,

    I think I've done something rather stupid!

    I had some free space on my laptop so I thought I try another linux distro as well just to see how I liked it compared to Ununtu (SUSE 11.0) Well something was weird about the grub boot loader in that it first went to a SUSE grub and then when I clicked on the Ubuntu option I then got my original grub installed by ubuntu and had to click again. So I just deleted that partition.

    Now when boot up I get a error message saying "no active partion" and it does nothing more. I cant do anything! I know I deleted the correct partition and not my Ubuntu one or the Windows one. What should I do next to correct this? Can I do it from the live CD disk?
    Mariane

  2. #2
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Check if your HD is your primary boot device in your BIOS, that's one solution, or put your LiveCD in and post the output of:
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l

  3. #3
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Quote Originally Posted by Codename View Post
    Check if your HD is your primary boot device in your BIOS, that's one solution, or put your LiveCD in and post the output of:
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    HD is primary and result is the same! With live CD the result is:

    ubuntu@ubuntu: ~$ sudo fdisk -l
    Disk /dev/hda: 40:0 GB 40007761920 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks ID System
    /dev/hda1 1 2550 20482848+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/hda2 3826 4864 8345767+ 5 extended
    /dev/hda5 3826 4813 7936078+ 83 linux
    /dev/hda6 4814 4864 409626 82 linux swap/solaris
    Last edited by mariane_08; August 12th, 2008 at 10:12 PM.
    Mariane

  4. #4
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    I should add that I can't boot into windows either...nothing!

    After "Error No active Partition" there's some giberish about Realtek fast etherenet controller and then "PXE-E61 media test failure, check cable" Does this help or is this just incidental?
    Mariane

  5. #5
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    I think I know exactly what you are experiencing based on my own experience when installing other distros; when you installed SUSE, it took over your MBR, but it gave you an option to boot Ubuntu. Well now that you deleted SUSE, the Grub in the MBR is still looking in the SUSE partition for all its config files, which of course don't exist anymore.

    Anyway the solution is really simple, just boot a Live CD, open a terminal, and do the following:
    Code:
    sudo grub
    grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
    [should return a partition in the form (hdX,Y), which should be your Ubuntu partition]
    grub> root (hdX,Y)
    grub> setup (hdX)
    grub> quit
    That will reinstall Grub to the MBR, but it will point to the Ubuntu partition for all its config files (including menu.lst of course).
    Last edited by caljohnsmith; August 12th, 2008 at 11:41 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Quote Originally Posted by caljohnsmith View Post
    I think I know exactly what you are experiencing based on my own experience when installing other distros; when you installed SUSE, it took over your MBR, but it gave you an option to boot Ubuntu. Well now that you deleted SUSE, the Grub in the MBR is still looking in the SUSE partition for all its config files, which of course don't exist anymore.

    Anyway the solution is really simple, just boot a Live CD, open a terminal, and do the following:
    Code:
    sudo grub
    grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
    [should return a partition in the form (hdX,Y), which should be your Ubuntu partition]
    grub> root (hdX,Y)
    grub> setup (hdX)
    grub> quit
    That will reinstall Grub to the MBR, but it will point to the Ubuntu partition for all its config files (including menu.lst of course).
    Thank you so much!! Yes that fixed it. I should have known that CA would come up with the answer (my home away from home!) as I thought about it I figured it had to be something along those lines since all I had done was delete the SUSE partition and touched nothing else. Maybe next time I should try uninstall.

    Anyway thanks a lot!
    Mariane

  7. #7
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Quote Originally Posted by mariane_08 View Post
    Thank you so much!! Yes that fixed it. I should have known that CA would come up with the answer (my home away from home!) as I thought about it I figured it had to be something along those lines since all I had done was delete the SUSE partition and touched nothing else. Maybe next time I should try uninstall.

    Anyway thanks a lot!
    Glad you've got your computer booting OK again. Just as a last note, I wanted to mention that a really easy way to manage multiple linux distros is first to decide which distro you want to manage the boot process (Ubuntu in your case), and then when you install other distros, have them install their Grub to the boot sector of their own partition, and not the master boot record (MBR). Then to load them, all you have to do is put in your Ubuntu menu.lst an entry like:
    Code:
    title		OpenSUSE
    root		(hd0,4)
    chainloader	+1
    That way you don't have to worry about adding an entry that specifies the kernel, initrd, and all the correct boot options with the kernel. Let each distro figure that out for you, and then just "chainload" it to boot it from your main grub menu. And also, you can then delete any of your distros (other than the one controlling the MBR), and not have to worry about boot problems.
    Last edited by caljohnsmith; August 13th, 2008 at 01:13 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Quote Originally Posted by caljohnsmith View Post
    Glad you've got your computer booting OK again. Just as a last note, I wanted to mention that a really easy way to manage multiple linux distros is first to decide which distro you want to manage the boot process (Ubuntu in your case), and then when you install other distros, have them install their Grub to the boot sector of their own partition, and not the master boot record (MBR). Then to load them, all you have to do is put in your Ubuntu menu.lst an entry like:
    Code:
    title		OpenSUSE
    root		(hd0,4)
    chainloader	+1
    That way you don't have to worry about adding an entry that specifies the kernel, initrd, and all the correct boot options with the kernel. Let each distro figure that out for you, and then just "chainload" it to boot it from your main grub menu. And also, you can then delete any of your distros (other than the one controlling the MBR), and not have to worry about boot problems.
    Thanks! Thats useful to know as I would like to at least try open SUSE even though I'll probably stick with Ubuntu
    Mariane

  9. #9
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    Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Quote Originally Posted by caljohnsmith View Post
    I think I know exactly what you are experiencing based on my own experience when installing other distros; when you installed SUSE, it took over your MBR, but it gave you an option to boot Ubuntu. Well now that you deleted SUSE, the Grub in the MBR is still looking in the SUSE partition for all its config files, which of course don't exist anymore.

    Anyway the solution is really simple, just boot a Live CD, open a terminal, and do the following:
    Code:
    sudo grub
    grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
    [should return a partition in the form (hdX,Y), which should be your Ubuntu partition]
    grub> root (hdX,Y)
    grub> setup (hdX)
    grub> quit
    That will reinstall Grub to the MBR, but it will point to the Ubuntu partition for all its config files (including menu.lst of course).
    This solution worked out fine for me too. Thank you very much!

  10. #10
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    Exclamation Re: Unable to boot problem (no active partition)

    Quote Originally Posted by caljohnsmith View Post
    Anyway the solution is really simple, just boot a Live CD, open a terminal, and do the following:
    Code:
    sudo grub
    grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
    [should return a partition in the form (hdX,Y), which should be your Ubuntu partition]
    grub> root (hdX,Y)
    grub> setup (hdX)
    grub> quit
    That will reinstall Grub to the MBR, but it will point to the Ubuntu partition for all its config files (including menu.lst of course).
    Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to work for me. My partion table looks like this:
    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda2 72332660 50076362 22256298 70% /Windoze
    /dev/sda5 6720248 5080768 1298104 80% /
    /dev/sda6 980308 63624 866888 7% /boot
    /dev/sda7 46141380 34105028 9692472 78% /home
    /dev/sda8 46141380 30444900 13352600 70% /usr/local
    With /dev/sd6 being the intended boot partition. But when I follow your instructions, I get this:
    grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
    find /boot/grub/stage1
    (hd0,5)
    grub> root (hd0,6)
    root (hd0,6)
    grub> setup (hd0)
    setup (hd0)
    Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... no
    Checking if "/grub/stage1" exists... no

    Error 15: File not found
    grub> find /boot/grub/stage1 (Just to check)
    find /boot/grub/stage1
    (hd0,5)
    grub>
    FWIW, "/boot/grub/stage1" does exist. Booting from a supergrub stick finds it with no problem, but I still get a blank grub prompt when I try to boot from the HD.
    Last edited by klausner; March 29th, 2010 at 03:07 AM.

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