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Thread: Grub Error 13: "Invalid or unsupported executable format"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Grub Error 13: "Invalid or unsupported executable format"

    Hi. I was dualbooting vista and ubuntu for a long time, but today I needed to use a software that only works on windows xp. So I created a new partition and instaled on it. After that I restored the grub loader and tried to boot on windows vista. The problem is: i get the error Grub Error 13: "Invalid or unsupported executable format" and windows xp is not showing up. Can someone help me fixing windows vista entry and creating a new one for XP?

    This is what I got on fdisk -l:
    Dispositivo Boot Início Fim Blocos Id Sistema
    /dev/sda1 1 2117 17004771 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 * 2118 2366 2000092+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda3 2367 5764 27292866 7 HPFS ou NTFS [VISTA PARTITION]
    /dev/sda4 5765 9729 31848862+ f Win95 (LBA) Partição Extendida
    /dev/sda5 5765 8643 23125536 b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda6 8644 9729 8723263+ 7 HPFS ou NTFS [XP PARTITION]
    And this is my menu.lst:
    title Ubuntu 8.04.1, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-19-generic root=UUID=a5acf5fa-00cb-4bf9-acfb-9d42d592312d ro quiet splash locale=pt_BR
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-19-generic
    quiet


    # This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
    # on /dev/sda2
    title Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
    root (hd1,0)
    savedefault
    makeactive
    chainloader +1

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: Grub Error 13: "Invalid or unsupported executable format"

    no longer participating in ubuntuforums.org
    Last edited by MarkieB; April 16th, 2012 at 01:40 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grub Error 13: "Invalid or unsupported executable format"

    Generally windows is best installed first, with ubuntu installed last. When xp and vista are installed together, it is best for vista to be installed first, then xp. Xp will overwrite vista's bootloader, thus, vista's bootloader needs to be fixed via a recovery cd - you will then get the choice of booting vista, or 'an older windows version'. Installing ubuntu at this stage should allow chainloading of the vista bootloader, which in turn gives the choice of vista or the older version of windows to boot, or of course, boot straight into ubuntu. As said above windows does not like trying to boot from a logical partition, linux does this OK. Despite having had vista and ubuntu booting OK until you installed xp, it is preferrable to have windows installed first. Also fdisk -l indicates that the boot flag is pointing to the swap partition, this also will cause problems as swap will not contain the stage 2 part of the bootloader that grub will be looking for. If it were me, I would save any important information via a live cd and reinstall from scratch with vista first, then xp (then fix vista's bootloader) and then finish with ubuntu. Make sure windows partitions are not within logical partitions. You could have a look at easybcd bootloader from neosmart, but in this situation, I doubt that it will help due to the above partitioning/boot flag anomalies.
    Windows is the best virus detector on the market!
    Ubuntu attracts Human Beings - Windows attracts viruses and worms

  4. #4
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    Re: Grub Error 13: "Invalid or unsupported executable format"

    Quote Originally Posted by bumanie View Post
    If it were me, I would save any important information via a live cd and reinstall from scratch with vista first, then xp (then fix vista's bootloader) and then finish with ubuntu.
    If it is not a great inconvenience to do a complete reinstall of everything, I'm all for your idea, Bumanie; but nicholasbgr may not even have a Windows Vista install CD/DVD, and he may have a mature system that has many additional programs in Ubuntu/Vista and other customizations. I think he has a good chance of getting things working if he installs Windows XP to a primary partition, restores Grub to the MBR, and tweaks Grub's menu.lst to boot everything. The choice is his of course.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Re: Grub Error 13: "Invalid or unsupported executable format"

    Assuming you have enough RAM for it, put XP in a VMWare or VirtualBox machine. Problem solved.

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