The best way to reinstall Grub bootloader

By Photo601
Oct 31, 2009
  1. I have a dual boot rig. Xp and Open Suse. I had periodically been receiving an error code 18 and grub will not load, and the OS won't boot to either. If I understand correctly, I need to reinstall GRUB as a boot loader. Does anyone have suggestions? I saw one site that said Legacy Grub is no longer being developed and to use Grub 2. Which is the preferable method?

    If I can get pointed in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,322   +619

    Issue with Linux is the kernel must be installed below cylinder 1024; nothing to do with GRUB per se. The BIOS is used to load the kernel, but once Linux is started, BIOS is
    not use anymore and only Linux code is used to access the HD.
    Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS
    This error is returned when a read is attempted at a linear block address beyond the end of the BIOS translated area. This generally happens if your disk is larger than the BIOS can handle (512MB for (E)IDE disks on older machines or larger than 8GB on others.). In more practical terms this means the BIOS is unable to start executing the kernel because the kernel is not located within the block it can access at boot up time.

    This can be circumvented by creating a boot partition at the beginning of the disk that is completely within the first 1023 cylinders of the harddrive. This partition will contain the kernel. ​

    Use a product like Partition Magic to
    • create the first partition for Linux use(#)
    • Then place the swap partition following it.
    • the Windows {xp,vista, ...} then follow
    note:# The kernel is in the / (ie root) partition. Users can be place in another
    partition which gets automounted at boot time ( mount point /home ) and it can be
    way up at the top of the disk (ie after Windows).
  3. WinXPert

    WinXPert TS Guru Posts: 445

    Some info. Do XP and Suse occupy the same drive. How are your drives partitioned.

    I don't know if this applies to Suse Issue with Linux is the kernel must be installed below cylinder 1024. I did not have problems dual booting XP/Puppy or XP/PCLinuxOS even if the Linux Partition is at the end of a 200Gig HDD. This is how I set it up, I placed the grub bootloader on MFT rather than the start of the superblock of the Linux partition. I use Grub bootloader config and install GAG. Try also LILO.
  4. Photo601

    Photo601 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53


    XP and open SUSE are on the same hard drive, yes.

    When I installed Linux, I created a boot partition to install Linux to, then an empty partition after the boot partition for the swap. Then I installed XP.

    If I understand correctly, I should re-install the boot partition and the swap partition? Will I then need to reinstall Linux?

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