Ubuntu 7.10 on 2nd HDD not booting

By gbhall
Nov 12, 2007
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  1. I downloaded and burned Ubuntu 7.10 to a CD and ran it direct from the drive - good stuff!! Next I wanted to actually install it on my HDD permanently. I created some empty space on my second HDD and told Ubuntu to install itself there, which it appeared to do fine.

    I rather naively expected that there would appear a dual-boot process with the Win-XP on HDD1, but nothing appeared and it just boots straight into XP as usual. So I download GAG4.9, create a booting floppy and set up the various boots, which GAG identified perfectly as a Linux partition.

    Whilst XP boots as usual from the GAG booter, Ubuntu does not - I get a message saying

    "sector boot not found or invalid"

    Poking around with Partition Magic, I find the whole of the 2nd hard drive is declared to be 'bad', message is 'invalid extended partition'. Norton disk manager says it is invalid too. The odd thing is, two other partitions that I left on that drive (data backups), are still perfectly usable in Windows, and can still be seen in Partition Magic.

    So apparently Ububtu has done something unexpected with the first partition, which makes the whole drive appear to be an invalid extended partition, yet the two extended partitions on there are still intact. Yet Ubuntu boot deos not work.

    Can anyone shed light on what is wrong or what I should have done to get a working Ubuntu on my 2nd HDD ?
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    How exactly did you tell Ubuntu to partition the second hard drive?

    Ubuntu asked you where to put its bootloader. What did you say?

    Try telling GAG to boot the second hard drive itself, not any of the partitions.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,295   +44

    Told Ubuntu to install on the second HDD, guided, use largest continous free space.

    Dont remember being asked about a loader, but if I was, I would probably have said drive 2

    I do remember it knew all about WinXP on the first HDD and asked if I wanted to add the XP user, I said no.

    I did a Ubuntu installation on second PC with only one HDD only to gain some idea of what happens. From that experience I think what I have originally must be two more partitions on the second drive, both in EXT3 format. The boot loader will probably also be on the second HDD. It is VERY NOTICEABLE that on this second PC with one HDD, Partition Magic shows the partitions exactly as expected, as Linux EXT3 and Linux swap partitions. This suggests that on the first PC, something actually did go wrong.......

    I will first try your suggestion to boot the whole drive. Failing that, can I do an uninstall to get back to the original situation where I have two FAT32 partitions following an unpartitioned area?

    If I can do that, I would probably try shortening a partition on the first HDD and then installing Ubuntu on the first drive too. Is that a good idea?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    You can simply delete the "bad partitions". I would suggest double-checking with another partitioning utility first though. Partition Magic can do a lot of damage when it finds something odd and tries to "repair".
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,295   +44

    Progress report :

    1. First imaged two partitions from 2nd drive for safety
    2. there was no option in GAG to boot the whole drive, so could not do that.
    3. used Norton to 'correct' the second drive partitions. It said 'MBR not written in sequence' or something.

    after this all three partitions appeared in Partition Magic as they should, including the Ubutu partition, BUT recognised as an EXT3 linux swap drive, not an OS drive. It still would not boot. Furthermore there was unused space which I am sure should have been the Linux swap drive.

    I conclude that the Ubuntu install on a second drive can create the OS partition, then instead of creating a second SWAP partition, actually marks the OS partition as a swap, and never actually creates a swap at all.

    How this could happen, I know not, but at the conclusion of the Ubuntu install where it told me to reboot, I possibly took out the install CD before actually seeing a prompt telling me to do so. I know from the second install I mentioned earlier that you do indeed get such a prompt, with 'press enter' after removing the CD.

    I have now deleted the partition and am going to install again without prematurely taking out the CD

    Result - exactly the same. Next I may try an install on space freed up on drive 1. I am reluctant to do this as it involves resizing quite a large partition.

    Please, still need a bit of help!

    What I have actually done now is installed Ubuntu on the 2nd HDD without allowing a grub install. I now see all the partitions correctly immediately after, but a GAG boot floppy which selects the Ubuntu directory still says there is no valid boot code (or words to that effect). I think maybe I need to install grub in the Ubuntu partition (2nd partition, 2nd drive), so if I am right, how do I do that?

    Also this link http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p15.htm which goes into a lot of detail, does say there may be extra problems because my first drive is SATA and the second is IDE....
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