Desperately trying to install Ubuntu

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by suliman, Mar 11, 2009.

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  1. suliman

    suliman Registered Member

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    Desperately trying to install Ubuntu [Solved]

    Hi

    I have used Ubuntu through Wubi for a while. But after an update to Ubuntu a month ago that made Ubuntu unbootable, right out of nowhere :eek: . I always thought that update problems was something windows specific :) (even though I havent had any for years)
    It boted to a prompt that didnt respond to keyboard commands. Icant now remember what it said, but something about it couldnt find som files or didnt recognize something.

    So I decided I would install Ubuntu "for real" but after 5 hours of trying I am starting to believe that Vista is the ultimate OS and Ubuntu can stuff itself somewhere ;)

    My problem:
    1. I thought it would be nice to have a dual boot with vista 64 so I can play games sometimes. I install Ubuntu to a dedicated 160 SATA2 drive. I give all the space to the ext3. Install works fine. But when I am rebooting into it:
    First time there is no ubuntu in the boot loader.
    So I install Ubuntu again. This time I get Ubuntu in the vista boot loader.
    So I chose ubuntu and it starts to boot.
    Then it stops at something called GRUB prompt. Keyboard is unresponsive, I cant write anything.
    So I install Ubuntu again and same thing happens.
    So I decide that I´ll skip the dualboot and format my C drive and install ubuntu again. But I cant install on C coz it looks like ubuntu cant install on a partition since it wants the whole drive formated, not just the partition, so I´d loose all my files on the extended ntfs partition. Since I GRUB obviously is buggy and probably wouldnt work even if I did it, I wonttake the trouble to reinstall all the software I have installed on D elsewhere.
    So, I leave C empty and install on the dedicated drive - but it stops at the dreaded GRUB as usual when I do the required reboot...

    So I install Ubuntu again and again, but still this f***ing GRUB spoils everything. I cant find anyway to get rid of it. I would like to use the much more reliable and trustworthy LILO that I used a couple of years ago and had no problems whatsoever. I could boot between windows and Linux smoothly.

    Anyone know what to do?
    Is there another distro that is as newbie friendly as Ubuntu that doesnt use this obvioulsy buggy GRUB-trash?

    Sorry for the rant, but it was very long time since I was this frustrated due to computer problems :) I believe it was back in the windows 98 days :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  2. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    The problem isn't with the distro, its with how you are installing it. But in order it solve your problem, more info is needed. First, let's explain a little about "boot loaders." When you used Wubi, it added Ubuntu to you Vista bootloader. Then, when you did a direct install, it installed the Grub bootloader to your Ubuntu drive. The problem is that the two are confusing both you and themselves.

    Right now, your Vista drive is set in BIOS as the first drive to boot because you are seeing Vista's bootloader. When you choose Ubuntu from that bootloader, it transfers control to the Ubuntu drive where you now have the Grub bootloader instead of just a direct boot to Ubuntu. But that bootloader gives you an error because it is expecting to be hd0 and it isn't.

    What are your options? That depends on what you have. I'm assuming that you have two drives. DO NOT format your NTFS drive with Vista. Ubuntu WILL install on a second drive or even on your Vista drive, if it's done correctly.

    First option would be to re-size your Vista drive to make room for Ubuntu on it. This is easy if there is room. Simply open the Drive Manager in Vista and choose to "shrink" it. Once this is done, you can boot the Ubuntu LiveCD and choose to install Ubuntu to the "free space" on the Vista drive.

    When you do this, there is a VERY important decision to make. Do you want to replace the Vista bootloader with Grub or not? If you choose "yes," and later decide you don't want Ubuntu anymore, you'll have to use your Vista CD's to re-install the Vista bootloader because the MBR will now "point" to Ubuntu.

    If you choose "no," you'll have to add Ubuntu to your Vista bootloader. This is what Wubi did in the first place but when you re-installed Ubuntu, you had it install Grub in addition to the Vista bootloader rather than replace it.

    Your second option is to use the Sata drive and install Ubuntu to it. In that case, you can skip shrinking the Vista drive and just boot the LiveCD with both drives install in the computer. Then you can choose to install Ubuntu to the second drive with the option to "use the entire disk." You will then face the same choice about replacing or keeping the Vista bootloader.

    I both cases, you choose if and where to install the Grub bootloader during the Ubuntu install by clicking the "Advanced" tab after setting up where to install Ubuntu.

    Third choice. (My choice.) Install both drives in the computer but before booting the LiveCD, change the HD order in BIOS so that the SATA drive, where you intend to install Ubuntu, is the first HD. Then boot the LiveCD and install Ubuntu to the SATA drive and let it install Grub as the bootloader. (Default action.) You should then be able to reboot and have the Ubuntu boot menu appear. Vista should be the last choice on that menu. But if you ever have a problem with Ubuntu, all you have to do is change the drive order back in BIOS to get your Vista bootloader back.

    But a word of warning. Not all BIOS's work the same way in how they handle drive conventions with SATA drives. If the third option doesn't appear to work, don't panic and start re-installing everything. Simply reset the BIOS to boot Vista and post the error you encountered. Some drive designation changes may be needed in the boot menu but they are easy to make. It is the re-installing that causes five hours of hair pulling.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  3. suliman

    suliman Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply and explanation! I will try that and report back.
     
  4. suliman

    suliman Registered Member

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    Re: Desperately trying to install Ubuntu [Solved]

    Thank you m8.For some reason I had to disable my first drive (in Bios) where I have Windows, otherwise it just booted to my windows even if I sett the other as the first device. But that doesnt matter coz now I cant by mistake do something stupid to it in Ubuntut :),
    I only had to set my language and keyboard, everything else was handled by the installer and voila! GRUB worked perfectly and I can now boot to Ubuntu.
    Really thankful for your excellent help lewmur! :thumb:

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  5. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    Re: Desperately trying to install Ubuntu [Solved]

    Glad to hear things work out for you.:thumb:
     
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