OS selector not detecting Linux

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by ibroussard, Oct 29, 2006.

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  1. ibroussard

    ibroussard Registered Member

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    Using OS selector from DD suite 10...machine is a IBM T42P Thinkpad. Originally came with Red Hat Linux 7.3 pre-installed instead of XP. Don't have original Red Hat installation CD's. I want to set it up to run both Linux and XP. Here is what I've done so far...

    1. I replaced the original hard drive with a bigger one, so I still have the hard drive with Linux on it. The original drive has three "important" partions on it. First primary partition is an Ext3 partition named "/". This is the active boot partition on the original drive. Second primary partition is the Linux Swap partition. Third primary partition is named "/home". There are additional logical partitions on the drive, but they are not important to this discussion. I also believe that GRUB is installed in the MBR.

    2. I obtained the XP Rescue and Recovery CD's from Lenovo and installed XP on the new drive. That is working fine.

    3. I used Disk Director Suite 10 to copy the original Linux partitions to the new drive.

    4. The new drive's first primary partition is the XP Pro "C" NTFS drive. The second primary partition is labeled "IBM_SERVICE" and is the Rescue and Recovery partition. It is a FAT32 partition and does not have a drive letter. The rest of the partitions are logical partitions. The first three logical partitions are FAT32 partitions to be used with XP. The drive letters are D, E, and F. The next three partitions (no drive letters assigned) are the original Linux "/", "Linux Swap", and "/home" partitions.

    5. After installing DD10 on XP, I installed OS selector. During the installation it correctly detected XP.

    6. When I restarted the machine, I told OS selector to try to detect Linux by selecting the "/" Linux partition. It said it could not find an OS on that partition.

    So...what do I do to get OS selector to see Linux (or more specifically, GRUB)? I'm getting a copy of Knoppix so I can look at and make changes to files on the Linux partitions. I know, for example, that since the partition locations changed (Linux is no longer the first three partitions on the drive), there will be some changes needed in /etc/fstab and in the grub.conf file. I also think I will have to re-install GRUB since I think it was originally in the MBR. I will reinstall it somewhere in the Linux partition (any suggestions)?What else do I need to do to get OS selector to find and start Linux? What is he looking for that tells him he has found a Linux OS? There won't be anything in the MBR or boot.ini file, and I cannot reinstall Linux.

    My goal is to have OS Selector be able to boot XP (which it does now), and also be able to start GRUB (instead of going straight to Linux). I have two different modes of starting Linux via GRUB that I need to continue to use.

    Also, I tried updating DD Suite 10 from Build 2077 to Build 2177. I downloaded the update and ran it (said it ran successfully), but the About screens still show 2077.

    Thanks,
    Ira
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Ira:

    I'm not that experienced with OS selector but can perhaps answer some of your other questions.

    If you moved the location of partitions then you are correct that you will have to modify /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst files in order to point them to the new partitions. You can edit these files directly with Acronis Disk Director. Just use the Explore function to locate the files in your Linux partitions and when you have found them, right-click on a file to edit the file. I did this the last time that I rearranged partitions on my laptop and even used this feature to edit the Windows boot.ini file and everything worked out perfectly.

    In your case you will need to reinstall GRUB, however. When you do this be sure to install GRUB to the root (/) partition and NOT to the Master Boot Record (MBR). If you install it to the MBR it will write over your OS selector boot loader. From your description, the root partition is the fourth logical partition which should be hda8 or sda8, which is (hd0,7) in GRUB lingo. You can use a Knoppix disc to make changes to GRUB. The best thing to do is to first consult the GRUB manual online (google for GRUB manual; it will be the first hit) in order to get the terminology correct. I think you will start a terminal window in Knoppix (as root user) and then enter the command "grub" to get to the interactive GRUB command line. Then you will enter something like
    Code:
    root (hd0,7)
    to point to your root partition and then
    Code:
    setup (hd0,7)
    to install GRUB to your Linux root partition, but please check the syntax in the manual.

    I think that once you get GRUB installed then OS Selector will be able to find your Linux installation.

    *Edit* Re-read your post. Changed partition numbers to agree with your description.
    Mark
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2006
  3. shawneehiker

    shawneehiker Registered Member

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    I am certainly no expert but I can offer general advice based on my own multiple mess-ups.

    In general, I found that if you have the boot loader on the MBR for a Linux distro it will cause all kinds of problems with Acronis OSS, even if it is on the MBR before installing Acronis OSS. I get odd problems with Acronis OSS automatically detecting a new Linux distro everytime I restart it, and eventually end up with a screen full of penguins.

    Put the boot loader only on the partition where you are installing Linux. Then, when you reboot your computer, it will boot into Acronis and not Linux. Use the tool to locate a new operating system on a partition if the Linux distro is not listed. Locate the partition you used and mark it bootable. That has worked for me.
     
  4. ibroussard

    ibroussard Registered Member

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    Oct 26, 2006
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    Mark's suggestions were pretty much on the mark (no pun intended), except that I was not able to use Disk Director to update the Linux files previously mentioned. Disk Editor didn't give me an option of treating the Linux partitions containing the files as Ext3 partitions.

    I built a live Knoppix system on a flash drive (instead of a CD) and used that to get into my Linux partitions. Once there, I was able to update /etc/fstab to point to the correct swap partition. I was also able to update /boot/grub/menu.lst to point to the correct partitions.

    Also using the live Knoppix system, I reinstalled grub in the boot sector of the Linux partition.

    When I rebooted, everything came up correctly, and OS Selector automatically recognized that I had Linux.

    To make things more complicated, I then installed VMware Workstation on top of Linux, and installed a plain vanilla Windows XP guest in VMware. Now, even when I've booted Linux, I can start up an XP guest and run Windows applications when necessary.

    Knoppix on a flash drive is pretty cool. Good for emergencies.

    Thanks,
    Ira
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    State College, Pennsylvania
    Ira:

    Glad to hear that you got things working. However, I'm surprised that you couldn't edit your files with Disk Director. I have three ext3 partitions on my laptop's hard drive that I can browse (explore) and edit freely using DD. Being able to directly view and edit files as well as being able to drop into a hex edit mode to view and edit sectors directly are some of my favorite DD features and the reason that I favor DD over some of the competing products.

    And yes, Linux on a flash drive is a very handy tool. I have an installation of Kubuntu on a 1 GB flash drive I carry with me on trips. Plug it into a PC and it boots into my customized Linux environment including even email and web bookmarks. Like you say, very cool for fixing PC problems.
     
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