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Old 09-26-2011, 11:14 PM
"Russell L. Harris"
 
Default partitioning inhibits boot on AF drive?

I just installed on a Lenovo S205 (1) Ubuntu 10.10, (2) Debian testing
(Wheezy), and (3) Debian stable (Squeeze). The Debian systems
utilized netinst images, and the Ubuntu system downloaded updates
during the installation. The single hard drive has a separate /boot
partition (primary). At the end of each installation, I specified
that Grub be installed to the MBR.

Prior to installation, I used GParted Live 0.9.1-1 to partition the
drive, as follows:

sda1 primary ext3 boot
sda2 extended
sda5 logical ext3 Debian stable
sda6 logical ext3 Debian testing
sda7 logical ext3 Ubuntu
sda5 logical ext3 swap

But upon rebooting, none of the systems boot; instead, the display
alternates between a screen with the text "GRUB loading." and the
Lenovo power-up screen.

Inasmuch as the Lenovo-supplied drive is 750Gbyte, I suspect that it
is of the new "Advanced Format" variety, with 4096-byte sectors
instead of 512-byte sectors. Accordingly, I again used GParted Live
to partition the drive, this time using the "align to 1Mi" option.
(The first time, I was careful to use the "align to cylinders"
option.) But the situation is unchanged -- none of the systems boot.

I found a WD FAQ
(http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/565...)
which warned of the need not to place the first partition of a boot
drive at sector 0, "as there needs to be space for the boot code."
The FAQ recommended the new Window$ practice of placing the first
partition at sector 2048. Also, the FAQ states that "extended
partitions will need a gap between their start point and the first
logical partition contained within them."

So:

(1) Should I partition the drive again?

(2) If so, should I use GParted Live 0.9.1-1?

(3) How do I instruct GParted (or fdisk or cfdisk) to leave a gap
between the extended partition (#2) and the following logical
partition (#5)?

It occurred to me that a possible alternative might be to boot from a
SD device (the S205 has a built-in SD slot). But, apart from
re-installation of at least one of the Linux systems, this alternative
necessitates that I find (and learn to use) a Grub-2 recovery CD. But
then, that necessitates converting the recovery CD into a bootable
flash stick, because the S205 has no optical drive. (Or perhaps I
should purchase a USB optical drive for this specific application?)

RLH


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Old 09-27-2011, 11:09 PM
"Russell L. Harris"
 
Default partitioning inhibits boot on AF drive?

* Russell L. Harris <rlharris@broadcaster.org> [110926 18:15]:
> I just installed on a Lenovo S205 (1) Ubuntu 10.10, (2) Debian testing
> (Wheezy), and (3) Debian stable (Squeeze). The Debian systems
> utilized netinst images, and the Ubuntu system downloaded updates
> during the installation. The single hard drive has a separate /boot
> partition (primary). At the end of each installation, I specified
> that Grub be installed to the MBR.

I made two further attempts at installation, one with Ubuntu 10.10 and
the other with Debian testing (wheezy 20110908-15:43). In each
attempt, I allowed the system to utilize the entire disk, putting all
files (including the boot loader) into the / partition.

Neither attempt allowed a subsequent boot of the system. I am
wondering if the previous (factory) installation of Window$-7 is at
the root of the problem.

Lenovo has published instructions for the user to follow to replace
the drive, but the process is rather involved and necessitates removal
of the keyboard, so I hesitate to try installation on another drive as
a troubleshooting experiment.

RLH


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Old 09-27-2011, 11:40 PM
Brian
 
Default partitioning inhibits boot on AF drive?

On Tue 27 Sep 2011 at 18:09:56 -0500, Russell L. Harris wrote:

> I made two further attempts at installation, one with Ubuntu 10.10 and
> the other with Debian testing (wheezy 20110908-15:43). In each
> attempt, I allowed the system to utilize the entire disk, putting all
> files (including the boot loader) into the / partition.
>
> Neither attempt allowed a subsequent boot of the system. I am
> wondering if the previous (factory) installation of Window$-7 is at
> the root of the problem.
>
> Lenovo has published instructions for the user to follow to replace
> the drive, but the process is rather involved and necessitates removal
> of the keyboard, so I hesitate to try installation on another drive as
> a troubleshooting experiment.

If you wish to follow that route you could install to a USB stick. Much
better than dismantling the machine! A complete desktop install
shouldn't be necessary so a 1GB drive is up to it. Get the base system
on and then the boot loader into the MBR. Switch to console 4 (ALT F4)
immediately after doing that to see in detail what is going on.


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