Cannot boot from SATA drive

Scott R. Godin scott.g at
Fri Jul 7 17:08:27 UTC 2006

On Fri, 2006-07-07 at 12:00 -0400, Ed Kim wrote:
> Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> > Jay Cliburn wrote:
> >> On Thu, 2006-07-06 at 21:32 -0500, Jay Cliburn wrote:
> >>
> >>> I have a single IDE drive (hda) and, now, the single SATA drive (sda)
> >>> installed in the system.  For the FC6T1 install, I copied the DVD iso
> >>> image onto hda (at /tmp/fc6, to be precise) and installed using the
> >>> linux askmethod/hard drive procedure.  Seemed to install fine.
> >> Oh, I forgot to mention, my intention is not to have a dual boot system,
> >> but instead just abandon FC5 on this system and boot to FC6 only.
> >>
> >> Also one other detail...  At the time I installed FC6, the SATA drive
> >> was not configured in BIOS to be the boot disk; the IDE disk was still
> >> configured as the boot disk.  Could that have made a difference in
> >> whether or not a master boot record was written?
> >>
> > This makes a big difference. Take a look at /boot/grub/grub.conf on
> > the SATA drive and look at the the drives listed. They probably have
> > something like (hd1,0) instead of (hd0,0). You also have a problem
> > because even if Grub is installed on the MBR of the SATA drive, the
> > boot loader is looking for the second stage loader on the wrong BIOS
> > drive. You should also look at the file in the grub
> > directory. It should say something like "(hd0) /dev/sda" but it
> > probably says something like "(hd0) /dev/hda" instead.
> > 
> > 
> >  It is a fairly easy fix if you can boot from a CD with the SATA
> > drive as the boot drive. You edit grub.conf and, and then
> > run "grub-install --root-directory=/boot /dev/sda" If you do not
> > have a separate /boot partition, skip the --root-directory option.
> > (I have not checked - does the FC install CD have a rescue mode with
> > a reinstall boot loader option?)
> > 
> > You may be able to do the same thing by booting FC5, and mounting
> > the root and boot file systems from the SATA drive, and using the
> > chroot command first, and then the grub-install command. Something
> > like: (I have not tried this.)
> > 
> > mkdir /mnt/fc6
> > mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/fc6
> > mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/fc6/boot
> > <--- edit /mnt/fc6/boot/grub/grub.conf and
> > chroot /mnt/fc6
> > grub-install -root-directory=/boot /dev/sda
> > exit
> > 
> > Mikkel
> Good advice, but regarding the question if the SATA drive isn't listed 
> as a boot device in the BIOS, AFAIK it wouldn't prevent the MBR from 
> being written to the SATA drive.  As long as your configured your GRUB 
> to be installed on the SATA drive MBR during install, it shouldn't 
> matter if it was set as the boot drive in the BIOS at that time.

It may also depend on the card. some cards are for SATA add-on drives
only and don't allow them to be boot drives. Ran into this myself when I
got the new SATA drive + card. Wound up having to spend another ~$50 on
a Promise card that would let the SATA drive be the primary one. 

needless to say, I was _ticked off_ -- wasted two days fiddling with the
first card before heading to the local dealer to pick up a different

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