GRUB Question

John Summerfield debian at
Thu Oct 18 02:14:06 UTC 2007

John Pierce wrote:
> OK, first things first.  You quoted a couple of snippets that were
> someone else's post, cut my sig out please.
I don't understand what you're talking about. I quoted precisely the 
same text Mikkel did to the same email. I didn't change anything.

> On 10/17/07, John Summerfield <debian at> wrote:
>> John Pierce wrote:
>>>> I read the thing for chainload and it seems you need:
>>>> rootnoverify (hd1,0)
>>>> makeactive
>>>> boot
>>> Tried that one, got Error 8: Kernel must be loaded before booting.
>>>> It's trivial: I don't have one set up at present, but it's like this
>>>> stanza booting Windows:
>>>> title Windows XP Professional
>>>>      rootnoverify (hd0,0)
>>>>      chainloader (hd0,0)+1
>>> Tried this one, got Error 15: Invalid or unsupported executable format.
>>> I am going to re-read the info grub again and see if I can make heads
>>> or tails of it.
>> I did tell you to translate. the fact that that's a working example from
>> my laptop does not mean it works exactly as coded for yours.
> I did translate as you suggested, I changed the necessary info to make
> it suit my needs and did this from the grub line editor at boot time.
> I tried various incarnations of that theme including omitting lines
> completely and adding new ones.

Precisely what did you do?

>> A skill you need to acquire is to boot with grub without a menu. Use the
>> documentation to create a grub floppy or CD and learn to use it. You can
>> then boot almost anything.
> I posted to both this thread and a new post that I solved the problem
> by placing the mandriva grub on /dev/sdb1 rather than the mbr of
> /dev/sdb.  My menu option in the fedora menu.lst is as follows:
> title Mandriva GRUB
>         rootnoverify (hd1,0)
>         makeactive
>         chainloader +1
> This makes the grub installed by mandriva load and present the menu
> entries from it associated menu.lst located on  /dev/sdb1.
> I am also going to tell you that unless you built your own version and
> set some uncommon options it is not possible to call the grub that is
> on a second drives mbr.  Just specifying rootnoverify (hd1)
> makeactive
> chainloader or chainloader +1
> boot
> will result in an exception being thrown.  From grubs own
> documentation all of the examples of booting other os's indicate that
> the alternative boot loaders are embedded in the first sector of the
> boot partition.

I don't have a system to had with two bootable drives, but I just 
verified this works on a bog-standard Fedora 7 system:
root (hd0)
chainloader +1

makeactive does nothing useful for Linux, but you do need it for the DOS 
family of operating systems.

> I only asked the question originally because during the mandriva
> install I allowed the installer to place grub on the sdb mbr, I setup

That should work perfectly well with this;
root (hd1)
chainloader +1

in your Fedora menu, and I can see how one might read the grub 
documentation I have on my Scientific Linux system and conclude that's 
exactly what is needed.

> stanza to it with what I thought would have worked and it did not.
> After all of the feedback, I concluded that it was not possible, so I
> went into mandriva setup utility and had it reinstall the grub on
> sdb1.
> Despite my rant, thank you and everyone else for your input.  I always
> find the fedora list helpful even when somewhat off topic.
> I also subscribed to the grub2 dev list, as I did not see a link to
> the grub-legacy list on the front page of the grub site.  When I posed
> the question there I got a nice email informing me that I was
> submitting to the grub 2 and not grub-legacy list, if I posted that on
> the grub-legacy list the sender would gladly answer my question.  In
> my opinion if he was going to bother typing, just answer the question.
>  So be it.
If someone sees you "getting away" with posting to the wrong list, 
others will follow suit and the list will become hijacked. You will see 
the same response here and on many other lists from time to time (and 
quite likely less politely).

A -dev list is not for asking questions about how to use the software, 
it's typically for those hacking or wanting to hack on the source, and 
sometimes for discussing possible bugs.



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