Disk ID Confusion

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muskt
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Disk ID Confusion

#1 Postby muskt » Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:09 am

As I mentioned a bit earlier, I have another question. I am not totally sure f all the nomenclature required, so I will attempt to use US English terms.

Here goes.

I have been experimenting with the different versions available for Mepis - Roadblock, 64 bit M11, etc. I have a partition on my 4th SATA drive that I use. I normally only use one partition for these experiments. I do not think that that contributes to my lack of understanding. After playing with the version, I reformat the partition and then move on to something else.

I use Win 7 as my primary OS. As reported in several previous posts, I will not install GRUB to the MBR - I have experienced too many problems, and choose not to do it that way. I use EasyBCD as my boot loader. I thought that I had the whole drives start at 0 & partitions start at 1 (or whatever??) figured out till recently. For some reason, I modded my menu.lst on the primary M11 install (translate that to "messed it up"), and couldn't get any of the experimental installs to load. I do not have enough hair left to accomplish all the "hair pulling" that followed that lapse of common sense. Anyway, here is what I do.

I have EasyBCD installed in my Win 7 partition. it shows in Mepis Partition Editor as SDA2. After the POST, the boot loader takes over and asks me if I desire to load Win 7 or Mepis. Pretty straight forward so far. Clicking one of those entires results in either Win 7 or GRUB loading.

I have GRUB & its Menu.lst installed in my primary (my vanilla M11 install). It is pretty normal (at least I think it is) down to the entry for my testing/experimenting partition. It took me days of swapping numbers & reinstalling distros before I stumbled onto something that works. I really thought that I understood the numbering scheme till this.

I have 3 screen shots that may be of value in (hopefully) explaining to me what is causing my pain.

First shot is of Parted showing SDA which contains my primary Mepis install (with the Swap & Home partitions) and my Win 7 install.

Second shot is also Parted showing SDD which contains the testing/experimenting partition, and an empty partition.

Third shot is menu.lst from the SDA1 Mepis install. Look at the last entry & please try & explain to me how SDD1 equates to (hd2,0).

Thanks, as always

Jerry in Anchorage
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lucky9
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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#2 Postby lucky9 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:39 am

I'm guessing, but the EasyBCD installation on sda2 may be confusing the GRUB on sda1. It's also possible that the chainload stanza might be involved.

I would really expect the menu.lst to show sdd1 as (hd3,0) instead of the (hd2,0) entry. Does that partition boot as it is listed?
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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#3 Postby Topher » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:00 am

As Lucky9 said, I think it should be (hd3,0). You might also have to set the boot flag on sdd1. Sometimes I forget to set that flag and I cannot boot my system.
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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#4 Postby muskt » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:15 am

I guess that I neglected to state that the only way I can get the SDD1 partition to boot is the way it is listed. It does boot correctly. Originally, I selected (hd3,0) & was rewarded with either error 15 or 17 (can't remember at this moment).

I have used EasyBCD for several years. I think Joany also uses it. It is really a great program for us Win folks, who (for whatever reason) do not use/trust GRUB.

I tried adding "boot" to the entry for the testing partition while using the (hd3,0) setting, & still got the 15 or 17 error.

I should probably add how I believe EasyBCD works.
Easy sets up a boot loader which asks the operator what OS he desires to boot into. Much like GRUB.
I have had XP, Vista, & 7, plus 2 or 3 Mepis installs all functional on one machine at the same time.
Easy treats the Windows installs separately.
Easy does not seem to understand that the Linux installs are also separate.
It will (this is from memory, now) only create one Linux entry. I discovered that in order to get more than one Linux entry, that I needed to mod the first (meaning first installed) menu.lst file to point to the other installs (just as I have done in the screenshot posted above). It normally works perfectly. For some reason, this time, it has changed its tactics and required me to get creative to find the install drive.

I might further speculate that if I were to format all my drives and start from scratch, that it may work as advertised. Of course, I am not going to do that!!!!

I have not pursued this question on the EasyBCD forum. I have in the past, posted there, and received good info from the creator of the program. Their forum, like this one, has a few very good, knowledgeable, and friendly members who actively help newbies. I have even assisted others with dual booting Win & Linux on their machines. This situation, to me, seems to be quite rare.

Anyway, my system now works correctly, even though not the way one would expect. I have installed, erased, formatted, reinstalled, etc, several distros on the testing partition in the last 3-4 days and never changed the entry in the menu.lst file--they always boot just fine. I just thought I would post this and see if there was anything obvious that I had overlooked.

Thanks,
Jerry in Anchorage

OOHHH!!! I just remembered another item. A menu.lst file is not required on any Linux install except the one that Easy points to (the fisrt one installed). Last night, I went into Dolphin in the install on the testing partition, and renamed menu.lst to menulst.old, saved the file and rebooted. No problems at all. I checked the listing in Dolphin, and the menulst.old file was there, right where I placed it, and NO menu.lst file at all.

I thought about removing the GRUB folder completely (for testing), but decided that may be going a bit too far.

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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#5 Postby lucky9 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:42 pm

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

When I install a Linux OS I usually let it have the MBR and let its GRUB list the operating systems on the disks. I have also at times installed an OS and its GRUB to that operating systems /root. Then used Copy&Paste to bring the booting operating system's GRUB up to date. I've also used chainloading quite effectively.

Out of curiosity I'd like to ask what the menu.lst in the target OS says. [The one that's booting with the (hd2,0) listing in EasyBCD.]
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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#6 Postby muskt » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:10 pm

I may be a bit confused. The menu.lst posted in the first post is it (I think). That is the one that Easy goes to. There is none in the SDD1 install. Yes, correct NONE in the SDD1 install.

Jerry in Anchorage

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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#7 Postby lucky9 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:59 am

Then it appears to be an EasyBCD anomaly. If you would reinstall GRUB in sdd1 using the Mepis System Assistant I'd bet it would say it's in (hd3,0).
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#8 Postby muskt » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:39 am

I will give it a try after work today. I have an early flight--towing a target for F-22 live gunnery firing this morning--weather looks marginal in the target area right now.

Jerry in Anchorage

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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#9 Postby arjaybe » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:35 am

muskt wrote:I will give it a try after work today. I have an early flight--towing a target for F-22 live gunnery firing this morning--weather looks marginal in the target area right now.

Jerry in Anchorage


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Re: Disk ID Confusion

#10 Postby muskt » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:35 pm

For arjaybe--2000 feet give or take a tiny bit. We had 12 of them on the range today--& I'm still alive.

OK, I attempted to reinstall GRUB on the test install. It installed correctly, and created a menu.lst saying that the install was SDD1 (which I already knew). It also said, on the next line that it was (hd3,0).

So now what? I already know that I cannot get EasyBCD to accept two Linux entries in the boot loader. Why it does that, or if I am causing it, I cannot say. I have never been able to get it to work with two Linux entries. I have tried it dozens of times--all unsuccessfully.

The method that I use (successfully) is to link to all my Linux installs through the menu.lst in the primary install. See the menulst.png in the first post.

As I also stated, a menu.lst is NOT required in any installs other than the first one--the one at SDA1. I knot that that statement is considered to be total heresy; but, it is correct.

I attempted to use Easy again, without any success--much as I had anticipated.

I will continue to play with these installs, and try to determine if a similar situation occurs if I attempt an install on SDC.

Thanks for all the patience.
Jerry in Anchorage


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