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Debian/Sarge Grub MBR bootage fubared

Posted on 2004-09-27
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
My grub installation has become corrupted.  I believe it is the MBR part of grub that is corrupted.  When I boot my machine, I just get a black screen.  This was caused by a faulty power connector (where the drive was power-cycled several times rapidly).

I can mount the drives using utilities from a diskette (tom's rtbt), everything seems to be intact, and I've run e2fsck on all drives.  I'm ignorant about how to get it to start the installed copy of Debian manually, or how to repair grub to get it to start automagically.

Roughly: Debian 'Sarge' build.    
/dev/hda1 = /
/dev/hda2 = /swap
/dev/hda6 = /home
/dev/hda7 = /boot

I tried walking through the grub installation utility (manual mount via chroot, load grub, specify root and kernel, and type "boot"), but it unceremoniously dumps me back out of grub without doing anything spectacular.

...Oh, and this is a 450MHz PIII - typical PC hardware - two IDE drives, bootable CDRom and floppy.

I'd love to get a boot diskette working (quickly) and repair the MBR boot option as an optimal solution.  Debian is the only OS on this machine, and reinstallation is an option, but I'd rather fix it than reinstall for what seems like a simple issue.

Many thanks!


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Question by:Syncubus
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3 Comments
 
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by:Syncubus
ID: 12162567
Oh, and this is a 540 MHz PIII, Intel board, two IDE hard drives, bootable (ATAPI) CDROM and floppy.
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jlevie earned 500 total points
ID: 12163843
> I tried walking through the grub installation utility (manual mount via chroot, load grub, specify root and kernel, and type "boot")

The process for that should have looked similar to:

mkdir /mnt/sys
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/sys
mount /dev/hda7 /mnt/sys/boot
chroot /mnt/sys
grub-install /dev/hda

Is that what you did?
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by:Syncubus
ID: 12163919
Sort of, up until chroot.  My procedure was:

# from tom's rtbt disk prompt on ramdrive:
mount -t auto /dev/hda1 /mnt
chroot /mnt /bin/bash
su -
cd /
# there's already a boot directory here
mount -t auto /dev/hda7 /boot
grub
> root (hd0,0)
> kernel (hd0,6)/vmlinuz2.6..3-1-386
> boot

I was expecting to be greeted with my linux system.  I wasn't.  Perhaps 'grub-install' was the command after all...  I'll remember it if I ever inadvertantly resolder that sloppy molex to a power cord again. ;-)

Cheers!



It's all moot now, as I've formatted the drive and am reinstalling (I'm impatient like that, I suppose).

Thanks for your help.

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