EasyBCD Linux entry boots to cmd line on RAID

#1
Hi,

First of all thanks for ofering this potentially great software for free.
I started using EasyBCD because i came across it when i found the iReboot program that Neosmart is offering.
the iReboot and EasyBCD seemed perfect to me because i want that to be able to choose the operating system if i reboot my machine from over a remote connexion.

However after trying 3 times with fresh linux (Centos 6.3 and Oracle Linux 6.3) installs besides and after Windows 7 on one computer and Windows vista on the other computer, i keep getting the same problem.

Some how i only get the grub command line, and linux doesnt start. (or i dont know how to start it properly)
I tried several additional entries.
GRUB Legacy choosing the boot partition of linux manually
GRUB Legacy choosing the boot partition of linux manually using the easyBCD copy of GRUB
GRUB Legacy Automatic partition of linux using the easyBCD copy of GRUB
GRUB 2 with automatic location and loading
GRUB 2 with manual selecting the boot partition

also i tried all of the previous combinations with the 200 Mb boot partition and the linux root partition

When i installed linux i choose the option to do it in the "First sector of boot partition" as told in the Fedora and Ubuntu tutorial.

Probably i am forgetting something easy but i really don't know what, or could it have any thing to do with that the system is running on a Raid 0?

I am asking because although its raid config set in the bios, some programs like clonezilla don't recognize the raid and just show me the 2 drives in stead of the 4 volumes i made of it.



Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions.

Cheers,
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
This is not a limitation of EasyBCD. This limitation is in fact from the BIOS and RAID Card. EasyBCD, grub, and grub2 all use the BIOS' reported info on available drives. Most RAID configurations work in a way that prevents anything other than the first volume created in the RAID from showing in the BIOS.
The easiest way to test this is to see if in the BIOS boot option you have both volumes available to choose from or only one.

The correct solution is to create a single volume or use an expensive RAID card that can present two separate volumes to the BIOS.
 
#3
This is not a limitation of EasyBCD. This limitation is in fact from the BIOS and RAID Card. EasyBCD, grub, and grub2 all use the BIOS' reported info on available drives. Most RAID configurations work in a way that prevents anything other than the first volume created in the RAID from showing in the BIOS.
The easiest way to test this is to see if in the BIOS boot option you have both volumes available to choose from or only one.

The correct solution is to create a single volume or use an expensive RAID card that can present two separate volumes to the BIOS.
Thanks for the reply.
Really i wasn't accusing of any limitations, just until now i didnt find a way to get what i want yet.
And i am absolutely not so sure if the problem is really the raid, but its the first time that im using a raid, and i had some other problems because of it, so i just wanted to mention it.

Its a intell embedded raid 2, (its an older system, but it was definatly not cheap at the time) i made 4 volumes out of the 2 drives. and i can select the boot volume.
The windows bootloader comes, and also the new entries made with easy BCD.
I can start multiple windows installations, just for the Linux installation i only get the grub command line, after choosing it.

Really i dont know any thing of grub, but with some commands from the web, i can see that grub sees the partition where the linux boot was installed. in my case (hd0,2), but i was not able to boot Linux yet.
if grub can see this does it mean that my problem is not due to the raid 0?

Otherwise i will try tomorrow to add another HD to see if its because of the raid or not.

Just some other questions in order to anticipate if not another thing is causing the problem:
for grub ext2 ext3 and ext 4 are all ok?
the boot partition should be primary, is it ok, if the / root instal dir is in a LVM?
Another thing what i wonder about is why it is GRUB4dos.
am i not supposed to be at the linux boot partition already, far away from microsoft and dos and windows?

Thanks for any further help
 
#4
To see if it is because of the raid, i tried to put a SSD next to my two Raid 0 HDs

Some how still the same problem, i only get the grub command line.
Because i dint want to loose my data on the Raid 0, I had no choise then installing the new SSD next to it in the raid bios,
so although its not mirrored or striped, still it is somehow contorlled by the bios raid. So that could still be the problem.

But Windows boots from the boot menu, on the new hd, and 2 installations on the old hds.
So i guess there is no problem in finding the hard disks. also in grub i can find all volumes (hd1, hd2, hd3, hd4, hd5), exept when i make a virtual boot with QEMU, ten i only have the first hd.

Also figured out how to start linux manually from the grub command line with the same commands as were written in the grub.config file.

So i really dont know why linux can start from grub, but why grub doesn't make it automatically?
Does any one have an idea why i get the grub command line? and not a grub menu?

also when the command line is open and i pres / to see what files are in the current directory or however to call the current location of grub, i see that its in the first partition of the first hard disk, and not in the partition, where i pointed it to when i set up the boot menu entries.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
I assume you're using EasyBCD 2.2?
 
#6
I assume you're using EasyBCD 2.2?
Hi,

Yes use EasyBCD 2.2.

When i instaled linux i always made a /Boot , / and /home partition.
Looking around finding my linux in the cmd some times i see /grub/ but also boot/grub/
How does easyBCD know which one to take? Did i install the linux in a wrong way for easyBCD to see it?

And as i wrote before, the command line that appears when i choose to boot linux, seems to have its current location or current root or i don't know how to call it on the first partition 200 Mb NTFS windows partition where i guess the windows boot menu is stored. I expected it to be at least in the /boot of the linux partition.

Is there a way to check if its because of the Raid other then switching of the raid on the Mobo and see if it works then?
Starting the computer once without raid means that i loose all on the raid 0 and prefer not to set it up again.
but if there is no choise.....but if then i still have the same problem its quite $£Euro!

I am really a bit stuck.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
EasyBCD searches all valid partitions.
But if your BIOS can only see the Windows volume, NeoGrub can't see Linux to load it.
 
#8
EasyBCD searches all valid partitions.
But if your BIOS can only see the Windows volume, NeoGrub can't see Linux to load it.
Thanks for your reply,
but could you explain that a bit more? (why is what the bios sees so important for grub and NeoGrub?)
Even i tried to install linux on the same drive but different partition, as windows but it also didnt work.

In the normal bios i select to boot by the Raid device, and in the raid bios one before the normal bios i can select which LD is to be booted. I dont really understand the difference for the booting process with non raid drives, where i also just select the HD option in the boot menu the bios, and then select which HD or the order in another menu in the bios.

Yesterday i tried to run all whit a disabled bios raid (which is a fakeraid) and all worked immediately how i expected.
It was a pitty that the Windows installation on the SSD that was not striped, (so i hoped that i didn't need a reinstall) didn't boot, but after installing windows and Centos without boot partition and ext4 file system EasyBCD booted immediately in to Linux, without the grub command bothering me.

But i would really want to use the fake raid, because its the only way running windows and linux on a striped aray. without buying an expensive raid card.

During a long walk in the rain this morning, i thought about the following Raid 0 setup.
Would it work if i start with grub, on the first partition of the boot drive, configure grub to chainload by default to the windows bootloader controlled by easybcd, on the beginning of another logical drive or my ssd that is not striped but controlled by the fakeraid controller. and then have a option in the windows bootloader that refers to a linux installation on another first partition of another LD?

Its a lot of going back and forward, but i read here How to Dual Boot Windows and Linux on a Fake RAID Array | Overclockers
, that dual booting on a fake raid is possible, just i didn't find any one on the web yet who did that using easyBCD.

Any way i wont have time to try it this week, but i hope there is a way.

What itches me is that in the fake Raid setup i can start linux manually from the grub command line where easy brings me when i choose to boot with linux, if i can start it manually, i don't understand why it cant start automatically?
Some how i believe it must be possible just i don't understand how.

Also i when i choose Centos to install grub overwrite the windows boot loader, i can do a dual boot boot if i remember correctly.
But i want to use iReboot, to make all a bit easier if i work over a remote connection.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Why do you need to RAID volumes? One striped RAID volume with NTFS and Linux partitions should still work.
 
#10
Why do you need to RAID volumes? One striped RAID volume with NTFS and Linux partitions should still work.
Maybe i mixed up some terms. (Drives, volumes, LD's).
What i would like to have is 2 HD's striped in Raid 0, preferbly splitted up in 3 or 4 LD's.
and 1 drive separate. How i understand it at the moment, this one will not be stiped, but is some how also tagged as a Raid disk probably because the only way to make it visible in the computer was to activate it in the raid bios. Any way this drive will be just another LD.

Really maybe you are right, and there is no point in sub deviding the Raid 0 in 4 LD's but because im a messy guy on my computer i thought it could help to give me some extra structure. And i want to try a lot of different things changing file systems quite a lot on parts of the drive so...

Well any way, i found a configuration that works and is promissing for my wish configuration.
If i only point EasyBCD to the linux partition it keeps just booting grub, while on my laptop it some how directly boots linux then.
But if i install Neogrub, and then configure it by copping parts from the grub.config file of the linux partition to the menu.lst ALL WORKS HURAAA!

Really because im completly new to grub and boot scrips i was way to scared to do any thing besides just clicking, but its really easy. Just for my feeling maybe a bit to hidden on the website, so that it keeps having some mystical.

But the current config isnt yet with the 2 HDS in Raid 0.
i found out that if i activate the single drive in the raid bios. but disable RAID afterwards in the BIOS. that the drive stays regognized as a raid drive. And the double boot using easyBCD still works, with the single drive being controlled by the raid controller, and all also works in non raid mode completly whithout raid controller, the switch is not a big problem for both windows and linux installs on that drive.

Just enabling AHCI after changing raid to non raid is a bit of a struggle, but Enable and/or Disable AHCI - Windows 7 Forums helped out there for windows 7, but i didnt test AHCI on the linux install yet.

Any way also want to try to set up the real Raid 0 for the 2 HD's disable raid in the bios and see if the raid is still there. (See How to disable Intel(R) Embedded Server RAID Technology II | RTFM )Then i could have one HD whithout the raid controller in between, with AHCI, and trim :smile: (because its an ssd) and the 2 HD's in Raid 0. and i think i can get Neogrub to boot Operating systems on any LD in that setup.

But probably i can only test this out in two weeks.

The Dual booting now works, for the single drive with and whithout the Raid controller, but because it works for the single with raid controller i think i can also do it for the 2 Raid 0, HD's.

To be continued..
 
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