Vista PCLinuxOS on different SATA HD's

#1
Hey there folks. I am hoping that someone may be able to help out a little. I have Vista and PCLinuxOS installed on seporate SATA harddrives. I was happily enjoying both OS by physically installing the OS of choice. Getting tired of using screwdrivers instead of a boot-loader!!!! When installing the linux distro on it's HD, I believe that I used grub and just ran the installer as normal (no odd setting, no dual boot). On the second HD is Vista. Once again, no dramas. basic install. Both OS boot without any issues when they are the sole hd in the system. I tried using EasyBCD but had no luck. Vista will boot, no go with the Linux. The Vista harddrive (SATA) is the first drive "0" and the linux OS is the 2nd HD "1". Does anyone have any suggestions regarding this setup?

I did receive an odd error with the setup that I believed to be correct to boot the linux distro, something like 'please insert the system disc' or something like that. Not sure if it was refering to the liveCD.

Thanks in advance
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi Steve, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

You've done a quite common mistake: GRUB is installed to the MBR and not the Bootsector.

One-click solution:
Download EasyBCD 1.61, Add/Remove Entries, Linux, "GRUB isn't installed"

That should take care of it.
 
#3
getting closer

Thanks for the fast reply. Looks like I am getting closer but am not there yet. I downloaded the beta of 1.61 and followed the instructions "GRUB isn't installed to the bootsector". It is showing more signs of life but it appears the neogrub is not configured correctly and is (I believe) looking for the linux boot information on the Vista drive (0) instead of the Linux drive (1). I am assuming that what I need to do now in configure neogrub to look for the correct drive and partition. Below is a copy/paste of the menu.lst located on my Vista C:NST folder.

Code:
# NeoSmart NeoGrub Bootloader Configuration File
#
# This is the NeoGrub configuration file, and should be located at C:\NST\menu.lst
# Please see the EasyBCD Documentation for information on how to create/modify entries:
# [URL]http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD[/URL]
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /boot/grub/menu.lst
configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst
# All your boot are belong to NeoSmart!
Is this the file that I need to modify to let neogrub know where to look for the boot info on the second SATA hd or is it located at "configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst"

sorry for all of the questions. i had a feeling that my install was going to be a problem due to the fact that I had both OS currently running comfortably on thier own (as non-dual boots)

Thanks again for the help
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
OK, that's easy enough.

Menu.lst is auto-configured to be compatible with most common linux distros - which store the GRUB configuration file in /boot/grub/menu.lst

Obviously PCLinuxOS does not conform to this standard - all you need to do is find out what the path to menu.lst (or grub.conf, if that is the case) is on your PCLinuxOS install, and substitute that for "/boot/grub/menu.lst" in the NeoGrub configuration file.

For instance, if it was /grub/grub.conf, you would change the line in NeoGrub's menu.lst to:

Code:
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /grub/grub.conf
And then just leave the rest intact, save, and reboot.
 
#5
all sorted. HP hardware info for other users

well, I am all sorted. Currently writing this post within Linux on a dual boot. EasyBCD is working perfectly without any issues. While trying to sort this entire thing out, i discovered a little bit of info that may help out other HP Pavilion dv9000 users. Please pass this along to any hardware forums that may exist.

As the dv9000 series laptops offer two hard-drives, my plan was to keep Vista on the first hard-drive and install PCLinux on the second hard-drive. After my first failed attempt (wrote to the MBR), I reinstalled with grub to /. EasyBCD found what it was looking for. Grub them reported that it could not mount the second drive. Looking further into the BIOS, the second hard-drive was not available as a bootable device. Every other device known to mankind was but not the second installed hard-drive. A few emails to HP resulted is a firm responce stating that 'at no time in the future will the second installed hard-drive be available as a bootable device".

The solution for HP dv9000 users is simple. shrink your Vista partition and you have to install your linux distro of choice to the first hard-drive. Set up EasyBCD and run as directed. At this point, use your available space on your second hard-drive as desired.

As i have tried every possible combination to get past this, the issue was really with some sort on obscure BIOS limitation imposed by HP (personally I would have to say that it is to prevent people from doing an easy dual boot from withing the BIOS, but hey, that is just my jaded opinion).

This little and simple app is amazing and increadably easy to use. just double check your hardware to ensure that your second hard-drive is 'fully available' at the early stages of booting if you intend on installing your / dir there.

I hope this helps out other HP users in the future.

steve
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Hey Steve,

Glad to hear it ended up working - I've always steered clear of HP, despite their high specs and attractive prices, but you've got to make do with what you got, that's for sure! :smile:

Thanks for getting back to us with the solution, I'm sure it will come up at some point in the future with other members - good work nailing it down! :grinning: