WinXP hang at loading Stage2 (Resolved)

p g philippe_groarke at
Sat Nov 8 19:42:08 UTC 2008

Hello everybody! This is my first post to the list, so I'd like to thank you all for this wonderful OS Ubuntu. It is hard sometimes to get stuff working, but the community is so active, I find resolving problems is easier than ever.

OK, now for the record.
I was having trouble dual-booting Windows XP in GRUB. Before installing Ubuntu I wiped out my SATA hard-drive, created a first partition (hd0,0) for windows, a second for data (hd0,1) and a third for Ubuntu (hd0,2). I have another harddisk wich is IDE (ouch, SATA & IDE not a nice mix) and this drive is empty and waiting for other distros and OSes for test purpose. Anyhow, I installed XP fresh on the hd(0,0) and then ubuntu. GRUB automatically detected windows and added an entry to the /boot/grub/menu.lst.

This entry read something like:
title        Microsoft Windows XP Professionnel
root        (hd1,0)
map        (hd0) (hd1)
map        (hd1) (hd0)
chainloader    +1

Obviously this wasn't working. When I tried booting, GRUB would hang at Loading Stage2... I would then ctrl+alt+del to reboot. The entry in menu.lst was really strange because WinXP was on (hd0,0) not (hd1,0). So off I go searching the net. I found some unresolved or unanswered similar problems in forums. Then mIRC, I got help (thanks to Fondor1) but we couldn't resolve the problem. I tested every hd possible for boot etc... Anyway, I finally decided to use FIXMBR in the Windows XP install disk (boot from Win CD and press r for rescue. You should get a shell, and then you can use >fixmbr which should fix your windows Master Boot Record).

At this point I was really scared cause I knew I would loose GRUB and thought I'd have to reinstall Ubuntu again afterwards to get it working. Not at all! Reinstalling GRUB is the easyiest thing, I'll explain at the end of post. So when running fixMBR I got a surprise. It automatically fixed the MBR on /Devices/Harddisk1/Partition0. Wow, windows had installed the MBR on my IDE drive (which is hd1,0). I think the drive might have been Master during windows install but I'm pretty sure I had changed it to Slave. I then used >fixmbr /Harddisk0/Partition0. This didn't work because when I rebooted I got an "No NTLDR blah blah" error.

So the solution: I disconnected my IDE from the computer. Reinstalled Windows on hd0,0 (which automatically rewrote the MBR) and then reinstalled GRUB. Everything works fine now. I use this in menu.lst

title WinXP
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

I thought this might help anybody having trouble with SATA and IDE drives mixed together. Basically, windows seems to prefer IDE and install MBR there!?

Now for reinstalling GRUB:
Boot in Ubuntu liveCD. Select "try Ubuntu with no change in computer".
Once booted go to Applications>Accessories>Terminal
type in:
    sudo grub
    find /boot/grub/stage1 (This will list what partition grub is installed to, use this partition for the root info.)
    root (hd0,0)  (Your GRUB partition)
    setup (hd0)

Then exit, reboot. Et voila!

Hope this can help,
Philippe Michael Groarke

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