Booting problem

Keith Powell keith at
Mon Oct 6 13:40:54 UTC 2008

Karl Larsen wrote:
> Keith Powell wrote:
>> My set-up here is two internal hard drives. One has XP on it and the 
>> other Ubuntu  8.04.1. Each installation is entirely separate. While the 
>> BIOS is booting, I select which hard drive to use.
>> This has been working perfectly until a couple of days ago. Now I am 
>> having a big problem!
>> With only the Ubuntu hard drive plugged in, it boots correctly.
>> However, with both hard drives plugged in, Ubuntu starts booting and 
>> then stops with the error message:
>> BusyBox v1.1.3 (Debian 1:1.1.3-5ubuntu12) Built-in shell (ash)
>> Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands
>> (initramfs)_
>> I have tried rebooting in safe mode, but get the same message.
>> I have tried using the XP System restore and going back to an earlier 
>> point (in case there was an XP problem).
>> I have even reinstalled Ubuntu with the XP drive unplugged.
>> All are the same: Ubuntu is OK if XP is unplugged, no good if it's 
>> plugged in. For information, XP runs whether both drives are plugged in 
>> or if the Ubuntu is unplugged.
>> It's defeated me and I don't know what's causing it.
>> Any ideas, please? (Apart from "Don't use Windows!!)
>> Many thanks
>> Keith
>     Sounds as if you have my problem. When I plug in both my IDE and 
> SATA hard drives the BIOS goes nuts. It is a feature of the Award Bios 
> that it can't get SATA and IDE to work together. On mine it depends 
> which HD was last used. Drove me mad.
>     I suggest you try a dual boot of Windows and Ubuntu on the Windows 
> HD. Bet that works fine.

Thank you for your reply, Karl.

Both the drives are IDE. I don't have any SATA drives.

I've just done an experiment. I have replaced the Ubuntu drive with a 
spare IDE drive I have. Then I installed Ubuntu on it. It works 
correctly with the XP drive plugged in. Next, I installed all the 
upgrades, including the new kernel. It still works! So I am wondering if 
the original Ubuntu drive has gone faulty.



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