Booting problem

Keith Powell keith at
Tue Oct 7 19:26:55 UTC 2008

Karl Larsen wrote:
> Keith Powell wrote:
>> Karl Larsen wrote:
>>> Mark Haney wrote:
>>>> Keith Powell wrote:
>>>>> Thank you for your help, Mark.
>>>>> As I have said to Karl, things work properly with Ubuntu on a different 
>>>>> hard drive - even with the new kernel.
>>>>> I'll do as you suggest; put the original Ubuntu drive back and see what 
>>>>> happens when I use the older kernel.
>>>> I'm curious as to why the system boots fine without the XP drive 
>>>> connected if the drive itself is bad. If the Ubuntu drive is flaky, I 
>>>> should think it would be flaky no matter what else is connected to it.
>>>> Hmm, how do you have your IDE drives setup?  Are the Master and slave, 
>>>> or 'Cable Select'?  I'm wondering if the Ubuntu drive is set to cable 
>>>> select and it's getting screwy when the kernel loads somehow.
>>>> Personally, I ALWAYS manually set my IDE drives up. I never use Cable 
>>>> Select in any way.
>>>     Excellent thought Mark. A bad HD setup when you have 2 of them can 
>>> sure cause his problems.
>>> Karl
>> Mark and Karl.
>> I use jumper select with my drives, not cable select. They are 
>> definitely master and slave.
>> Using my spare 40GB hard drive, Ubuntu works with both drives connected. 
>> So I have installed a couple of other distros on it (one at a time). 
>> Linuxmint only works if the XP drive is unplugged (BusyBox message 
>> again). Mandriva works with one or both connected.
>> So I'm going to spend some time doing more tests, putting the main 250GB 
>> hard drive back in and trying Ubuntu again.
>> I'll post the results.
>> Cheers
>> Keith
>     OK Keith well your sure doing the Hard Drives (HD) properly. It 
> sounds to me like there is something wrong with the 250GB HD. Do this:
>     With the spare HD installed look at your BIOS and see which HD is 
> shown as Master and Slave. Then replace with the 250GB HD and check BIOS 
> again. This HD should be exactly the same, master or slave of the temp HD.
>     If it changes or looks odd it means the 250GB has a problem.
Karl, Mark.

I have solved the problem.

Recapping, the XP drive is plugged and jumpered as the master and the 
Ubuntu the slave.

If I have the master drive plugged in when installing Ubuntu, the 
partitioner correctly recognises the slave as 'sdb'. However, if I have 
the master unplugged, it calls the slave 'sda'. In my 'un-expert' 
opinion, this is in conflict with what it should be.

So, I have installed Ubuntu with the master plugged in and it now works.

I expect, but am guessing here, that I could alternatively have 
installed Ubuntu with the other drive unplugged and edited grub/menu.lst 
to change sda to sdb.

There's just one thing which has happened, which I didn't want. Ubuntu 
appears to have installed its grub onto the XP drive MBR. I want to find 
out how to reinstall the XP MBR and change the Ubuntu one to the sdb drive.

Thank you all for your help. I appreciate it.



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