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Grub boot loader not working to boot off removable drive

From: Jennifer M. Morse
Subject: Grub boot loader not working to boot off removable drive
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 04:17:16 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.2b) Gecko/20021016

I have a second hard drive caddy which plugs into the removable media bay of my Dell Inspiron 8100 notebook. This is the same bay as my floppy drive, so, I have to remove the floppy to access the second, 10 gig, drive. My primary drive is a 40 gig drive that holds Win2k. It has two partitions, the boot C: drive is NTFS. The E: drive is Fat32, and used to store all my document files.

I updated the BIOS of my notebook to put the boot order as follows:

CD/DVD drive
Removable media hard drive
floppy drive
primary hard drive

I installed Redhat Linux 7.3 right "out of the box" with Grub as the boot loader. It was the basic "notebook" install in the Redhat install screen. I have the Personal edition that I ordered directly from Redhat. I installed it onto the removable drive. Because I don't want to write to the MBR of the primary drive, I configured the installer to create a /boot area on the beginning of the 10 gig drive. That way, when I remove the drive, the machine will boot to Windows, and when the drive is installed, it will boot to Linux (because it's earlier in the boot order than the C drive).

When I boot with the 10 gig drive in the bay, it starts to go through the boot process and then stops with this error:

File System Type unknown, partition type 0xde
Kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.18-3 ro root=/dev/hdc2 hdb=ide-scsi
error 17 cannot mount selected partition

It doesn't technically "freeze", because I can still type on the keys and get responses. But, it alternates between the opening Grub splash screen, and the above message. The boot process is certainly halted from proceeding any further.

That said, I've been asking around and as far as I can tell, it's likely to be a problem with Grub trying to load the C drive intead of the removable drive. Each drive is configured properly in fstab (the primary drive is hda and hdb, the removable drive is hdc).

I'm able to manuever around in redhat rescue quite well. I can mount the installed drive and it's all there. It only won't work wiith Grub. I also haven't gotten "find" to work although that may not be related.

This is all the information I know how to provide. If you need more (especially specific documents), let me know so I can copy them out to text files.

Jennifer M. Morse (address@hidden)
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Physics Department -- Building 510 M -- ext 7710

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