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View Full Version : Grub Geom errors on Windows dual-boot: Workaround, plain English



felch
8th August 2006, 04:02 PM
(From the last resort files)

Grub geometry errors have infuriated me time and time again when trying to check out a new distribution by dual booting on an existing machine. Its aggravating because there rarely is an easy fix due to the problem being caused by BIOS or some existing partition weirdness that can only really be resolved by wiping the whole machine Ė which you donít want to do. I bet thereís millions of folks out there who have unsuccessfully tried to install Linux for a look-see, and ended up just walking away in despair because of this error.

There is an easy workaround that I havenít found in any of the distro forums Iíve scoured. Here it is in basic English (the kind I like, being only a propellor head wannabe). You need to use a boot loader called Gujin, 100% wholesome open source goodness. Get it from Ė

http://sourceforge.net/projects/gujin/

The Gujin doco isnít exactly for novices. A bit convoluted, complicated by the author not being a native English speaker. These simple steps worked for me -

The file you want to get is Ė

standard-1.4.tar.gz

Unpack/untar it. If your Windows archive tool canít do this, Winrar does it nicely Ė

http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm

Out of this you want Ė

full.img.gz

Unpack it, and you get what you really want, full.img. This is what you need to make the boot loader floppy. It canít just be copied, it needs to be restored as an image using an appropriate tool such as rawwritewin.exe. Youíll find it on a lot of distro disks, or here Ė

http://www.chrysocome.net/rawwrite

Run the applet, point it to the image, then point it to the floppy, and voila, you should be set to go. Boot off the floppy and it will detect your installation. Select it (switching to text mode is easiest, the GUI is surreal) and Linux should load just fine.

OK, its not a fix, you need a floppy, etc, but hey, no grub and it works. Wish I found this years ago. Iíd have more hair.

Felch
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