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Problem booting grub4dos from CF on old PC


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#101 doveman

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:03 PM

Well it shouldn't have been written to, as I say Thinstation loads into and runs from RAM. Perhaps it still writes some information though, I recall it used to set the "dirty" flag if it wasn't shut down properly, so I guess it can sometimes write somewhere.

I did test the RAM thoroughly recently but I'll do it again anyway.

#102 doveman

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:37 PM

Well I'm trying to setup the 16GB CF again on my Asrock board but it totally fails to boot with it installed. Even Partition Wizard booted from g4d hangs. If I swap it out for a 4GB CF it boots OK but I need to use the 16GB CF. Any ideas on how I can fix it? I've tried changing form AHCI to IDE mode in the BIOS, which shouldn't make any difference to the IDE port but I couldn't think of anything else to try.



#103 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:45 AM

it totally fails to boot with it installed.

Even Partition Wizard booted from g4d hangs.

Very detailed, exact and "technical" description of the ways (HOW) you have installed (WHAT) and the results you get (again WHAT) without counting the "final goal".
Just in case:
http://homepage.ntlw...ard-litany.html

Again in the "I'm ill, doctor. Help!" phase :ph34r:

:cheers:
Wonko

#104 doveman

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:01 PM

Very detailed, exact and "technical" description of the ways (HOW) you have installed (WHAT) and the results you get (again WHAT) without counting the "final goal".
Just in case:
http://homepage.ntlw...ard-litany.html

Again in the "I'm ill, doctor. Help!" phase :ph34r:

:cheers:
Wonko

 

I'm not sure what more I can tell you. With the 16GB CF plugged in, I can't boot Win7, Win7SE or any of the other ISO's I have in my g4d menu. The Win7 loading screen appears but then just gets stuck on that (with the animation moving) forever.



#105 steve6375

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:11 PM

Well I'm trying to setup the 16GB CF again on my Asrock board but it totally fails to boot with it installed. Even Partition Wizard booted from g4d hangs. If I swap it out for a 4GB CF it boots OK but I need to use the 16GB CF. Any ideas on how I can fix it? I've tried changing form AHCI to IDE mode in the BIOS, which shouldn't make any difference to the IDE port but I couldn't think of anything else to try.

 

So what is it - if it does not boot then how can you run grub4dos?

Does the 16GB CF boot when run from QEMU or a VM?

Does it actually boot to g4d?

What g4d menu do you have for Parition Wizard?

Have you formatted the 16GB CF using RMPrepUSB with 2PTNS switch?



#106 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:39 PM

@doveman
Noone (in his/her right mind) would go over the previous four pages of posts to gather possibly outdated or plainly wrong info and guess WHAT you did lately, WHAT happens exactly and WHY this happenes in order to help you.
 
Try reading AGAIN, this time slowly, this:
http://homepage.ntlw...ard-litany.html
 
There are THREE sets of info/answers that you need to provide (EXACTLY):
 
 
 

 
The questions in the standard litany can be paraphrased when it comes to the use of computers:
  1. What did you do? What actual commands or tests did you run? Where precisely did you run them? What was your exact configuration?
  2. What did the computer actually do? What were the exact test results, complete log contents, and exact error messages that were issued?
  3. What did you expect the computer to do? What did you expect the computer to do instead? What were you aiming to achieve and what makes you think that you aren't actually achieving it?


Note the words "actual", "exact", "complete", and "precisely". Problem reports that are vague or superficial are worthless. ("I'm ill, doctor. Help!")


You partially and vaguely provided #2 and #3.
 
What about #1?
 
Of course, feel completely free :smiling9: to NOT provide the asked for (and needed) info and consequently either receive no assistance/advice or get some most probably unuseful (educated or random) guesses.
 
:cheers:
Wonko



#107 doveman

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:46 PM

So what is it - if it does not boot then how can you run grub4dos?

Does the 16GB CF boot when run from QEMU or a VM?

Does it actually boot to g4d?

What g4d menu do you have for Parition Wizard?

Have you formatted the 16GB CF using RMPrepUSB with 2PTNS switch?

 

Well even getting to g4d it has some difficulty and often just gives a flashing cursor but I've been able to get it to load the menu by rebooting and/or mashing F11.

 

I can't test it in QEMU or a VM or format it if I can't boot into an OS. It was working on my Mum's old Vectra PC until the CF got corrupted and grldr couldn't load (or the menu.lst, I forget) and it was formatted correctly and I don't think I re-formatted it but I can't be sure.

 

Partition Wizard loads but then hangs on the loading screen, whereas without the 16GB CF (or the 4GB CF installed) it loads OK. Menu entry is

 

 

title Partition Wizard Home Edition
find --set-root /iso/PartWizHomeEdition41.iso
map /iso/PartWizHomeEdition41.iso (hd32)
map --hook
chainloader (hd32)
 
but I also can't load any of the other programs as below with the 16GB CF installed
 
title Acronis True Image Home 2011
find --set-root /iso/ACRONIS_TI2011.iso
map --mem /iso/ACRONIS_TI2011.iso (0xff)
map --hook
root (0xff)
chainloader (0xff)
 
title Paragon Hard Drive Manager 2011
find --set-root /iso/ParagonHDM2011.iso
map /iso/ParagonHDM2011.iso (hd32)
map --hook
chainloader (hd32)
 
title Easeus Disk Copy 2.3
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /iso/EDC23.iso
map /iso/EDC23.iso (0xff)
map --hook
root (0xff)
kernel /bzImage vga=791 initrd=initrd.img ramdisk_size=99889 root=/dev/ram0 rw console=/dev/vc/4
initrd /initrd.img
 
Ah, I've just realised my other PC has a CF-USB port on the front bay and putting it in that it says I need to format it, so hopefully I can fix it on there. I gather I should format it with 2 partitions (Boot as HDD) using RMPrepUSB but I'll hold off until you advise further in case there's something else I need to do.


#108 steve6375

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:54 PM

yes use 2ptns option



#109 doveman

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:56 PM

yes use 2ptns option

Ok, thanks. I'll try that and see if I can boot the PC (from HDD) without problem after that before putting any files on the CF.



#110 doveman

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:33 AM

@doveman
Noone (in his/her right mind) would go over the previous four pages of posts to gather possibly outdated or plainly wrong info and guess WHAT you did lately, WHAT happens exactly and WHY this happenes in order to help you.
 
Try reading AGAIN, this time slowly, this:
http://homepage.ntlw...ard-litany.html
 
There are THREE sets of info/answers that you need to provide (EXACTLY):
 
 
 


You partially and vaguely provided #2 and #3.
 
What about #1?
 
Of course, feel completely free :smiling9: to NOT provide the asked for (and needed) info and consequently either receive no assistance/advice or get some most probably unuseful (educated or random) guesses.
 
:cheers:
Wonko

 

Well the PC boots OK now I've reformatted the CF and I can boot from the CF to the g4d menu at least (haven't tried any further yet).

 

However it then occurred to me that I might need to format it in a special way to work on the Vectra VL400 machine, so I checked our previous discussion and it seems the 16GB CF worked OK in that without any special formatting. I was having problems with XP locking up when trying to write to it but that wasn't solved by formatted it in a 16/63 geometry anyway. This is one of the reasons why I'm going to try Win7 in case it's more compatible with the CF (various Linux distros I tried had no problem writing to the CF).

 

Having said that, I probably will need to format it again as currently it's NTFS and I doubt the Vectra will boot from that. I'm going to need most of the CF to be a NTFS partition as I'll need to put a 7-10GB VHD on it, initially at least until I finish crunching it down into a 2GB Portable so I guess I'll need to try with the first bootable partition as FAT16 or FAT32 and the second partition as NTFS.

 

Will I just be able to alter the type of the second partition and leave the rest as in the table you posted here or is it going to be more complicated than that?



#111 doveman

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:50 AM

Even on this modern system I can't get Boot Manager to load from the CF and I just get a flashing cursor, so it's not going to work on the Vectra until I sort that out.

 

I reformatted it to have a 500MB FAT32 partition followed by a NTFS partition using the rest of the space but it still can only boot grldr (and Win7PE.ISO from there) but not Boot Manager, either directly or chainloaded from grldr.



#112 steve6375

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

If you can get to the grub4dos console, try a few diagnostic commands to find out what the BIOS has mapped the USB drive and disks to:

 

e.g.

find

find +1

map --status

geometry (hd0)

geometry

geometry (hd1)

find (hd0,      press [TAB] - shows all possible partitions on first hard disk

ls /

ls (hd0,0)/

ls (hd1,0)/

 

Do you see anything odd?



#113 doveman

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

I've actually got the Boot Manager to load now by overwriting the 0.4.5c grldr with the 0.4.5b one (I also copied bootmgr from my HDD in case the one on the CF was corrupted).

 

Trying to load the VHD (on the 2nd NTFS partition (0,4) fails with an error about waitbt.sys though.

 

The find commands list the partitions on the CF (0,0) and (0,4) and on the HDD (1,0), etc

 

map --status returns "The int13 hook is off. The drive map table is currently empty"

 

geometry (hd0) gives "drive 0x80(LBA): C/H/S=1024/255/63, Sector Count/Size=31214236/512

Partition num:0, fat type 0x0b

parttion num:4, ntfs, type 0x08



#114 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:43 PM

Yeah, sure, the NTFS partition type ID is definitely 0x08 and of course second partition is normally (0,4).

 

What have you used to partition/format that CF card, the output of a pair of dices throws piped into a hex editor? :w00t:

 

Come on....

 

You were asked to partition it with RMPREPUSB (and nothing else) can you simply try doing that (and nothing else) and report what happens?

 

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#115 steve6375

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:02 PM

(hd0.4) means you have made a logical partition. Not sure what 8 is  (maybe a typo for 7?)



#116 steve6375

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:08 PM

If a format with RMPrepUSB (2PTNS - boot as HDD) does not work, you could try the method here.



#117 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:52 PM

If a format with RMPrepUSB (2PTNS - boot as HDD) does not work, you could try the method here.

Good idea :thumbup:.

 

Let's introduce also makebootfat with the Zip compatible format. :w00t:

 

Seriously, the issue here is a form of lacking of:

  • method
  • communications

Basically every time something is suggested to doveman, as a test, he introduces a variation to it (i.e. does another thing from what was asked) and then fails to properly report not only what he actually did, but also the actual result.

 

We have been going on like this on the topic on MSFN :

http://www.msfn.org/...m-cf-on-old-pc/

which BTW seemed at the time like a "closed case". :dubbio:

 

Sometimes it is easier to assist a "computer illiterate" in solving a problem than a "mid-level" (no offence whatever intended :)) knowledgeable computer user, as with the first you need to patiently explain each and every step and make sure, double sure that you get the report you need, but normally you get executed the exact thing suggested, with the second it is common that *something else* is executed instead.

 

With both, however the more options you provide the more confused gets what is actually tested and the related reports. :ph34r:

 

It is the first time that I see a report that *anything* changed with grub4dos 0.4.5b (WHICH EXACT version?) over 0.4.5c (again WHICH EXACT version?)  :dubbio:

 

The number of "random" or "semi-random" errors reported seem now to lead to some issues with the actual CF card. :unsure:

 

Would the RMPREPUSB test (the "long" - or however it is called - one) be suitable to check the CF card functioning?

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#118 steve6375

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:25 PM

It is the first time that I see a report that *anything* changed with grub4dos 0.4.5b (WHICH EXACT version?) over 0.4.5c (again WHICH EXACT version?)  :dubbio:

 

Actually, this is the 2nd report I have had this week (1st one was from 'Dave N' for one particular laptop out of a collection of PCs and laptops, via private email) of the old 0.4.5b grldr file booting on older systems to PE, where the new 0.4.5c grldr version does not. Dave N has been in contact with chenall to ask what may have changed and has traced the problem to a change somewhere around...

 

GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-14 - WORKS

GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-24 - NOT WORK

GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-28 - NOT WORK

 

With this one particular laptop, linux iso's (all 3 tested) work OK via grub4dos, but PE based isos (3 tested) do not boot.



#119 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 05:32 PM

Good. :)

So that issue is not only 0.4.5c over 0.4.5b, but also (and mainly) GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-24 over GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-14 :frusty:

 

 

Which laptop is it ? (I mean Dave N's, doveman's tests were made on a HP Vectra VL 400 Desktop and now it is on - I presume - another desktop EXACTLY described as "my Asrock board", though my super-divinatory powers allow me to guess :ph34r: that it could be an Asrock 880GM-LE FX with Bios revision 1.30 or later, AMI.)

 

And what BIOS does it use? (I still mean Dave N's laptop)

 

It must be a "rare" case if there was just Dave N's report after almost two years. :dubbio:

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#120 Dave N

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 06:36 PM

I don't want to hijack this thread, but will answer the question's asked of me.

 

My problematic laptop is a Dell Latitude E6420 with bios version A8.

 

I have tried booting with "grldr" directly on one USB flashdrive, and I also tried booting on another USB flashdrive with syslinux and chainloading the grub4dos grub.exe.

 

For both these USB sticks, on this one particular laptop only, grub4dos versions earlier than the 0.4.5b 2011-07-14 release boot OK.  grub4dos releases after this date do not boot the PE based iso's fully.  The iso starts booting, the text console "Windows is loading files" displays and gets to 100%, then the graphical "Microsoft Corporation" screen comes up briefly, then disappears and I get a black screen.  The HDD lights continue to flash but the desktop never appears.

 

Please continue to discuss doveman's issues - and not mine.  I will open another thread for my issue at a later date.  Hopefully with my successful debugging results  ;-)

 

Cheers,

Dave.



#121 saddlejib

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:28 PM

So lets create a level playing field,

 The queston being is it G4D or the way the bios handles it,

So lets use Plop as the maxim.

i.e lets just install and try booting from above to reduce the factors.



#122 ilko

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:59 PM

Actually, this is the 2nd report I have had this week (1st one was from 'Dave N' for one particular laptop out of a collection of PCs and laptops, via private email) of the old 0.4.5b grldr file booting on older systems to PE, where the new 0.4.5c grldr version does not. Dave N has been in contact with chenall to ask what may have changed and has traced the problem to a change somewhere around...

 

GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-14 - WORKS

GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-24 - NOT WORK

GRUB4DOS 0.4.5b 2011-07-28 - NOT WORK

 

With this one particular laptop, linux iso's (all 3 tested) work OK via grub4dos, but PE based isos (3 tested) do not boot.

 

 

I don't want to hijack this thread, but will answer the question's asked of me.

 

My problematic laptop is a Dell Latitude E6420 with bios version A8.

 

I have tried booting with "grldr" directly on one USB flashdrive, and I also tried booting on another USB flashdrive with syslinux and chainloading the grub4dos grub.exe.

 

For both these USB sticks, on this one particular laptop only, grub4dos versions earlier than the 0.4.5b 2011-07-14 release boot OK.  grub4dos releases after this date do not boot the PE based iso's fully.  The iso starts booting, the text console "Windows is loading files" displays and gets to 100%, then the graphical "Microsoft Corporation" screen comes up briefly, then disappears and I get a black screen.  The HDD lights continue to flash but the desktop never appears.

 

Please continue to discuss doveman's issues - and not mine.  I will open another thread for my issue at a later date.  Hopefully with my successful debugging results  ;-)

 

Cheers,

Dave.

 

This thread should contain the answer for this issue:

http://reboot.pro/to...45b-2011-07-14/


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#123 sbaeder

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:30 AM

Also, just a thought?  Can you install PLOP onto the CF?  Or have you tried a simple, plain DOS format with installing the "System" onto the CF, and see if it boots OK.   Seems your trying to force GRUB (grub4dos) as a boot loader???

 

Just sayin' that maybe there are other ways to get where you want to go...

 

What are you tring to do with this CF card in the first place?



#124 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:15 AM

This thread should contain the answer for this issue:

http://reboot.pro/to...45b-2011-07-14/

Thanks Ilko :thumbup:.

And thanks Dave N for providing the model info.  :)

 

Just for the record, the rule of thumb is:

 

 

If it's a DELL, then you will always find something non-standard for which some special provision must be made.

 

I really don't know how come that whenever a machine has issues, or however behaves - even slightly - differently from all the other around, at the end it comes out that it's a DELL :ph34r:

They must have a team of engineers dedicated to add non-standard behaviours or remove a few standard ones. :whistling:

 

If you prefer it is not a surprise that any DELL machine (as well as any machine that has an Insyde BIOS) will behave "strangely".

 

I strongly doubt that the issue here (on an Asrock board) is connected to this :dubbio: , and particularly I doubt that with more than thirty grub4dos versions 0.4.5b later than 2011-07-14 doveman managed to use an earlier 0.4.5b version....

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#125 doveman

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:58 AM

Sorry for any confusion.

 

To clarify what I've done, after steve6375 asked me to use RMPrepUSB's 2PTNS option in post 108 I did that. I should have replied to him rather than Wonko in post 110, or at least specified how I'd reformatted but when I said "Well the PC boots OK now I've reformatted the CF and I can boot from the CF to the g4d menu at least (haven't tried any further yet)." this was after using RMPrepUSB.

 

As the Boot Manager still wasn't loading, I tried a couple of things. Firstly I reformatted using Partition Wizard ISO booted from grub4dos, to have a 500MB FAT32 partition followed by a NTFS partition. It defaulted to logical for the second partition and I recalled that generally having multiple primary partitions might cause problems, so left it on that. The type is of course 0x07, not 0x08 as I typed (I've got two PCs and two keyboards but only one monitor so I was copying it out blind and thought I'd checked it afterwards but obviously this typo slipped through).

 

Boot Manager still didn't work so I overwrote grldr with 0.4.5b (just checked and it's 2011-03-27) and copied over bootmgr from my HDD in case that was corrupted. After that it worked.

 

My Asrock board is a 880GMH/US3 with BIOS 1.8. I tested the CF on the Vectra VL400 yesterday and was able to chainload grldr from the HDD grldr and Boot Manager loaded from the CF grldr. I was also able to load a Win7PE ISO from the CF.

 

Unfortunately I didn't get to test whether the VHD loads OK from Boot Manager on the Vectra, as I got confused between the 64-bit VHD I'd built on one PC just to be used on that and the 32-bit VHD I'd built on other PC for the Vectra and had put the 64-bit one on the CF which of course wouldn't boot on the x86 Vectra :buehehe:

 

So it looks like the 16GB CF with this grldr will probably be OK on the Vectra without any special formatting or geometry. It was the 4GB CF which I had endless problems with and despite a lot of help from Wonko, I gave up on in the end. We did try a particular geometry/format for the 16GB CF to see if that would fix the problem of the PC hanging when writing to it in XP (no such problem in Linux) but it didn't and it doesn't appear that any special formatting is needed for it to boot OK (although I'll have to wait until I've tested the 32-bit Portable Win7 VHD to be sure).

 

To answer your question sbaeder, I'm using this CF to replace the slow old HDD in the Vectra (for speed, energy and noise benefits) to boot a cut-down XP or Win7 to use as an RDP station. Portable XP (and thinstation) were previously working but then it appears that thinstation wrote to the CF and corrupted it (I thought it fully ran from RAM and didn't write at all but it appears using it in fastboot, memory constrained mode as I was had a bug that allowed it to write), which happened about six months ago and so it's been using the HDD since then but Portable XP keeps freezing up (Ctrl-Alt-Del seems to get Task Manager up but then it still takes a while to unfreeze) hence why I'm going to try Portable Win7 instead but also to benefit from the updated RDP to see if that enables streaming video (youtube, etc) over the RDP connection, as currently that doesn't work and the user has to drop back to the local desktop and open the website in Iron to play them. 

 

I've enabled the EWF filter in Portable XP in the meantime to see if that fixes the freezing problem. I had that enabled when it was running off the CF to protect it but hadn't enabled it for the HDD booting Portable XP.






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