[clug] Booting problem

Rod Peters rpeters at pcug.org.au
Wed Oct 21 17:07:02 MDT 2009

On Thursday 22 October 2009 05:00:03 linux-request at lists.samba.org wrote:
> Re: [clug] Booting problem
>  From: steve jenkin <sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au>
>  To: linux at lists.samba.org
> steve jenkin wrote on 20/10/09 6:51 PM:
> > Rod Peters wrote on 18/10/09 8:47 AM:
> >> The fact that Keith has put the HDD in a different computer (read
> >> different mainboard) leads me to believe it is probably an initrd issue.
> >>  openSUSE puts the required PATA and/or SATA modules only in the initrd.
> >>  Options are:
> >>
> >> put it back with the original mobo and use Yast to *add* the relevant
> >> modules (which does not appear to be an option in this instance)  Had to
> >> do this myself recently.
> >>
> >> find another mainboard having same PATA controller
> >>
> >> boot from CD/DVD and select "repair installed system".  That will do a
> >> fairly thorough review of the config files and should rebuild initrd.
> >
> > <snip>
> >
> >> Rod
> Today's update.
> <snip>
> > My current plan is download a fresh SuSE 11.1 disk and go visit Keith
> > again tomorrow afternoon.
> Running 'repair' from the DVD, almost everything worked - including
> mkinitrd.
> I let the DVD re-install grub - which broke the boot loader :-(
> The system booted and failed with "No operating system".

GRUB might execute the kernel & initrd provided that those are on the first 
HDD.  However, if the PATA drive is on a different channel from the previous 
mobo, the above message might result.  etc/fstab should confirm whether that 
is the case and if so then, two changes would be needed to:

root specified on kernel line in GRUB

or better still power down and swap cable to relevant channel.

> Despite farnarkling with /boot/grub/menu.lst a number of ways, I
> couldn't get past the error.
> I did a fresh install onto the unused partition (but 'ext3' not
> 'reiserfs') and it boots and runs from the disk OK.
> Question:
>   Could a reiserfs problem account for the failure of grub?
>   (no O/S found)
I doubt that reiser is the problem.  Perhaps run reiserfsck on the old system 
partiton  to be certain.  

reiserfs is not in inird by default, but should have been added during 

> I now have to either try to recover the previous install or migrate the
> useful stuff to the new partition...
indicatively initrd is now OK.  If not, then:

openSUSE 11.1 has been around about 10 months and had many kernel updates.  
However, if those have not been applied to the old system, then you could 
just back up initrd on the old system and then copy it across from new system 
to the old.

Failing that, I have successfully amended initrd via chroot & mkinitrd.  Had a 
working openSUSE nearby for constant reference to man mkinitrd 
and /lib/modules

> Hints/Comments anyone?
> s


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