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No grub menu displayed

  Date: Dec 05    Category: Unix / Linux / Ubuntu    Views: 466
  

I just helped a friend install Ubuntu 9.10 on a machine with a working
copy of Windows 7. Ubuntu works well, but we can't boot into Windows
as there is no GRUB menu displayed on boot. At first I suspected that
it was hidden, but I held down the shift key (and a few others on
other bootups just in case) and did not get a menu.

After updates this machine has kernels 2.6.31-16-generic and
2.6.31-14-generic as well as memtest86+, but they don't appear either.

I've Googled and tried a few ideas, such as adding an 11_Windows file
in /etc/grub.d and running update-grub, with no luck. update-grub did
report that it added a Windows entry, but till no menu on boot.

The machine has two drives, both 500G SATA drives. Windows is on the
first drive, Linux on the second.

Here's a dump of fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x02a63fa4

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 13 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 13 60802 488282112 7 HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xf3226063

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 58336 468583888+ 83 Linux
/dev/sdb2 58337 60801 19800112+ 5 Extended
/dev/sdb5 58337 60801 19800081 82 Linux swap / Solaris


I'm about out of ideas, anyone know how to fix this?

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7 Answers Found

 
Answer #1    Answered On: Dec 05    

try SuperGrub. it can be found at http://www.supergrubdisk.org/

 
Answer #2    Answered On: Dec 05    

Can you control the boot process with a boot manager? On my desktop and my
netbook, pressing ESC gives a boot manager that allows me to choose which
drive to boot from. It would try boot from the other drive in case grub was
written there. If not, it is likely that it did not install properly.

You can load the Live CD and try to re-write grub. Here is how to do that:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RecoveringUbuntuAfterInstallingWindows

This should give you a boot menu that will allow you to get back into
Windows. However, if the installation of Ubuntu is not complete it may still
not boot and you will have to re-install Ubuntu.

 
Answer #3    Answered On: Dec 05    

No boot menu when we tried esc.

> You can load the Live CD and try to re-write grub. Here is how to do that:
> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RecoveringUbuntuAfterInstallingWindows
>
> This should give you a boot menu that will allow you to get back into
> Windows. However, if the installation of Ubuntu is not complete it may still
> not boot and you will have to re-install Ubuntu.

We tried re-loading grub, same results. Then we reloaded Ubuntu, same
results, no grub menu and a perfectly functioning copy of Linux with
no way to boot Windows.

Lots of Googling including the Ubuntu forums has yielded no answers.

We're going to try an older version, probably 9.04 and see if GRUB
"original" gives the same problem as GRUB 2.

If that does not work, I'm thinking that we want to disconnect one of
the drives and load Windows an Linux on a single drive and see what
happens.

 
Answer #4    Answered On: Dec 05    

I have used it in the past, however from the SuperGrub web page,
"[...] Grub legacy not Grub2, i.e. it does not work for Ubuntu Karmic
Koala 9.10 fresh installations" and "Where will I find help? If you
want help for GRUB2 (1.9X) please go elsewhere." A shame, as it worked
well for me on my laptop.

 
Answer #5    Answered On: Dec 05    

Some new information.

found how to select hard drives at boot, with his MB, it's F9. It
did no good as both drives booted Ubuntu without a Grub menu.

Windows was still there, we could mount the partition and look at his
Windows files.

I tried restoring Windows boot loader with "bootsect /nt60 C:" at the
Windows 7 system restore command line. The command reported success,
so we tried booting. Got Grub again. But the Grub menu was there! No
option for Windows though.

Some more searching with Google brought the suggestion that we try
"bootsect /nt60 /mbr" if what we tried did not work, which the
original instructions we found did not suggest.

We're going to try that and if it works try to reinstall Grub and see
what happens. We are considering downgrading to 9.04 and seeing if
Legacy Grub works.

 
Answer #6    Answered On: Dec 05    

have you checked if there is a menu.list in /boot/grub?

if there is open the menu.list and out comment the hidden menu option

 
Answer #7    Answered On: Dec 05    

/boot/grub/menu.lst is a Legacy Grub file, it's in /etc/default/grub
now. We did try that. Somehow we do have a menu now, it appeared after
an attempt to restore the Window 7 boot sector with bootsect.exe. Now
we have to find a way to boot Windows 7, hopefully without reloading
Windows. We do have the boxed media for that if need be.

 
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