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This article is part of the Tips & Tricks series.
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Please note the examples are taken from the Standard Gentoo install from the Gentoo 2005.0 and 2005.1 handbook default setups. Please substitute the relevant numbers/letters for your hard drives.

There are a few boot errors that exist. The general two bits of advice should allow you to get around that. Obviously if you can't boot you'll need a LiveCD with "grub" and "fdisk" on it. I use the Gentoo LiveCD and chroot to the broken system with the following:mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/gentoo mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/gentoo/boot mount -t proc none /mnt/gentoo/procThe third step is important if you are playing with GRUB.


fdisk /dev/hda Set the "bootable" flag by pressing "a" then selecting the partition.


Enter the manual grub setup by typing "grub" at the prompt. Once the BIOS detection has passed, do the following:

grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)
grub> quit

Then reboot. This should fix most problems.

Still Stuck... the 9x Floppy

At this point in time its advisable you grab a Windows 95 or Windows 98 floppy disk. When this floppy loads be prepared for a bombardment of relatively useless (spam?) information as it tells you that your computer does not a valid FAT32 drive for the primary partition. A:\>fdisk /mbr

Now reboot with the liveCD, and do the above again... Ordinarily my problems have been fixed with the 2nd step, sometimes, depending on age the 1st was required. This step I've only ever had to do on one computer.

And PLEASE, check your BIOS is set to read your drives. If its an old BIOS, "Auto IDE/HDD Detection" may be in the list. Just run this. If its older you need to get the hard drive out write down the details and enter it manually... Most people won't have that problem as most computers that age no longer boot.

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Last modified: Fri, 05 Sep 2008 08:50:00 +0000 Hits: 8,208