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I have a problem with Grub 2. when i hit the Windows 7 (loader) option on the Grub boot screen Windows won't boot. i get a black screen with a white cursor blinking...

Here is a log of my Boot options. I just want to delete all the other partitions which i don't know how they 've been made and stay just with the Ubuntu ext4 partition, the swap partition and the WIndows 7 partition. Can someoune help me with my problem?

Here is the log: http://paste.ubuntu.com/1014619/

ps: I can only boot Windows with Hiren's Boot CD with the first option, Boot form first hard drive (win7, xp, vista).

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You have Grub on both, the 500 Gb and the 1 TB disk. Where does BIOS boot from? –  Takkat May 30 '12 at 12:23
    
Boot is set to boot from the 500GB disk. –  STavros P. May 30 '12 at 17:20
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Update Responding to Comments dated June 03 (quoted below)

  • I renamed the burg folder and, after I restarted the PC, I tried to delete it. But again, NOTHING. It says that the folder is not empty. How can I delete it?

Have you tried sudo rm -r?

Note: Be VERY careful when using this command. If you do not provide the exact name of the directory you wish to delete you can can damange your installation!

  • I created another BootInfo Summary. It says that I have installed Winodws XP on the sdb disk. But I have not installed WIndows XP or any OS on the sdb disk.

Correct me if you are referring to something else, but I believe you are talking about the excerpt below from your BootInfo summary.

sdb1: __________________________________________________________________________
    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows XP: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  
    Boot files:        

This does not imply that Windows XP is installed. If that was the case you would see information following Operating System: and/or Boot files:. The Windows XP: NTFS above describes the content of the Boot sector of the /dev/sdb1 partition.

In addition to the boot loader found in sector 0 of a hard drive (i.e. the Master Boot Record), each partition can, and usually does, also contain boot loader code. Depending on who is talking about it, this can be referred to as either the Volume Boot Record (VBR, Microsoft or IBM) or the Partition Boot Record (PBR, GRUB).

The VBR/PBR is essentially "raw" binary code in a reserved area at the beginning of the partition. It is not part of the file system and can not be accessed (easily) from within either Windows or Ubuntu.

What you are seeing was probably placed there when the partition was first created and has not been touched since. My advice is to just ignore it.


Update Responding to Comments dated May 31 (quoted below)

  • I just had to do an auto startup repair with the Windows 7 DVD and now it's dual booting both Windows 7 and Ubuntu without problems.

I am glad it is working correctly again for you. I did not expect that you would just get a slightly more usable error message from using GRUB's ntldr to load bootmgr, but it sort of makes sense in hindsight. Perhaps that could be a useful problem isolation technique in the future?

  • What is the sda2 partition? Why can't I delete it?

Your BootInfo summary shows the following partitions for your 500 GB hard drive, /dev/sda

Partition  Boot  Start Sector    End Sector  # of Sectors  Id System
/dev/sda1    *             63   927,941,469   927,941,407   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS
/dev/sda2         927,942,654   976,769,023    48,826,370   5 Extended
/dev/sda5         927,942,656   968,957,951    41,015,296  83 Linux
/dev/sda6         968,960,000   976,769,023     7,809,024  82 Linux swap / Solaris

Looking at the last column on the right, you'll see that the content of sda2 is described as Extended. This indicates that sda2 is an extended partition as opposed to a primary partition.

For historical reasons, a hard drive which uses a Master Boot Record (MBR) partition table has only four "slots" in the MBR (sector 0) for partitions. Primary partitions are simply the partitions which are defined in one of the four entries available for partitions in sector 0 of a hard drive.

A consequence of this restriction is that a hard drive can only be partitioned using four or less primary partitions. If you need to have more partitions than just the four which can fit into the MBR then a "trick" is used. The disk is partitioned as three primary partitions plus a special primary partition which is referred to as an extended partition.

Think of the extended partition as a (primary) partition where the space in the partition is sub-divided into other partitions rather than using it all for a single file system (such as ext4 or NTFS). The partitions inside an extended partition (i.e. sda5 and sda6) are referred to as logical partitions.

The existance of the extended partition in one of the "slots" in the MBR is how the space used by all of the logical partitions is marked as "in use" and thus unavailable. And that is why you cannot delete sda2.

If you could delete it from the MBR partition table in sector 0, then the portion of your hard drive used by sda5 and sda6 would be considered "unallocated". The data in the logical partitions could be overwritten, erasing your files.

Before you can delete sda2 you would first have to empty it by deleting all of the logical partitions it contains. That is, you would have to delete sda5 and sda6 which are inside of the extended partition sda2. Since that would delete your Ubuntu install you obviously do not want to do that.

  • Why does the Windows 7 Installation DVD show a 15MB partition labeled "OSselector" when I try to install Windows, but I can't see it later from either Windows or Ubuntu after they have been installed?

You do not see that partition because it is marked as a "hidden" partition. Here is the partition table for /dev/sdb from your BootInfo summary. OSselector is the (hidden) FAT16 logical partition sdb5 which is inside the extended partition sdb2.

Partition  Boot  Start Sector    End Sector  # of Sectors  Id System
/dev/sdb1    *             63 1,953,487,934 1,953,487,872   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS
/dev/sdb2       1,953,487,935 1,953,520,064        32,130   5 Extended
/dev/sdb5       1,953,487,998 1,953,520,064        32,067  14 Hidden FAT16 < 32M

I think you would be able to "see" this partition using gparted. You could also clear the "hidden" flag which would allow it to be seen and mounted in Ubuntu and Windows. You could then see what files are in this partition.

Note: While gparted is included on the Live CD or USB, it is not included when Ubuntu is installed. To use gparted with the Ubuntu installed on your drive you would need to first install it using this command: sudo apt-get install gparted (You could probably also use the Ubuntu Software Center GUI to install it.)

  • In the BootInfo summary I saw that GRUB uses both GRUB and BURG config files to boot the OS. How can i completely remove BURG?

I actually do not know anything about BURG so I may not be the best one to give advice about this. But from what I could see in your BootInfo summary, BURG is not currently being used for anything.

The files for it are still in /boot/burg and this is what the BootInfo summary detected. But it is GRUB's boot record in the MBR which loads GRUB's core.img which in turn loads GRUB from /boot/grub.

I think you could simply delete the directory /boot/burg. It would probably be better though to simply rename the directory to something else as a test first. If you don't run into any problems after renaming /boot/burg to, say, /boot/hidden-burg then I expect it would be safe to delete that directory.


Original Post

I do not see a problem with the GRUB configuration. (Of course, it could still be there and I just am not seeing it.)

The problem may be with your windows boot configuration. You might try installing the (free for non-commercial use) windows utility Easy BCD and verify that the contents of your Windows BCD file is correct. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Register button. You do not need to provide a name or an email to download EasyBCD.)

When did this problem booting Windows via GRUB appear? Do you remember what change you made that may have caused this?


You could also try the following just to verify that you are using the correct grub.cfg file and that the Windows Partition (aka Volume) Boot Record (PBR/VBR) has not been corrupted.

  1. Boot to the GRUB menu.
  2. Select the GRUB menu entry Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)
  3. Press e to edit the entry's GRUB commands. You should see the commands below.

    insmod part_msdos  
    insmod ntfs  
    set root='(hd0,msdos1)'  
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 6060682360680260  
    chainloader +1  
    
  4. Edit the commands as shown below to use GRUB's ntldr instead of the chainloader command. Note: Changes made to the GRUB boot menu this way are not persistant. They apply only to the next boot. The grub.cfg is not changed.

    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ntfs
    insmod ntldr
    set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 6060682360680260
    ntldr ($root)/bootmgr
    

    Two changes were made to the commands in (3) versus (4).

    The new command insmod ntldr was added.
    The command chainloader +1 was replaced with ntldr ($root)/bootmgr

  5. While still viewing the edited commands list, press either Ctrl+X or F10 to boot using these edited commands and see if this changes anything.

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I changed the grub.cfg with the code you gave me. And the WIndows said they need a startup repair. it diddn't load the OS just an error page about winload.exe. I'm gonna repair the startup of Windows later and i'll post the results. thank you very much. –  STavros P. May 31 '12 at 17:04
    
Ok!! I just had to insert the Windows 7 DVD and do an auto startup repair. Now it's dual booting both Windows 7 and Ubuntu without problems. Thank you irrational John! :D You are awesome!!! :D ah... and what about the other partitions? What is the sda2 partition? Why i can't delete it? and why the Windows 7 Installation DVD when i try to install Windows on the disk, while i have to choose on which disk it will install WIndows i can see a partition of 15MB called OSSelector. Why i can't see it neither from Windows neither from Ubuntu? I know. Too many questions sorry. But i'm kinda n00b. –  STavros P. May 31 '12 at 19:48
    
Oh. I forgot. In the Boot Info log i gave you i saw that grub uses both grub and burg config files to boot the OS. how can i completely remove burg? –  STavros P. May 31 '12 at 19:51
    
@STavrosP. Reply to questions is in updates to my answer. –  irrational John Jun 1 '12 at 6:25
    
Ok. Deleted the sd5 partition and nothing happened at all about the boot for my pc. :) GOOD! Also i renamed the burg folder. and after i restarted the pc i tried to delete it. but again. NOTHING. It says that the folder is not empty. So. How to delete it? Also here is another BootInfo Summary paste.ubuntu.com/1021938 and i saw that on the sdb disk it says that i have installed WInodws XP. But i haven't installed WIndows XP or any OS on the sdb disk. Any ideas how to fix it too? :) Thanks for everything by the way! :D –  STavros P. Jun 3 '12 at 20:02
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