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I have xp on 1 drive and on a separate drive I had ubuntu installed on a partition. Something went wrong and I backed up and tried to reinstall Ubuntu 12.04. I have tried to reinstall from a live CD several times several times but I guess I'm not doing it right.

When I boot Grub comes up and if I chose xp I can boot normally, If I chose ubuntu I only get to a command prompt.

I thought it was a problem with Grub so I booted into the live cd and installed Boot repair. I used boot repair a couple of different ways and it never worked. Here is the output file it generated if it would help:

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Do you mean theres no option to select Windows XP on Grub? – penreturns Aug 29 '12 at 18:12
It would be nice if you explain more detail problem. Does GRUB just show XP or both of them appear but you can't go to Ubuntu. – obysr Aug 29 '12 at 19:22
You say you see a command prompt, is it just an underscore? If not please add a screen shot. In case you got an error message, it's always a good idea to search for that error message on the web, because they are not intended to tell you useless information, instead they should point you to the cause of the issue and therefore help fix your problem. – LiveWireBT Aug 30 '12 at 0:41
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Seems like you installed Ubuntu into an extended partition. I'm not sure if this information is outdated or only applies to Windows/DOS and it's bootloaders, but we've been taught in school that only the first 4 partitions of a MBR partition table can be booted by the bootloader (not to be confused with chain loading).

I would recommend removing the extended partition and it's children (/dev/sdc2, /dev/sdc5, /dev/sdc6) and creating a partition for Ubuntu (/dev/sdc2) and for Swap (/dev/sdc3), installing GRUB to /dev/sdc and mark the Ubuntu partition as bootable in GParted (probably already done by the installer). Of course you should then set up your BIOS to boot from that disk.

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I could try that but I wonder why I was able to install into that same partition over 2 years ago when I first started using ubuntu? – don Aug 30 '12 at 1:29
I think there was something messed up on the drive I had ubuntu installed,,I had a hard time copying my files from the windows partition. They were there I could see and open them but windows struggled to copy them for some reason. Now that I feel like I'm backed up I will try your advice livewirebt,,,, thanks – don Aug 31 '12 at 1:40
I tried to install ubuntu to my second hd with a live cd but when I use the partioning tool it shows the second drive as /dev/sdg! That is not what I expected,,,does it make any difference? – don Sep 2 '12 at 4:02
No that doesn't really make a difference once you booted from the MBR of the hard drive everything is managed by UUIDs – LiveWireBT Sep 2 '12 at 9:11
I have reinstalled, I had a heck of a time,,, nothing went right but it appears that it was a bug or something to do with my onboard video. I think that is why I ended at the command prompt. I used a video card and everything except the grub is working. – don Sep 2 '12 at 22:12

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