Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I don't know what happened to cause this.

I have Snow Leopard, Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal and Windows XP SP3 on my early 2006 MacBook Pro. It is a Core Duo unit, NOT Core 2 Duo, so it is 32-bit only - Model Identifier MacBookPro1,1. I use rEFIt 0.14 for my boot menu.

For some reason neither XP nor Ubuntu would boot anymore. I'd just get a black screen with a rapidly flashing underscore in the top-left corner.

Having both those OSes failing to boot suggested a problem with the boot loader in my MBR. The rEFIT partition tool verified that my MBR partitions were still synced with my GPT partitions, so I rewrote my MBR partition table with fdisk while booted from Parted Magic:

# fdisk /dev/sda

(fdisk warns about the disk having a GPT. I press on anyway.)

p

(Print the existing partition table to make sure it's OK.)

w

(Write the old partition table back to disk. This also writes a new MBR boot loader.)

After this XP would boot but Ubuntu would not, with the same symptom. Now I used update-grub while chrooted into Ubuntu from Parted Magic:

# mount /dev/sda3 /mnt
# mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev
# mount --bind /sys /mnt/sys
# mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
# chroot /mnt

Chroot issues some warnings about not being able to identify some group IDs. I don't know why that happens, or whether it is a problem.

At this point while I am still booted off of Parted Magic's kernel, I am running from Natty's filesystem.

# update-grub

Update-grub detects each of my operating systems then claims to complete successfully, but still won't boot.

I asked this same question over at rEFIt's Sourceforge support forum but there have been no replies yet. I also Googled quite a bit, and see many who have the same black screen problem, but none of their situations seem quite like mine.

Thanks for any help you can give me. -- Don Quixote

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Ah, I need to run grub-install rather than update-grub.

Some googling around for documentation yielded the insight that update-grub just writes a new configuration file. What I've been trying to do is to put a new boot loader into the beginning of my Ubuntu partition.

I have the following partitions:

/dev/sda1 EFI FAt (Empty; required by UEFI Spec)
/dev/sda2 HFS+ Mac OS X Snow Leopard
/dev/sda3 ext4 Ubuntu 11.04 
/dev/sda4 NTFS Windows XP

The following would run to completion and report success when I booted from the Parted Magic Live CD:

# mount /dev/sda3 /mnt
# mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
# mount --bind /sys /mnt/sys
# mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev
# chroot /mnt
# /usr/sbin/update-grub /dev/sda3     ### THIS IS INCORRECT

The correct command seems at first to be:

# /usr/sbin/grub-install /dev/sda3

However, grub warns about installing onto a partition with blocklists, which it does not want to do. I give it the "--force" option:

# /usr/sbin/grub-install --force /dev/sda3

After this, Ubuntu 11.04 boots just fine; I am running it now.

GNU Grub Manual 1.99

Installing Grub Using grub-install

share|improve this answer
    
Immediately after offering the bounty I managed to answer my own question. Can I either undo the bounty, or award it to myself? –  Michael Crawford Oct 10 '11 at 20:58
    
not normally (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16065/…) - however flag the answer and ask the moderators. –  fossfreedom Oct 12 '11 at 20:10

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.