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pi_david
21-Apr-2018, 07:53
Hello,

I am asking help for Suse Linux Entreprise Destop or Server, version 11.

Working with old generation Thinkpad T40 from IBM x85 infrastructure, I need to set up SLED version 11, booting with WinGrub without success. It seems that Wingrub can't recognize file system from version 11 and above.

The latest version with success is version 10 SP4. Wingrub can access booting files in linux partition so that it boots.

Any ideas to solve the issue?

Background: for Thinkpad laptop, there is hidden partition to restore windows system installation when needed, which is only accessible by original MBR written by IBM. Thus any third party system, such as Suse, it should not overwrite MBR by Grub, otherwise no chance to recover such hidden partition function to restore windows installation.

malcolmlewis
21-Apr-2018, 17:31
Hi
In the final summary screen you can select where to install, I'm guessing your disk layout uses an extended partition, perhaps a /boot for SLE. I would suggest setting to either use /boot or the extended partition.

Perhaps if you provide the output from the following command can give some more guidence;


fdisk -l

pi_david
25-Apr-2018, 14:57
Hi
In the final summary screen you can select where to install, I'm guessing your disk layout uses an extended partition, perhaps a /boot for SLE. I would suggest setting to either use /boot or the extended partition.

Perhaps if you provide the output from the following command can give some more guidence;


fdisk -l


Here below is the output:
Disk /dev/hda: 157.4 GB, 157456221184 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 20339 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 1490 11264368+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 1491 20339 142498440 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 1491 6976 41474128+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda6 6977 7085 824008+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda7 7086 7695 4611568+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda8 7696 8914 9215608+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda9 8915 19620 80937328+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda10 19621 20339 5435608+ b W95 FAT32

Furthermore, to be precise, with SLE 10, I installed Wingrub to Windows XP boot.ini so that the booting from windows will break and load grub menu to boot SLE 10. But this can't work when I upgrade to SLE 11.

So how about the reason?

malcolmlewis
25-Apr-2018, 15:15
Here below is the output:
Disk /dev/hda: 157.4 GB, 157456221184 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 20339 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 1490 11264368+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 1491 20339 142498440 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 1491 6976 41474128+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda6 6977 7085 824008+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda7 7086 7695 4611568+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda8 7696 8914 9215608+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda9 8915 19620 80937328+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda10 19621 20339 5435608+ b W95 FAT32

Furthermore, to be precise, with SLE 10, I installed Wingrub to Windows XP boot.ini so that the booting from windows will break and load grub menu to boot SLE 10. But this can't work when I upgrade to SLE 11.

So how about the reason?
Hi
So if you install the bootloader into hda2 at the summary (it should set the bootflag ) and then add a custom chainloader entry for windows and just use grub, if you need to do a recover then reset the bootflag to hda1? Have no experience with wingrub (or much with XP either)... I've always used grub to control booting...

pi_david
26-Apr-2018, 07:07
Hi
So if you install the bootloader into hda2 at the summary (it should set the bootflag ) and then add a custom chainloader entry for windows and just use grub, if you need to do a recover then reset the bootflag to hda1? Have no experience with wingrub (or much with XP either)... I've always used grub to control booting...

Hello,

thank you for your analyse to help.

I have little knowledge about grub, neither booting. so i try to understand and explain my concerns.

My core question is to protect original MBR by IBM which was damaged one time, that's why I am doing all best not to touch MBR again.

In case of only windows, booting sequence will be: Power->BIOS->MBR(IBM)->windows (boot.ini)
In case of multi system, booting sequence should be: Power->BIOS->MBR(IBM?)->Grub or Wingrub(windows boot.ini with integrated grub to break)

So my question is: by installing bootloader into hda2, does it change anything in MBR? if not, i don't understand how MBR(IBM) can find grub booting files...

What would it mean to reset bootflag hda2 or hda1? something is changing?

malcolmlewis
26-Apr-2018, 21:46
On Thu 26 Apr 2018 06:14:02 AM CDT, pi david wrote:

malcolmlewis;52344 Wrote:
> Hi
> So if you install the bootloader into hda2 at the summary (it should
> set the bootflag ) and then add a custom chainloader entry for
> windows and just use grub, if you need to do a recover then reset the
> bootflag to hda1? Have no experience with wingrub (or much with XP
> either)... I've always used grub to control booting...

Hello,

thank you for your analyse to help.

I have little knowledge about grub, neither booting. so i try to
understand and explain my concerns.

My core question is to protect original MBR by IBM which was damaged one
time, that's why I am doing all best not to touch MBR again.

In case of only windows, booting sequence will be:
Power->BIOS->MBR(IBM)->windows (boot.ini)
In case of multi system, booting sequence should be:
Power->BIOS->MBR(IBM?)->Grub or Wingrub(windows boot.ini with integrated
grub to break)

So my question is: by installing bootloader into hda2, does it change
anything in MBR? if not, i don't understand how MBR(IBM) can find grub
booting files...

What would it mean to reset bootflag hda2 or hda1? something is
changing?




Hi
In your case/description it would be;

Power->BIOS->Extended Partition (with bootcode)->Grub (with chainloader
entry for windows)

So it just implements in your words the MBR in a different location,
you would see the boot flag (The asterisk *) move to hda2 all done by
the installer. You just have to look at the summary screen and change
as required to where the bootloader goes, if not sure take a picture
and post back here.

If you needed to boot into windows repair, you can boot into linux or a
live system and via fdisk change the boot flag back to hda1.

--
Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE Leap 42.3|GNOME 3.20.2|4.4.126-48-default
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
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pi_david
27-Apr-2018, 02:39
Hi
In your case/description it would be;

Power->BIOS->Extended Partition (with bootcode)->Grub (with chainloader
entry for windows)

So it just implements in your words the MBR in a different location,
you would see the boot flag (The asterisk *) move to hda2 all done by
the installer. You just have to look at the summary screen and change
as required to where the bootloader goes, if not sure take a picture
and post back here.

If you needed to boot into windows repair, you can boot into linux or a
live system and via fdisk change the boot flag back to hda1.

--
Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE Leap 42.3|GNOME 3.20.2|4.4.126-48-default
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

if i understand well the sequence, you are saying, the machine can jump from BIOS directly to extended partition without reading MBR, am I right?

I was told that BIOS reads always MBR then MBR reads bootflag...that's why mostly i see linux grub will be installed to MBR, but i don't understand how it would be even though i do see another option to install to extened partition.

malcolmlewis
27-Apr-2018, 03:25
On Fri 27 Apr 2018 01:44:02 AM CDT, pi david wrote:

malcolmlewis;52375 Wrote:
> Hi
> In your case/description it would be;
>
> Power->BIOS->Extended Partition (with bootcode)->Grub (with
> chainloader entry for windows)
>
> So it just implements in your words the MBR in a different location,
> you would see the boot flag (The asterisk *) move to hda2 all done by
> the installer. You just have to look at the summary screen and change
> as required to where the bootloader goes, if not sure take a picture
> and post back here.
>
> If you needed to boot into windows repair, you can boot into linux or
> a live system and via fdisk change the boot flag back to hda1.
>

if i understand well the sequence, you are saying, the machine can jump
from BIOS directly to extended partition without reading MBR, am I
right?

I was told that BIOS reads always MBR then MBR reads bootflag...that's
why mostly i see linux grub will be installed to MBR, but i don't
understand how it would be even though i do see another option to
install to extened partition.


Hi
No, the BIOS reads/looks for the bootflag (asterisk) and reads that
partition for the boot code on where to boot from.

--
Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
SLED 15 RC3 | GNOME 3.26.2 | 4.12.14-16-default
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

pi_david
27-Apr-2018, 07:59
Hi
No, the BIOS reads/looks for the bootflag (asterisk) and reads that
partition for the boot code on where to boot from.

--
Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
SLED 15 RC3 | GNOME 3.26.2 | 4.12.14-16-default
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

According to this wiki, it looks that bootflag is inside MBR. if so, changing bootflag, it means changing MBR, maybe not overwrite.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boot_flag

malcolmlewis
27-Apr-2018, 12:37
On Fri 27 Apr 2018 07:04:01 AM CDT, pi david wrote:

malcolmlewis;52379 Wrote:
> Hi
> No, the BIOS reads/looks for the bootflag (asterisk) and reads that
> partition for the boot code on where to boot from.
>

According to this wiki, it looks that bootflag is inside MBR. if so,
changing bootflag, it means changing MBR, maybe not overwrite.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boot_flag




Hi
Yes, so your original bootcode on hda1 will be untouched.

Again, just make sure you review the summary screen on what is being
installed where.....

--
Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
SLES 15 RC3 | GNOME 3.26.2 | 4.12.14-16-default
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please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

pi_david
28-Apr-2018, 05:42
Hi
Yes, so your original bootcode on hda1 will be untouched.

Again, just make sure you review the summary screen on what is being
installed where.....

--
Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
SLES 15 RC3 | GNOME 3.26.2 | 4.12.14-16-default
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

well that's the point: what i want is exactly that the MBR should not be touched, which control to load hda1 or hidden partition to refresh system on hda1....

that's why i used wingrub which is installed in boot.ini on hda1 windows, so that nothing is touching MBR(IBM) and once refreshed, just reinstall wingrub then all linux part will be ready by booting from wingrub.

But such wingrub can only work till SLE 10, not SLE 11....

AndreasMeyer
02-May-2018, 22:00
Backup your original IBM MBR and store this MBR backup on an external usb device.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fdisk#Backup_and_restore_partition_table

Overwrite the original IBM MBR with a GRUB MBR:
https://forums.suse.com/showthread.php?9026-Where-to-Download-Rescue-CD&p=36833#post36833

When you need access to the hidden rescue partition, start PC from CD/DVD, start the rescue system and restore your original IBM MBR.

AndreasMeyer
02-May-2018, 22:12
Please read chapter 11 and 12 of SLED11 administration guide:
https://www.suse.com/documentation/sled11/book_sle_admin/data/cha_grub.html

pi_david
06-May-2018, 07:38
Backup your original IBM MBR and store this MBR backup on an external usb device.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fdisk#Backup_and_restore_partition_table

Overwrite the original IBM MBR with a GRUB MBR:
https://forums.suse.com/showthread.php?9026-Where-to-Download-Rescue-CD&p=36833#post36833

When you need access to the hidden rescue partition, start PC from CD/DVD, start the rescue system and restore your original IBM MBR.

Thank you for your guidance.

I quote below sentence for my concern:
To restore (be careful, this destroys the existing partition table and with it access to all data on the disk):

# dd if=/path/to/mbr_file.img of=/dev/sdX bs=512 count=1

does it mean that this command will lead to refresh entire partition table, other meaning is that entire is renewed regarding its content?

If this is the case, I don't see the meaning of restore because everything is erased.....

AndreasMeyer
07-May-2018, 19:19
This command restore the whole MBR (512 byte). See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record#Sector_layout

https://neosmart.net/wiki/mbr-boot-process/

It is a very dangerous command! A full backup of your hard disc is very recommended!

If you have no experience with MBR, VBR and partitions, i recommend a full backup with an image software (for example: Linux-based bootable CD "Restore media" of "Acronis True Image" and "full image backup" on an external usb device with ext4 partition).
https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/true-image-features/

pi_david
08-May-2018, 05:13
This command restore the whole MBR (512 byte). See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record#Sector_layout

https://neosmart.net/wiki/mbr-boot-process/

It is a very dangerous command! A full backup of your hard disc is very recommended!

If you have no experience with MBR, VBR and partitions, i recommend a full backup with an image software (for example: Linux-based bootable CD "Restore media" of "Acronis True Image" and "full image backup" on an external usb device with ext4 partition).
https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/true-image-features/

Thank you!

As you said, this is really tremendous dangeous to operate as solution, especially for future.

I would like to try another means, back to my track: using wingrub, understand what's the difference bt wingrub and grub? why wingrub can boot SLE10, but not SLE 11?

pi_david
08-May-2018, 07:54
Thank you!

As you said, this is really tremendous dangeous to operate as solution, especially for future.

I would like to try another means, back to my track: using wingrub, understand what's the difference bt wingrub and grub? why wingrub can boot SLE10, but not SLE 11?

the reason why I would not recommend to touch MBR is that: last time i damaged MBR with its hidden partition, it was even impossible to reformat the entire disk..... IBM MBR and its hidden partition must be written with its wholly specific file format....no safe way to manage it

AndreasMeyer
08-May-2018, 19:03
wingrub is dead. wingrub is BETA software from 2004:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos/files/?source=navbar

Use grub2 or a commercial boot manager.

dd is a dangerous command in the hand of an inexperienced user.

pi_david
10-May-2018, 04:10
wingrub is dead. wingrub is BETA software from 2004:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos/files/?source=navbar

Use grub2 or a commercial boot manager.

dd is a dangerous command in the hand of an inexperienced user.

I do know wingrub is beta and dead since then...that's why i am looking for alternatives to upgrade the solution in order to boot SLE11...

Grub2 is a upgrade of Grub, basically it does as Grub does to replace MBR which is not suitable in the case to not touch IBM MBR....

KBOYLE
10-May-2018, 19:37
pi david wrote:

>
> Hello,
>
> Background: for Thinkpad laptop, there is hidden partition to restore
> windows system installation when needed, which is only accessible by
> original MBR written by IBM. Thus any third party system, such as
> Suse, it should not overwrite MBR by Grub, otherwise no chance to
> recover such hidden partition function to restore windows
> installation.

That hidden partition is on all ThinkPads. Yes, it is a convenient way
to restore Windows but what do you do when your hard drive dies? A new
hard drive won't have that hidden partition and that partition is *not*
the only way to restore Windows.

You should use the ThinkPad provided utilities to burn a set of
recovery DVDs or try to find a set of recovery media elsewhere. Both
options will allow you restore your Windows partition but they won't
recreate the hidden partition.

If you take that hidden partition out of the equation, you have so many
more options open to you!


--
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner
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please show your appreciation and click on the star below this post.
Thank you.

pi_david
12-May-2018, 04:43
pi david wrote:

>
> Hello,
>
> Background: for Thinkpad laptop, there is hidden partition to restore
> windows system installation when needed, which is only accessible by
> original MBR written by IBM. Thus any third party system, such as
> Suse, it should not overwrite MBR by Grub, otherwise no chance to
> recover such hidden partition function to restore windows
> installation.

That hidden partition is on all ThinkPads. Yes, it is a convenient way
to restore Windows but what do you do when your hard drive dies? A new
hard drive won't have that hidden partition and that partition is *not*
the only way to restore Windows.

You should use the ThinkPad provided utilities to burn a set of
recovery DVDs or try to find a set of recovery media elsewhere. Both
options will allow you restore your Windows partition but they won't
recreate the hidden partition.

If you take that hidden partition out of the equation, you have so many
more options open to you!


--
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
please show your appreciation and click on the star below this post.
Thank you.

in case of disk dead, there is indeed another way to resotre windows together with hidden partition by CD provided by IBM, but it's huge work of "engineering" job to renew the entire disk including all partitions and its systems, not only Windows. in fact there is no way provided by IBM(originally, now it is Lenovo) to restore only windows if something is wrong with IBM MBR.

Besides, as old generation laptop, CD-rom is less and less supported...even as external media at the step of install & boot system.

KBOYLE
12-May-2018, 16:29
pi david wrote:

> Besides, as old generation laptop, CD-rom is less and less
> supported...even as external media at the step of install & boot
> system.

This is very true. I have a Lenovo ThinkPad and I'm faced with the same
problem. In my case, the laptop does not have a CD/DVD drive.

I have a simple solution: I clone my internal drive to an external
drive using a disk caddy or even a USB thumb drive (if I have one that
is big enough). Should my internal drive die, I install a new one and
clone the external drive to the new internal one or even install the
cloned drive and repeat the original cloning.

The process is pretty simple:
- Boot openSUSE Live from a CD or a USB thumb drive
- dd if=<internal drive> of=<external drive> bs=10M

Yes, it could take a while to complete but it takes a lot less effort
than trying to rebuild your internal drive using only Lenovo recovery
media and, considering the cost of a laptop hard drive, it is a very
inexpensive solution.

--
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner
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please show your appreciation and click on the star below this post.
Thank you.

pi_david
14-May-2018, 03:36
pi david wrote:

> Besides, as old generation laptop, CD-rom is less and less
> supported...even as external media at the step of install & boot
> system.

This is very true. I have a Lenovo ThinkPad and I'm faced with the same
problem. In my case, the laptop does not have a CD/DVD drive.

I have a simple solution: I clone my internal drive to an external
drive using a disk caddy or even a USB thumb drive (if I have one that
is big enough). Should my internal drive die, I install a new one and
clone the external drive to the new internal one or even install the
cloned drive and repeat the original cloning.

The process is pretty simple:
- Boot openSUSE Live from a CD or a USB thumb drive
- dd if=<internal drive> of=<external drive> bs=10M

Yes, it could take a while to complete but it takes a lot less effort
than trying to rebuild your internal drive using only Lenovo recovery
media and, considering the cost of a laptop hard drive, it is a very
inexpensive solution.

--
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
please show your appreciation and click on the star below this post.
Thank you.

I understand the solution of clone of disk. While in my case, by now neither disk in my hand has hardware problem by now, but Windows system, I need to refresh it almost every 2 years because of divers problem of system failure.

Considering the frequence, the solution i am looking for is relying on easy retoring Windows only, seperately with SLE....