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Re: Problem booting Debian after installing Ubuntu 9.10

On Fri, Nov 06, 2009 at 03:34:02AM EST, Dimple Patel wrote:
> Hello,

> I have a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 9.10 and Debian 5.01.  I did a
> fresh installation of Ubuntu 9.10. After that though Debian 5.0.1
> installation is shown in the boot menu, am unable to boot into Debian.
> I get a message saying "error: You need to load the kernel first". Can
> anyone help solve this problem?  Or do i need to do a fresh install of
> Debian again?  

Probably not. 

My guess is that this is caused by Ubuntu 9.10 shipping grub2 and the
change in hd/sd numbering. 

You can confirm this by checking the version of grub above the menu. If
it's the grub2 that ships with Karmic Koala you should see:

  GNU GRUB version 1.97

One difference is that grub2 counts partitions from one, while legacy
grub counts from zero - ie. if your root partition is /dev/hda5, grub
has it as (hd0,4) while grub2 has the more sensible (hd0,5).

Assuming you know which partition is your debian's root, you could
verify this outlandish speculation of mine by booting to the grub menu,
moving the cursor to the debian entry, hitting 'e', and checking the
partition specified by the 'set root=' statement.

If it's pointing to the wrong partition, change it to the correct one,
hit Ctrl-x and debian should take off.

If I'm right about this, and to make the change permanent, you'll have
to boot into ubuntu and fiddle the stuff in /etc/grub.d/ to reflect the
change and then run update-grub to recreate /boot/grub/grub.cfg.


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