Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to recover your grub?

In a GNU/Linux installed system, the default boot record is handled by GRand Unified Boot Loader or GRUB. Originally written by Erich Boleyn, Grub is considered as one of the best boot loaders available. In many circumstances, a boot record can be changed, i.e., another OS installation is one among them. For example, if you install /upgrade Windows 7 in a GNU/Linux installed machine, the GRub will be replaced by Windows' own boot record. From that point you will not be able to load GNU/Linux from your system. Because Windows' boot loader will never load another OS. However, you can easily recover your grub with only two or three lines of commands. It's very easy, it's not so techy. All you need is to have is a Live CD/DVD of GNU/Linux such as Knoppix. Here is the way to recover your grub.
Note: This
weblog is written for Debian based text mode GRub recovery
1. Boot the system with Knoppix
2. type fdisk -l
Hit enter to get a rough idea about your partitions and corresponding file systems. And just note down the Linux file systmes in a piece of paper.
3. Type grub

4. Type find /boot/grub/stage1 Hit enter
Note: If you get error message (Error 15: File not found) try another location as,
find /grub/stage1
Hit enter You'll probably get a reply from either of these commands just like (hd0,6)

Note: (hd0,6) is an example. hd0 is the drive; ,6 is the partition.
5. Type setup (hd0)
Hit enter
Note: you only give drive number only; not the device number
6. You'll see some lines of codes like
Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists ... no
Checking if "/grub/stage1" exists ... yes
Checking if "/grub/stage2" exists ... yes
Checking if "/boot/e2fs/stage1-5" exists ... yes
Checking if "/boot/e2fs/stage1-5 (hd0)" exists ...
17 sectors embedded succeeded
Running "install /grub/stage1 (hd0)(hd0)1+17P (hd0,6) /grub/stage2 /grub/menu.lst"..

IF you can read this message, your grub has recovered.
Now reboot your system.
Remove Knoppix CD.
Boot your hard disk.
You have recovered your GRand Unified Boot Loader.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

andLinux. A great step to Linux-for-all

As an ardent Linux fan, I was always behind Debian for more than last 5 years. I loved the free software concept. And I tried my best to use only free software. As a graphic designer, this would not been always practical. So I had to make compromises several times. I am working in an advertising agency, where they are using only Windows client machines to do the graphic part. I was the person who initiated to move the network system under Linux (Debian). Everybody were happy in using a trouble-free networking environment.
But I had to use Windows to run some graphic software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash etc. Even a dual boot system has its own limitations. It is not practical to switch your system frequently. I was dreaming of a virtual Linus inside Windows, just like Wine. There may be a Line as a counterpart for Wine, I thought and even I googled for Line. I heard about cygwin. Tried to load it to run fontforge. However I kept a Knoppix 5.3 DVD always in my table draw. Whenever I want for Linux, I load it.
One of my favourite Linux applications was Kmymoney2. This software taught me the way to track my income and expenses and helped me a lot to control the spending. I could use Kmymoney only in my home because it does not have a Windows version (but Gnucash has). I inspired many of my friends about Kmymoney and some of them got in tune with it. One day Mr. Saju George (he was my teacher in Debian) called me up and told me that a link has been forwarded to my inbox. The link was of a new distro of Linux which can run inside Windows so that I can use Kmymoney2 in my office computer.
I downloaded it and installed it immediately. Great. Everything was really great. It was not a Virtual Machine as I expected. It was a clean Linux. You can add packages with apt-get install. I installed Kmymoney with its console. But a problem. To run andLinux, you must have admin rights in Windows. Normal user can only get the FLTK console only. I tried all the possible methods, but could not run in normal user mode. But still I think, this can be configured soon. I am really happy anyway. Its a great step in spreading Linux to commoners...