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Re: Restore /boot? (wiped out by ubuntu install)

On Jan 6, 2008 3:36 PM, Gene Smith <gds chartertn net> wrote:
> I had a working Fedore 8 on /dev/sdb. On unused LogVol's on sdb I
> installed ubuntu. However, ubuntu (live version) *insisted* on
> reformatting /boot (/dev/sdb1). I did not go back and save the original
> Fedora 8 /boot files (vmlinuz-, etc) thinking I could easily get them
> back somehow, but can't determine how.
> Is there a way to restore the Fedora 8 /boot contents (w/o a complete
> reinstall) so it will run again?

You should not have let Ubuntu share the boot partition that Fedora
was already using.  That was the mistake, in my opinion.

Now, how to fix?  I'd try this way.  The Most direct route is to
create a new partition where you can boot ubuntu from.  Create &
format that partition, copy the files from your sdb1 to that new
partition, then do the grub magic so that the system will boot from
that new partition.  That amounts to running grub install and editing
grub.conf so that it knows where your boot partition is.  I have
actually done this job and followed a few web pages while doing it.

Be sure Ubuntu runs from that new boot partition before proceeding.

The old partition from which you were booting probably had a label
from Fedora.  Probably it was /boot.  You can reformat that partition
and re-install that label with e2label.  Then boot from your fedora
rescue disk and it will dump you into a shell, where you can chroot to
mount the existing drive.  I believe if you re-install the kernel rpm
from that point, it will probably do the work needed to drop vmlinuz
onto your hard disk.  Perhaps you also need to re-install the grub

Supposing that works, then, depending on how you mark your partitions,
either the Fedora or the Ubuntu will start by default.  In the
grub.conf on the system that runs, you can put in the commands needed
to boot the other one.

Be careful about disk labels. If Ubuntu is using labels like Fedora,
you need to make sure that only the Fedora boot partition has the
label /boot.  The Ubuntu should be labeled something else
(Use e2label).

I'm googling a bit to get you started. This one looks better than most.


For me, the most difficult thing was to understand that the term
"root" is used in 2 senses in the grub. conf.

title Fedora (
        root (hd0,2)
        kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=LABEL=/laproot agp=off
        initrd /initrd-

The first one refers to the partition where /boot is located.  The
second one, in the kernel like, refers to the partition in which "/"
is located.  I'm just a simple political scientist, Captain Kirk, but
wouldn't it have been better to call the first option "boot"?

When you reboot y our system, it may be necessary to use the "e"
option in the boot prompt and fix these references.  Once it starts
properly, you can get in and revise /etc/grub.conf.

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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