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fedora 17 grub rescue on boot but works via boot menu

I am new to Fedora. I installed using the Fedora-17-x86_64-Live-KDE.iso. The HDD had been previously wiped by the IT department so there was no existing OS. I found an MBR partition map with two NFS (or NTFS?) partitions.

I partitioned the HDD manually using parted because I wanted to use GPT. I had a couple of goes at this because it took me a while to figure out what the installer wanted. Initially, I tried a set up designed for EFI booting but the installer wouldn't let me continue without a partition for BIOS boot. I assume by this it meant that it wanted the 1-2MB partition you need on a GPT disk to ensure that grub has sufficient space to install.

So I redid the partitioning, deleting the EFI partition and creating a 1-2M partition for grub.

My final partition map included:

a 2M partition BIOS boot loader

a /boot partition a little less than 500M (ext4)

a couple of small partitions reserved for later use which I told the installer not to touch

/ (ext4, encrypted)

/var (ext4, encrypted)

swap (encrypted)

/usr/local (ext4, encrypted)

/home (ext4, encrypted)

a data partition for future use (ext4, encrypted)

I let the installer create file systems on everything except the 2 small reserved partitions.

The install went smoothly. I told it to install the boot loader to /dev/sda. I did not get many of the options shown in the Installation Guide but perhaps that is because I used the KDE spin.

On reboot, I got dumped in grub rescue mode. I rebooted and used the machine's BIOS boot menu to select the HDD. This was top of the list anyway but for some reason it now worked. I then got a normal looking grub boot menu. (Note: I don't know what Fedora's is meant to look like but this was a pretty minimal grub menu - just black on white text with a single white line framing the screen.) Fedora booted fine and I set up a normal user etc.

I installed the 471 upgrades. I was surprised not to be asked for a password but it seemed to work. It ended up waiting for other processes to finish forever but the icon said it wanted to reboot so in the end I let it.

Again, I get dumped at the grub rescue shell unless I use the BIOS boot menu.

I then had a poke around. For some reason, I can't get UK English at all - only US. Probably some locale issue.

But the contents of /boot are really confusing me.

I have directories for both /boot/grub and /boot/grub2. The grub2 seems to be for 32 bit but I believe all bios-grub2 is 32 bit so that's probably normal.

I also have /boot/efi/EFI/... and the redhat efi files described in the Installation Guide as used for EFI boot. But that makes no sense. There is no EFI partition on the machine and, in any case, if I were using EFI boot, I'd have 64 bit files under /boot/grub2 which I don't.

I've looked through the relevant parts of the Installation Guide but perhaps I've missed something. Could somebody point me to something which will cast some light on what the installer has done or might have done? Until I can figure that out, I'm not sure how to go about fixing the boot problem.

I note that the Installer wanted a partition for "stage 1" booting which doesn't match my understanding of the purpose of the BIOS boot partition. I thought this was a feature of grub legacy, which I'm not at all familiar with. [In case it helps in answering my query, I'm fairly familiar with yaboot; somewhat familiar with grub2 in EFI mode; and once had a passing, if unsuccessful, acquaintance with grub2 in BIOS mode.]

fedora 17 grub rescue on boot but works via boot menu

I am new to Fedora. I installed using the Fedora-17-x86_64-Live-KDE.iso. The HDD had been previously wiped by the IT department so there was no existing OS. I found an MBR partition map with two NFS (or NTFS?) partitions.

I partitioned the HDD manually using parted because I wanted to use GPT. I had a couple of goes at this because it took me a while to figure out what the installer wanted. Initially, I tried a set up designed for EFI booting but the installer wouldn't let me continue without a partition for BIOS boot. I assume by this it meant that it wanted the 1-2MB partition you need on a GPT disk to ensure that grub has sufficient space to install.

So I redid the partitioning, deleting the EFI partition and creating a 1-2M partition for grub.

My final partition map included:

a 2M partition BIOS boot loader

a /boot partition a little less than 500M (ext4)

a couple of small partitions reserved for later use which I told the installer not to touch

/ (ext4, encrypted)

/var (ext4, encrypted)

swap (encrypted)

/usr/local (ext4, encrypted)

/home (ext4, encrypted)

a data partition for future use (ext4, encrypted)

I let the installer create file systems on everything except the 2 small reserved partitions.

The install went smoothly. I told it to install the boot loader to /dev/sda. I did not get many of the options shown in the Installation Guide but perhaps that is because I used the KDE spin.

On reboot, I got dumped in grub rescue mode. I rebooted and used the machine's BIOS boot menu to select the HDD. This was top of the list anyway but for some reason it now worked. I then got a normal looking grub boot menu. (Note: I don't know what Fedora's is meant to look like but this was a pretty minimal grub menu - just black on white text with a single white line framing the screen.) Fedora booted fine and I set up a normal user etc.

I installed the 471 upgrades. I was surprised not to be asked for a password but it seemed to work. It ended up waiting for other processes to finish forever but the icon said it wanted to reboot so in the end I let it.

Again, I get dumped at the grub rescue shell unless I use the BIOS boot menu.

I then had a poke around. For some reason, I can't get UK English at all - only US. Probably some locale issue.

But the contents of /boot are really confusing me.

I have directories for both /boot/grub and /boot/grub2. The grub2 seems to be for 32 bit but I believe all bios-grub2 is 32 bit so that's probably normal.

I also have /boot/efi/EFI/... and the redhat efi files described in the Installation Guide as used for EFI boot. But that makes no sense. There is no EFI partition on the machine and, in any case, if I were using EFI boot, I'd have 64 bit files under /boot/grub2 which I don't.

I've looked through the relevant parts of the Installation Guide but perhaps I've missed something. Could somebody point me to something which will cast some light on what the installer has done or might have done? Until I can figure that out, I'm not sure how to go about fixing the boot problem.

I note that the Installer wanted a partition for "stage 1" booting which doesn't match my understanding of the purpose of the BIOS boot partition. I thought this was a feature of grub legacy, which I'm not at all familiar with. [In case it helps in answering my query, I'm fairly familiar with yaboot; somewhat familiar with grub2 in EFI mode; and once had a passing, if unsuccessful, acquaintance with grub2 in BIOS mode.]