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Grub and Lilo won't install on E530.

Linux on ThinkPads
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Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:22 am
Location: Chetek, WI USA

Grub and Lilo won't install on E530.

#1 Post by Pepse » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:13 pm

I did a search and couldn't find anything else on this site for this problem.

I have a Thinkpad E530 with Win 7 Home Premium. I bought a second hard drive and caddy and an external CD/DVD ROM/recorder and attempted to install Debian 7.0.0 32 bit with the LXDE desktop. Things go good until it needs to install a bootloader. First I tried Grub and the following happens: The following other operating systems have been detected on this computer: Windows Vista. If all of your operating systems are listed above, then it should be safe to install the bootloader to the master boot record of your first hard drive. When your computer boots you will be able to load one of these operating systems on your new system.

Then: Install the Grub bootloader to the master boot record? (YES). Then: Unable to install Grub in /dev/sda Executing 'grub-install /dev/sda' failed. This is a fatal error. "try it again?" I decided NOT.

So, it gave me the option to install LiLo. Similar issue: LiLo installation failed. Running "/sbin/lilo" failed with error code 1.

I have been using Linux for 12 years but this is the first time trying a dual boot system on a laptop. My towers have always had multiple hard drives with Linux and windows including my present tower with Win7 Ultimate on one drive and Mepis 11 on the other hard drive; no issues. Is my problem Debian or Lenovo or ?????


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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:40 am
Location: Margate, UK

Re: Grub and Lilo won't install on E530.

#2 Post by x220 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:35 pm


If you have Windows installed on the first drive (C:\ or /dev/sda) and Debian installed on the second drive (/dev/sdb), when you installed Grub/LiLo chances are that it has installed to the MBR on the second drive (/dev/sdb) and your TP is set to boot from the original hard drive.

I'm guessing when you reboot the laptop is just booting up Win7 without showing any boot loader. If so hit F12 at boot and select the second hard drive which should then load Grub or LiLo giving the option of selecting the operating system to load, if all goes well, set the second drive as the default boot option in the BIOS.

Edit: When I read that first time round my brain must have missed out a paragraph :roll:

You could try booting the laptop using a live boot CD, like one of the Ubuntu or Mint ones, then from the live distro re-install GRUB2 to the MBR of either drive.
Daily use: X220, T410
Collection: 4xT20, T23, T60 (Pinkpad for my daughters), X22 (password locked), X24, 2xR40e, A20m, 600e, 701c

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:22 am
Location: Chetek, WI USA

Re: Grub and Lilo won't install on E530.

#3 Post by Pepse » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:07 pm

Okay, I will try to redo GRUB from a live CD.


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