Complete novice with a major problem!

BJDavis

New Member
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240
I don't know if anyone can help me and I apologize up front for any stupid questions! I really don't know where to begin, but I'll try to explain this as best I can. I have a desktop computer with two hard drives; one with Windows 10 and the other running Linux mint 20.2. Everything is going just fine. I decided that since I also have an extra 2.5 hard drive, I would install Linux mint on the extra hard drive to be used on my laptop. The laptop is (or rather, was!) running Windows 11. I have heard all of the horror stories about attempting to dual boot Windows and Linux so I thought it would be best if I completely removed the hard drive with Windows on it, and put in the clean hard drive to install Linux mint on it. That's exactly what I did. The installation went smoothly, Linux mint was installed and everything seemed fine. I then thought I would just reinsert the Windows hard drive and place the Linux drive in an external USB hard drive enclosure. Now, here's where the fun begins -- when I attempted to boot the laptop, I was met with a black screen, (GNU GRUB version 2.04, Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported. For the first word, TAB lists possible command completions. Anywhere else TAB lists possible device or file completions. grub>_ ) Needless to say, I have absolutely NO IDEA what that means, and worse yet, I have no idea what to do! I don't know how in the world I have messed up my Windows hard drive, since it wasn't even in the computer when I installed Linux, but apparently I did something!
I don't know if anyone can help, but it felt good to be able to "vent"!
 


Fanboi

Active Member
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3,496
You moved the HDD to a new location. If you select the "Mint" option in GRUB it looks for it in the location it was. Pressing "e", you can manually point to the disk,partition,kernel,etc. to boot with... Of course, it's a lot easier to use System Rescue CD since it has user-friendly tools to repair the GRUB boot menu.

Another option may be to boot from your current LiveCD and run "grub-install /path/to/you/hdd --removable". IDK if this will work 100%. I remember just running "grub-install && update-grub" from a LiveCD years ago and then ending up with a mess that eventually got me booted into my system where I could run "update-grub" (w/o the LiveCD in anymore) and that fixed it. It was very hacky.

Still, if you need to boot from the minimal GRUB shell, you can. I don't recall the GRUB syntax since I haven't used it in ages so I'm sure there's plenty wrong here. Something like this:
Code:
# Start with
ls
# Just to list your disks/parts. You may be able to "guess" which is which.
# I'm guessing your HDD was probably HD0 and it's HD1 now.
# You'll have to remember the partition Mint was on. If you did a full disk install, it's 1.
# You're probably looking at HD0,1 (again, my guess, but ls will give you a hint)
set root = h1,0
# Now start typing this and hit tab. If you have more than 1 kernel there (unlikely),
# type the first numbers, hitting tab until autocomplete
linux = /boot/vmlinuz
# After autocomplete, you'll need to set the root which is probably /dev/sdb1
# (I don't remember how to find this). IIRC HD0 = sda, HD1 = sdb and so on.
# Next up is the initrd img. Again, use auto complete:
initrd /boot/initrd
# And now boot and hope for the best
boot
I have prolly messed up some syntax, forgot a lot of stuff, etc, but that maybe points you in the right direction. At least you can try and guess. I still recommend just using the System Rescue CD to repair GRUB if you have access to another PC to burn it to USB. Good luck.
 

brickwizard

Well-Known Member
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6,529
I just gave up last night and decided to just completely start over, forget Windows, and stick with Linux mint!
basically you changed where the hardrive lives and no one is at home.
when you installed your mint drive with your windows drive Grub gives both operating systems an address we will say no 10 downing street for windows and 1600 Pensilvania avenue for Linux , now as grub automatically boots first option as linux goes to Penselvania avenue and opens the door, if you remove that drive or change its cable order [in a cable select desktop] Grub wont find anyone at home to tell it what to do .
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Credits
15,923
When/If you run into questions/drama/just have no clue/....etc etc....Just ASK

There is NO LIMIT to the number of fresh topics you can open

There is NO SUCH THING as a dumb question. If the answer helps you then the question was not dumb, and was totally necessary.

Fire away...we can & will help

fyi, I run Linux Mint 20.2 (cinnamon desktop) exclusively.
 

BJDavis

New Member
Credits
240
basically you changed where the hardrive lives and no one is at home.
when you installed your mint drive with your windows drive Grub gives both operating systems an address we will say no 10 downing street for windows and 1600 Pensilvania avenue for Linux , now as grub automatically boots first option as linux goes to Penselvania avenue and opens the door, if you remove that drive or change its cable order [in a cable select desktop] Grub wont find anyone at home to tell it what to do .
Thank you so much --- I appreciate that!
 
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