Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Minix 3 Installation Diary -- Part 3

As I stated in the previous article in this diary, I had a strange problem occur on my attempts to reboot after initially installing Minix 3 to my hard drive.  The problem was that the system would always reboot into a grub (Grand Unified Boot Loader) prompt, and I couldn't continue beyond that prompt.  Now this seemed to me at the time to be a strange problem indeed.  I had accepted all the setup defaults and done a full install, dedicating the entire disk to Minix 3.  I couldn't really find anything in the documentation about this problem, so I went to the minix3 google group to post a description of the problem.  The minix3 group is a good second line resource for troubleshooting if one can't find a solution to a problem in the documentation on the Minix 3 web site.  The best way to use this resource is to first attempt to figure out the problem by reading the online documentation, then to search the minix3 archive, and then, if the problem still isn't solved,  posting an enquiry on the group mailing list.

I couldn't find anything, so I posted a description of the problem.  Initially it was mysterious to the respondents, but it soon dawned on both me and a couple of the regulars on the list that grub was already installed in the Master Boot Record (MBR) from the previous host on that particular laptop, which happened to be Fedora Linux.

A member of the list suggested that I use installboot to overwrite the grub entry in the MBR.  It took me a few tries, but the command

installboot -m /dev/c0d4 /usr/mdec/masterboot  did the trick.

I rebooted, and this time came back up to the Minix 3 login prompt.

For more information on the Minix 3 boot process the article from the Minix 3 Wiki From power-on the the login prompt is very useful.

The manual page for installboot is also helpful.

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