7.8. Troubleshooting

This section lists some of the problems frequently encountered when booting with GRUB and a short description of possible solutions. Some of the problems are covered in articles in the Support Database at http://portal.suse.de/sdb/en/index.html. If your specific problem is not included in this list, use the search dialog of the Support Database at https://portal.suse.com/PM/page/search.pm to search for keywords like “GRUB”, “boot”, and “boot loader”.


XFS leaves no room for stage1 in the partition boot block. Therefore, do not specify an XFS partition as the location of the boot loader. This problem can be solved by creating a separate boot partition that is not formatted with XFS.


Alhough technically possible, the combination of GRUB with JFS is problematic. In this case, create a separate boot partition (/boot) and format it with Ext2. Install GRUB in this partition.

GRUB Reports GRUB Geom Error

GRUB checks the geometry of connected hard disks when the system is booted. Sometimes, the BIOS returns inconsistent information and GRUB reports a GRUB Geom Error. If this is the case, use LILO or update the BIOS. Detailed information about the installation, configuration, and maintenance of LILO is available in the Support Database under the keyword LILO.

GRUB also returns this error message if Linux was installed on an additional hard disk that is not registered in the BIOS. stage1 of the boot loader is found and loaded correctly, but stage2 is not found. This problem can be remedied by registering the new hard disk in the BIOS.

System Containing IDE and SCSI Hard Disks Does Not Boot

During the installation, YaST may have determined the boot sequence of the hard disks incorrectly (and you may not have corrected it). For example, GRUB may regard /dev/hda as hd0 and /dev/sda as hd1, though the boot sequence in the BIOS is the other way round (SCSI before IDE).

In this case, correct the hard disks during the boot process with the help of the GRUB command line. After the system has booted, edit the file device.map to apply the new mapping permanently. Then check the GRUB device names in the files /boot/grub/menu.lst and /boot/grub/device.map and reinstall the boot loader with the following command:

grub --batch < /etc/grub.conf
Booting Windows from the Second Hard Disk

Some operating systems, such as Windows, can only boot from the first hard disk. If such an operating system is installed on a hard disk other than the first hard disk, you can effect a logical change for the respective menu entry.

title windows
   map (hd0) (hd1)
   map (hd1) (hd0)

In this example, Windows is started from the second hard disk. For this purpose, the logical order of the hard disks is changed with map. This change does not affect the logic within the GRUB menu file. Therefore, the second hard disk must be specified for chainloader.