ubuntu 10.10 installation to external hard drive

Asked by RICHARD ESTRADA on 2011-04-17

PC with no internal mass memory storage.
Installation done from a USB key to a USB hard drive.
No internal disk => no /dev/sda !
Enumeration order is probably undefined between USB key and USB HD => exchange of sdb and sdc
grub.cfg refers good partitions UUID for both Ubuntu / and swap (independent of sd# numbering)
Get grub2 menu. Then "error syntax"
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Original question
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 Installed Ubuntu 10.10 to my external hard drive for the first time. Used the whole hd to install as there is nothing else there. Looked as installation went ok until restarted and took me to grub 1.98 menu.. Don't know what to do from there. There's no internal hard drive but computer is intel and came with windows 7 pre-installed. It does not have it anymore but don't know if that makes any difference. Please help. This is so hard.

Question information

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Answered
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Ubuntu grub Edit question
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Last query:
2011-04-19
Last reply:
2011-04-19

What happens when you press the enter key when the GRUB menu comes up?

RICHARD ESTRADA (tulioestrada) said : #2

IT GOES BACK TO GRUB>.
When the computer is booting up it gives:
error command several times
error syntax
and then takes me back to grub>

You may be able to get the newly installed system to boot by reinstalling GRUB2 to the Master Boot Record. See https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#Reinstalling%20from%20LiveCD. Remember that you should be able to access the Internet from the live CD system, which should help you in following those instructions. If you have trouble understanding those instructions, or you perform them but you get the same error when you attempt to boot up, then please open a Terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T or Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and run this command (by copying it from your web browser or email and pasting it into the Terminal, then pressing enter):

df -h; mount; sudo fdisk -l

Then select all the text from the Terminal (Edit > Select All), copy it to the clipboard (Edit > Copy), and paste it here. Then run bootinfoscript by following the instructions at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1291280, and post entire contents of RESULTS.TXT at http://paste.ubuntu.com, and provide the URL here for accessing that post.

RICHARD ESTRADA (tulioestrada) said : #4

To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
See "man sudo_root" for details.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ df -h; mount; sudo fdisk -l
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
aufs 1.5G 97M 1.4G 7% /
none 1.5G 304K 1.5G 1% /dev
/dev/sdb 3.8G 696M 3.1G 19% /cdrom
/dev/loop0 661M 661M 0 100% /rofs
none 1.5G 712K 1.5G 1% /dev/shm
tmpfs 1.5G 9.6M 1.5G 1% /tmp
none 1.5G 88K 1.5G 1% /var/run
none 1.5G 0 1.5G 0% /var/lock
/dev/sdc1 450G 4.7G 423G 2% /media/bb43fd24-b9fb-4cd7-aaba-9802d51695a4
aufs on / type aufs (rw)
none on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
none on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=0620)
/dev/sdb on /cdrom type vfat (rw,relatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=cp437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro)
/dev/loop0 on /rofs type squashfs (ro,noatime)
none on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
none on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
none on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
none on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
gvfs-fuse-daemon on /home/ubuntu/.gvfs type fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon (rw,nosuid,nodev,user=ubuntu)
/dev/sdc1 on /media/bb43fd24-b9fb-4cd7-aaba-9802d51695a4 type ext4 (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks)

Disk /dev/sdb: 4007 MB, 4007657472 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1018 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 7688 * 512 = 3936256 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0009e87d

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 ? 419273 451359 123339962 f4 SpeedStor
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(793, 22, 13) logical=(419272, 58, 21)
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(870, 235, 61) logical=(451358, 102, 48)
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb2 ? 49193 92408 166116794 10 OPUS
Partition 2 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(205, 7, 0) logical=(49192, 74, 54)
Partition 2 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(870, 235, 50) logical=(92407, 21, 7)
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb3 ? 29345 29345 5 74 Unknown
Partition 3 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(367, 66, 47) logical=(29344, 109, 13)
Partition 3 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(370, 32, 37) logical=(29344, 109, 22)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sdc: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0002cd95

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 1 59655 479170560 83 Linux
/dev/sdc2 59655 60802 9212929 5 Extended
/dev/sdc5 59655 60802 9212928 82 Linux swap / Solaris
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$
 I tried reinstalling it yesterday following the instructions you game me and still nothing happened. I will try one more time.

RICHARD ESTRADA (tulioestrada) said : #5

To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
See "man sudo_root" for details.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ df -h; mount; sudo fdisk -l
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
aufs 1.5G 97M 1.4G 7% /
none 1.5G 304K 1.5G 1% /dev
/dev/sdb 3.8G 696M 3.1G 19% /cdrom
/dev/loop0 661M 661M 0 100% /rofs
none 1.5G 712K 1.5G 1% /dev/shm
tmpfs 1.5G 9.6M 1.5G 1% /tmp
none 1.5G 88K 1.5G 1% /var/run
none 1.5G 0 1.5G 0% /var/lock
/dev/sdc1 450G 4.7G 423G 2% /media/bb43fd24-b9fb-4cd7-aaba-9802d51695a4
aufs on / type aufs (rw)
none on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
none on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=0620)
/dev/sdb on /cdrom type vfat (rw,relatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=cp437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro)
/dev/loop0 on /rofs type squashfs (ro,noatime)
none on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
none on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
none on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
none on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
gvfs-fuse-daemon on /home/ubuntu/.gvfs type fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon (rw,nosuid,nodev,user=ubuntu)
/dev/sdc1 on /media/bb43fd24-b9fb-4cd7-aaba-9802d51695a4 type ext4 (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks)

Disk /dev/sdb: 4007 MB, 4007657472 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1018 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 7688 * 512 = 3936256 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0009e87d

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 ? 419273 451359 123339962 f4 SpeedStor
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(793, 22, 13) logical=(419272, 58, 21)
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(870, 235, 61) logical=(451358, 102, 48)
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb2 ? 49193 92408 166116794 10 OPUS
Partition 2 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(205, 7, 0) logical=(49192, 74, 54)
Partition 2 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(870, 235, 50) logical=(92407, 21, 7)
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb3 ? 29345 29345 5 74 Unknown
Partition 3 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(367, 66, 47) logical=(29344, 109, 13)
Partition 3 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(370, 32, 37) logical=(29344, 109, 22)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sdc: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0002cd95

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 1 59655 479170560 83 Linux
/dev/sdc2 59655 60802 9212929 5 Extended
/dev/sdc5 59655 60802 9212928 82 Linux swap / Solaris
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sdb: 4007 MB, 4007657472 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1018 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 7688 * 512 = 3936256 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0009e87d

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 ? 419273 451359 123339962 f4 SpeedStor
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(793, 22, 13) logical=(419272, 58, 21)
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(870, 235, 61) logical=(451358, 102, 48)
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb2 ? 49193 92408 166116794 10 OPUS
Partition 2 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(205, 7, 0) logical=(49192, 74, 54)
Partition 2 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(870, 235, 50) logical=(92407, 21, 7)
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb3 ? 29345 29345 5 74 Unknown
Partition 3 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(367, 66, 47) logical=(29344, 109, 13)
Partition 3 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(370, 32, 37) logical=(29344, 109, 22)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sdc: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0002cd95

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 1 59655 479170560 83 Linux
/dev/sdc2 59655 60802 9212929 5 Extended
/dev/sdc5 59655 60802 9212928 82 Linux swap / Solaris
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt
mount: special device /dev/sdXY does not exist
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt
mount: /dev/sdc1 already mounted or /mnt busy
mount: according to mtab, /dev/sdc1 is already mounted on /mnt
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sdc
Installation finished. No error reported.
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$

delance (olivier-delance) said : #6

Are you now able to boot ? What are error messages, boot behavior ?

I get the same error
Error command unknown
Error syntax
And then grub>

delance (olivier-delance) said : #8

Strange. Looks like your boot configuration file is inconsistent.
Could you run following procedure:
--------------
Provide data about boot configuration

There is a standard script provided to analyse boot configuration. Could you download script at:

   http://sourceforge.net/projects/bootinfoscript/

Then in a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) run command:

    sudo bash ./boot_info_script055.sh

This will produce a file named: RESULTS.txt. Paste content of this file in http://paste.ubuntu.com/ and provide in this thread the link to Web page. Please don't post file directly in thread, else it will make thread difficult to read.

RICHARD ESTRADA (tulioestrada) said : #9

Here is the result. I hope this helps.

http://paste.ubuntu.com/595814/

delance (olivier-delance) said : #10

grub.cfg looks OK as all other results from RESULTS.txt
Could you provide the first error messages ?
You should raise a bug. Having a PC with any internal disk is very unusual, and perhaps it's not correctly managed by Grub2.
You can also request help from ubuntuforums.org

I inserted super grub disk to try to fix it and it rebooted. I still get error command unknown only once now but I have restarted it three times and so far ok. Should I mark it resolved even though I think this is only temporary

Inserted rescatux disk, not super grub.

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask RICHARD ESTRADA for more information if necessary.

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