Monday, April 07, 2008

Messed up the MBR on the MacBook

Because I'll be away from my desktop (and therefore Foresight) for a month starting tomorrow, I'm looking at putting Foresight on the laptop.

So, today, I use Parted Magic to make three more Primary partitions on the MacBook having reduced the other partition sizes by a total of nearly 18 GB.

The whole rearrangement took about 3 hours and seemed to go without problems. However when I went to start up, only Mac OSX was offered as an option to boot to and rEFIt was gone.

So, I installed rEFIt without problem and started up again. Now, in addition to the Apple I got a Legacy OS box as an option (instead of a Penguin). Clicking on this gave me a "Missing Operating System" error.

Going into the rEFIt partitioning tool showed me that, in the GPT table, partition 3 (Ubuntu root) was labelled as "EFI System (FAT)". This short report suggests this may be due to this partition being labeled as bootable. However, the suggested remedy, while it removed the EFI label, didn't bring back the Penguin.

I had also seen that this problem may be due to Grub being messed up in the MBR so I reinstalled Ubuntu (didn't format /home) and this brought everything back.

In retrospect I should have looked at just installing Grub in partition 3. I think I probably could have accessed it through a Live CD. Something to keep in mind for the next time.

Edit: (7-04-2008)
Just as an addendum, here's a list of the apps I had to re-install after I got Ubuntu re-installed:
1. Yakuake (Ubuntu repo)
2. Fusion-icon from here.
3. AWN from here.
4. Add preferred DNS servers to /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf
5. Opera from .
6. Madwifi from here .

and that's it. Essentially, I got everything back up and running in less than 2 hours. However I'm sure it could have beebn very much shorter had I just tried to replace Grub in the MBR.

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