[Wolves] My brain's stopped working

Alex Willmer alex at moreati.org.uk
Thu Feb 14 11:48:10 GMT 2008

On Thu, 2008-02-14 at 10:11 +0000, ArchLinuxUser dick_turpin wrote:
> Hi folks
> What am I missing? It must be something obvious?
> I have two hard drives in my machine at home 1 has openSUSE the other
> ArchLinux (The distro's are irrelevant really) both hard drives have
> grub installed to their respective MBR's when I power on, the systems
> wants/will boot openSUSE every time and does not get upset by the
> ArchLinux.

The BIOS looks for boot devices in order, until it finds a boot loader.
The SuSE hard disk is first in the boot order (eg it's primary on the
1st IDE channel, whilst the ArchLinux drive is slave or primary on the
2nd channel). Once found by the BIOS the GRUB MBR installed by SuSE
boots SuSE, it has no knowledge of ArchLinux.

> If I stick 'smart boot manager' (Floppy) in and scan the partitions
> (Ctrl+i) it sees and will boot Arch or SUSE which ever I choose to
> their respective Grub boot loaders.

Smart boot manager must scan every potential boot device.

> I tried the openSUSE bootloader wizard thingy-ma-jig but that refused
> to detect the Arch

Does the OpenSUSE wizard know about other disks? Perhaps it only looks
at partitions on whichever device it finds /.

> Is it something simple like the MBR on the Arch disk needs nukeing?
> Its not a life or death problem just need the old grey matter jogging.

Three suggestions:
1. If the BIOS has one, use the one time boot menu to select the
ArchLinux disk as the boot device. It'll be something like F8 during
2. Swap the disk cables, or change the boot order in the BIOS, making
the ArchLinux disk the first boot device.
3. Manually edit /boot/grub/menu.lst on the SuSE disk, add an entry for
the ArchLinux disk.


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