Saturday, May 19, 2007

Installing Ubuntu on an Older PC - Grub Error 17/18

I was trying to install Ubuntu on the wife's PC and I must have done it about 20 times before I got it to boot. At first I was getting "Error 17" from Grub, then after a bit of tweaking I started getting the so much better "Error 18". Wtf? Shouldn't installers be able to take care of this automatically? Apparently the issue was using an older BIOS with a newer HD and the BIOS cylinder limit (funny things since this same PC worked fine with Windows XP). So anyway, I finally found the work around to be:

1. Use the manual partition process in the Ubuntu installer

2. Create a 32mb partition at the begging of the disk

3. Set that 32mb partition to be mounted as /boot

4. Create a second partition after that to hold your Ubuntu install and a third partition for your swap

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