Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Computer is Making Me Crazy

Grub Error 17

This afternoon, Isaac and I installed a new video card on the so-called "good" computer which has Windows Vista on its main hard drive. It also has Ubuntu Feisty Fawn installed on another disk, so it can be booted in either Windows or Ubuntu.

While we had the computer open, we saw the wires for the headset jack on the front of the computer which has never worked. So we decided to plug them in, and also to plug in a card reader that was disconnected for reasons too complicated to explain right now.

Somehow, when we rebooted, something caused a GRUB error, and now the computer won't boot in either Windows or Ubuntu. It says, "GRUB loading" and then something about GRUB loading stage 1.5, and then, Error 17. We took the video card out and unplugged the things we had plugged in, but the error remains.

I've spent the evening reading about Error 17, including the story of someone else who had this problem after installing a video card. Apparently the GRUB will have to be repaired or reinstalled somehow. "Error 17" means it's unable to read boot-up instructions in the place where it's looking for them.

I've already tried booting up the computer with a live Unbuntu CD. I've typed various powerful incantations and spells into the terminal window but no magic has occurred.

Don't worry if you don't understand all this about GRUB, etc. I don't understand it very well myself! What it really means is I am just geeky enough to get myself into trouble that I really am not prepared to handle. I hope Keely's boyfriend will have some helpful suggestions.


Michael Leddy said...

Hi Genevieve,

Every time I think I finally know a bit about computers, I learn about a problem (like this one) that reminds me of little I know.

The Ubuntu forums have many threads about Error 17. One person says that "running e2fsck solved it." I'm guessing that e2fsck is a program that you can run from the terminal. Here's another thread that looks helpful. Maybe you've seen these suggestions already though. Don't give up!

Genevieve said...

Thanks, Michael. I saw that about e2fsck, too. It is a command that is used to check and repair secondary file systems. It has quite a few possible options so I'm need to read it carefully and figure out which options might be good to attach. Last night, I decided to stop messing with things until I had my wits about me again.

I see that in the thread you posted, it says to check whether the hard drive detection is set on auto in Bios. It is currently set on auto, so I will try tinkering with that also.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.