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Boot loader (GRUB) Error 17

Peter Rooke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 817

My (GRUB) boot loader has suddenly started giving me an �Error 17�. I�ve found out that this means that the loader cannot recognise the file system type, so I�ll need to change the grub.conf file. Problem is all I get is the error message, and the machine hangs � I don�t have my distribution CD, or even a recovery floppy. Any Ideas?

My concern is that I don�t know why, or how this has happened � I don�t recall changing anything in the BIOS, or the Linux / Windows partitions. It just started crashing � at the worst time possible � of course!

Regards Pete
Stefan Wagner
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 1923

Hm. Hm, Hmmm.
I'm not sure if it's got to do with err 17, but there is a phenomen with some bioses and harddrives - I remember.
If you choose LBA-mode the harddrive isn't recognized at boottime.

Most bioses provide selection between different hd-layouts (large, medium, ...) which all seem to work. I don't know details.
But changing from one selection to another solved once a problem for me.

I'm not an expert in this area (as you see) but you could try it.
Peter Rooke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 817

Thanks Stefan, but could not work out why GRUB (or myself) went so very wrong.

Installed another Linux Distro � DSL, and when I was asked to install a boot loader � I picked LILO. Damm small linux (DSL) looks good.
Avinash Rawana
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2006
Posts: 31
I've never had that problem outside of switching drive orders sometimes.

I usually just re-install Grub from a rescue cd.

DSL is very good.

It's a great way to use linux wherever you go..on USB drive


--------------<br />Avinash A. Ramana<br />NYIT Student<br /><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a><br />
David O'Meara

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

I was just about to post a very similar question - the commenst about BIOS and drive types sounds like me.

I'm preparing a home machine as an Ubuntu server (ie minimal install, headless etc) but I cannot boot from CD on the target machine. What I did was move the drive to my primary machine, disconnecting all of the other drives except CDROM and target drive, installed and setup the various bits (eg ssl for remote admin) then moved the drive back to the machine where it will live.

After restarting, I was able to ping the box and ssh to it, then tried CVS and... nothing. I then tried ssh and ping again and... nothing. I plugged in a monitor and keyboard and restarted, then found that the BIOS had reset. After doing the minimal amount to get the BIOS started, I got the GRUB Error 17.

I had considered the filesystem type problem and was about the reinstall and make the /boot partition ext2 rather than ext3 (I was also using the virual drive manager thingy, I forget the name) but I'll try putting the drive settings in BIOS first and see how I go.
David O'Meara

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Yep, setting the drive to AUTO/LARGE appears to have worked. Nice job Stefan
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Boot loader (GRUB) Error 17
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