16 January 2006

Installing SuSE 10.0 Linux 2.6.13-15.7 on an IBM laptop X31 - GRUB fails, error 18

While installating SuSE 10.0 Linux on an IBM Laptop X31, after installation and then at first boot, I received a GRUB error 18.

My first effort was to reinstall SuSE Linux. Same problem.

While researching the GRUB error, I noted several entries that discussed a problem with older versions of a BIOS being used with HDDs that were too big (more than 1GB). Given that the hardware (all stock) and BIOS I was using were up-to-date, this didn’t seem overly relevant.

For kicks, I decided to try forcing the boot image into the first 1024MB of the HDD. As my SWAP was the first partition on the drive, and it was about 1.5GB (768MB RAM), I thought perhaps this might be causing the problem (my “/boot” area, as part of the default “/” partition, was well above the first 1024MB of the HDD).

Ah ha! While this wasn’t overly scientific, I can now say that after shuffling around the partitions, my IBM X31 laptop now boots with Linux.

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