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I have a problem booting from a hdd. I used to have it as my main drive before I bought an SSD, so I had been able to boot from it. But for some reason, now, half a year later, I can't get it to work.

I completely erased it, deleting data and partitioning (using EASEUS Partition Master), then I installed Kubuntu (without changing anything in the installer), but it simply won't boot up. It always boots the drive with Windows and when I unplug this drive, it only gives me an error "PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable", I guess it's trying to boot from LAN.

I tried installing the system on a freshly deleted drive, without any other drives plugged in the pc, but the problems persist.

This is how the drives look now (first one has Windows 7 installed, the second one Kubuntu): enter image description here

I am lost. I mean, after doing a fresh wipe and a clean install without altering anything, it should work. But it doesn't. What can be wrong here?

Thanks

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Could it be that you made it GPT? –  user3463 Sep 10 '12 at 21:08
    
Well, when I installed openSUSE earlier (which did not work either, meh), it required GPT, so I thought that since they are both based on the same kernel, it ought to be alright. –  Martin Melka Sep 10 '12 at 21:27
    
Have tou installed a boot loader in the drive's MBR? –  terdon Sep 11 '12 at 11:15
    
The installer won't do that for me? No, after wiping the disk clean, i didn’t install anything beside the OS itself. Does that mean that I should? –  Martin Melka Sep 13 '12 at 10:10

2 Answers 2

I think a good place to start with is a drive test. There are a variety of bootable disk utilities to test the health of Hard Drives. One simple but effective tool I like to use is Drive Fitness Test. This will tool will essentially go through the drive checking for bad sectors as well as performing a number of other checks in the process.

If DFT reports that the drive is failing (diagnostics in red box) you should check to see if the drive is still under warranty and if possible file an RMA claim to get it replaced.

If it does not report any problems (green ok) then you don't need to worry for the time being about Hard Drive health and should look elsewhere for the problem.

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The drive can be read and written to when using windows (if it is appropriately partitioned), so I don't think it's HW fault :/ –  Martin Melka Sep 10 '12 at 21:34
    
Just because a drive can be read/written to doesn't mean that it is okay to keep using. This test wouldn't effect any of your data, so really, there is almost no reason not to go through and test hardware. –  jmreicha Sep 11 '12 at 14:56

The current setup is using two firmware modes of booting - MBR for Windows and EFI for Ubuntu.

The easiest solution is to change format of GPT disk (Ubuntu) - delete all partitions and then change to MBR style.

Then reinstall Ubuntu.

It is very important to boot CD/DVD/USB installation media for Ubuntu using MBR style as if media is booted EFI style, installation procedure will expect GPT disk as destination !

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So, are you saying I should attempt to install Ubuntu on a MBR disk? –  Martin Melka Sep 14 '12 at 9:52

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