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Situation

I have a very complex situation. Basically I have an o.s. on a SSD which I run on my home PC through eSata. That's ok, I use it on a daily basis, the o.s. runs fine, the SSD have no issues (eSata should have TRIMM also), we are speaking about the model Samsung 840 Pro, I put it in an hdd case which can run on eSata (with an usb2 for power supply) or on USB 3 (with usb2 for power).

To summarize up: eSata + USB2 => on home PC (works fine), USB3 + USB2 => on laptop (not working fine)

The SSD is partitioned in this way: 8MB empty (raw) partition used as padding (avoid some issues with SSD), ~120GB EXT4 partition with debian on it

I use this strategy because I want to work on a single o.s., the laptop is something I don't use often, but when I'm not at home, I would like to be able to keep working outside.

The issue

If I boot the ssd on laptop, I can see only a black screen with a prompt, but I can't write (I don't even think the o.s. boot record has been reached), with ctrl + alt + canc the computer boots the other laptop hdd (windows).

Important note: Previously this configuration worked fine, the SSD was different (but the hdd case was the same), it was a crucial M4 and I missed the padding partition (I think that's what's causing the issue).

Important note 2: The SSD has a GRUB instance installed on the same Debian partition (I always boot through it), but it's obviously not running.

The temporary solution

I solved in this way: installed Super Grub Disk on a pendrive, from there I did "Live Swap" => Easy Swap, to move to "first drive" the SSD. Then I runned "Activate Partition", chosen the SSD and chosen the second partition (the 120 GB partition).
Finally, I run Boot linux, and it started correctly, booting the Debian GRUB, and then the o.s. started correctly.

Why this is happening and how can I avoid using a pendrive with grub to correctly run the SSD? I have only 4 USB slots on my laptop and 2 are used for the SSD, one for the mouse... I really want to keep one free ;)

Update 1

I've been suggested to run bootinfoscript, in this gist you can find the result of the command, reported here for completeness.

Boot Info Script 0.61      [1 April 2012]

Identifying MBRs...
Computing Partition Table of /dev/sda...
Computing Partition Table of /dev/sdb...
Searching sda1 for information... 
Searching sda2 for information... 
Searching sda3 for information... 
Searching sda5 for information... 
Searching sda4 for information... 
Searching sdb1 for information... 
Searching sdb2 for information... 
Searching sdc for information... 

Finished. The results are in the file "RESULTS1.txt"
located in "/home/francesco/Downloads/bootinfoscript-061/".

                  Boot Info Script 0.61      [1 April 2012]


============================= Boot Info Summary: ===============================

 => Windows is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda.
 => No boot loader is installed in the MBR of /dev/sdb.

sda1: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  
    Boot files:        /bootmgr /BOOT/BCD

sda2: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  Windows 7
    Boot files:        /Windows/System32/winload.exe

sda3: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       Extended Partition
    Boot sector type:  -
    Boot sector info: 

sda5: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  According to the info in the boot sector, sda5 starts 
                       at sector 2048.
    Operating System:  
    Boot files:        

sda4: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  
    Boot files:        /bootmgr /boot/bcd

sdb1: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       
    Boot sector type:  -
    Boot sector info: 
    Mounting failed:   mount: unknown filesystem type ''

sdb2: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ext4
    Boot sector type:  Grub2 (v1.99)
    Boot sector info:  Grub2 (v1.99) is installed in the boot sector of sdb2 
                       and looks at sector 42235976 of the same hard drive 
                       for core.img. core.img is at this location and looks 
                       for (,msdos2)/boot/grub on this drive.
    Mounting failed:   mount: unknown filesystem type ''
mount: /dev/sdb2 already mounted or sdb2 busy

sdc: ___________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       vfat
    Boot sector type:  SYSLINUX 4.03 2010-10-22 ........>..sr>.......sr.:...0...~.....~...f...M.f.f....f..0~....>E}.u......
    Boot sector info:  Syslinux looks at sector 35744 of /dev/sdc for its 
                       second stage. SYSLINUX is installed in the  directory. 
                       No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Boot file info:      Grub Legacy (v) in the file /ubninit looks at sector 
                       700 of the same hard drive for the stage2 file, but no 
                       stage2 files can be found at this location.
    Operating System:  
    Boot files:        /syslinux.cfg /ldlinux.sys

============================ Drive/Partition Info: =============================

Drive: sda _____________________________________________________________________

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Partition  Boot  Start Sector    End Sector  # of Sectors  Id System

/dev/sda1    *          2,048       206,847       204,800   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS
/dev/sda2             206,848   130,230,271   130,023,424   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS
/dev/sda3         130,230,272   927,825,919   797,595,648   f W95 Extended (LBA)
/dev/sda5         130,232,320   927,825,919   797,593,600   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS
/dev/sda4         927,825,920   976,769,023    48,943,104  27 Hidden NTFS (Recovery Environment)


Drive: sdb _____________________________________________________________________

Disk /dev/sdb: 128.0 GB, 128035676160 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 15566 cylinders, total 250069680 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Partition  Boot  Start Sector    End Sector  # of Sectors  Id System

/dev/sdb1               2,048        16,383        14,336  83 Linux
/dev/sdb2    *         16,384   250,068,991   250,052,608  83 Linux


"blkid" output: ________________________________________________________________

Device           UUID                                   TYPE       LABEL

/dev/sda1        FA6C09876C09403D                       ntfs       SYSTEM
/dev/sda2        9878A3D078A3AC06                       ntfs       
/dev/sda4        5CDE50ECDE50BFC6                       ntfs       SAMSUNG_REC
/dev/sda5        0AA83289A8327375                       ntfs       
/dev/sdb2        472ab335-fb07-4e24-90c1-d54758f4b7d9   ext4       Deb
/dev/sdc         48E6-24B9                              vfat       KEYBIG

================================ Mount points: =================================

Device           Mount_Point              Type       Options

/dev/disk/by-uuid/472ab335-fb07-4e24-90c1-d54758f4b7d9 /                        ext4       (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro,user_xattr,barrier=1,data=ordered)


============================== sdc/syslinux.cfg: ===============================

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
default menu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

================== sdc: Location of files loaded by Syslinux: ==================

           GiB - GB             File                                 Fragment(s)

            ?? = ??             ldlinux.sys                                    1
            ?? = ??             menu.c32                                       1
            ?? = ??             syslinux.cfg                                   1

=============== sdc: Version of COM32(R) files used by Syslinux: ===============

 menu.c32                           :  COM32R module (v4.xx)

=============================== StdErr Messages: ===============================

xz: (stdin): Compressed data is corrupt
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1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Looks like the issue is that I don't have installed GRUB on MBR for my SSD. I have no idea how my home PC is able to boot it, but installing grub on the MBR solved the issue, now I can boot on laptop without pendrive too.

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