"Grub Hard Disk Error"

A minor technical note, if you don't mind.

The error message is "Grub Hard Disk Error", about which the Grub manual has this to say:

"The stage2 or stage1.5 is being read from a hard disk, and the attempt to determine the size and geometry of the hard disk failed."

To resolve this problem, the manual then suggests that:

"The general way that the Stage 1.5 handles errors is to print an error number in the form Error num and then halt. Pressing <CTRL>-<ALT>-<DEL> will reboot."

... which isn't really a suggestion at all.

What's really going on is that your BIOS is buggy, and it's lying to GRUB about the geometry of your hard disk. You need to update your motherboard's BIOS with the latest version from the manufacturer.

You can can do this by getting the latest version of the BIOS and your manufacturer's reflashing utility from their website, copying it onto a bootable floppy, and running it according to the manufacturer's instructions.

You can download a FreeDOS boot disk image for this, if you don't have a DOS boot floppy available.

- Mike Hoye, 2007