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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
How to get rid of Grub?
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Donncha

Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 08:48    Post subject:  How to get rid of Grub?
Subject description: To make a fresh start and uninstall an old Puppy and kill Grub
 

I am old fashioned enough to believe an OS should be installed to hard drive (our dog eats flash drives) and have read “How not to install Puppy” countless times and was just not convinced and a few weeks ago installed Lucid to the hard drive of an oldish PC!! This PC has XP installed and as Lucid had problems I need to get rid of it and install Tahr probably frugally.
I am not too worried about this installation as there is a vast amount of help available on this forum and elsewhere.
But I want to start with a clean slate and get rid of all reference to Lucid. I don’t see this as being difficult as I think I can delete files and probably format the partition Lucid is on. However I have no idea how to get rid of Grub! I don’t understand Grub and indeed the less I have to do with it the better! When I open the PC at the moment I get a multiple choice blue screen and buried amongst the choices are Puppy and Windows. I am terrified to touch this as twice in my life playing with Linux and thus Grub I have messed up the Windows MBR or other boot arrangements leading to having to reinstall Windows. Reinstalling Windows has never been a problem for me – over the years it has become routine – but in 2017 Microsoft made the re-activation of XP almost impossible and I suspect now in 2018 it is impossible. I need to keep XP on that PC and am terrified of the prospect of doing something that messes up its ability to boot normally.
Therefore I am seeking advice on how to eliminate all traces of Linux and return it to an empty palette with just Windows XP and booting normally without dialogs.
I would appreciate step by step instructions for someone whose ability to understand linuxspeak is still rather limited!
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 12419
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 10:33    Post subject:  

Hi Donncha.

XP has its own booter, and grub4dos can live in parallel with it. How to chain grub
from the WhineDose booter is explained somewhere on the web by a computer
community group. At least that is where I read and used this possibility perhaps
nine years ago, when I started Puppying.

Edit -- Having reread your paragraph, I would suggest: if you can boot your XP
from the Grub panel. leave the Grub alone. If you don't know what you are doing,
removing it could do harm, whereas leaving it obviously will not. In the Grub install
application in Puppies, there is an option to add to an existing menu.lst, instead of
zapping it and starting over.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you absolutely do not want to disturb your aging XP installation, burn your Puppy
ISO to CD or DVD, and boot from that. You can operate any Puppy entirely from
DVD, and the Puppy will never write to your hard drive.

A DVD is preferable because it boots faster than a CD; also you can store more
Puppy sessions on it than on a CD. A DVD has six times more room. so it does
not fill up as fast as a CD.

Just a few thoughts. Good luck.

BFN.

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TyroBGinner

Joined: 30 Mar 2016
Posts: 218

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 14:54    Post subject:  

If you want to remove any sorts of puppy linux on your computer, just remove the corresponding files and directories. Those files are the three or four files of a frugal installation - the sfs and save files and vmlinuz and initrd.gz and similar. The grub bootloader should be retained as you do not seem confident with putting a new one on. Just modify your menu.lst file to make the Windows XP installation first and set the autoload time to one second or so. All this can be done with loading the menu.lst file in a text editor and moving the Windows XP stanza to first in the file. There are many discussions on how to edit the file - just search for them.

It is surprising that you have to get an authorization to reinstall Windows XP. I have never done that...I just booted the installation CD and proceeded with the installation. Speaking of optical discs, they are much slower than hard drive access, so just use operating systems based on the hard drive.

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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2475
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 15:54    Post subject: What are you talking about?  

Hi Donncha,

All the previous posts have provided good advice. But they assume that your computer's bootloader is grub4dos. You, however, wrote:

"...However I have no idea how to get rid of Grub! I don’t understand Grub and indeed the less I have to do with it the better! When I open the PC at the moment I get a multiple choice blue screen and buried amongst the choices are Puppy and Windows. I am terrified to touch this as twice in my life playing with Linux and thus Grub I have messed up the Windows MBR or other boot arrangements leading to having to reinstall Windows.... (H)ow to eliminate all traces of Linux and return it to an empty palette with just Windows XP and booting normally without dialogs." Emphasis supplied.

Which makes me wonder (1) How did you install Lucid? (2) Is it a "Full Install"? in that you are thinking you have to "probably format the partition Lucid is on"? (3) Is your boot loader Grub or Grub4dos? Do you have more than one bootloader? --In there some bootloader chains loads another?

(4) How is your hard-drive divided-- that is, are XP and Lucid on the same partition? If you have a frugal install of Lucid on the same partition as XP, formatting that partition is both unnecessary and will unnecessarily delete XP.

(5) Are there any other operating systems on the computer?

What computer do you have: Make and Model? Can it boot from a USB-Key? The reason i ask this is there is a really safe way to proceed if it can. Acquire a USB-Key, as small as possible. Boot into Lucid and run Menu>System>grub4dos. Instruct it to write the bootloader to the USB-Key. It will create a menu.lst on that Key which will have Lucid as the first OS you can boot into; the second Windows XP, if that is the only other OS; and every other OS and Windows XP just below Lucid in the order their respective partitions appear on your computer. If you can boot into each system from the USB-Key, it should be safe to run grub4dos from Lucid again and allow it to install to your computer's hard-drive. The same conditions apply after installing Tahrpup.

If you eliminate Lucid and add install Tahrpup, you'll still end up with a dialog so that you can choose whether to boot into XP or Tahrpup. Grub4dos will list frugal installs first, then Full installs.

By the way, you shouldn't have to do anything to your XP. installation. But if you do, there are programs for recording your current "Authentication Code". Save it, for example, to the USB-Key. After reinstalling XP, you can copy that code into your new installation. Sorry, it's been a while since I had anything to do with XP, so I've forgotten the details. But I'll hunt for them if needed.

mikesLr
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Donncha

Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 17:21    Post subject:  


Hi all
I wrote this on Word as a response to MusherO and have since seen your valuable posts that will give me plenty to think about -- but it will be tomorrow as i need my 8 hours Very Happy

Bonsoir MusherO
Thank you for your interest in my problem. I am embarrassed to have attracted the attention of such a distinguished puppeteer and having read a few hundred of your posts I can only assure you that I am not in your league, Sir! Embarassed

However I do take on board everything you say as you used language I was familiar with. I was economical with information in my original post for fear of obscuring my problem. Perhaps I can explain now further?

1. To kill off CD/DVD subject. I no longer use them. My XP Computer does have a drive but my new PC does not. I suppose in an emergency situation I could borrow a USB CD Drive. These days I just use flash and just regret all the money I have spent over the years on now obsolete hardware (including about 1000 VHS Video cassettes and probably 2000 diskettes and before that the big real floppies)!

2. To kill off deploying a distro. I really don’t have a problem in this area. I am very brave and do things I may not understand but I have plenty of advice in this online and if I have a problem I know where to turn. I have tried out LICK and rather like it. I have looked at EasyBCD which wont work on the XP machine. I was trained by Jemmimah in my past life and over the years have experimented with Linux distros and in especial used her Puppeee on bigger computers than she designed it for. She was able to explain matters without any teckno-linux speak and I have retained some of this knowledge. Sometimes it has got me into trouble but when things went wrong I became proficient in the use of tools like fixmbr and fixboot and the ultimate windows reinstallation which is no longer an option for me with XP.

3. To kill off my wife, I mean Grub! I realise I can leave Grub alone as you suggest and personally I have no difficulty using the grub dialog or if required sometimes F8, safe mode or F12 and so forth. I am never in a hurry. My wife is a different matter. She is impatient and wants to switch on a computer and go and make coffee and come back and start writing. I live alone (in France) and wife and daughter visit when they can from UK. If they need to use either of my computers I want them to boot straight up into Windows with the right key-board and the English language which they use as defaults.

4. Another reason why Grub must go. With Windows I use a wireless Dvorak custom keyboard and this wont work during the Grub boot process so I have to have a keyboard connected. For my wife I need to remove my language setups and it is easier to leave it with Querty and English by default and I don’t mind resetting these when I login. My wireless keyboard works with BIOS (or MBR??) so I don’t see why it shouldn’t work with Grub!! I have made a vow stop using Windows and not just for Lent. My wife can’t conceive of life without windows.

5. How to remove Grub. I suspect you know! But maybe you are reluctant to advise in case my XP becomes unusable as you suggest may happen and I bad mouth you. I have googled the question and see plenty of advice and if I have to I will go it alone and bear responsibility for the consequences! However, I would still appreciate any help or advice before I jump in the deep end and promise not to blame anyone but myself.

6. My fallback position. If I end up by screwing XP it is not a total disaster. I do have a slipstreamed XP with all its updates that does not require registration nor activation. It’s in Spanish (not a problem for us) but will install English Office 2003 which is all we really need XP for on this PC.

7. I am sorry this got so wordy. I am a wordy person! Rolling Eyes

Donncha
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dancytron

Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 1092

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 17:33    Post subject:  

Try from terminal

"ms-sys --mbr /dev/your_device"

This should restore the original boot record so that it boots directly to Windows XP.

It may be that Lucid doesn't have ms-sys (I don't remember for sure). If it doesn't, then boot from a Tahr-pup CD or thumb-drive and do it.

I agree with everyone else that you shouldn't do this, but . . .
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3919
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 18:20    Post subject:  

Hallo, Donncha.

Mm. I, too, don't understand why your Dvorak keyboard won't work during the bootup process; my wireless keyboard does, and always has done.

If you're worried about re-installing XP and not getting registration.....don't! There's an XP install here which will install fine, and auto-registers itself; you don't need to do a thing with it. I've used this myself more than once in the past and have had zero issues with it. It also includes the POS-ready hack which will ensure still receiving updates until April next year. After that, I really would advise getting shot of XP; there will be no updates of any kind coming from anywhere for it.

And as for getting rid of Grub; if this only ever appeared on your system after installing Puppy, it's almost bound to be Grub4DOS.....unless you went out of your way to install the 'legacy' GRUB?

If it's Grub4DOS, simply remove the directory/folder/partition with Lucid, and just remove the Lucid stanza from the Grub4DOS menu.lst, using Geany. Windows will still boot; the version of Grub4DOS that Puppy uses has always been tweaked to provide a chain-loader into the Windows bootloader itself. As stated above, simply amend the 'time-out' line to read 1 second instead of 10.

That's the way I'd do it, personally. If you need further advice on all this, then, of course, just ask. We'll get you sorted out one way or another; I think there's sufficient combined experience here on the Forum to handle a relatively simple matter like this..!


Mike. Wink

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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2475
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 21:03    Post subject: Booting either Windows or Puppy w/o Choosing from a Menu  

Hi again Donncha,

Having once screwed up my wife's Windows 7 computer trying to install grub4dos Embarassed --she still hasn't forgiven me Crying or Very sad -- I didn't want to take the chance when I got my own. So this is the technique I use. It should work slendedly in your situation.

To boot into Puppies, I plug in a USB-Key. If it's not plugged in, Windows mbr boots into Windows. Easy to set up, and you can start setting it up using Lucid.

As I said in my prior post, after booting into Lucid, plug in a USB-Key and start Menu>System>Grub4dos. Choose the USB-Key as the location into which Grub4dos is to install itself as bootloader and create its Menu.lst of available operating systems.

Reboot your computer, with the Key plugged in but before it can boot up press the key which enables you to go into the computer's bios and change its boot-priority.. Which key that is depends on your computer model. But immediately after pressing the Power-On button, there's usually instructions for (a) Entering Bios and (b) Having a "one-time" boot menu. If you're happy with (b) you don't have to do anything beyond re-setting Windows' Mbr to control booting, setting up Tahrpup and removing Lucid.

Don't panic about changing bios's instructions. If at anytime you are uncertain about anything, you can always Exit without making any changes. Then ask. If we know your computer's make and model, we can probably advise you. And there is often an manual which can be downloaded; sometimes a Youtube video.

Manufacturers often setup boot priority to so that a CD or DVD will be booted before the system "looks" to the hard-drive for bootable systems. In that case "Optical Drive" would have 1st or Top priority; Hard-drive 2nd; and if you have more than one hard-drive, the 2nd hard-drive (the one which doesn't have the Windows which came with the computer) 3rd priority.

It may not have been necessary to have plugged in the USB-Key. But I'm not certain that every computer which can boot from a USB-Key will offer that option if it doesn't sense the presence of a USB-Key.

I changed the bios instructions so that first boot priority was given to the USB-Port; second to a CD/DVD Optical Drive; and 3rd to the Hard-drive (i.e., Windows).

The USB-Key with Grub4dos + its menu.lst is dedicated solely to the purpose of booting into Puppies/DebianDogs. I don't use it for anything else. And, just in case, I made a backup, safely stored where it wouldn't accidently be used.

[Some computers can boot from an SD Card. IF yours can, you could use one instead of a USB-Key. As SD cards don't stick out, they're less likely to get broken when your cat knows the computer off a desk to table Shocked ].

When my Windows 7 computer is powered on, it checks for the USB-Key. Takes a second or two. Not finding it, it checks for the presence of a CD/DVD. Not finding that (another couple seconds) it boots into Windows.

When you wife and daughter are visiting, you can store the USB-Keys where they won't be accidently used. You wife and daughter will boot into Windows. When you get to use the computer, you plug in the key and your computer boots into the Puppy of your choice, set up to use the Dvorak keyboard and such other matters which you prefer. And, like me, when no one else has need of the computer, the USB-Key is left plugged in so it will always just boot into Puppies/DebianDogs.

Having booted in to Lucid via the USB-Key, you can now easily setup a Frugal Install of Tahrpup (or any other Puppy). Just download the ISO you want, left-click it and copy the files from the window which opened into a folder on your hard drive (right-click an empty space, select New>Directory and give it a name). The re-run grub4dos, again having it write to the USB-Key. It will create a menu.lst including the option to boot into Tahrpup or whatever. Once you're sure that OS works, you can delete Lucid --folder, files or entire partition-- and open menu.lst in geany (text editor) and delete its listing.

If Lucid was on a Linux partition, I suggest you create your Tahrpup folder there. If it was on its own, non-Linux partition, I suggest you initially place the Tahrpup folder on the same partition as XP. After deleting the partition on which Lucid was located, reformatted it (Menu>System>gparted) as a Linux Ext3 partition, make a 2nd folder with a unique name for a 2nd instance of Tahrpup, copy the necessary files into that, re-run grub4dos, then delete your first instance of Tahrpup.

If you're OK with manually editing menu.lst, you can do that rather than re-run grub4dos.

mikesLr

After-Thought: About not trying to restore mbr. Leave Grub4dos as the bootloader on the hard-drive. Edit the menu.lst on the hard-drive to delete all the entries EXCEPT Windows. Set "timeout" to "0" -- i.e. at the top of menu.lst is. Perhaps:

# menu.lst produced by grub4dosconfig-v1.9.2
#color blue/cyan yellow/blue white/black cyan/black
splashimage=/splash.xpm
timeout 0
default 0

# Windows
# this entry searches Windows on the HDD and boot it up
title Windows\nBoot up Windows if installed
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map --hook
errorcheck off
find --set-root --ignore-floppies --ignore-cd /bootmgr
chainloader /bootmgr
find --set-root --ignore-floppies --ignore-cd /ntldr
chainloader /ntldr
find --set-root --ignore-floppies --ignore-cd /io.sys
chainloader /io.sys
errorcheck on


p.s. I've never tried that and am guessing. Hopefully someone else can 'fill in the details'. Or you can set up your USB-Key that way to try it.
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 12419
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 23:00    Post subject:  

Donncha,

Even if your Grub remains on disk, there is a line at the top of its configuration file to
activate selection # X automatically after Y seconds. That selection can be WhineDose.
As an example, the following menu.lst configuration file for Grub4Dos will boot
WhineDose automatically after a timeout of 12 seconds.
Quote:
# menu.lst produced by grub4dosconfig-v1.9.2
color white/blue black/cyan white/black cyan/black
# splashimage=/splash.xpm
timeout 12
default 2

title DPup-4.87
root (hd0,4)
kernel (hd0,4)/dpup-4.87/lance/vmlinuz quiet pkeys=cf pmedia=satahd root=/dev/ram0 pdev1=sda5 psubdir="dpup-4.87" max_loop=14 ramdisk_size=196000 pfix=fsck
initrd (hd0,4)dpup-4.87/lance/initrd.gz
boot

title DpupStretch-7.0a1_170909
root (hd0,0)
kernel (hd0,0)/DpupStretch-7.0a1_170909/lance/vmlinuz quiet mem=4G pkeys=cf pmedia=satahd root=/dev/ram0 pdev1=sda1 psubdir="DpupStretch-7.0a1_170909" max_loop=14 pfix=fsck,nocopy
# mem=4000M load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=192M
initrd (hd0,0)/DpupStretch-7.0a1_170909/lance/initrd.gz
boot

# Windows
# this entry searches Windows on the HDD and boot it up
title Windows\nBoot up Windows if installed
errorcheck off
find --set-root --ignore-floppies --ignore-cd /bootmgr
chainloader /bootmgr
find --set-root --ignore-floppies --ignore-cd /ntldr
chainloader /ntldr
find --set-root --ignore-floppies --ignore-cd /io.sys
chainloader /io.sys
errorcheck on

You can shorten the timeout value while Madame is visiting !!!
Please note that Grub starts counting at 0.
Finally, the above WhineDose entry is the one provided verbatim by default by
Puppy's Grub4Dos.

The moral of this post is that you do not have to remove anything on your hard disk.
Just tweak Grub4Dos' configuration file.

IHTH

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Siempre será canción nueva... (V. Jara, Manifiesto)
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2475
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 23:58    Post subject:  

Hi Again, Donncha,

And thanks musher0,

I think I also learned something. Correct me if I'm wrong. The top of your example menu.lst reads:

# menu.lst produced by grub4dosconfig-v1.9.2
color white/blue black/cyan white/black cyan/black
# splashimage=/splash.xpm
timeout 12
default 2 --emphasis added.

In my example, default was 0.

grub4dos begins counting with Zero (0). So 0 would boot the 1st listed OS by default. In your example, the Windows listing was the third. So setting default to 2 would boot the third listing (Windows) in the absence of human intervention within the allotted "timeout" of 12 seconds.

mikesLr
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 12419
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb 2018, 00:10    Post subject:  

Yep!

I changed the default "0" trying to respond to Donncha's need.

BFN.

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musher0
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Siempre será canción nueva... (V. Jara, Manifiesto)
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 10716
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb 2018, 01:00    Post subject:  

You know we ask questions so we can give correct information.

What computer do you have: Make and Model?
Can it boot from a USB flash drive?

Are you using Grub or Grub4dos as the boot loader?

Is Lucid a full or frugal install?

Is Lucid on the same partition as Windows XP?

Are there any other operating systems on the computer? Only Windows and Lucid?

Please give specific answers to the questions.
This is basic info we need.

_________________
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When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 12419
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb 2018, 01:40    Post subject:  

Guys?

Puppies offer "legacy" Grub and/or Grub4Dos. Both have the same type of config file,
which is a simple text format editable by the user. Grub2, IIRC, uses a config file
generated automatically, that the user can edit, but at his/her peril.

@Donncha:
You say that your Dvorak keyboard is not recognized during boot. How did you boot into
your Lucid Pup, then? In any case, right there you have an argument for setting up
properly the automatic boot in menu.lst.

In any case, further reading seems needed on a couple of subjects.
You may find your profit on one of these pages:
https://www.ask.com/web?o=0&l=dir&qo=serpSearchTopBox&q=boot+linux+from+the+XP+bootloader+computer+club

And/or on one of these:
https://www.ask.com/web?o=0&l=dir&qo=serpSearchTopBox&q=booting+linux+with+a+Dvorak+keyboard

Signing off for tonight. BFN.

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Siempre será canción nueva... (V. Jara, Manifiesto)
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2475
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb 2018, 10:41    Post subject: BFN  

Deleted -- intended as an email.

mikesLr
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Donncha

Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb 2018, 10:46    Post subject:  

Hello All
You have certainly given me plenty to think about! Whilst I am thinking it seems sensible to answer Bigpup’s questions so here goes:

1. What computer do you have: Make and Model? A home build. I bought a bare bones motherboard bundle and put it in an old case. MB Gigabyte G41M-Combo with x86 Family 15 Intel 2800Mhz processor and BIOS ASI FB v.2.4

2. Can it boot from a USB flash drive? Yes it can.

3. Are you using Grub or Grub4dos as the boot loader? I used the installer on puppy and when faced with the choice for absolutely no reason and not having a clue I randomly chose Grub4dos.

4. Is Lucid a full or frugal install? It is full – or at least that is what I intended. To be honest I have read dozens of explications of frugal (mostly aimed at complete Linux idiots such as I) and still don’t understand it and thus went for full install which I do understand.

5. Is Lucid on the same partition as Windows XP? No I had my HD spit into two 50GB partitions and put Lucid on the empty one with a Linux file system and and made the first save to the same partition. Using windows disk management of course I get no info on this unknown/unrecognised partition.

6. Are there any other operating systems on the computer? Only Windows and Lucid? The answer is YES, only Win and Lucid. However I did install LICK (with Tahr) which I don’t see as an OS. It is a Windows application is it not? When I tried it out I did not allow it to make a save file.

7. Further to #6 above. When booted to Lucid I have looked at what is on SDA1 and find all the Windows stuff and an old lucisave.2fs and nothing else except some system files re booting (sda.mbr.bak, lickmenu.lst, menu.lst). . On SDA2 I find a Puppy 528 folder and also a Tahr 64.5.05 folder/ISO. I don’t remember if LICK asked me where to put that or if it made the decision on its own.

@MusherO, Mikeslr and Mike Walsh: thanks for the reading! I am back at school! It seems I am going to have to learn about Grub – I have lived in blissful ignorance for 88 years.

It’s a bore Mike but to get out of Grub I have to use a plug-in keyboard. My wireless keyboard is a Micro$oft product and this may be the problem!!

Donncha
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