As I don't know if this problem is hardware, firmware or software caused, it may need to be moved eventually, but first indications are hardware/firmware caused.
OK, an old dual processor IBM Intellistation with 4GB ram.
An expansion board to provide Sata sockets for drives, as it has none of its own.
One 80GB Sata drive connected. It has been wiped clean and the partition table rebuilt.
Three new partitions for PCLOS is all is there. First is the '/' partition.
Booted with PCLOS CD and installed without incident.
On rebooting, Grub fails to find its files on the HDD.
Different drives have been tried and the 80 GB has been tested in another machine.
So it appears to not be the HDD at fault.
The owner tried a couple of boot CDs without success, so I sent him a floppy image ----- yep! floppy! ---- and he hooked up a floppy drive to another PC and 'burned' the image, then swapped the drive to the IBM.
It booted fine from the floppy, and from there no problem to chainload the Grub on the HDD and boot the OS.
So, it appears that the HDD and its Grub install are OK.
BUT .... Grub is being called by the BIOS because it is a Grub error that the user sees.
BTW ... it is also Grub on the Floppy, where there is no problem.
All of that is a roundabout way of getting to the questions ....
Could there be something from the BIOS affecting the booting of the HDD directly? It seems to be the only logical conclusion
If so what might it possibly be?
My first thought was that it is the expansion card for SATA .... but an IDE drive did not work when tried either. A real old 1.6GB IDE drive was tried .... thinking the drive size might be causing some problem.
I don't have access to this machine, so have no detailed knowledge of the BIOS.
The owner has gone through the BIOS but not found any obvious HDD related settings that have not been tried.
Calling on bad memory, I believe I met with a similar problem a couple of years back and had to put LILO on it to get it booting. That is not a real alternative as I don't have access to this machine.
So, any thoughts why Grub might be failing to find its files when booted direct from BIOS?
If it is a BIOS setting problem, what might it be called?
If nothing comes to mind, what would be the best means of putting LILO onto the MBR from the running PCLOS that is installed on the HDD? (I will be looking at this myself as an option if it can be easily done)
What make ye of this?
Thanks for responses .....