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I'm not sure exactly how my EEE PC got to this point, but I have Backtrack (an Ubuntu-based distro) on the SD card, and a few different Ubuntu LiveUSB distros on different USB memory sticks. If both the SD card and any of the USB sticks are present, the system will present a GRUB boot menu which seems to be the built-in EEE PC one--it has the "reset to factory defaults" option--but all options will boot Backtrack, even after claiming to reset to factory defaults.

If either the USB stick, the SD card, or both are missing, I get a Grub error 21 at boot. Not sure quite how to un-hose this; I'd just like to put a conventional netbook Ubuntu on the built-in SSD, but I can't trivially do that from Backtrack 4.

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Is there a BIOS setting to control boot order? Fiddling with it might solve your problem. Otherwise try running grub-install, perhaps after writing the device map (I don't know what would work offhand). Boot Info Script may help your diagnosis, more about it. –  Gilles Dec 9 '10 at 19:29
    
I have tried all possible boot order variations in the BIOS; none affects the error 21 outcome. The device map should only be relevant to legacy systems, but that boot info script may be useful, thanks. –  user3019 Dec 9 '10 at 19:33
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1 Answer

It's a wrong setup of GRUB. Reinstall it on ssd, using uuids for booting from SD and you'll be ok.

I recommend you to install grub2 though, because it handles these situations better.

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