Just so everyone knows, the Intel DG945GCLF board, which is a mini-itx board with 1.6ghz atom 230 chip on it, will not boot from a hdd unless one of the partitions on that drive is marked bootable.
This might seem obvious, but it doesn't make much sense :( the BIOS is supposed to just load the first 512 bytes of the drive and run it*.
So, things I learned this week:
- grub-install is a shell script.
- What grub stage1, e2fs_stage1_5 and stage2 are.
- The layout of the partition table.
- Various tricks with 'dd' and 'xxd' to read partition tables.
- Editing hex values in partition tables and the grub stage1 on the disk is kinda fun the first time.
- Knowing what bytes are what on a raw disk is knowledge that can't be erased with beer.
- Beer is good for day 3 of dealing with non-booting systems.
* yes, i know this is a lie.