You can see the problem below, GRUB recognizes my hard drive and sees the partitions but cannot access them. This is from the GRUB boot disc I'm using.
What happened is that I had some power issues causing this system's power to be interrupted several times and basically an on/off on/off situation.
The system won't boot, I just get a flashing cursor and no message or error from GRUB. Obviously the problem is that my MBR seems corrupt or some other issue.
My filesystem is ext3 and running fsck does not find any errors. I'm stumped, this system won't boot and I can't even use GRUB to repair the MBR. The data seems fine, the BIOS of course recognizes the HDD and I can mount all partitions without any difficulty.
I was able to get my system to boot, it seems that maybe running the fsck did fix something. I also believe there are differences between some GRUB versions, although both my boot CD and GRUB on my OS show .97, the boot disc was not able to read anything on the partition. This is still very strange and I'm not sure why things changed and suddenly worked.
It seems this was caused by the 256 byte inode issue reported here: http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/tutorials/6480/1/
But still, both versions are .97 but I assume the one on the OS partition is patched or updated to support the 256 byte inodes. This is a very silly move on the part of the EXT3 filesystem maintainers and it would also be nice for GRUB to release an update to support this new style of inodes on EXT3 and EXT4 systems.
GNU GRUB version 0.97 (640K lower / 3072K upper memory)
[ Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported. For
the first word, TAB lists possible command
completions. Anywhere else TAB lists the possible
completions of a device/filename. ]
grub> root (hd0,0)/
Error 2: Bad file or directory type
grub> root (hd0,
Possible partitions are:
Partition num: 0, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 1, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 2, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 3, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
grub> root (hd0,