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Old 10-28-2009, 03:31 PM   #1
gogoskiracer
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Acer Aspire One does not boot. Says "No bootable device"


I have an Acer Aspire One (Model No. ZG5?) with Linux (Linpus Lite) and a SSD (no mechanical hard drive). It has worked fine for a long time and I have never modified it.

However, it was running really slowly this morning, so I restarted it. It didn't shut off, so I held in the power button for 7 seconds (a common act with this machine). When I turned it back on, it got to the blue Acer splash screen and then stopped. It doesn't go past there.

I tried hitting F2 during the POST and changing the boot order, but that didn't do anything AND actually seems to have made the problem worse. Now it stops on a black screen after the POST with "No bootable device". Somehow, one of the boot options got lost - now the only one is "Network Boot: LEGACY PCI DEVICE". I also noticed that in the Setup Utility under the Boot menu, the "IDE0" item no longer has a string of characters after it.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Last edited by gogoskiracer; 10-28-2009 at 04:22 PM.
 
Old 10-28-2009, 03:47 PM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogoskiracer View Post
I have an Acer Aspire One (Model No. ZG5?) with Linux (Linpus Lite). It has worked fine for a long time and I have never modified it.

However, it was running really slowly this morning, so I restarted it. It didn't shut off, so I held in the power button for 7 seconds (a common act with this machine). When I turned it back on, it got to the blue Acer splash screen and then stopped. It doesn't go past there.

I tried hitting F2 during the POST and changing the boot order, but that didn't do anything AND actually seems to have made the problem worse. Now it stops on a black screen after the POST with "No bootable device". Somehow, one of the boot options got lost - now the only one is "Network Boot: LEGACY PCI DEVICE". I also noticed that in the Setup Utility under the Boot menu, the "IDE0" item no longer has a string of characters after it.

Any ideas? Thanks!
Yep...looks like the hard drive died.
 
Old 10-28-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
soleil24
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Sounds like it might be a problem with the hard drive (is that the one with the SSD?)

Do you have an external CD/DVD drive you could try booting a LiveCD from to test if it's the hdd?

IG
 
Old 10-28-2009, 04:18 PM   #4
gogoskiracer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soleil24 View Post
Sounds like it might be a problem with the hard drive (is that the one with the SSD?)

Do you have an external CD/DVD drive you could try booting a LiveCD from to test if it's the hdd?

IG
It only has a SSD. Sorry, should have mentioned that before. I don't have an external CD/DVD drive. Is it possible to put something on a flash drive?
 
Old 10-28-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
linus72
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no doubt
what toolkit would you like to put on USB?

is your usb fat32?

is bootflag set on usb?
and syslinux or grub installed??

do you have access to a working Linux or windows PC in order to install a "toolkit" to usb?
 
Old 10-28-2009, 06:29 PM   #6
gogoskiracer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
no doubt
what toolkit would you like to put on USB?

is your usb fat32?

is bootflag set on usb?
and syslinux or grub installed??

do you have access to a working Linux or windows PC in order to install a "toolkit" to usb?
I downloaded the Ubuntu Netbook Remix image to put on a USB (from my Windows XP laptop). I read online that I might be able to use this to boot the computer and recover my files. Is that what you mean by "toolkit"? Is there a way to simply get the Linpus Lite OS on the machine to boot?

Yes, the USB uses a FAT32 file system, but I don't know how to set the "bootflag"? Can that be done from the Explorer window in XP?

Also, I don't know if the Acer has syslinux or grub installed...or what that is or does. Would you mind elaborating?

Thanks!
 
Old 10-28-2009, 06:48 PM   #7
linus72
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mmmmm...well, not too sure about Linpus, as I've never used it

does Linpus use Grub to boot or what?

the win xp is on a different PC yes?

if so, go get Unetbootin for windows
http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

use that to install Ubuntu to usb
I think Unetbootin does the bootflag,etc for you

if you do it, tell me if it then boots or you get a whiteish screen?

OH, make sure Unetbootin installs to usb and not xp hdd
if it does(it wont unless you tell it to), dont panic
as it wont hurt anything on your xp box cept the windows booter, which can be repaired via recov disc
you got xp recovery disc?
just to always be safe

can you boot a Linux livecd from your XP box?
If so, what distro's do you have?

a toolkit, like one of my kits that feature multiple distros
which distros do you like, I'll put together a livecd/dvd if you want?
 
Old 10-28-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
soleil24
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@linus72, I think the Ubuntu "remix" is specifically designed to go on a USB stick so shouldn't even need unetbootin

@gogoskiracer, syslinix & GRUB don't *need* to be on your Acer (but may well be); one is a system loader, the other a boot manager - different functions.

If you go down this route with the intention of retrieving files from the Acer's broken(?) SSD, 1) don't rush and try to install the new OS from the "Live" boot and 2) you'll need to figure out a way of accessing the filesystem and transferring the files (via a network connection or if you have a big enough USB stick *and* can configure a second partition on it...)

As a first step, get a bootable USB device with a Live image on it. If it boots to a seemingly functional environment then you can be pretty sure the SSD is stuffed.

Then come back and figure out how to recover the files.

IG
 
Old 10-28-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
soleil24
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@ linus72, just had a look at your links - handy little set of tools there...and you probably know that about the ubuntu "remix" already, sorry

IG
 
Old 10-28-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
gogoskiracer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
mmmmm...well, not too sure about Linpus, as I've never used it

does Linpus use Grub to boot or what?

the win xp is on a different PC yes?

if so, go get Unetbootin for windows
http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

use that to install Ubuntu to usb
I think Unetbootin does the bootflag,etc for you

if you do it, tell me if it then boots or you get a whiteish screen?

OH, make sure Unetbootin installs to usb and not xp hdd
if it does(it wont unless you tell it to), dont panic
as it wont hurt anything on your xp box cept the windows booter, which can be repaired via recov disc
you got xp recovery disc?
just to always be safe

can you boot a Linux livecd from your XP box?
If so, what distro's do you have?

a toolkit, like one of my kits that feature multiple distros
which distros do you like, I'll put together a livecd/dvd if you want?
Thanks for all the advice. I got my Acer to boot with Ubuntu on a USB.

The only issue is that I don't know how to recover the files that were on the computer's SSD. I thought they would show up in the filesystem...but I don't see them anywhere. Any ideas?

Also, what's the next step for getting the Acer to boot on it's own (preferably without losing the files on there).

PS - I am new to Linux...Linpus Lite is my first experience. Ubuntu is now the second. What would I gain from other distros? Don't know if I need a full CD of them yet - thanks though!
 
Old 10-28-2009, 11:31 PM   #11
gogoskiracer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soleil24 View Post
@linus72, I think the Ubuntu "remix" is specifically designed to go on a USB stick so shouldn't even need unetbootin

@gogoskiracer, syslinix & GRUB don't *need* to be on your Acer (but may well be); one is a system loader, the other a boot manager - different functions.

If you go down this route with the intention of retrieving files from the Acer's broken(?) SSD, 1) don't rush and try to install the new OS from the "Live" boot and 2) you'll need to figure out a way of accessing the filesystem and transferring the files (via a network connection or if you have a big enough USB stick *and* can configure a second partition on it...)

As a first step, get a bootable USB device with a Live image on it. If it boots to a seemingly functional environment then you can be pretty sure the SSD is stuffed.

Then come back and figure out how to recover the files.

IG
Like you said, I didn't install the Ubuntu OS...just "trialed" it. It seems totally functional. Why did you imply that that should mean the SSD is dead?

Ok, so any advice on how to recover these files? I don't know the first thing about doing that "via a network connection" or "configuring a second partition" on the USB...but I can usually pick things up quick if I get pointed in the right direciton
 
Old 10-29-2009, 02:35 AM   #12
Wim Sturkenboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogoskiracer View Post
Why did you imply that that should mean the SSD is dead?
Because you stated I also noticed that in the Setup Utility under the Boot menu, the "IDE0" item no longer has a string of characters after it. And you don't have boot options
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogoskiracer View Post
Ok, so any advice on how to recover these files? I don't know the first thing about doing that "via a network connection" or "configuring a second partition" on the USB...but I can usually pick things up quick if I get pointed in the right direciton
To see if there is any hope, I would start with dmesg |grep -i sd to see if the system sees the harddisk in some way. I would expect to see some info related to sda and sdb.

The next one to investigate is the command fdisk -l (that is lowercase L). Again you expect to see sda and sdb and it should give you the sizes of the SSD and the memory stick. You might need to put sudo in front of the command (sudo fdisk -l) to solve permission issues.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 09:10 PM   #13
soleil24
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gogo,
The USB boot loads a Linux image to your machine's RAM from where the operating system runs and doesn't touch the hard disk. That means no risk of damaging whatever might be on the disk, which is why I said not to try & "intall" the new OS.
Becuase the hard disk (SSD) isn't touched, that's why you can't see the filesystem.

As wim suggested, from the USB-booted os, open a terminal window & do the suggested commands to see if your SSD is recognized. If it is, the filesystem may be able to be mounted and you may be able to retrieve your data. If no "hard disk" is recognized then it's likely that either the SSD is beyond salvage or the disk controller has failed.

Come back with the results of the dmesg and fdisk commands (exactly as written by wim - the character in front of grep is the "pipe" (usually shift-backspace) in case you didn't know.

Then we move from the realms of hardware troubleshooting to forensic data recovery...

IG
 
Old 10-30-2009, 09:25 AM   #14
gogoskiracer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wim Sturkenboom View Post
Because you stated I also noticed that in the Setup Utility under the Boot menu, the "IDE0" item no longer has a string of characters after it. And you don't have boot options
To see if there is any hope, I would start with dmesg |grep -i sd to see if the system sees the harddisk in some way. I would expect to see some info related to sda and sdb.

The next one to investigate is the command fdisk -l (that is lowercase L). Again you expect to see sda and sdb and it should give you the sizes of the SSD and the memory stick. You might need to put sudo in front of the command (sudo fdisk -l) to solve permission issues.
Ok, so it doesn't look too good. There is no sdb...only sda, which looks to me like the USB stick.

I talked to Acer customer support and all they said was to get the data recovered (which they do not support) and then reinstall the operating system. I took the computer to Best Buy and they opened it up and found that the SSD has a proprietary connector, which would not enable them to interface with the drive, so they said it would cost at least $1,000...if even possible.

I don't know the first thing about hardware, but it seems to me - from the order of the events - that this drive is not physically damaged. Is there some way to overwrite the bootable portion of the memory (if there is such a thing with an SSD disk)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soleil24 View Post
Then we move from the realms of hardware troubleshooting to forensic data recovery...

IG
Any ideas of things I could try?

Thanks!

PS - here is the output from the commands you suggested in case this helps:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo dmesg | grep -i sd
[ 0.000000] ACPI: RSDP 000FE020, 0024 (r2 ACRSYS)
[ 0.000000] ACPI: XSDT 3F4FE120, 0064 (r1 ACRSYS ACRPRDCT 1 1000013)
[ 0.000000] ACPI: DSDT 3F4F2000, 5DE6 (r1 ACRSYS ACRPRDCT 1 1025 1000013)
[ 0.000000] ACPI: SSDT 3F4FD000, 04C4 (r2 PmRef CpuPm 3000 INTL 20051117)
[ 0.022372] ACPI: Checking initramfs for custom DSDT
[ 0.649675] ACPI: EC: Look up EC in DSDT
[ 2.297152] ACPI: SSDT 3F380C90, 0239 (r2 PmRef Cpu0Ist 3000 INTL 20051117)
[ 2.297843] ACPI: SSDT 3F37FE10, 01C7 (r2 PmRef Cpu0Cst 3001 INTL 20051117)
[ 2.299339] ACPI: SSDT 3F380F10, 00D0 (r2 PmRef Cpu1Ist 3000 INTL 20051117)
[ 2.300014] ACPI: SSDT 3F37EF10, 0083 (r2 PmRef Cpu1Cst 3000 INTL 20051117)
[ 2.672462] Driver 'sd' needs updating - please use bus_type methods
[ 8.595991] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] 7856127 512-byte hardware sectors: (4.02 GB/3.74 GiB)
[ 8.596799] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[ 8.596810] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 45 00 00 08
[ 8.596818] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 8.598611] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] 7856127 512-byte hardware sectors: (4.02 GB/3.74 GiB)
[ 8.599227] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[ 8.599236] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 45 00 00 08
[ 8.599243] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 8.599259] sda:
[ 8.600793] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI removable disk
[ 8.601046] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 0
[ 43.662863] sdhci: Secure Digital Host Controller Interface driver
[ 43.662872] sdhci: Copyright(c) Pierre Ossman
[ 43.667762] sdhci-pci 0000:04:00.0: SDHCI controller found [197b:2382] (rev 0)
[ 43.667806] sdhci-pci 0000:04:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
[ 43.667936] sdhci-pci 0000:04:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
[ 43.668215] mmc0: SDHCI controller on PCI [0000:04:00.0] using ADMA
[ 43.668249] sdhci-pci 0000:04:00.2: SDHCI controller found [197b:2381] (rev 0)
[ 43.668288] sdhci-pci 0000:04:00.2: PCI INT A -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
[ 43.668308] sdhci-pci 0000:04:00.2: Refusing to bind to secondary interface.
[ 43.668327] sdhci-pci 0000:04:00.2: PCI INT A disabled
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 4022 MB, 4022337024 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1021 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 7688 * 512 = 3936256 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x8ef631df

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 ? 274784 529564 979374166 66 Unknown
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(734, 123, 14) logical=(274783, 70, 21)
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(120, 143, 6) logical=(529563, 65, 22)
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 ? 448668 961719 1972168331 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(187, 180, 14) logical=(448667, 16, 52)
Partition 2 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(784, 0, 13) logical=(403059, 76, 1)
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 ? 426615 680707 976730017 7d Unknown
Partition 3 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(252, 59, 46) logical=(426614, 84, 39)
Partition 3 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(139, 118, 4) logical=(122048, 22, 28)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda4 ? 543622 544705 4161550 6f Unknown
Partition 4 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(370, 101, 50) logical=(543621, 57, 11)
Partition 4 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(10, 114, 13) logical=(544704, 8, 44)
Partition 4 does not end on cylinder boundary.

Last edited by gogoskiracer; 10-30-2009 at 09:30 AM.
 
Old 10-30-2009, 07:19 PM   #15
soleil24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogoskiracer View Post
Ok, so it doesn't look too good.
It doesn't ! /dev/sda looks like a 4G USB stick


Quote:
Originally Posted by gogoskiracer View Post
...Best Buy and they opened it up and found that the SSD has a proprietary connector, which would not enable them to interface with the drive, so they said it would cost at least $1,000..
I find that hard to believe, see here for example. But without knowing the exact model specs or seeing the drive, I may be wrong. It looks like it should be a 1.8" device with a "normal" PATA/IDE interface

Flash (SSD) drives are all well and good but depending on the memory type used they can have very short lifetimes, especially if your OS is using a journalling type filesystem. Basically more read/write operations shortens lifespan.

My feeling is the SSD is dead, and "proprietary interface" or not, I wouldn't rate your chances of getting anything off it in that case. If it's a regular PATA (IDE) interface (same as 2.5" notebook disks) and can connect it to another machine, that would prove it for sure.

And you need to be 100% sure it's the drive and not the drive controller, because the next stage is to find a suitable replacement drive (and up to you to decide whether another SSD or to consider the type of swap to an "old-fashioned" platter drive), plug that in and re-install everything from scratch. But you don't want to be buying a new disk if in fact it's the controller.

I'd also be thinking at this stage, how old is the machine and what is its warranty status?

Is it possible to post a (small but detailed) pic of the drive (or a link to your public photo-host - don'teven know if you can post pics here?) - looking at the end with the connector?

IG

Last edited by soleil24; 10-30-2009 at 07:27 PM. Reason: clarification - no, really!
 
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