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Old 02-15-2016, 01:17 AM   #1
mikeaccent
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Grub rescue confuses me


Hi folks, grand daughter gave me her Acer Aspire One ZG5 and said, "Grandad, can you fix it please?"

Started m/c up and I get following -

error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'.
Entering rescue mode...
grub rescue>


I have discovered that Zorin was last operating system installed on this m/c but I am well and truly stumped as I know absolutely nothing about linux operating systems or what version of Zorin was installed. Where do I start? Well I've soent last few days googling to try and find solution and everything I try takes me back to error above. There is no recovery CD or pendrive.

Where can I get "Linux for Dummies?"
 
Old 02-15-2016, 02:10 PM   #2
tlowk
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Hi,

without know all about this, the scope of "Linux for Dummies" would be too restricted. I'll try to
describe what the problem can be.

You probably know that a hard disk is split into partitions, there are two system often used for this.
PcBIOS that uses an MBR (master boot record) and GPT (guid partition table)

both are a list of begin and end of partitions on the disk. The problem you see probably means that
a begin or end position of a partition is pointing to a place that exists not on the disk.

Because it is broken the probably of MBR is bigger than GPT, if I remember it correct gpt uses an extra
copy for redundancy.


programs like fdisk and parted can write this information again, but you'll need to find out which
partition is not describe correct in the table.

greetings,

tlowk
 
Old 02-15-2016, 02:19 PM   #3
mikeaccent
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Thanks for response but when I use fdisk or parted, I get Unknown command for both options and it takes me back to grub rescue >
 
Old 02-15-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
ondoho
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mikeaccent, i have the same machine.
it's getting old, but it's a good one.
zorin is not the original os, as you rightly pointed out.

first step will be to get into the machine and see what is wrong.

i guess the best step is that you make yourself a bootable usb medium with a very lightweight linux distro on it; maybe even one of the many "rescue-cds" out there.
boot from that instead of the hd, open a terminal and type
Code:
sudo fdisk -l
and post the output here.

that's just the first step, from my point of view.

maybe somebody else would know what to do of this grub rescue prompt; i don't.
 
Old 02-15-2016, 03:31 PM   #5
mikeaccent
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Thanks for reply.

I downloaded peppermint 6 to pen drive (using my windows laptop as Acer only had Zorin previously and no other operating system)

Put pendrive into Acer notebook then powered it up.

On screen I get following -

Remove disks or other media.
Press any key to restart

I removed the pendrive and hit enter and I am back again to the grub rescue >

Sorry if this sounds dumb, but I'm a linux virgin. First time I saw any of this operating system.
 
Old 02-15-2016, 04:30 PM   #6
josephj
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Not going to be very helpful but ...

1) Grub rescue (while being very useful) confuses a lot of people - me included (and I've been using Linux for decades) - so don't feel so bad!

2) You have to do more than just download a Linux distro to a flash drive. You have to install it to the drive so that the flash drive is bootable. That's your immediate problem. It's not hard to do, but I've never done it and can't tell you how.

Here, http://peppermintos.com/guide/downloading/
they describe how to use Unetbootin to make the iso (the file you downloaded) bootable, but I have no idea of how to do that on Windows. At least this should get you pointed in the right direction.

3) Once you do get it bootable, and you run it, the computer will be running from the image on the flash drive and it won't ask you to unplug it until you tell it to shutdown so you can reboot from your (hopefully repaired) main drive. If you unplug it before that, then things will stop working, so don't do that.
 
Old 02-15-2016, 04:47 PM   #7
mikeaccent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephj View Post
Not going to be very helpful but ...

1) Grub rescue (while being very useful) confuses a lot of people - me included (and I've been using Linux for decades) - so don't feel so bad!

2) You have to do more than just download a Linux distro to a flash drive. You have to install it to the drive so that the flash drive is bootable. That's your immediate problem. It's not hard to do, but I've never done it and can't tell you how.

Here, http://peppermintos.com/guide/downloading/
they describe how to use Unetbootin to make the iso (the file you downloaded) bootable, but I have no idea of how to do that on Windows. At least this should get you pointed in the right direction.

3) Once you do get it bootable, and you run it, the computer will be running from the image on the flash drive and it won't ask you to unplug it until you tell it to shutdown so you can reboot from your (hopefully repaired) main drive. If you unplug it before that, then things will stop working, so don't do that.
Thanks josephj for replying

1. Slowly going off linux systems, too confusing
2. Cannot get past the grub rescue error to make the Acer recognise usb stick to load Unetbootin. Just going round in circles here playing linux monopoly. Do not pass grub rescue > do not collect operating system, go straight to jail
3. Acer notebook not connected to internet as cannot get operating system to load and using windows laptop only to show here what is happening when I try various solutions on the Acer
 
Old 02-15-2016, 04:55 PM   #8
yancek
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Quote:
Thanks for response but when I use fdisk or parted, I get Unknown command for both options and it takes me back to grub rescue >
If you are running those commands from a grub prompt that is expected behavior. Grub is just a bootloader and you need to run the commands either from an installed system or from a system on a Live CD or flash drive.

As pointed out above, downloading the iso to a flash drive is pointless, it won't work. You download the iso on whichever windows you might be using and then use software designed to create a bootable flash drive and use that software to write the iso properly to the flash drive. You can use pendrivelinux at the first link below for a windows system or unetbootin at the second link below. If you try unetbootin, make sure you get the version for windows and follow the instructions on the page. After the software has run, you should get a message indicating that it was successful. You then reboot the computer with the flash drive plugged in and enter the BIOS setup and set the boot priority on the Boot tab to boot the flash drive first. You need to watch the screen on boot to find the proper key to enter BIOS setup.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/univers...easy-as-1-2-3/

http://unetbootin.github.io/

Another option you could use is to get the boot repair software at the link below. Download it and burn it to a CD, boot it and select the option to Create Bootinfo summary and post a link to the output here. This will give a lot of details on the system which may be enough for someone to point to a solution.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
 
Old 02-15-2016, 08:03 PM   #9
wolsonjr
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I would suggest going to supergrubdisk.org and get super-grub2-disk and burn it to a cd. One nice feature it has is the ability to boot into most any intact OS on the HD. If only the boot is damaged, this will get you into the system and you may reinstall grub from there. If the system itself is damaged, the grub boot doesn't matter.
 
Old 02-15-2016, 08:19 PM   #10
colorpurple21859
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you best bet is to do as Yancek suggest with the boot-repair cd. If the hard drive partition and the files needed to boot are still intact on the hard drive there is a way to recover from grub-rescue.
first post the output of the following at the grub rescue prompt. for the set command looking for a line that starts with prefix=(hd?,?)/
Code:
set
ls
 
Old 02-16-2016, 01:31 AM   #11
tlowk
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===

Last edited by tlowk; 02-16-2016 at 02:24 AM. Reason: content mentioned already above
 
Old 02-16-2016, 07:24 AM   #12
mikeaccent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolsonjr View Post
I would suggest going to supergrubdisk.org and get super-grub2-disk and burn it to a cd. One nice feature it has is the ability to boot into most any intact OS on the HD. If only the boot is damaged, this will get you into the system and you may reinstall grub from there. If the system itself is damaged, the grub boot doesn't matter.
Thanks wolfson but problem I have is once I burn it to a cd, how do I load this into the Acer notebook woth no cd drive?

If I download it to usb stick, what software converts it to something that can be loaded into the notebook?

I mentioned before, I have no history of working with linux programs/software.
 
Old 02-16-2016, 07:37 AM   #13
mikeaccent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
If you are running those commands from a grub prompt that is expected behavior. Grub is just a bootloader and you need to run the commands either from an installed system or from a system on a Live CD or flash drive.

As pointed out above, downloading the iso to a flash drive is pointless, it won't work. You download the iso on whichever windows you might be using and then use software designed to create a bootable flash drive and use that software to write the iso properly to the flash drive. You can use pendrivelinux at the first link below for a windows system or unetbootin at the second link below. If you try unetbootin, make sure you get the version for windows and follow the instructions on the page. After the software has run, you should get a message indicating that it was successful. You then reboot the computer with the flash drive plugged in and enter the BIOS setup and set the boot priority on the Boot tab to boot the flash drive first. You need to watch the screen on boot to find the proper key to enter BIOS setup.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/univers...easy-as-1-2-3/

http://unetbootin.github.io/

Another option you could use is to get the boot repair software at the link below. Download it and burn it to a CD, boot it and select the option to Create Bootinfo summary and post a link to the output here. This will give a lot of details on the system which may be enough for someone to point to a solution.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
Did as you suggest and tried to reload fresh copy of peppermint 6.

I also tried to install linux mint 17 and both of these hang up at the opening screen and dont let me do anything once I make selection.

Is there any way to completely wipe the Acer notebook hard drive and start afresh with no operating system so I can load one of my choosing?
 
Old 02-16-2016, 07:55 AM   #14
tlowk
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Hi,

you can delete a harddisk by filling it with zero values, I would be very careful to use it.

start the system with a bootable disk or stick or whatever other way you can.

now it is important to find out the name of the device node, you could assume it is /dev/sda
but to be on the safe side type as root lsscsi

the you see the name of the device in the last colon of each line, in the fourth colon you see
a name that suggest the brand and type

once you have the device node try

# parted /dev/sda
then type p (for print)

this shows the model name (check again since you'll do something destructive)

type quit

now we fill /dev/sda with zeroes

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=4096

this command reads from /dev/zero as many zero as you can ever like, then it writes this to the
device (over the partition tables of that disk) and by specifying 4096 as blocksize it will be faster than
working per sector (which would be bs=512)

when this command stops your disk will be empty, in case of a pcbios partition table you can interrupt
it after a while with CTRL-C since the table is destroyed right after starting the dd command.

after this you can restart the computer and you will also remove all information that could be cached by the system (there are more way fo achieve this, but after using a seldgehammer like described about no need to go for less than the most extreme)

once again, be careful with this recipe, type the dd command cannot be undone!
 
Old 02-16-2016, 08:33 AM   #15
yancek
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Quote:
Is there any way to completely wipe the Acer notebook hard drive and start afresh with no operating system so I can load one of my choosing?
If you could boot, you could overwrite everything during the install. The suggestion above by tlowk would work but that's assuming you can boot to either an installed system or from a bootable flash drive. Can you test the flash drive on another computer to see if it boots to eliminate that as a possible problem. Since you seem to be unable to boot anything, there is no way to get actual information to use to help.
 
  


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