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Old 07-27-2014, 03:18 AM   #1
venotrance
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Unhappy Linux Mint 64-bit Cinn Liveboot USB Error during GRUB


Hey all,

This is my first post and my first time even approaching Linux, so feel free to give me advice (let me know if you want more/less information).
I'm trying to install Linux for the first time on my 5 year old computer, but I have not gotten past the initial boot from the liveUSB image. I think the issue is related to my computer, not the USB or ISO.

System Information:
Attempting to Install: Linux Mint Qiana 64-bit Cinnamon
Existing OS: Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium
Model: Dell XPS 630i
Processor: 4 cores of Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9400 @ 2.66GHz
BIOS: Dell 1.0.13
RAM: 6.00 GB
GPU: NVidia Geforce 9800GT
Disk Space: 305/594 GB Free
The USB drive I'm using to boot from is an ADATA S102 16GB USB3.0 stick.

I tested the liveboot USB on a friend's computer, and it boots up perfectly fine. However, on my computer I end up with an error during what I think is GRUB.
I've encountered many problems (due to my lack of technical knowledge), but I think there's only a few relevant ones:
1. I've had graphics card shutdowns of recent in Vista; the GPU malfunctions were what made me want to install Linux/wipe my hard drive. Sometimes they are brief - crashing the game/browser I'm using. Sometimes they caused the BSOD. However, the temperature is always between 60-75 degCelc. And, nothing has come up during all the Dell and Windows and internal system diagnostics, which leads me to believe its not a hardware issue.
2. I originally was unable to start the Linux boot at all; after selecting Start Linux Mint from the boot menu, I would just get some blank screen flashes and then my computer would restart immediately, resulting in an endless cycle (unless I changed boot orders).
To solve #2, I had to edit the boot command line (via pressing Tab before selecting Start Linux Mint). The only way I even got to see the error before the computer just restarted - which would come after a wall of text I did not understand - was due to some combination of adding "nomodeset, nvidiamodeset=0, nvidia.noaccel=1, and nosplash" to the command line. I do not know exactly what combination, as I can not reproduce the effect.
Error: "rootfs image is not initramfs (LZMA data is corrupt); looks like an initrd"

I would appreciate any help if possible! I would not like to be defeated by Linux before I even successfully boot it up..>.<

Sincerely,
Shwang

P.S. If you doubt my implying the USB is not the problem, in addition to having it work perfectly on my friend's computer, I have tried:
  • 3 different mirrors for downloading the ISO (all md5sum checked successfully, using winmd5 and md5sum.exe)
  • 3 different software for formatting hard drive (HP usb formatter, Rufus, and Pendrivelinux)
  • 3 different software for installing OS onto USB (same 3 as above, different orders sometimes)
  • 3 different mediums for installing (2 different USBs and 1 DVD-RW)
Despite all this, I end up with the same error.

Things I have not tried (for obvious reasons):
  • wiping out my hard drive first, leaving me with no computer if it fails.
  • A different distribution, i.e. ubuntu or fedora.
  • Physically cleaning/maintaining/replacing hardware components
 
Old 07-27-2014, 04:33 AM   #2
xode
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You might want to possibly try to copy and/or convert your linux USB boot image into a bootable DVD and see if the install program works properly from there.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 01:23 PM   #3
EDDY1
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Have you tried using unetbootin?
It has a failsafe boot mode.
http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
 
Old 07-27-2014, 09:20 PM   #4
frankbell
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Did you check the md5sum on the *.iso file after you downloaded it to make sure the file arrived safely?
 
Old 07-30-2014, 03:35 PM   #5
venotrance
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I have tried booting from DVD and it runs into the same problems. I will try unetbootin today, but where is the failsafe boot mode, and how do I select it?

As already stated, the m5sum on all 3 separate mirrors were fine.

Thanks for your suggestions guys. Appreciate any help

Last edited by venotrance; 07-30-2014 at 04:09 PM.
 
Old 07-30-2014, 05:06 PM   #6
jefro
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You don't need to create with an app. Just use a windows app to copy iso image to drive. I have nothing against creators but it could be something going on.

A dvd even if you borrow a usb dvd drive might be a solution.

Second, I'd use a usb 2.0. Some usb 3.0 drives are odd with linux, rare but consider it.

To boot to a well made usb flash try this. Power off system and remove ac and then press power button a few times. Attach usb drive and ac plug and power up to bios. Change the "HARD DRIVE" order so that usb is first above the internal drive. Don't use usb order. Then boot to usb.

Now, the latest linux uses KMS which is a plus and minus. It may cause you to use nomodeset as kernel option. Later then fix graphics for this system.


If you have a choice of usb 3 or usb 2 ports then use usb 2 for now.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 01:03 AM   #7
venotrance
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
You don't need to create with an app. Just use a windows app to copy iso image to drive. I have nothing against creators but it could be something going on.
I've since tried universal usb installer (pendrivelinux), rufus, unetbootin, and windows to copy the image to the drive. None of them have changed the error much (though unetbootin gives me "cannot load a ramdisk with an old kernel image")

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
A dvd even if you borrow a usb dvd drive might be a solution.
I finally got my usb dvd drive to work, and came to the same error with 64-bit and 32-bit Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Second, I'd use a usb 2.0. Some usb 3.0 drives are odd with linux, rare but consider it.
I don't think my computer even has usb 3.0 ports (it's 5 years old). Anyways, got some older usbs just in case. Same problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
To boot to a well made usb flash try this.
I've tried this and multiple variations of this, thought time consuming, and arrived at the same error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Now, the latest linux uses KMS which is a plus and minus. It may cause you to use nomodeset as kernel option.
I have tried various combinations (using 1, 2, 3, and all 4) of "nomodeset, nvidiamodeset=0, nvidia.noaccel=1, and nosplash". However, using nomodeset alone gets me to the error. Without nomodeset, the computer simply restarts before even showing the GRUB dialog.

Thanks again for your suggestions! I hope I don't sound resentful, I'm just sad that none of them worked
 
Old 08-03-2014, 02:20 AM   #8
xode
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How do install programs for other linux distributions fare? Is your graphics card continuing to misbehave in windows? Is it built in to the motherboard or can you change it out for another one and see how your install program fares? My experience has been that the Dell and Windows internal system diagnostics are not very comprehensive, and that linux install programs seem to expose hardware problems that those diagnostics miss.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 12:28 PM   #9
venotrance
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I've only tried Linux Mint and Ubuntu - I'm not very advanced, so I'm a little scared to try anything else. Though I guess trying the installers wouldn't hurt - Do you recommend certain distributions? (I know nothing about their differences of installation)

My graphics card continued to misbehave in Windows until I wiped my hard drive. Now, I have no idea - no OS on the PC currently. It's an Nvidia GEforce 9800GT - dedicated graphics. I'm going to try pulling it out and see if that helps (as well as individual sticks of ram)

Yea, I also ran the memtest from ultibootCD and the Linux Mint boot menu - both for 6 hours each, and came across 0 errors. It could still be a motherboard or graphics card problem though (or anything, for that matter, since I have little tech experience)
 
Old 08-03-2014, 04:21 PM   #10
xode
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SUSE 12.1 is a possibility. If that install program freezes just after you start the install from the welcome screen, then you likely have a hardware problem. Your problem is looking to be very similar to the following hardware problem I had:
  1. Brand new MSI dual core Intel celeron motherboard with no PS2 mouse port, thus needing to use a USB mouse.
  2. First clue: in the BIOS setup, there was a mouse pointer but the mouse didn't work (compare to your graphics card shutdowns in windows vista).
  3. Then, I tried the SUSE 12.1 install program and it froze as described above, and the same thing happened with about 3 other linux install programs I tried.
  4. Then, I tried the SUSE 10.3 install program since it shows detailed progress information instead of a splash screen, and it froze while checking for USB controllers and ports. Since the USB was built into the motherboard, I then realized that the motherboard was toast.
  5. I then got an ASUS dual core Intel celeron motherboard and made sure it had both a PS2 mouse port and a PS2 keyboard port. Went into BIOS setup and mouse worked fine. Started up the SUSE 12.1 install program and everything worked fine.

In my case, the problem was defective USB hardware on the motherboard. Your case might be a defective graphics card. Once you do get your computer working and your linux installed, you might want to run mprime (the linux version of Prime95) in torture test mode for 24 hours nonstop to flush out any other hardware problems that may be lurking around.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 02:58 AM   #11
venotrance
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by xode View Post
SUSE 12.1 is a possibility.
I tried openSUSE as a distro, just since I don't really know how else to use SUSE 12.1. AND IT WORKED. OH MY GOD YOU ARE MY HERO I LOVE YOU IF I KNEW WHERE YOU LIVED I WOULD BUY YOU A CHEESEBURGER AND SERVE YOU IT ON A SILVER PLATTER.

I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE AN OS ON MY COMPUTER !! It makes troubleshooting a lot easier. What was especially interesting to me, though, was it seemed like the openSUSE booter/installer also encountered a fair number of errors. However, unlike the Ubuntu/Mint ones, the SUSE one just kept on chugging and finished the installation with no pauses. I am impressed, but would still like to know how/why it worked.

After all, I did choose Mint in the first place for a reason. So, if I could install it, I'd like to. But do you think it is an inherent issue with my BIOS being too old or something?
 
Old 08-04-2014, 03:32 AM   #12
xode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venotrance View Post
...What was especially interesting to me, though, was it seemed like the openSUSE booter/installer also encountered a fair number of errors. However, unlike the Ubuntu/Mint ones, the SUSE one just kept on chugging and finished the installation with no pauses. I am impressed, but would still like to know how/why it worked.
/var/log/messages is where I would start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venotrance View Post
After all, I did choose Mint in the first place for a reason. So, if I could install it, I'd like to.
A virtual machine for Mint under your now live SUSE 12.1 maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by venotrance View Post
But do you think it is an inherent issue with my BIOS being too old or something?
Not likely with SUSE 12.1 since it came out in 2011, about 2 years after your computer did. Possibly with the Mint. It would probably be good idea to give your computer and especially that graphics card a thorough workout, just to flush out any problems that might be lurking.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #13
venotrance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xode View Post
/var/log/messages is where I would start.
How..do I do that..exactly? I tried opening terminal and becoming root via "su -" and then entering my password, but then i just typed in "/var/log/messages" and it said "permission denied". Sorry, I'm a complete noob. Detailed instructions please? (I wanted to use Mint Cinn because it seemed like a really easy-to-use interface for my first Linux adventure)


Quote:
Originally Posted by xode View Post
A virtual machine for Mint under your now live SUSE 12.1 maybe?
I forgot to mention, I totally neglected to check version numbers and actually installed openSUSE 13.1


Quote:
Originally Posted by xode View Post
It would probably be good idea to give your computer and especially that graphics card a thorough workout, just to flush out any problems that might be lurking.
Do you recommend a specific freeware for providing that workout? I'm completely inexperienced with running those kinds of programs - so I don't really know what I'm looking for.



thanks again for your help! I'm just excited to have a functioning OS - even if I'm not a functional user.

Last edited by venotrance; 08-04-2014 at 02:30 PM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 03:48 PM   #14
xode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venotrance View Post
How..do I do that..exactly? I tried opening terminal and becoming root via "su -" and then entering my password, but then i just typed in "/var/log/messages" and it said "permission denied". Sorry, I'm a complete noob. Detailed instructions please? (I wanted to use Mint Cinn because it seemed like a really easy-to-use interface for my first Linux adventure)
When you typed /var/log/messages in the terminal window after having become root, you tried to run /var/log/messages as a program. You don't want to do that, and especially not as root. It is possible to completely wipe out your entire system with just one command as root in a terminal window. Fortunately, /var/log/messages, being a text file, was not marked by the system as being allowed to be run as a program and you received the "permission denied" message as a result. My recommendation is that you avoid using terminal windows as root until you become much more familiar with how linux works.

Instead, to access your files, you can use a file manager window that has root privileges. Please see the attached screenshot "menu.jpg" for how to start one up. The screenshot shows what the SUSE 10.3 menu looks like. Your menu will differ in details (e.g. the name of the file manager) but the general operation is the same. A file manager with root privileges is very much like what windows explorer is when running as "administrator" in windows. You can then browse to /var/log/messages using that root file manager, right click on that file and then open it using kwrite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venotrance View Post
I forgot to mention, I totally neglected to check version numbers and actually installed openSUSE 13.1
Just as good for installing and using virtual machines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venotrance View Post
Do you recommend a specific freeware for providing that workout? I'm completely inexperienced with running those kinds of programs - so I don't really know what I'm looking for.
Download mprime from ftp://mersenne.org/gimps/mprime266-linux64.tar.gz extract the files and then, from a terminal window as a regular user (i.e. not root), type mprime and run the torture test.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:12 PM   #15
venotrance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xode View Post
Instead, to access your files, you can use a file manager window that has root privileges. Please see the attached screenshot "menu.jpg" for how to start one up.
thanks! this was very helpful / easy to follow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xode View Post
Download mprime from ftp://mersenne.org/gimps/mprime266-linux64.tar.gz extract the files and then, from a terminal window as a regular user (i.e. not root), type mprime and run the torture test.
So this is exactly what my konsole looks like:
Code:
simon@linux-t8pg:~> mprime
If 'mprime' is not a typo you can use command-not-found to lookup the package that contains it, like this:
    cnf mprime
simon@linux-t8pg:~>
And then it didn't seem like anything was running. So, I went to the file manager and just tried double clicking the executable (and a bunch of other stuff I don't remember). I didn't think anything was working until I suddenly heard my fans whir up to full speed. Is my computer going to blow up? System Monitor says there are 6 mprime processes running right now (it won't let me close any, but only one is using a large % of CPU). Are those processes each separate instances of my opening the executable? Or, is it all fine? I'm scared.

EDIT: I supposed I expected some sort of interface to come up when I ran the program. Am I supposed to be looking at something? Or how do I know when it's done/what's going on?

Last edited by venotrance; 08-04-2014 at 09:14 PM.
 
  


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