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Old 08-11-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
Glaedr
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Operating system not found - firmware test fails


This morning, after a couple of months of using OpenSuse 11.4 on a brand new harddrive with relatively few problems, my Vaio wouldn't boot up. I don't remember the exact error message at the time, but I found something that gave a list of commands to use to fix it by Googling the error message from my phone. It gave a handful of error messages and took just over two hours to complete attempts to repair bad blocks. But after that it said that it couldn't find the operating system when rebooted.
So I stuck the CD back in and did a firmware test and got:

The memory map has a memory hole between 15mb and 16mb
Battery BAT0 claims it is charging but no charge is being added
supposedly higher frequency is slower on CPU0
processors are set to SW_ANY
firmware not implementing hardware coorination clearly
firmware using SW_AL
firmware using SW_AN
failed to locate HPET base
max read req for device pci : // 00:00:16:0 is low (128)
max read req for device pci : // 00:06:00:0 is low (128)
cannot test trip points without existing /proc/acpi/thermal_zone
no fan information present
device 80: no matching MBR signature (0x000ebc96) found for the boot disk
kernel too old: does not export microcodeversion
kernel too old: does not export microcodeversion
no DMAR ACPI table found
processor does not support virtualization extentions

It's currently running a memory test. It's 1:09:03 in currently and no errors so far.

If I absolutely have to reinstall, annoying as it would be, I wouldn't mind doing it as long as it made it work again. But I really need to back up my files before I do. I've only really had one other issue with Suse so far, and typically it was with dvd burning so I have a few rather important files that I haven't been able to back up yet. There were no freezes, crashes or anything yetserday. The computer shut down normally, and I haven't installed anything other than general recommended updates for a few weeks. Nothing has been dropped or spilt on it. There's no reason at all for it to have done this. I'm new to Linux and corrupted files and security holes were the reasons for switching from Windows.

Does anyone have any ideas? Please tell me that I can at least get my files back.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
tredegar
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You are not giving us much useful information to help us begin to help you.

But perhaps boot linux from a live CD: ubuntu and knoppix have served me well in the past.

Once you have booted linux, explore your HDD's filesystem from the live CD and rescue your files to an external HDD.

It worked for me.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
igadoter
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Did you do fsck? What kind of a files system are you using? Problems with system boot may appear when filesystem on the root device was uncleanly unmounted. Then the kernel complains and doesn't mount the root device so the system don't start at all. There are other possible errors like "cannot mount on unknown block" or something like that. The remedy is to use a rescue CD - you easily find such Live Linux distro which is "rescue distro" - it contains many tools which help to rescue your system - but probably you can use the installation media - boot live system and check and repair the filesystem on the root device (the root partition). Hopefully repairing the filesystem on the root device (on your hardrive) will be enough to fix your troubles.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 05:28 PM   #4
Glaedr
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Thanks for the replies. I'll try making a live CD from this computer. The memory test is still running so I can't load any of the rescue options yet. I think it was an fsck. Hopefully the rescue options will help. I wondered if something in the updates might have screwed something up and I was a little worried about it affecting other people as well. As long as I can get to the files, I'm good but I'd rather recover if I can. It took SO long to get Photoshop to work and I really don't want to have to reinstall it all over again.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #5
TobiSGD
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BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE, like fsck or any other repair option, get yourself a live CD and boot from that. Then try to find your data and rescue it to an USB-device (since you had problems with burning). AFTER THAT get the diagnosis tool of your harddisk's manufacturer and test the disk. Even if it is new it can be faulty. After that try the different repair options (fsck, reinstalling the bootloader, ...).
 
Old 08-11-2011, 06:03 PM   #6
igadoter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Then try to find your data and rescue it to an USB-device (since you had problems with burning).
Don't understand what do you mean by this. You cannot mount a broken filesystem. So how do you imagine to rescue data from that filesystem? Making an image with clonezilla or similar? I am not quite sure but there are filesystems which even being broken can be forcibly mounted as read-only. As I can recall I had such situation with my jfs partition - the filesystem was badly broken - but after repairs it was mountable as read-only.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #7
TobiSGD
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I can see nothing from the OPs post that indicates a broken file-system.
Quote:
took just over two hours to complete attempts to repair bad blocks. But after that it said that it couldn't find the operating system when rebooted.
That looks more like a dying disk, so I assume that trying to backup his files is the first thing to do, before the disk dies totally or get more bad blocks that destroy the OPs data.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 06:20 PM   #8
Glaedr
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It really shouldn't be dying it's only about two months old.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
TobiSGD
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Well, as said before, there is always a chance that even a new drive dies. It may be caused of bad manufacturing, bad transport or bad storage, who knows, but that simply happens.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 06:48 PM   #10
igadoter
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The first rule : don't panic. The second: switch off, switch on. In the most cases the second rule works quite well.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 06:50 PM   #11
Glaedr
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That was the first thing I tried. Twice, actually. Same messages. But thanks for the suggestion anyway.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
culaterout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glaedr View Post
The memory map has a memory hole between 15mb and 16mb
Battery BAT0 claims it is charging but no charge is being added
supposedly higher frequency is slower on CPU0
processors are set to SW_ANY

Look this is the reason most people make poor bench techs....

First off Your running power off the wall socket this may not be giving you enough power to run which I imagine is a laptop to spin the disk... Also it seems to effect the CPU so this is a power issue...

Either replace the battery or get new machine... This being Sony I imagine this is an expensive battery...

Furthermore the machine could have taken a surge from the wall which hit this drive and killed it....


I would see if you can go into tech store try there battery to see if it is power related.....

Most of all the data you have presented is related to the BIOS not software... CPU problems, Fan problem and battery issue... Will not allow the Basic input output system to

run correctly....


Go into the BIOS and see if it see the drive or not...


This problem started do to power... This is not out of the blue.... You could be at a low powered wall outlet I more then likely can't see that usually the break box in the house would flip if it reached a surge at box....

Also to reduce time if you have the old hard drive put it back in and see if it is a dead drive...
 
Old 08-12-2011, 09:41 AM   #13
Glaedr
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I'm not sure if it is a battery issue. I left the battery charging for a while to see if it would hold it and it seems to have done that. The charge does go down faster than it did when it was new but it's never just stopped charging or gone within a few minutes or anything like that. The outlet has never had any problems and we haven't had any power surges. It surely would have affected the other electronics in the house too, including the other couple of laptops we have. We are in the UK too and European outlets have additional safety, I think. No idea what though besides the ridge on plugs and the earth pin.

I'm on the laptop now and using Knoppix and there were no errors loading or opening it that I noticed. But the version I'm using is newer than the back up tutorial I found and I have no icons on the desktop for different partitions. Does anybody know where I might find the files that I need to save? I'll try restarting the laptop again in a moment and see if the drive is visible. I just wanted to see if I could see the files first before opening anything like that up.

EDIT:
Bios option do not appear. Disk Read error now. Is there anything that could be other than harddrive death?

Last edited by Glaedr; 08-12-2011 at 09:58 AM.
 
Old 08-12-2011, 10:42 AM   #14
igadoter
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Sorry, you cannot enter BIOS because disk read error? To tell the truth I'm not quite sure what are you doing now. You have started Knoppix and there is no icons for a driver - I don't know Knoppix but maybe Knoppix doesn't have an automounter. Run Knoppix, open a terminal and try this
Code:
$ fdisk /dev/sda
(it can be also /dev/sdb). If fdisk complains it is unable to open device then really is something wrong with a) the disk itself b) a cable (a connector) c) a driver. It is possible that a driver for your hard disk from OpenSuse is a proprietary driver. It is possible to recover some read-write disk error - I've got problems with an installation of FreeBSD cause of read-write disk errors - but OpenBSD
was able to pass through these errors by switching a hard drive into a different working mode. The questions about disk is dead or not better to ask on the hardware forum. Next Knoppix is not a rescue CD. You need something which is addressed to testing hardware.
 
Old 08-12-2011, 10:50 AM   #15
Glaedr
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I know it's not a rescue cd, I downloaded one of those too. I'm just trying to get my files at the moment. Nothing comes up on the screen at all before "disk read error operating system not found". If I try hitting an f key before it comes up it doesn't seem to do anything. My sister had an error like this once but it was one of those laptops that you just slide the hard drive into from the side and it had become dislodged. I'm a bit confused as to why I might need to change the working mode since as far as I can tell nothing happened to change it into the wrong mode in the first place.

Typing the highlighted line into a terminal, I get:


knoppix@Microknoppix:~$ fdisk /dev/sda

WARNING: DOS-compatible mode is deprecated. It's strongly recommended to
switch off the mode (command 'c') and change display units to
sectors (command 'u').

Command (m for help):
 
  


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