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Old 07-01-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
romad
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Trouble with Ubuntu install/boot


Hello All,

I'm a newb to the Linux world, and so far I am loving it! I've only been been at this a couple weeks but have managed to move all but one of my PC's to Linux (Ubuntu). I've installed laptops, desktops, and no problems... with one exception.

I have a Dell Optiplex 320 that was running Win XP Pro. I loaded Ubuntu on the system from within Windows (dual boot). After a few days i was convinced i should remove Windows all together. So i made a backup then installed Ubuntu, repartioning my drives as such: 2GB Swap, 10GB ext3 "/", and 147GB ext3 "/home". The install went great, but after the reboot i get a flashing cursor immediately following the grub menu (no matter which selection i make). The odd thing is if I boot to the Ubuntu CD and choose "Boot from first Hard Drive", i can boot into the OS, remove the CD and all is well. I've re-installed Ubuntu several times, also reinstalled Grub, but no luck.

I also posted this question on another site and received some good advice(check video, disable splash screen, reload grub, etc..) but no luck yet

Has anyone had this problem?? Help!!

Again i'm new, so please "dumb-down" any instructions...

Thanks in advance!!
 
Old 07-01-2009, 12:42 PM   #2
ronlau9
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Boot from the live CD and give us you're menu.lst and the outcome of the command fdisk -l
And as Ubuntu use UUID to describe the harddisk in you're menu.lst it might be handy to have them too
In case you did know the command ls-l /dev/disk/by-uuid gives you the UUId
 
Old 07-01-2009, 01:29 PM   #3
PTrenholme
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And check you drive for hidden partitions. Dell has a nasty habit of installing a hidden partition as the primary bootable partition, and having that partition "check" you system before letting you do a real boot. If you "google" it, you can probably find articles about how to repartition a Dell drive to get rid of the "helpful" partition.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 01:34 PM   #4
mark_alfred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romad View Post
The install went great, but after the reboot i get a flashing cursor immediately following the grub menu (no matter which selection i make).
Perhaps entering the command "startx" at this point would get ubuntu (specifically, xwindows) going.

Also, in grub, sometimes there is an option for "single user". Don't choose this one, as it's just for the root to do maintenance (normal use is always multi-user). Always choose the default option.

The only other thought I have is that perhaps you'll need to reinstall, in which case, rather than messing with partition sizes, it might just be best to go with the simplest and easiest default options.

Last edited by mark_alfred; 07-01-2009 at 01:38 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:04 PM   #5
romad
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Thanks for the replies.

Below are the results of fdisk:

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160000000000 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19452 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x41ab2316

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 1216 9767488+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 1217 1460 1959930 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3 1461 19452 144520740 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 1461 19452 144520708+ 83 Linux


This is an excerpt from menu.lst

title Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-13-generic
uuid a90b911c-c82e-4711-81cf-81043e7ff803
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-13-generic root=UUID=a90b911c-c82e-4711-81cf-81043e7ff803 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-13-generic
quiet

title Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-13-generic (recovery mode)
uuid a90b911c-c82e-4711-81cf-81043e7ff803
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-13-generic root=UUID=a90b911c-c82e-4711-81cf-81043e7ff803 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-13-generic


I have re-installed the OS several times and chosen default partitoning as well as trying the boot loader on different partitions. I also used Gparted to create a new partitions table.I was able to see the Dell utility partition and delete it also (approx 35mb)

Any ideas on what to try next are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:25 PM   #6
ronlau9
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What did you see on the monitor Grub> and that is it ?
If so what are the result of GRUB > find /boot/grub/stage 1
And GRub > find /grub/stage1
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #7
romad
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It boots directly to a blinking cursor, right after it prompts to press Esc to see menu. If I do press Esc the menu is loaded, but no matter what i choose i get the blinking cursor.. nothing else.

Results of grub> /boot/grub/stage1 = (hd0,0)
Restults of grub> find /grub/stage1 = Error 15: File not found
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:49 PM   #8
romad
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more specifically regarding the blinking cursor; the computer is completely unresponsive at this point. I cannot type anything or reboot with Ctr-Alt-Del. I can only cold boot (power the box off.)
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:59 PM   #9
PTrenholme
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I'm wondering if, perhaps, the UUID's were changed with the re-partitioning, although the installer should have used the UUIDs it found during the install.

But that's easy to check, and checking it won't make any permanent changes to your system.

When the GRUB menu is first displayed, press the "e" key to start the GRUB temporary boot configuration editor. Move the cursor to the uuid a90b911c-c82e-4711-81cf-81043e7ff803 line and press "e" again to edit it. Delete that line's contents and replace it with root (hd0,0).

Press return to save the temporary change in memory, select the next (kernel) line and replace the UUID=a90b911c-c82e-4711-81cf-81043e7ff803 segment with /dev/sda1. Then, again, press return to save the change.

Finally, press the "b" key to boot from the modified GRUB stanza.

My suggested change stanza should look like this before you press the "b" key:
Code:
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-13-generic root=/dev/sda1 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-13-generic
If that works, do a ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid to see what the "real" UUID values are, and replace the ones in menu.lst with the correct values.

Last edited by PTrenholme; 07-01-2009 at 04:01 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 04:23 PM   #10
romad
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I just gave it a try and no dice... although i assume that your reference to (hd0,1) was a typo, i tried it both ways (hd0,0) and (hd0,1). Still goes straight to blinking cursor...

it's nice to have something new to try, i'm at my wit's end
 
Old 07-01-2009, 04:55 PM   #11
jay73
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Quote:
The install went great, but after the reboot i get a flashing cursor immediately following the grub menu (no matter which selection i make)
This typically happens on systems that have had their BIOS disk order manipulated; when that happens, confusion can arise about what is and is not the first drive. I have found that the most convenient solution in such cases is bringing out a livecd and installing grub on the first drive. The procedure is fairly simple:
- boot livecd
- run sudo fdisk -l to find out which partition contains the root partition
- start up a terminal
-type grub
-type root (hdx,x) where the first x is the number of the hard drive (ranging from 0 to ...) and the second one is the partition contains the root partition (also ranging from 0 to ...)
- type setup (hd0)
- type quit
- reboot

Last edited by jay73; 07-01-2009 at 05:34 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 05:10 PM   #12
romad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
This typically happens on systems that have had their BIOS disk order manipulated; when that happens, confusion can arise about what is and is not the first drive.
I only have one physical hard drive in this PC... can this still be an issue?

Quote:
- boot livecd
- run sudo fdisk -l to find out which partition contains the root partition
- start up a terminal
-type grub
-type root (hdx,x) where the first x is the number of the hard drive (ranging from 0 to ...) and the second one is the partition containint the root partition (also ranging from 0 to ...)
- type setup (hd0)
- type quit
- reboot
I actually tried this on recommendation from another forum, but i booted to the Ubuntu Desktop 9x CD. Is that the same as the "livecd"?

Thanks, jay
 
Old 07-01-2009, 05:34 PM   #13
jay73
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Quote:
I only have one physical hard drive in this PC... can this still be an issue?
No, with only one drive installed, little confusion can arise.

Yes, the ubuntu livecd will do just fine for that purpose. Select the first option ("Try on this computer" or whatever the exact words are).

Last edited by jay73; 07-01-2009 at 05:35 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 07:31 PM   #14
romad
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OK, I booted to the CD, ran the fdisk -l. Results were /dev/sda1 is root. However when I run grub> root (hd0,0)...

'Error 21: Selected disk does not exist'
is returned. The really odd thing is, I am able to mount both volumes on the drive from within this session (booted from CD).

wtf? I hope this doesn't turn out to be something really simple after i've pulled all my hair out..

....where do we go from here....
 
Old 07-01-2009, 07:56 PM   #15
jay73
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sudo grub
 
  


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