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Old 03-21-2016, 02:36 PM   #16
sgosnell
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fstab is not a command, it's a file. You can only boot from the external hdd via Esc if it has grub installed on it, and apparently it doesn't. When you do the reinstall, make sure you have the installer write grub to the external hdd.
 
Old 03-21-2016, 06:36 PM   #17
Mi82
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Reinstall of Debian 8.3 has been completed. Grub definitely wrote to /dev/sda where the external (and only) HD is, but it STILL WON't BOOT from it. It only boots when two hard drives are in place (the other has the damaged Debian 7.4 installation on it that I am trying to replace) :-( The two HDs are almost identical, one is just a year older (that one works).
I get the feeling the PC just boots too damned fast to take stock of attached hardware that may respond slower than expected. I am going to look into boot parameters, because I passed thru that menu earlier today, to see if there is something I can do to designate a HD to look for or at least take more time looking to hardware before showing the "operating system not found" message.
 
Old 03-21-2016, 06:57 PM   #18
BW-userx
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have you tried taking that external one and slapping it into your laptop/pc if they are "almost" identical then I amused that it is internal being used as a external. See if it boots like that. one option you did not mention you tried.
 
Old 03-21-2016, 08:08 PM   #19
colorpurple21859
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Do you get the grub prompt with only the external hard drive attached that has debian 8.3 on it? What happens if you replace the internal hard drive with the debian 8.3 drive?

Last edited by colorpurple21859; 03-21-2016 at 08:11 PM.
 
Old 03-22-2016, 02:17 AM   #20
robertbas
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be aware that the more devices that are plugged into a USB the more likely there isnt enough power to run the USB port at full speed, especially a spinner...
 
Old 03-22-2016, 07:37 AM   #21
Mi82
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@ Robertbas: I use the same drive/setup on a different PC that crashed recently and it worked reliably for a long time. Since the light blinks like always and the external HD is accessible after booting from a LiveCD, I assumed power was not an issue, but there may be something to this.

@ ColorPurple: I do not get a Grub prompt with only the external drive connected. After BIOS, it says "Operating SYstem Not FOund"

@ BW-Userx: I have not tried "cracking the case" of my external HD because I have no experience with that. Is that reversible if it doesn't work? :-o
 
Old 03-22-2016, 08:32 AM   #22
Mi82
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The external HD can be booted if a LiveCD is in the tray!
 
Old 03-22-2016, 08:38 AM   #23
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mi82 View Post
@ Robertbas:
@ BW-Userx: I have not tried "cracking the case" of my external HD because I have no experience with that. Is that reversible if it doesn't work? :-o

I'd have to take a look at it. but if it has screws to take it apart then logic states they had to put it together the same way you have to take it apart only the reverse operation. That is if in fact it is just an actual internal HDD that they are using within a case. Otherwise I'd not mess with it if it does not have screws to take it apart. if it is snapped together that'd be one of them be very careful on how you unsnap it you may end up with a duct tape special.

but if screws are holding the case together then it shouldn't hurt to take it apart to get a look at what is inside of it. but if it is a WD External HDD or something like that then they are not made to boot from. as far as I know, and I have already tried that too. didn't work. because they are not made to be used as a bootable hdd. Just storage only. if it is glued together I'd not mess with it. but all hope is not lost yet.

I think perhaps it is a BIOS problem, I had a HP Elitebook 2730p, the BIOS has every port on the laptop listed in the options to boot off of. but none of them actually worked far enough to install off of a USB or SD Card. It's lose the mount when ever the Install jumped to the actual install mode.

just for piece of mind, I'd google around to see if you can find a BIOS update, but be very carful that if you do find one, that it is actually for that laptop/pc BIOS.

take the name of it then use that to google it searching to for anything to substantiate that it is in fact for your BIOS. Get all of your numbers off your laptop, model, make, chip set, using the model search for the specs on it looking for the chip set and possible the actual bios make model numbers anything to further identify it.

Because as you stated you installed it again on that drive without anything else connected then installed grub Hopefully to the MBR. but it is telling you that it is /dev/sda1

you could too try this, put your working Linux Hdd back into your Laptop, then hook up your external HDD get your kernel for 8 then install it along with the necessary files in to the boot directory. this way you know they are there because you put them there. then try supergrub2 to find your kernel on that external hdd to boot it.

or another way to try is -

if you can see your external HDD in a file manager with your internal HDD in your Linux OS that is actually booting up, then Manually install it using that OS instead. this works I know I've done it.

Code:
sudo blkid # to get the mount points
grub-install /dev/sdb # to tell it where to install it, it will install on the MBR external
update-grub
this way you know grub is installed, if not you'll see the errors if any you get when trying to install it on the external HDD from your internal HDD. this too will help you see what the problem maybe.

after grub is installed and updated you'll be using your external HDD to boot off of on both systems, (this is only temporary, until you re-install grub on to your internal HDD, just over write it when you do, it will not hurt anything, then update grub before rebooting or turning off your system to complete the process).

now try booting it, your external HDD will be the first on the grub list to boot off of if in fact it took.

Lilo boot loader can be your next try. Debian LiLo Bootloader

that should give you enough to try for now.

Last edited by BW-userx; 03-22-2016 at 08:52 AM.
 
Old 03-22-2016, 09:06 AM   #24
Mi82
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THanks!

Thanks! Those are some great suggestions. I will get "cracking" (i.e. the case of that external HD).
 
Old 03-23-2016, 08:14 AM   #25
amilo
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try this [URL="http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boot_flag"]
 
Old 03-23-2016, 02:57 PM   #26
Mi82
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Soo... I cracked the case on my external HD, turns out it is not SATA like I need :-( But it was easy to piece back together.

I ran Grub2 manually, as suggested, but still the system won't boot from the external HD.

I looked up boot flags and found that Gparted can set those, analyzed the external HD and it already has the boot flag set on sda1.

PLAN:
Try setting boot parameters (i.e. tell BIOS where to look): INSTALL_MEDIA_DEV =/dev/sda

Buy an internal SATA HD and try, since the BIOS menu has another menu (NOT the Boot Priority Menu) showing ONLY CD and internal IDE HD as options and it may be that this laptop can only boot from those two places.

Sadly, I read that Samsungs can be particularly hard to get Linux to boot from HD on.
 
Old 03-23-2016, 06:35 PM   #27
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mi82 View Post
Soo... I cracked the case on my external HD, turns out it is not SATA like I need :-( But it was easy to piece back together.

I ran Grub2 manually, as suggested, but still the system won't boot from the external HD.

I looked up boot flags and found that Gparted can set those, analyzed the external HD and it already has the boot flag set on sda1.

PLAN:
Try setting boot parameters (i.e. tell BIOS where to look): INSTALL_MEDIA_DEV =/dev/sda

Buy an internal SATA HD and try, since the BIOS menu has another menu (NOT the Boot Priority Menu) showing ONLY CD and internal IDE HD as options and it may be that this laptop can only boot from those two places.

Sadly, I read that Samsungs can be particularly hard to get Linux to boot from HD on.
if you can do eBay you might find a good one at a decent price
if you can boot a live Linux usb get one that has the install me icon inside of the session on the desktop, it might work for you. Linux Mint KDE has one I just used the other day, other flavors of Linux Mint should be the same set up and other Linux Live editions as well.
 
Old 03-23-2016, 10:34 PM   #28
Fred Caro
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Is your 'bios' UEFI and only overridden by an option at normal boot time. Look for legacy option in the bios and activate it, or turn the default off, you probably can always turn it back on.
Just a thought.
 
Old 03-23-2016, 10:45 PM   #29
jefro
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You say you move external hard drive to first in HARD DRIVE order or some usb order???

It should show up as an internal hard drive order choice. Don't use any usb choice.
 
Old 03-24-2016, 08:24 PM   #30
Mi82
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@ Jefro: my options were USB-HDD or IDE-HDD. I moved those to the top, and put USB-Key third.

This problem has been SOLVED, or rather: BYPASSED. I got an internal SSD, installed Debian, and it starts fine and I am now enjoying Debian 8.3. The problem must have been something that prevents booting from external drives, which we will never find out. An X-File.

Thanks everyone for your insightful comments. Even if I didn't manage to boot the external HD, I learned a heck of a lot about how Linux boots.

I never got around to tweaking the boot parameters. That might have been one last option.
 
  


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