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Old 04-17-2006, 11:21 AM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Grub error 16 in stage 1.5

I'm am suddenly getting a grub error 16 on a Debian machine at stage 1.5, at am at my wit's end to figure out what the problem is. It ran fine, until I decided to do an upgrade of the packages on the machine. Upon reboot, I got grub error 16. Having nothing on the disk to loose, I eventually did a reinstall with Debian 3.1 AMD64. But again got grub error 16. I used Knoppix to zero the MBR and installed again. And got grub error 16. I made sure that /dev/hda was selected as the boot disk in the BIOS, after the CD-ROM, but it didn't help. I grabbed a brand new disk, to make sure there was nothing lingering on a sector, ran the debian install, taking the defaults, and the problem still occurs. I have also tried, at various points, doing grub-install from Knoppix (sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/hda1 /dev/hda), but with no better results.

Hardware setup: MSI MS6702 motherboard, 512MB ram. Hda (the boot drive) is the primary master, and the CD rom is the secondary master using the onboard IDE. The machine also has an 8-port 3ware card (7508, if I recall properly), and a Promise UltraTX2 because the box contains 10 disks (for a raid 6 setup) in addition to the boot disk.

The disk is set up so that /dev/hda1 is the root partition. Inside the /boot directory are the files

Inside the grub directory, menu.lst is below. Nothing looks wrong to me, which makes it a mystery.

# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
# grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
# grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
# and /usr/share/doc/grub-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
default 0

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout 5

# Pretty colours
color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line) and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
# password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

# examples
# title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader +1
# title Linux
# root (hd0,1)
# kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro

# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specifiv kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro console=tty0

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=(hd0,0)

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
## alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
## lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
## altoptions=(recovery mode) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
## memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## ## End Default Options ##

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.8-11-amd64-generic Default
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1 ro console=tty0
initrd /boot/initrd.img

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.8-11-amd64-generic Default (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1 ro console=tty0 single
initrd /boot/initrd.img

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.8-11-amd64-generic
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.8-11-amd64-generic root=/dev/hda1 ro console=tty0
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.8-11-amd64-generic

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.8-11-amd64-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.8-11-amd64-generic root=/dev/hda1 ro console=tty0 single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.8-11-amd64-generic

Old 04-17-2006, 12:07 PM   #2
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according to this:
error 16 is--
16 : Inconsistent filesystem structure
This error is returned by the filesystem code to denote an internal error caused by the sanity checks of the filesystem structure on disk not matching what it expects. This is usually caused by a corrupt filesystem or bugs in the code handling it in GRUB.
you might try to boot up with knoppix or some other rescue disk and re-install grub from scratch.........
Old 04-17-2006, 12:21 PM   #3
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I was going to suggest that too - but it's already mentioned in the opening post.
Time to open the box and check the cables - maybe even replace for a test.
You seem to have tried everything else.
Old 04-17-2006, 10:26 PM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Well, I fixed it, but I do not know what the problem was. I took out the 3ware and Promise IDE cards, and the machine booted without any problem. I finished the installation, put the cards back, and now the machine seems fine. Maybe some kind of bad connection got fixed.
Old 04-17-2006, 11:04 PM   #5
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I wrote too soon. I rebooted again, and the problem is back. I remove both IDE cards, and now I get error 25. If I put back 1 or both cards, I get error 16.
Old 04-18-2006, 01:18 AM   #6
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Registered: Oct 2005
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FWIW, I replaced the cable on the boot drive, and now it works again. I'm not 100% confident that this was the cause.


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