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Old 09-16-2004, 05:43 PM   #1
BobM
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System won't boot, prints GRUB then hangs


Hi
Any help greatly appreciated...!

I've got a PII 300 box which I've been using as a file/print server for 2 years running Redhat 8. It's worked perfectly 24/7 until today when we had a powercut, forcing a reboot (it had been up for a few months until then).

Now, when it boots I see the usual BIOS screens but it then just prints "GRUB" in the top left corner and hangs. (*not* a grub prompt; just the word GRUB)

My first thought was maybe a disk problem so I ran Seagate's diagnostics floppy, but it sees all of my partitions and says the drive is good.

The next obvious step was to try booting for the Redhat install CD - the normal boot process starts but gets as far as:

partition check:
hda:

...and then just hangs.

I'm completely stumped! Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Thanks in advance for any help!!
Bob

Last edited by BobM; 09-16-2004 at 06:44 PM.
 
Old 09-16-2004, 10:53 PM   #2
jiawj
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hi!
You can bootup by RH CD1 on rescue mode and reinstall grub in rescue mode , run command "fdisk -l" to view whether partitions table well, pls print /boot/grub/grub.conf
 
Old 09-17-2004, 01:52 AM   #3
suowei1979
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bless
 
Old 09-17-2004, 04:28 AM   #4
BobM
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Hi Jiawj
Thanks for the reply! The problem is that when I try and boot into rescue mode the boot sequence hangs when it reaches:

partition check:
hda:

...so I can't get to the point where I can actually do anything.
I'm guessing the answer would be to get the CD to boot without checking the partitions so I'll have a search to see what boot options I'll need for this... or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Any ideas as to what could have broken GRUB? ie. does this sound like grub.conf's gone missing or something? I'm just trying to work out what went wrong so that if it was somehow my fault I can make sure it doesn't happen again!!

Thanks again for your help!!
 
Old 09-17-2004, 05:23 AM   #5
jiawj
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so luckless!! you might lose you partition table on hda.

but.... don't worry!!

I got a powerful harddisk kit at yesterday

If you had not written any data to /dev/hda since system crashed, I believe the kit can rescue your data.

testdisk-5.3.tar.gz ( http://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk-5.3.tar.gz )

compile and install it , then cp /usr/local/sbin/testdisk to a floppy, bootup system with RH CD1, mount /dev/fd0 with testdisk kit,

run testdisk.

testdisk can analyse your hda structure and print to screen
press 'ALT + F2' switch console and use fdisk /dev/hda,
repartition hda as same as testdisk export .

when repartition completed, reboot system and into rescue mode

note: don't format new partitions

use fdisk -l you can find partitions back.

Last edited by jiawj; 09-17-2004 at 05:32 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2004, 05:46 AM   #6
BobM
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Thanks again Jiawj!
I'll try that out when I get home from work.

The thing that's got me confused is that looking at the boot sequence when trying to boot off the disk or from the install CD's rescue mode it does indeed seem like it can't see my partitions (as I just get "GRUB" when booting from the disk, and it hangs at "partition check:" in rescue mode). But when I ran the Seagate diagnostic floppy it sees them all...

Does anyone know exactly what linux is doing when it does the partition check? ie. is it just trying to read the partition table, or a file from /boot or something?

Please excuse my lack of experience here - I'm still pretty much a linux noobie but I've been doing support for other unix flavours for the last 5 years!


[EDIT]:
I've just remebered... the kernel on the install CD doesn't like accessing this particular hard disk with DMA enabled - when I installed I had to use ide=nodma; installing the latest kernel fixed the problem. So I should be able to boot into rescue mode after all....
If I re-install GRUB and it turns out to be some other problem, the re-install won't break anything will it?

Infact... now I think about it, I recently ran up2date and I'm sure one of the packages updated was GRUB. If the update had replaced grub.conf with an invalid one, would the symptom be that the boot hangs in the way that I'm seeing? I'm gonna check out some GRUB documentation and hopefully find out!
[/EDIT]

Last edited by BobM; 09-17-2004 at 08:01 AM.
 
Old 09-20-2004, 05:57 AM   #7
BobM
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Problem fixed.

Incase anyone has a similar problem...
Once I'd gotten the box to boot into rescue mode (which was achieved with ide=nodma) itdid indeed turn out to be a grub problem - i ran grub-install (or is it install-grub?), rebooted and all was well.

Thanks for your help!!
 
  


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