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Old 06-12-2006, 04:49 PM   #1
agentchange
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Registered: May 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
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Installation timed out and boot loader is messed up?


Well this one really takes the cake.

I set about to reinstall Suse, deleting my Windows partition, reformatting the Linux partitions, and starting all over with everything I need in order to have a complete package.

Then ...

I had to leave the computer for a few hours while Disk 1 was being installed. When I get back, my computer is OFF. I tried starting it up from the Disk 1 installation disk, tried starting it up without a disk, and even tried starting it up with a Windows Millenium boot disk, and every time I got the same result, the screen displayed at the bottom, frozen in time, immune to Del, F8, F12, TAB, or Ctrl-Alt-Del.

I am going to download a DOS floppy boot disk and/or look for a Linux/Suse floppy boot disk, but I am not sure if that will have any effect based on my experience, so far. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

------------------------------------------------------
Megatrends AMIBIOS (C)2001 American Megatrends

Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU, 1.70 GHz
Checking NVRAM ...
262144 KB OK

DEL: SETUP F8: BOOT MENU F12: NETWORK BOOT TAB: LOGO

Pri Master: GAS 64812 MAXTOR 90845D4
ULTRA DMA MODE-2, S.M.A.R.T. Capable and Status OK

Sec Master: 100 DVD DC 16X8X5

Last edited by agentchange; 06-12-2006 at 05:05 PM.
 
Old 06-12-2006, 05:18 PM   #2
Adrian Baker
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It sounds like you can't even boot to the Bios as the bootloader is so corrupted. I had a problem similar to this on my laptop and no matter what I did I couldn't get past the initial boot where the laptop got stuck in an eternal loop. This may not be of help to you, but what I had to do to get back into my laptop was rather radical...

I removed the hard disc, then turned it on. This stopped it hitting the corrupted bootloader, and allowed me to get it to start to boot from the SUSE DVD. As soon as this started I quickly replugged in the hard disc to allow the DVD to boot.
If all else fails, try this, although I'll be the first to admit that it is NOT advisable to treat hard discs in this way! In my case, I'd tried everything else and had not been able to get into my laptop, or the data on it for over a week.
Hopefully someone else will have a better idea.
 
Old 06-12-2006, 06:07 PM   #3
agentchange
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I tried that and still get the same effect. Is the boot loader on the hard disk or the BIOS? I'm thinking that I may just need to get a new BIOS. I have always had trouble accessing the Boot Setup since I got this computer.
 
Old 06-12-2006, 06:59 PM   #4
syg00
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Do the BIOS upgrade. Check all cable seating - all the obvious things.
BIOS does the POST (power on self test) which you should see something out of, then goes looking for boot-loader code on devices that you specify in the BIOS panels.

Sounds like you aren't getting that far.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
agentchange
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Correction ... the power was somehow shut off briefly in my residence, which caused the mishap.

I think what happened was this:

1) The installation process formatted the drive and proceeded with installation of Disk 1.

2) The power got shut off.

3) Doesn't the boot code get written at the very end of the installation sequence, like after Disk 5? I remember seeing somewhere that during the installation of Disk 1, a basic kernel and stuff like that is installed, but what about the boot loader code that was formatted?

I did get ahold of a basic DOS boot disk and tried that with the exact same result. I have a Knoppix CD that I will try next, but I doubt it will get me any further because it keeps stalling at this same point, no matter what action I take.

I am starting to think that I need either a new BIOS to match my board or a whole new motherboard. This is quite out of my league.

Last edited by agentchange; 06-13-2006 at 12:49 AM.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 12:49 AM   #6
agentchange
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if only I could get the thing to boot ...

Last edited by agentchange; 06-13-2006 at 01:55 AM.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 04:59 PM   #7
Adrian Baker
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Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2007 on my laptop and Suse 10.2 on my desktop.
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The boot loader is on the hard disc. As syg00 says above, the BIOS does the POST stuff then tries to find a bootloader of some type. That is why removing the corrupted hard disc on mine enabled it to boot from the CD rom. With your hard disc removed, EXACTLY what messages do you get up on the screen? What messages are you getting WITH the hard disc in. Please post the messages you see as that will help in solving the problem.
 
Old 06-14-2006, 06:55 PM   #8
agentchange
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When I disconnected the hard drive, I got this same message. What it looks like is that the BIOS is looking for boot loader code on the hard drive that simply isn't there, for whatever reason, whether it is because the boot loader code is not written until further in the installation sequence or because all changes were disintegrated when the power was shut off. However, then I should still have a free hard disk to boot from, with the aid of any kind of boot disk, at least.

Which leads me back to the ultimate conclusion that it is the BIOS that is corrupted. I talked to several people today and found out that there should be a jumper on the motherboard to reset the CMOS, and see if it might work afterwards. However, there are not any jumpers labeled "CMOS", so that is slowing progress a bit.

Would the jumpers for the CMOS necessarily be very near to the BIOS chip? There are two jumpers right next to it that look like they are connected to it. I tried resetting it using these, to no avail. The ultimate conclusion is looking like I have to buy a new motherboard and RAM, because nobody sells socket 478 motherboards that are made for SDRAM anymore.


------------------------------------------------------
Megatrends AMIBIOS (C)2001 American Megatrends

Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU, 1.70 GHz
Checking NVRAM ...
262144 KB OK

DEL: SETUP F8: BOOT MENU F12: NETWORK BOOT TAB: LOGO

Pri Master: GAS 64812 MAXTOR 90845D4
ULTRA DMA MODE-2, S.M.A.R.T. Capable and Status OK

Sec Master: 100 DVD DC 16X8X5
 
  


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