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Old 09-21-2019, 06:39 AM   #1
LinWinux
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Broken Grub startup after latest Sep. 2019 snapshot installation ...


This is pretty weird. I've been making my own custom German language snapshot installations of MX Linux for the past couple of years. Never a problem until today, with the very latest snapshot that I just set up for myself on September 19th. So creating the snapshot itself went without a hitch, like always.

When I went to install that snapshot on another system, the snapshot booted up just fine by selecting the hardware multi-boot (USB) option from the start screen. The MX live system then booted up like it's supposed to, the install icon appeared on the screen as it should, and after clicking the install icon, the installation started. This is where things then changed a bit.

Although there was a progress bar at the top of the installation window, there was also in addition to that a GRUB configuration option located further down on that very same window (which normally appears later), and to make matters even more confusing, the NEXT or CONTINUE button at the bottom of that window was ready to be klicked on right away, even though it was clearly obvious by looking at the progress bar that the instalallation of the snapshot had just started.

So I waited for awhile and when the progress bar got to the 94% mark it suddenly turned into a text message, something to the effect of ... Installation paused due to waiting on user input. Umh, ah, WHAT USER INPUT ???

Was I supposed to klick on continue ... even thogh the snapshot installation had clearly just started ??? That didn't make any sense to me at all. Regardless, now it wasn't a matter of choice anymore, so I klicked on next. The progress bar returned, eventually completing as it should, followed by providing a screen message about restarting the machine upon completion of the installation. All done, so I rebooted the machine ... and ended up with a black start screen which only had GRUB> on it with a flashing cursor.

No matter what I tried, I couldn't get the system to provide me with a working bootable screen. I even used a boot-repair disk which I had used on a clients system just a couple of weeks earlier. That didn't fix the problem either. Tried a second installation from scratch, sat by the screen to see if I missed something the first time around, but no ... exactly the same as before ... eventually installation completed ... followed by a reboot ... and then the black screen with GRUB> and the flashing cursor.

I'm at a loss !!!

Without actually installing the snapshot on the USB stick, everything else on that stick works fine and it boots without a problem as it should. Any thoughts or ideas why I'm ending up with a black / grub screen? Thanks.

.

Last edited by LinWinux; 09-21-2019 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Error correction
 
Old 09-21-2019, 08:44 AM   #2
colorpurple21859
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your grub.cfg doesn't exist, it isn't in the location that the grub bootloader is setup to find it, or a grub module isn't loaded so grub can see the filesystem that the grub.cfg is on.
at the grub prompt
to determine where grub is looking for grub.cfg
Code:
GRUB>set
you could also run something like this to get booting
Code:
GRUB>linux (hd0,?)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda?
GRUB>initrd (hd0,?)/initrd.img
GRUB>boot
to see if the system will boot. the "?" is the number of the parition that your / is located on (assuming you don't have a separate boot partition).
then run update-grub as root to create a grub.cfg if it doesn't exist.

Without knowing any details about your system setup it is just a guessing game.

Last edited by colorpurple21859; 09-21-2019 at 08:49 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2019, 08:46 AM   #3
LinWinux
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UPDATE:

I got it working, but not as I would have liked to due to considerable extra effort / loss of time. I initiated a third installation of my snapshot from scratch. This time I didn't change anything anywhere as far as using gparted for some pre-configuration and when the continue button appeared at the buttom of the same installation window which I received earlier, I went ahead and clicked on it. There were a couple of more continue buttons to click on after that. At the end I was left with a more familiar window ... progressbar was still progressing and there was nothing visible about any grub options anymore.
The installation completed (no more pause either) with a success message and then the system was rebooted.

Dang it, still getting a black screen with grub !!!
Couldn't reboot because I got a message that the kernel had to be loaded first.
Couldn't start or or boot or anything but exit, which automatically initiated a restart.
The restart on the other hand got me back to the black screen of grub (lol).

Alright, let's try the boot repair disk once again ...
Hey, I finally got it working, just not with the default MX Linux grub screen.
Now there's a grub overlay which was created by the boot repair disk, but at least it finally works.

If only I could figure out why that black grub screen appears in the first place, and how to fix that ... ???

.
 
Old 09-21-2019, 08:58 AM   #4
LinWinux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorpurple21859 View Post
your grub.cfg doesn't exist, it isn't in the location that the grub bootloader is setup to find it, or a grub module isn't loaded so grub can see the filesystem that the grub.cfg is on.
at the grub prompt
to determine where grub is looking for grub.cfg
Code:
GRUB>set
you could also run something like this to get booting
Code:
GRUB>linux (hd0,?)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda?
GRUB>initrd (hd0,?)/initrd.img
GRUB>boot
to see if the system will boot. the "?" is the number of the parition that your /boot is located on.
Thanks a bunch. That's all good and well, only problem is that I fix up old computers and then either give them away or sell them real cheap to people who've either never used a computer before (yeah, they actually exist), or have them set up for people who are sick of Windows and sick of paying for everything. Obviously most people who wouldn't consider the notion of using anything that requires terminal commands. I just need to figure out what the boot-repair disk did in order to do the same thing on my own ... without wasting a bunch of time by actually having to implement the boot repair disk first. Even better would be figuring out why the grub menu wasn't created and placed in the root of the hdd as it should have been.
There's no dual boot and there's no windows ... just Linux with a 2GB swap.
Somehow the grub menu just didn't get installed correctly during the snaphot installation.
To me, with my limited knowledge, something minor appears to have been missed by the MX team.
(which explains why there's no problem with snapshot creation & initial booting of snapshot from usb)

.
 
Old 09-21-2019, 09:21 AM   #5
colorpurple21859
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I was just giving one way to get in and fix the problem. Why it happens, have no idea, especially on a simple setup as yours.
Quote:
Hey, I finally got it working, just not with the default MX Linux grub screen.
Now there's a grub overlay which was created by the boot repair disk
What do you mean by this, can you give more details, on boot repair disk is there an option to run boot-info or something like that,that will create a results.txt file that you can post.
 
Old 09-21-2019, 09:34 AM   #6
LinWinux
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Well, when MX Linux is first installed, the Grub Menu has 4 lines (if I remember correctly). The default boot, the option for systemd boot, the advanced options boot, and the memory check or recovery boot (I could be wrong, but that's what comes to mind at the moment).

But now when the system starts, I receive a blue screen instead of the black one. The blue screen only has 2 options, either boot directly into MX / GNU Linux (that's verbatim what is has on the screen), or get into the advanced Grub boot menu.

When I use the advanced boot menu I'm presented with the familiar black screen, but instead of 4 options there are now just 3 of them. Either regular GNU Linux, or the boot option for systemd Linux, or the recovery mode option.

I suppose it's not an overlay but just the way that the grub menu has been designed for the boot repair disk. It looked like an overlay to me because of the color. I just wasn't used to seeing a boot menu for MX with any other colors aside from the default black startup screen with grub menu. I also use my own background image during boot & login which includes support information and support email. My initial startup screen is gone now (obviously repalced by the new grub menu), but it's still there when the login screen appears.

.
 
Old 09-21-2019, 10:07 AM   #7
colorpurple21859
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If you have a copy of the grub.cfg that you normally use, you should be able to rename the /boot/grub/grub.cfg that the startup disk created to grub.cfg.old(in case your grub.cfg doesn't work for some reason) replace with your own grub.cfg
 
Old 09-27-2019, 01:25 AM   #8
LinWinux
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I suppose there's no grub.cfg that I could simply extract from an existing properly working snapshot? I do have a couple of other systems with grub working correctly off the snapshot that I made before this last one. Since all of those systems are also strictly Linux laptops without multi-boot or any other OS, I could theoretically just use the grub from one of those, right?

The only problem of course, is the fact that I would then have to repeat that process on every machine on which I later install my most current snapshot. It's probably better for me to just re-create that snapshot from one of the laptops on which the grub startup has been fixed? Even if that means keeping the grub screen from the Boot Repair ... that wouldn't be an issue for me either.

.
 
Old 09-27-2019, 05:27 AM   #9
colorpurple21859
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If you able to boot into the system using what is in post #2, once in the system,
then run
Code:
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
sudo update-grub

Last edited by colorpurple21859; 09-27-2019 at 05:52 AM.
 
Old 10-18-2019, 04:17 AM   #10
LinWinux
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UPDATE ... Thanks, but once I got the screen with >Grub there was nothing else that I could do, except to escape or exit, neither of which permitted the ability to update grub as per above commands.

The solution at the bottom of this page works for me. It's not perfect since it involves using third party boot repair, but it does work every time!
https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...on-4175662573/

.
 
Old 10-18-2019, 05:21 AM   #11
colorpurple21859
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Good you got a working a solution
 
  


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