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Old 03-22-2010, 02:30 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: New York, USA
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Kubuntu v9.1 fails to boot after fresh install and display anomalies at the desktop

Hello all...

I'm picking up Linux again after several years. The last version a Linux I had was Mandrake v9.1. However, in looking to get the latest/greatest Linux I downloaded Ubuntu and Kubuntu. After installing Kubuntu the system reboots and fails to boot into the OS. After the P.O.S.T all I get a the word "GRUB". There is no response to any keys with the exception of Ctrl-Alt-Del. I am temporarily able to get passed the boot problem if I boot from the CD and choose boot from primary hard menu option. I'm not sure how to fix the boot up problem and could use some advice. However, using the CD to boot up the hard drives installation leads me to my next problem.

While in a desktop session I am unable to drag windows by their title bar. When attempting to drag a window, the desktop becomes covered with parts of the original window spreading all over the screen in multiple directions. It looks like a kaleidoscope or bad acid trip image. I suspect the video anomalies might be configuration related or improper driver. Again guidance would be greatly appreciated here.

I have a good 'ole Matrox MGA Millenium card installed into a P4 1.8ghz system, with 512 MB ram. The hard drive originally had an old install of Mandrake v9.1, but all of the partitions were wiped and I created 3 new partitions:
- /dev/sda1 20GB Bootable/Primary Partition EXT4 (Unbuntu mounted at /)
- /dev/sda2 18GB Primary EXT4 (Kubuntu mounted at /mnt/Ubuntu_dsktop_91)
- /dev/sda3 2GB Swap space

My intent was to install Ubuntu on the 2nd primary partition and be able to switch between them. However, I tried installed Ubuntu on the first partition (reformatted of course) and I encounter the same boot problem and display problem.
Old 03-22-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: New York, USA
Distribution: Trying out several distros.
Posts: 37

Original Poster
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Since my last post I installed Microsoft Windows 2000 server and Windows XP and both installed without any hardware problems. For each of the installs I removed all existing partitions and created new partitions of different lengths (Win2000 server = 14.5GB, WinXP 22.8GB). The above was performed to rule out any possibility of hardware errors.

Before I attempted my first Ubuntu install the hard drive had an old working Mandrake v9.1 install, which was performed years ago on different equipment. Mandrake recognized the equipment changes and still booted up properly. Although I didn't check sound capabilities within Mandrake. I was able to login and reach the desktop.

As for the Ubuntu and K-Ubuntu installs... Each install is done in graphics mode with mouse support. All existing partitions are deleted and new partitions of different sizes are created during each install. After each install the system fails to load the Linux operating system (warm and cold boots). Immediately after the P.O.S.T information I'm left with the word "GRUB" and a blinking cursor in text mode. Graphics mode is never entered.

Here are the specs on my hardware:
- Asus P4B rev 1.03 Motherboard
- Intel P4 1.8ghz CPU (retail package)
- 512MB RAM (2 sticks)
- Sound Blaster Live sound card (onboard AC97 audio is disabled via bios)
- 3Com 3C905-TX 10/100 network card (PCI)
- Matrox MGA Millenium Video card (PCI VGA bios selected in bios setup)
- Asus 52x CDROM (IDE 2nd port)
- Western Digital WD400 40GB Hard drive (IDE 1st port)
- Generic 1.44MB floppy drive
- NEC MultiSync FP955 Monitor
- onboard: 2x serial ports, 1x parallel ports, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, 2x USB ports, 2x IDE ports, and 1x floppy port.
- Generic cream colored PS/2 style Hewlett Packard keyboard with Windows keys and a Windows menu key
- Microsoft optical blue USB wheel mouse
Old 03-22-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Boston, MA
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For the first part, it sounds like grub2, the bootloader is improperly configured. Info on it here:

You might want to post your /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

Perhaps this is of use too:

Unfortunately, Matrox has poor linux support.
Post the xorg log at /var/log/Xorg.0.log

This might be of help too:
Old 03-22-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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I came here after looking at your other thread

First off. If sticking with Ubuntu. Have you tried booting using the safe graphics option in grubs menu?

Second. Forgive my ignorance on a
good 'ole Matrox MGA Millenium card
I run cutting edge Debian operating systems like AntiX. I have noticed that some of the newer kernels in Squeeze and Sid are dropping support/drivers for older gear. My suggestion maybe is since you are familiar with Mandrake already. You might go with a rpm based distro like Mandriva or CentOS (free redhat) or Fedora or OpenSuse.

Just because Ubuntu works on a lot of Hardware and Is popular. Does not mean it is the only good Debian Fork out there. Debian Lenny, AntiX, Mepis, Sidux (cutting edge), Knoppix, are good live Cd oprating systems based on Debian that you could burn a cd and run live and see how well they work on your gear also.

I would try in Ubuntu to boot into safe graphics mode first which is vesa mode. Then look for the appropriate driver for your card from there. Another alternative would be to unplug your moniter from the
Matrox MGA Millenium card
and plug it into the motherboard vga plug and see if Ubuntu boots up from there..

Usually when dropped to a grub prompt. You can boot up the live cd. Go to /boot/grub/menu.lst on your install. Look at the kernel line in the menu list and enter appropiate kernel information into the grub prompt. Trouble is the Ubuntus you are using use Grub 2 which I am not familiar with yet. I use Grub 1.5 legacy whenever possible and Ext3 file system when ever possible since those are what I am used to using. So I won't be of any help there.

Like how you mounted Kubuntu. I would have just mounted it to root also / like you did with Ubuntu. It has it's own partition like ubuntu on /dev/sda2.
I don't get
Kubuntu mounted at /mnt/Ubuntu_dsktop_91
why that was done at all. Simple is sometimes always the best way to go when learning.
Happy Trails, Rok

Edit: I see reed 9 has a grip on this. He is familiar with grub 2.

Last edited by rokytnji; 03-22-2010 at 03:34 PM.
Old 03-22-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Olympia, WA
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I am temporarily able to get passed the boot problem if I boot from the CD and choose boot from primary hard menu option.
GRUB is the boot loader. Since you are able to boot the installed system from the install CD boot menu, it seems you have a mis-configured GRUB menu.

That should be the first thing you look into.
Old 03-24-2010, 07:58 PM   #6
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: New York, USA
Distribution: Trying out several distros.
Posts: 37

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Thanks guys I really appreciate your replies and insights. I did some additional reading of reviews decided it might be worth it to have a look at a several distros. I'm not looking to fix Unbuntu v9.1's issues right now and so I'm going to skip that release for the moment. I need to get better familiar with Linux before attempting to tackle the problems I encountered. I'm hoping that will be part of the fun and a better experience.

From what I've read much of Ubuntu's popularity is due to the success of the v9.04 Desktop edition. So I pulled down Ubuntu v9.04 to test it out. After Ubuntu v9.04 is up I'll probably try Mepis and Mandriva.

FYI, I've never installed Vista, never wanted to install Vista, and since it didn't offer me enough reasons to move from Win XP Pro I didn't. I'll be grabbing Windows 7 because I know I will encounter it in the business world. However, I'm betting more individuals, organizations and businesses will warm up to Linux and open source software because of economic reasons. I would like to be ready to pitch Linux solutions when the opportunity comes along again.

I grabbed another box to place my Linux learning curve on. Here are the specs:
- Asus P4PE motherboard
- 1 GB RAM
- Pentium-4 2.4ghz
- (2x) 200 GB IDE Harddrives
- Plextor PlexWriter IDE CD Burner
- nVidia GeForce2 MX/MX 400 AGP video card (4x AGP I believe)
- standard 1.44MB floppy
- Standard 101/102 keyboard (with Windows key and Windows menu key)
- Microsoft Blue Optical Wheel mouse
- NEC Multisync FP955 monitor
- Asustek/Broadcom 440x on-board 10/100 NIC
- on-board: AC-97 Audio, Firewire ports, USB 2.0 ports, serial, parallel, PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 mouse

On my other box P4 1.8ghz I might later try a GUI less linux install as a server.


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