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Old 01-28-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
mesri23
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Boot error after replacing failed HD


I've got a 3 year old self-assembled system running Ubuntu 9.04, with an AMD Phenom 9850 quadcore with 4G ram on and M3A78-EMH-HDMI motherboard. I'm not really a hardware person, but the assembly was pretty smooth. A year ago (while running Ubuntu 8.04) I started getting messages that my HD was about to die (a 500G Western Digital).

I ran out and bought two new HDs, a 1T WD Caviar black onto which I copied everything from the dying drive, and a 500G WD Caviar green onto which I installed Ubuntu 9.04. Everything went fine, except that I couldn't seem to get the system to boot if I removed the dying drive. So I just left it in. I've been getting "About to die" messages for the last year, but I had all the data on the backup 1T drive, and the system was actually running from the new 500G drive, so I didn't worry about it.

Last week the dying drive finally actually died, and the system failed to reboot on the next try, the error message was:
Secondary Master Hard Disk Error
No IDE Master H.D.D. Detected!
Press F1 to Resume
Nothing happened after hitting F1.

There are 6 SATA ports, 4 red ones (1-4) and 2 black ones (5-6). Sadly, I failed to note which ports the drives were plugged into before I started tinkering.

I seem to be able to replicate this error whenever the 500G drive with the master boot record is in a higher numbered port than the 1 T drive. If I reverse that so the 500G is on a lower port number, and if I make sure that the 500G drive has a higher boot priority in BIOS, then I get no error messages at all, but after the POST sequence is finished all I get is a blinking cursor at the top of the screen that doesn't respond to the keyboard (never even getting to GRUB). I can Ctrl-Alt-Delete to reboot, but nothing else has any effect.

I've tried pulling the CMOS battery to reset the BIOS, with no change.

I've tried booting from the CD with an Ubuntu 10.10 liveCD, which works perfectly. I'm even able to mount the two HDs, and verify that nothing seems to be wrong with their filesystems, and there are no messages in the SMART monitoring.

I just can't boot from the HDs.

I've seen similar issues solved in this and other forums, but nothing that is quite the same as this one -- so I would appreciate a pointer in the right direction if this isn't the right place.

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
rizzy
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Try to chroot to copied drive and run grub update to write new MRB( Master Boot Record)

Few chroot guides:

http://karuppuswamy.com/wordpress/20...rescue-prompt/
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=157250[COLOR="Silver"]

Last edited by rizzy; 01-28-2011 at 10:30 AM.
 
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
theNbomr
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I will answer by way of a hypothesis. You say you 'copied everything', which I interpret as a filesystem oriented copy (ie. you copied files only, in some way). What this method fails to copy is the bootloader, the first part of which lives in the Master Boot Record. If you are able to boot with a rescue CD/DVD, you should be able to get to a point where you can run grub, and install it to the Master Boot Record. I am not acquainted with Ubuntu, so I'm reluctant to post any such distro-specific advice. A Google search for 'grub-install Ubuntu' turned up a lot of hits that seemed to be of value, especially How to install Grub from a live Ubuntu cd.
--- rod.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 10:50 AM   #4
mesri23
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The thing that makes me a little skeptical about these suggestions is that the system was running from the new drive for the past year. The new 500G drive did not have anything copied from the old one -- that was a fresh install of ubuntu 9.04. The 1TB drive was the one I copied "everything" onto. I've only been using that drive as a backup and storage for data -- the filesystem has not been running from that drive, and I'm not trying to get it to run from that one.

There's even a grub directory on the new drive, and if I use the "Disk Utility" in Ubuntu, it shows a "Master Boot Record" on the drive -- I'm going to backup my home directory from the smaller drive before I try putting another one on it.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 12:06 PM   #5
EDDY1
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Quote:
500G WD Caviar green onto which I installed Ubuntu 9.04. Everything went fine, except that I couldn't seem to get the system to boot if I removed the dying drive. So I just left it in.
Is it pata or sata, if pata you need to change the jumpers and install grub.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 12:14 PM   #6
mesri23
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Is it pata or sata, if pata you need to change the jumpers and install grub.
That sounds promising. All six ports on the board say "SATA", but looking at the Disk Utility info in Ubuntu (when I boot from the 10.10 liveCD), it shows a SATA host adapter (with the CD drive, which is plugged into SATA4 on the board), and a PATA Host Adapter, with both of the newer drives, 500G is plugged into SATA5 and 1T is plugged into SATA6.

So is it that what the board calls SATA 5 and 6 are actually PATA (those are the two black ones, the other 4 are red)?

Can I just move all three drives to SATA 1-3?

Thanks!
 
Old 01-28-2011, 12:25 PM   #7
theNbomr
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PATA drives will have a 40-pin ribbon cable & connector. SATA drives will have a much smaller shielded cable, and it is often red in color. I have one system with an older motherboard which supports SATA drives but will not boot from one. Hopefully, you are not stuck with that problem.

--- rod.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 12:40 PM   #8
mesri23
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PATA drives will have a 40-pin ribbon cable & connector. SATA drives will have a much smaller shielded cable, and it is often red in color. I have one system with an older motherboard which supports SATA drives but will not boot from one. Hopefully, you are not stuck with that problem.

I see -- well then I don't have any PATA drives, and never did. So the board can boot from SATA. The thing that confuses me is that the system was booting from the newer 500G drive. The only thing that changed is that the older one died and I physically removed it. So somehow the old dying drive being present (and functioning) was necessary to get the system to boot from the newer one.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 01:08 PM   #9
rizzy
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the system was booting because the MBR was located on the old drive. Now the HDD is gone, with it the MBR.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

Last edited by rizzy; 01-28-2011 at 01:10 PM.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #10
EDDY1
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You'll need to download ubuntu-live-cd and someone here can give you information on mounting and installing grub. I think that I'm going to start learning the mount commands so that I'll be prepared if it happens to me.

Last edited by EDDY1; 01-28-2011 at 01:19 PM.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #11
mesri23
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the system was booting because the MBR was located on the old drive. Now the HDD is gone, with it the MBR.


Even though the Disk Utility info on the newer drive shows:

Partitioning: Master Boot Record

?

I'll try following the other instructions on the MBR and grub as soon as this backup is done, unless there's any other suggestions.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 01:45 PM   #12
theNbomr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesri23 View Post
Even though the Disk Utility info on the newer drive shows:

Partitioning: Master Boot Record
There is a Master Boot Record on all hard disks. The question is what is contained in it. It is always sector 0, and contains a partition table, and the 'active' flag. If the 'active' flag is set, and if it is in the list of bootable drives, then the portion of the MBR that is not a partition table is assumed to be a boot loader. The BIOS will load it into memory, and invoke it. This is the part which is probably missing. It was probably on the old, dead disk, and needs to be installed on the new one. Once the system is booted, the MBR is no longer needed, and the system will run just fine without it. I don't know whether grub-install will also set the 'active' flag on the MBR; you may have to use something like fdisk to do that.
--- rod.

Last edited by theNbomr; 01-28-2011 at 01:47 PM.
 
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:42 PM   #13
nicktickson122
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PATA drives leave jazz a 40-pin ribbon telegram & connector. SATA drives module someone a such small shielded telegraph, and it is often red in timber. I bed one system with an senior motherboard which supports SATA drives but gift not rush from one. Hopefully, you are not stuck with that job.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 10:39 PM   #14
tiredofbilkyyaforallican
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicktickson122 View Post
PATA drives leave jazz a 40-pin ribbon telegram & connector. SATA drives module someone a such small shielded telegraph, and it is often red in timber. I bed one system with an senior motherboard which supports SATA drives but gift not rush from one. Hopefully, you are not stuck with that job.

???
 
Old 01-31-2011, 10:14 AM   #15
mesri23
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The karuppuswamy link had the clearest instructions and I am now back up and running -- and got myself upgraded to ubuntu 10.10 in the process.

Thanks to everybody for the help, and I will be more trusting of the first answer next time -- it just didn't make sense to me.
 
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