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Old 12-24-2010, 01:15 PM   #1
xinquan
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Grub2 failing to load


Very strange Grub2 issue on my Dell Mini 10.

Had Crunchbang Statler on it, and after an update, it would hang at grub, before the grub prompt. ("loading Grub, Welcome to Grub" then blinking cursor, but no prompt or ability to get into rescue)

So I booted into a liveCD, chrooted in, and reinstalled Grub2, purging everything. No dice. Same problem.

So I figured the device maps weren't right, so I pulled off any important files via the live stick, and reinstalled #!. Same problem.

Did a bit of googling, and it seemed like it was most probably not a true Grub2 error, but a bios problem, so I reinstalled XP, flashed to a new bios (A11).

Then reinstalled, this time with Zenwalk (figured it might be a debian thing). Same thing. (note I replaced lilo with Grub2 for puroposes of testing)

Any thoughts?

Last edited by xinquan; 12-24-2010 at 01:23 PM. Reason: clarification
 
Old 12-24-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
Larry Webb
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Check your bios options and disable any security options or boot protection till after the install.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 11:32 AM   #3
xinquan
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Update:

I updated the bios, used dd to zero the whole disk, and reinstalled. I still get the "Grub loading. Welcome to Grub" then a blinking cursor.

Reflashed the bios back to the original (dell mini 1010, from A04 to A11 back to A 04). Tried different distributions, tried Grub-legacy, and now lilo won't work either. I can boot in fine from a USB (ie like supergrubdisk) to load the kernel, but not from the bios itself.

Motherboard problem?
 
Old 12-26-2010, 12:13 PM   #4
Larry Webb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xinquan View Post
so I reinstalled XP, flashed to a new bios (A11).
Was this from the Dell Recovery cd? Did the bios flash come from Dell or the m/b manufacturer. If so and you want to check try an install a linux distro without XP.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #5
xinquan
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Initially I flashed from the Dell XP cd. When I flashed back to bios A04, I made a dos USB stick with the A04 exe.
The bios's came from Dell.
XP was removed immediately after flashing (ie, I'm not trying to dual boot)

Last edited by xinquan; 12-26-2010 at 01:27 PM. Reason: clarification
 
Old 12-27-2010, 09:46 PM   #6
xinquan
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Another update:

I zero'd a good chunk of the hard drive with dd, then used a live gparted to make a new partition table.
1)Installed Zenwalk with lilo. No problem. Wiped and started fresh.
2)Installed debian Lenny stable with grub-legacy. No problem.
3)Installed aptosid xfce (since it installs fast): same as before--stalls after loading grub but before giving a grub prompt.
4)Used aptosid live to chroot and install grub-legacy: didn't work, even though I could go back in, chroot again, and confirm a proper stage 1, 1.5 and 2. Reinstalled at that point grub-legacy, grub2, and lilo. All were fail.

To sum up: if I install lilo or grub-legacy after a dd wipe of the MBR, it seems to work. Grub2 fails, as well as grub2 followed by anything without a zero of the MBR. This is true on both the old bios (A04) and new (A11).

very strange. Any thoughts appreciated.
 
Old 12-28-2010, 05:05 AM   #7
Larry Webb
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It sounds like a Dell bios problem, try making a 2 meg partition and wipe with dd. Then install grub legacy in that partition. Now if it will boot to a grub prompt, install your other programs and put their boot loaders into their / and chainload them.
 
Old 12-30-2010, 12:43 PM   #8
xinquan
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I just decided to install debian lenny, and hold grub-legacy, at least until this bug is squashed. I will file a bug report upsstream, but I am not marking this solved, as this is a workaround only.
 
Old 06-11-2011, 03:37 PM   #9
cypix314
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I had the same problem with Crunchbang Statler and grub2 also on a dell mini (1010). I was able to solve it by disabling the graphics of grub2--that is running the grub menu as text--by changing a line in /etc/default/grub and then re-installing grub2. I am still using grub2, just without any fancy graphics. The graphics once I get linux started are as usual. I followed https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Gr...c/default/grub (file) to disable graphics by changing the following line in /etc/default/grub from
#GRUB_TERMINAL=console
to
GRUB_TERMINAL=console


More specifically, I followed https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#ChRoot but after running
sudo chroot /mnt
I ran sudo gedit /etc/default/grub to edit the line as described. Then I resumed following the ChRoot part of the Ubuntu grub2 guide.
 
Old 06-12-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
xinquan
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Interesting, but doesn't explain why I couldn't simply chroot in, remove all traces of grub2, and install grub-legacy or lilo. A dd wipe of the MBR seemed to be necessary.
 
Old 06-12-2011, 02:21 PM   #11
cypix314
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mounting ideas

I don't have any good ideas, except for maybe problem with the mount commands that could cause grub2 to install incorrectly. I had some problems earlier installing grub2, since I didn't realize that I needed to mount all of / /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys /home from my drive to get update-grub to work. Maybe one doesn't need to mount all of those, but before I understood grub2 properly, I tried just mounting /dev/sda1 to /mnt and /dev/sda5 to /home. This, of course, was not enough for update-grub to work properly.
 
  


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