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Old 02-29-2016, 06:05 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2008
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Can install but not run any linux distro since ubuntu update

Hi, hope someone can help me out here...

I was running Ubuntu 14.x quite happily and updated to the latest set of downloads and bug fixes, etc.
Since then Ubuntu has not booted up properly. By properly I mean within an acceptable timeframe.
Initially it just took ages, and I mean ten minutes or so before it would finally boot up.
Sometimes it displayed errors such as writing to hd0, reboot and select proper boot device, canonical path of cow or just a GRUB prompt, I've had them all.

Eventually I got so fed up that I installed openSUSE.
Installation went fine, failed to boot up after restart.

Tried LinuxMint.
Installation went fine, failed to boot up after restart.

Finally decided to reinstall Ubuntu from the same iso as my original installation.
Installation went fine, failed to boot up after restart.

For each distro installation I searched online and tried all sorts of things such as gparted, boot-repair, creating dedicated boot partition, installing alongside an existing linux installation, everything.

Been at this for a couple of weeks now and still don't have a machine that's useable.
Just this evening reinstalled Ubuntu but on restart I get "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in se.........." you get the picture.

I really don't want to have to go back to Windows but I don't know what else to do.
Can someone, anyone please help me with this?

Old 02-29-2016, 02:08 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2014
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian 8 Cinnamon/Xfce/gnome classic Debian live usb
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If installation is fine, then there may be a problem with BIOS.
Are you sure once you've installed the OS that the BIOS is set to boot from the hard disk you've just installed to?

Does the installer say grub has been installed and updated (so it takes control of the MBR)?
Old 02-29-2016, 02:27 PM   #3
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How old is this machine?
Can you post some info on your hardware?

If you can't boot then obviously the bootloader wasn't properly installed. Are you using MBR to boot or UEFI? Since you only have the single operating system on the computer, leaving defaults during the installation should work.

If you have boot repair, it would be helpful if you ran that and post the output from selecting "Create BootInfo Summary".
Old 03-05-2016, 02:04 AM   #4
Tim Abracadabra
Registered: May 2014
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Distribution: Debian w/Xfce, LFS 7.9, ++
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I had a old system that all of a sudden started to boot very slow.
I noticed a solid hard drive access light and what sounded like some excessive hard drive head seeking noises.
Eventually the system booted but about 6 months later it died with Unrecoverable filesystem corruption.
aka hard drive failure
Glad I had backups !!

Maybe this is an hardware issue? Can you run diagnostics on the hard drive (S.M.A.R.T. or other) from the BIOS setup
or from a bootable USB drive?

Hope that helps,
Old 03-05-2016, 03:17 AM   #5
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Through out those many tries of different installers have you ever tried RESET TO FACTORY DEFAULTS your BIOS? If not try it once and install again before you proceed to other solutions.

If same problem persists, take out and replace a new BIOS battery. Power On and see if devices are listed properly.

If same problem still persists, take off the hard drive and attach another (one pre-ascertained in good condition); switch power On to find out if boot loader of another hard disk is receiving command from the BIOS, in this case, you have isolated the problem into the old hard drive. If the boot loader (on the test-hard-disk) has still a problem then likelihood is that the Mother Board is the real problem.

If ascertained that the old hard disk is causing the trouble you may still repair it using Gnu/Linux tools.

Also, one possible problem is the RAM chip. Try replace another in good condition. Or you may check your existing with a memtest available in many distros.

Hope that helps. Good luck.


Last edited by malekmustaq; 03-05-2016 at 03:19 AM.
Old 03-05-2016, 03:28 AM   #6
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yes, probably it is a hardware related issue. You also may try to boot from pendrive - just to check if that works.


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