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Old 11-15-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
tandlj
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Linux distros install but then don't complete boot


I have installed several Linux distros (eg latest SuSE, Mint, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Fedora) in a PC which also runs Windows 7 as dual boot.

All install OK and then reboot, displaying the Grub menu and then going nowhere (ie stopping on an empty, or coloured page, or one with a flickering prompt at the top left corner).

The PC has the Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H board, an AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6Ghz processor and 4GB memory.
__________________
Cheers, Joseph
 
Old 11-15-2011, 01:53 AM   #2
thinmintaddict
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booting to windows from grub works correctly though? If not, you may not have installed grub correctly.

Does booting from a live cd work properly? If not, there may be some sort of hardware incompatability (most likely the graphics card)

If the answer to both questions is yes, then you most likely have issues with your menu.lst (or grub.cfg if you're using grub2). It's still possible that your graphics drivers aren't installed properly, or you have bad framebuffer settings etc.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 03:13 AM   #3
tandlj
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The answer to both questions is yes.

What I don't get is that it happens with each distro - does this point to something that has to do with the BIOS, or similar?

---
Cheers, Joseph
 
Old 11-15-2011, 03:45 AM   #4
jschiwal
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Do you get the flashing cursor right away, or does the system seem to start booting up first?

There are different possibilities.
A) a kernel boot parameter may be needed to allow you to boot (try safe mode and see if it boots)
B) you have more than one disk drive, and pre-boot, grub sees a different drive as the first one, than what the kernel does post boot. This can cause updating the MBR to fail. I had this happen on my old desktop. The solution is to edit the /boot/grub/device.map file to map which device is hd0 and which is hd1. This may entail just swapping the values already present in the file.
Code:
(hd0)   /dev/disk/by-id/ata-TOSHIBA_MK2049GSY_48CYT01OT
(hd1)   /dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BEKT-00F3T0_WD-WXC0Av8966517
You may also be able to change the boot order of the drives in your BIOS.

Try entering the kernel and initrd lines manually in grub and enter the "boot" command. The grub command line has tab completion, which allows you to find the drive and partition that has the kernel and initrd file.
eg
kernel (hd0[press tab key]

You will be shown which partitions are present, as in (hd0,3) or (hd0,4). Then add a slash to see the directories present. If /boot is on the root directory of the 3rd partition of the first disk: kernel (hd0,2)/boot/vml[TABKEY]
Do the same for the "initrd ..." line.

Here is a howto on booting from the grub cli mode. It may explain it better than I have:
http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/...LI%20Mode.html

Good Luck!
 
Old 11-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
tandlj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschiwal View Post
Do you get the flashing cursor right away, or does the system seem to start booting up first?

There are different possibilities.
A) a kernel boot parameter may be needed to allow you to boot (try safe mode and see if it boots)
B) you have more than one disk drive, and pre-boot, grub sees a different drive as the first one, than what the kernel does post boot.

Good Luck!
Thank you.

I only have one disk drive, so I have not done anything about your suggestions under B).

I have however attempted to boot in recovery mode, where the process fairly quickly stopped at these lines:
ACPI: Power Button [PWRF]
ACPI: processor limited to max C-state 1

Then, returning to the PC after a while and reviving the display with lifting and moving the mouse, the screen showed different lines:
udevd: '/sbin/modprobe -bv pci [some numbers], terminated by signal 9 (killed)
udevd: '/sbin/modprobe -bv acpi [some numbers], terminated by signal 9 (killed)
udevd: PNP0700 -bv pci [some numbers], terminated by signal 9 (killed)
and some more lines, all similar to this one:
[602.375404] logitech 0003:0460:c517:input,hiddev0, hidraw 1:USB HID V1.10 Mouse[Logitech USB Receiver] on usb-0000:00:12.0-3/input1
to which was added after a little while:
INFO: rcu_sched_state detected stall on CPU0 (t=16219, jiffies)
INFO: rcu_sched_state detected stalls on CPUs/tasks {0} (detected by 1, t=16219, jiffies)
_______________
Cheers, Joseph
 
Old 11-16-2011, 04:28 AM   #6
jschiwal
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So, the problem isn't with grub not starting the boot process. It does look like a BIOS problem. Please post the kernel versions of the OS on the hard drive, and your live distro. Including both the kernel version and your motherboard model may help in a Google search.

If the live distro has the same kernel version, check what the boot options are. Either from /boot/grub/menu.lst. or "cat /proc/cmdline". Using the same boot options may help. Try those options even if the kernel versions are different, however, different kernel versions may have different kernel boot options, but it's worth a try.

I wonder how along the boot process you get when trying to boot to the hard drive. Some distro's will write a boot log in the initrd environment, and then copy this file to /var/log/boot.msg when pivoting to the disk. If you get beyond this point, you might try booting up normally, then boot up with your live disc. Then see if /var/log/boot.msg is available on the HD, from when you tried to boot. Error messages there may indicate the problem.

Another option is to boot up to the live distro, and then running dmesg. Maybe errors shown when booting with the live distro will point to a solution.

----

This one is really punting. My old desktop would sometimes refuse to boot. It wouldn't even get into the post mode. Turned out unplugging unnecessary USB devices would allow it to boot. However, this was an intermittent problem, and prevented any booting. BIOSes used to have a enable ACPI OS, which had the opposite effect from what you would think. Turning it off, makes the OS do it's own ACPI probing IIRC, perhaps bypassing a buggy ACPI information. This is going back to the Windows98 era, so you might not have this.

----

Run a memory test. I probably should have suggested this in my first response. The live distro may have a menu option to do this.

Last edited by jschiwal; 11-16-2011 at 04:34 AM.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 06:02 AM   #7
Larry Webb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschiwal View Post
Turned out unplugging unnecessary USB devices would allow it to boot. .

Run a memory test. I probably should have suggested this in my first response. The live distro may have a menu option to do this.
Too late with this advice but unplug all usb except keyboard, especially any sticks or flash cards. Video is another consideration but will need a log report to spot.
 
  


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