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Old 06-14-2013, 02:56 AM   #1
ciscowen
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Registered: Jun 2013
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Linux Mint 13. Trouble booting. Can't use installation DVDs.


For a couple of weeks my Mint 13 has been turning itself off after booting up. I had to switch off power at the wall before I could re-boot.
Now it boots sometimes and sometimes not. I may get a screen with options about recovery mode and memory test etc. but they don't seem to do anything.
Then sometimes the first option does work.
I tried different distro installation disks (Mint 15, Ubuntu10.04) but I can't boot them from the desktop. When I click the icon it just shows the different folders on the disk.
I looked at [URL="http://www.ehow.com/how_6116125_fix-linux-file-system.html"] but but didn't understand, "Replace "/dev/sda2" with the correct device name for the partition." in part 4.
What's the correct name for the partition?
I would like to repair my MINT 13 as am scared of losing my videos by risking a new distro installation, (if I could even manage that!)
Please keep any advice simple, I am no computer genius.
Thanking you in advance!!!
 
Old 06-14-2013, 03:44 AM   #2
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

from what you describe, the only thing I can tell you is that your computer seems to have a problem. Not enough information to tell more. No offense, though - how could you know what information is important or necessary if you're not an expert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
For a couple of weeks my Mint 13 has been turning itself off after booting up. I had to switch off power at the wall before I could re-boot.
That could be a software problem (your Mint installation may be damaged), but just as well a hardware problem (RAM failure, overheating, an add-in card going rampant). Is this shutoff going along with anything strange? Like messages appearing on the screen in the last split second (even though it may be too quick to read them)? If it isn't, a software/installation problem is unlikely, though not impossible; if it is, this is a clear indication that the system reacts to some kind of event, maybe a hardware malfunction.

Have you tried to run the same or a different system as a Live CD? (No, you haven't, see below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
Now it boots sometimes and sometimes not.
Sounds bad. :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
I may get a screen with options about recovery mode and memory test etc. but they don't seem to do anything.
Then sometimes the first option does work.
That seems to be the boot manager (GRUB) presenting you different operation modes, the first of them usually being "normal" system boot. The others usually are: Booting in recovery mode, running a memory test, and booting a different OS (e.g. if you have Linux and Windows installed alongside each other).
If you have only one OS installed, GRUB usually doesn't display this menu; but if there was a problem with the previous boot, it does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
I tried different distro installation disks (Mint 15, Ubuntu10.04) but I can't boot them from the desktop. When I click the icon it just shows the different folders on the disk.
That's not how they're supposed to work! The point is to pop such a Live CD or DVD in and boot the computer from it. Then you can use the Live system, which runs completely off the CD without caring about what's on your hard disk. You can, however, access your hard disk from the Live system's file manager, and copy files to or from it. And that's what I would urgently recommend you: Boot a Live system, connect an external hard disk or a large-capacity USB pen drive, and back up at least the data you consider precious from your home directory.

But before you try to access the built-in HDD from the Live system, wait some time and just play around with the system. If your computer really has a hardware problem, it is very likely that the Live system won't run stable, either.

So if your computer keeps crashing or shutting off randomly even when booted from the Live CD, your best bet is to have a technician examine it very thoroughly. Or, depending on your ambition and the age of the computer, consider buying a new one. Then you can still take out the old unit's HDD and connect it to the new computer as an external drive for backup purposes.

But if the Live system runs flawlessly, your PC is probably okay (in terms of hardware), and you should really try to back up your data as I described above, and then do a clean new install. As much as I like Mint 13 (I'm also using it on two PCs for about a year), I don't think it makes that much sense to do intricate forensics and try and "reanimate" it, as support for Mint 13 will expire next spring anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
I looked at http://www.ehow.com/how_6116125_fix-...le-system.html but but didn't understand, "Replace "/dev/sda2" with the correct device name for the partition." in part 4.
What's the correct name for the partition?
We don't know, it could be anything from sda1 to sda5, depending on your installation (the most likely one is sda1, though). And honestly, I don't think I'd recommend this article. Using fsck on a partition as it suggests may fix minor file system issues, but if your problem is file-system related, it's rather a big one that fsck will probably choke on.

[X] Doc CPU

Last edited by Doc CPU; 06-14-2013 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Typo fixed
 
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:38 AM   #3
ciscowen
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Registered: Jun 2013
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Thanks DocCPU,

Quote:
Is this shutoff going along with anything strange?
The machine simply cuts out. No sounds or screen activity.

Quote:
If you have only one OS installed, GRUB usually doesn't display this menu; but if there was a problem with the previous boot, it does.
I am running only one, OS Mint 13.

Quote:
The point is to pop such a Live CD or DVD in and boot the computer from it.
I tried 3 different systems this way, Mint 13 & 15 and Ubuntu 10.04. The result is always the same. It kicks into Mint 13 with my old familiar desktop and icons. At least then I can use the computer but it's not the way it should be.
Looks like I'm going shopping for a HDD.

BTW There is a pattern to the cut - outs. When I get it started the first time (even with live disk inserted) it cuts out after 5/8 minutes.
However when I manage to start it again, the second time, it doesn't cut out.

Thank you for your help! Warmly appreciated!

Last edited by ciscowen; 06-14-2013 at 07:40 AM.
 
Old 06-14-2013, 08:16 AM   #4
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
The machine simply cuts out. No sounds or screen activity.
is this a real power-off, silence? No rushing of fans any more? 'cuz then I'd even suspect the power supply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
I tried 3 different systems this way, Mint 13 & 15 and Ubuntu 10.04. The result is always the same. It kicks into Mint 13 with my old familiar desktop and icons.
Which means your computer did not boot off any of these CDs. Not successfully at least, because then you would not get to your familiar desktop. Either you still do something wrong, or your PC is not configured to boot from a CD/DVD. Check the boot sequence in BIOS setup - possibly it's configured not to try CD-ROM at all, or to try the internal HDD first. Or it tried to boot the CD, but failed, and then booted from HDD anyway.
By the way: How did you burn the CDs or DVDs? I hope you didn't simply create a regular data CD and drag the ISO file on it, but instead really created a 1:1 copy of the ISO image ("Burn image" section in Brasero, if you used that one).

Oh, and even if the computer doesn't try to boot from CD, the drive will briefly spin up the CD/DVD when you insert the disc, which might make you think it is being accessed when it actually isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
Looks like I'm going shopping for a HDD.
I don't think this is the culprit, but I can't completely rule it out either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscowen View Post
When I get it started the first time (even with live disk inserted) it cuts out after 5/8 minutes.
However when I manage to start it again, the second time, it doesn't cut out.
Very strange, anyway. "Most illogical", Mr. Spock would say. At least this is some evidence (though not a rock-hard proof) that the hard disk as such works fine.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 06-15-2013, 12:13 AM   #5
Ztcoracat
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Registered: Dec 2011
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Your could try running "Memtest" to see if the RAM is going bad-
Most folks run it overnight.

I recently ran Memtest myself and the RAM was ok but I went ahead and replaced the RAM anyway and found out that my problem was not RAM.

Sometimes updating the BIOS or flashing them can lead to ACPI boot errors. Flashing the BIOS has to be EXACT or the system may not boot at all.

The other thing I've went through is if the battery to the laptop is done for it can cause the system to hang at boot, black screen and possibly what you have going on.

Reading through your /var/log or your dmesg log may be helpful.
I know; I have learned a lot from logs.

There is an application called "CPU Frequency Monitoring"that you can use to keep an eye on your CPU's activity.
If you do decide to install this application you will need to run:
Code:
sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils sysfutils
And you'll have to edit your /etc/sysfs.conf file and add this line:
Code:
devices/system/cpu/cpuo/cpufreq/scaling_governor = performance
The sensors command to see if your system is overheating is:
Code:
sensors -f | grep -i temp
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/l...eshooting.html
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=114695

HTH
 
Old 06-15-2013, 12:18 AM   #6
Ztcoracat
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These sites may help too-
That is if your machine is a laptop--

http://www.howtogeek.com/67660/how-t...eating-laptop/
http://www.fonerbooks.com/workbook.htm
 
  


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