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Old 10-20-2017, 03:45 AM   #1
new2me999
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Registered: Oct 2017
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Unhappy "Nothing to boot to"


I'm a lifelong Windows user, and have operated a policy of (physical or software) clone-and recycle hard discs so that there is always a week-old swap-to fallback disc. It's a policy that's protected against data loss for over ten years.

Yesterday, our fresh bare-metal Linux 16.04 server had groupware (paid) installed on it by remote SSH. It worked perfectly, and at the end of the process after SSL was installed, following the habitual policy of clone-to-protect, the hard disc was removed from the Linux box, another donor disk found (it happened to be twice the capacity) and Clonezilla 32bit was used to clone source to target. I checked three times with the serial number labels on the two HDs before committing that source and target were absolutely certain.

Clonezilla proceeded without incident, although I did notice a screen at the end of the process which flashed up something like 'GUID or something.... Grub something....' which looked like Clonezilla was reporting a potential (boot) issue. I wish I'd taken more notice.

When the source (or indeed target) drives were returned to the Linux box and reconnected, neither boot. Both report within a second of power-up "Nothing to boot to".

This is most unexpected, because this has never happened when cloning Windows discs.

Now I'm in a real hole. I've paid for software to be installed, the supplier has done his job, and I can hardly ask to start over again. It's not his fault, and indeed, all I have done is to apply long-standing clone-to-protect-data policies that have worked for a decade or more.

Is there a solution? It has the 'feel' of a boot-up mismatch problem, but why Clonezilla caused it I do not know.

As you can imagine, I would be most grateful for any advice to get me going without reinstalling Ubuntu from scratch, which of course, does not actually solve the ongoing issue of how one can continue to apply the long-standing data protection policy. My knowledge of Linux is practically zero, although having to use terminal for the days leading up to the remote installation wholly overcame my fear, and I can see now why nobody familiar with Linux would ever revert to Windows. So I am on a journey.

I'm in your hands folks. Thank you.

Last edited by new2me999; 10-20-2017 at 11:41 AM.
 
Old 10-20-2017, 10:02 AM   #2
Keruskerfuerst
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There is no Linux 16.04, but Ubuntu 16.04.3.

Why do you want to install the server version of Ubuntu?
 
Old 10-20-2017, 10:04 AM   #3
business_kid
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When the source (or indeed target) drives were returned to the Linux box and reconnected, neither 
boot. Both report within a second of power-up "Nothing to boot to".
That's the kernel of it. Are you working with EFI/UEFI? Can you get a linux terminal going on anything and we'll see what's going on? Boot from the Ubuntu install cd but don't reinstall. It sounds like your boot is screwed, which isn't as serious as it sounds. Try Ctrl_Alt_F2 on the Ubuntu DVD and see if you have a terminal there. The linux boot process is roughly
1. Grub argues with UEFI.
2. Grub selects a kernel based on your input or settings.
3. The kernel loads, and boots, mounts the filesystem and runs the startup stuff.

It sounds like 1 or 2 is awry.
 
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:59 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2me999 View Post
Clonezilla proceeded without incident, although I did notice a screen at the end of the process which flashed up something like 'GUID or something.... Grub something....' which looked like Clonezilla was reporting a potential (boot) issue. I wish I'd taken more notice.
I think this may be where things started to go downhill. The two disks have different GUIDs, so something may be looking for the original disk and not finding it. Presumably this is a UEFI problem rather than a Linux one, as you aren't actually getting as far as Grub starting no Grub prompt or "kernel panic" message.
 
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:38 AM   #5
new2me999
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Thank you for your replies. I'm going to try and be as methodical as I can be before committing to any fixes. I have discovered one interesting thing following your thought train.

I noticed that when I esc-boot to the HP 'bios', I am presented with a 'bios' option ... "Run EUFI application". Under that menu, I can proceed to the correct identification of the damaged HD, then to 'Ubuntu' (which was indeed the installed OS), and then down to mxm64.efi, grubx64.efi and shimx64.efi.

Picking grubx64.efi (simply because the word grub looks familiar) I get a red box 'the application has failed a security check... esc...'. Picking shimx64.efi I get the Gnu Grub V2 black-screen, and the top listed default item is Ubuntu. After a delay it takes me to what seems to be a normal-looking activity txt listing, finally resulting in a user login request. When the user name and password are entered, I get the normal-looking 'Welcome to 16.04.03...' screen.

There is no GUI on this box, so I cannot confirm any more than that without typing.

Does my description make any sense to you? Obviously the data seems OK, but I don't want to be using the 'bios' to start the server.

BTW: From what little I know know, I'm using the term 'bios' in quotes meaning the firmware on the HP motherboard as that's an old school term I'm familiar with. The 'bios' reports that it defaults to 'EUFI boot source', 'Legacy Boot Source' is disabled. Oddly, the EUFI boot sources are listed in order as: USB Floppy/CD, USB hard drive and ATAPI CD/DVD. There is no mention in this area of the 'bios' of the physical motherboard-connected HD. That is reported in Device Configuration, Hard disk, SATA0.

Thanks for your efforts which have made me slightly more optimistic!
 
Old 10-20-2017, 12:19 PM   #6
new2me999
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Update 2:

I should have made it clear in the above that I have moved the target cloned HD to an identical HP (No.2) unit, to leave the server unmolested. I found that on this No2 HP (although probably not on the server), bios secure boot was enabled. I've turned that off now. All further experimentation will be on this No.2 pc.

Booting from the original Ubuntu install iso DVD, I am presented with a black GNU Grub V2.02 screen with seven listed options, the default is *Install Ubuntu Server. From your advice above, I should not select this reinstall. Of the other options, those looking promising to me are Check disk, Rescue a broken system, Boot and Install with the HWE kernel.

If I steer down to Rescue broken System and I hit 'c', I am presented with a black screen GNU Grub V2.20 'Minimal Bash-like editing is supported' and a solid prompt grub> able to receive text input.

I hope these descriptions are not overly verbose, but as a complete novice I have no means of being able to grade vital information against the obvious.

Thank you.

Last edited by new2me999; 10-20-2017 at 12:28 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2017, 01:19 PM   #7
business_kid
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You're in a good place, actually. That sounds right.

Next move is to find out what grub see4s. Here, we need someone familiar with grub which I can't claim to be. Maybe this would help?
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=rescue+gru...u&t=ffsb&ia=qa
 
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:41 PM   #8
fatmac
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When you installed your original distro, it likely used the disk UUID, which will be wrong for the cloned system.
Use a 'live' system to check what disk is being looked for in your grub.cfg file on the cloned system, it should match the actual UUID of the disk. Use blkid to find what it should be.
 
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #9
Keruskerfuerst
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What size do the discs have?
 
  


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