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Old 09-13-2019, 12:19 AM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2012
Distribution: slackware 14.2x64, 15.0x64(current)
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-current64 install hangs at keyboard map select (pressing Return or 1 just hangs)

The box is an older VivoPC VM62N-G050R, And I'd already successfully installed slackware -- twice: first 14.1x64 (which was the most recent stable when I bought the box), and much more recently -current64 (current as of March 20, 2019). And everything was running fine until a few days ago...

...then, suddenly, nothing booted, not even the original pre-installed win8.1 that was dual-booting with both slacks. Turned out the hard drive had worked loose from its sata connector. I'd vertically installed the small box on back of an hdtv, and plugged its video into one of the tv's hdmi inputs. And unknown to me, until I opened the box, that vertical orientation has the disk hanging down from its sata connector. So I reseated the disk, and added a shim between its bottom and the case to prevent a recurrence. But when I booted, win8.1 came up, despite slackware having been set as first in the uefi boot order.

Rebooting and going into the bios showed no more slackwares. They'd disappeared and nothing I tried could recover them. So I decided to reinstall, and the usb install stick seemed to boot fine. But then, as per the Subject, it printed the keyboard map select message, and then hung. That happened several times, with several different slackware install usb sticks.

I had a spare sata drive lying around, and swapped that in. Then I successfully booted a gparted usb stick to reinit that disk, new partition table (msdos this time, no uefi) and new partitions. And gparted worked just fine. But then the slackware install did the same darn thing all over again. And I'd flipped the bios to legacy/csm, and made sure secure boot was off.

So at this point I'm at a loss what to try next. As mentioned above, I'd successfully installed slackware, and had been running it for ~4 years with no problems. Why would the install suddenly behave like this? -- both with the original uefi disk, and with a "clean" disk. Could that original disk working itself loose have damaged something, hard or soft?...

My best guess was that reseating the disk caused the bios to reset, and then I somehow missed some bios setting that needs to be changed. But I easily got slackware booting originally. And I carefully went through everything again, several times, and even flipped various things several ways just to experiment. Nothing works, always hangs at that keyboard map select. Any suggestions, either bios-wise or otherwise??? Thanks,
Old 09-13-2019, 07:04 AM   #2
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I'd take both disks away and sort them on another pc, or a friend's one. If you had partitions formatted for linux, have they reformatted? Has Win-8.1 urinated All over them? It's capable of rewriting the MBR, which would lose you grub/lilo and you could only see windows. Windows doesn't usually go as far as reformatting without at least asking.

Another real suspect is the sata cable & plug. I don't think windows can reset the BIOS. Taking the battery out of the bios resets them, or letting it go flat. You're on your own there.

EDIT: One last thing: spend some time in windows, if you must have it.This is because the Disk controller could easily be shot; they're sensitive.

Last edited by business_kid; 09-13-2019 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:03 AM   #3
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Registered: Dec 2012
Distribution: slackware 14.2x64, 15.0x64(current)
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Thanks, business_kid. Yeah, I have one of those external USB sata enclosures, like (in fact, exactly like that one), and maybe should have also mentioned that before I reseated the original disk, I put it in the enclosure and mounted it on my desktop box, just to check it out. Looks okay as far as I can tell (ditto the spare sata drive that I tried installing -current64 on). I don't know much about efi, but it looked like all the usual stuff was there on that efi partition (again, as far as I could tell). And if you take a look at the image of that micro-form-factor Vivo PC, there are no sata cables. Just the connector mounted pretty much directly on the mb. Also, recall that gparted booted just fine, and had no problem re-partitioning the spare drive. So the connector and disk controller are likely okay.

Also, I'd tried googling my problem before posting, and did find several similar posts like this one, But didn't find an explanation or solution. So it's perhaps a rare but not unique problem, suggesting maybe not a hardware problem. But I suppose it could be anything (outer space aliens notwithstanding).

P.S. Battery's okay since date was okay when win8.1 booted. And I was familiar with the bios settings I'd changed, like a 10-second post delay rather than the default 2, and all that seemed unchanged, as far as I could tell. Nevertheless, some kind of bios screw-up was still my best guess. But, again, I suppose it could be anything.

Last edited by forkosh; 09-13-2019 at 09:13 AM. Reason: mentioned that gparted works


bios, hangs, install, uefi

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