At 21:27:53 on Wednesday Wednesday 07 January 2009, Felix Miata
On 2009/01/07 19:40 (GMT+0200) Stan Goodman composed:
I posted the
earlier phases of this adventure here about a month ago,
and have since "progressed", but always with similar results in the
It quickly became clear that the DVD drive had failed in the middle
of the installation, and I replaced it. Using the Installation DVD, I
ran the installation-media verification routine, and found that it
was defective (I have checked the iso file's MD5 code before I burned
it), so I burned another and verified it successfully. I then
installed v11.1 from this valid DVD.
Installation and configuration proceeded normally, but instead of
rebooting to present me with a finished system, it stalled with a
dark screen and unblinking cursor in the upper-left corner. A five
minute wait convinced me that it was going nowhere.
On many systems that blinking cursor is the result of missing boot code
in the MBR, or the lack of a startable/active primary partition that
has a properly installed boot loader. Better systems instead of that
nothingness will provide a message to the effect that nothing bootable
It isn't a "blinking cursor" (except when I am trying to avoid cusswords);
it's an UNblinking one ... NON-blinking, static, cursor; the system has
Any idea how much happens before you reach the
blinking cursor? Can you
tell from disk activity that it does things for a while before halting?
Possibly there's a problem related to your video chip.
That is a very appealing idea. Yes, there is some HD activity after the
screen goes blank but before the cursor stops blinking. Intuitively, this
may also explain why Windows isn't affected, just because it is
I will chase down these references that you have supplied, but tomorrow.
It's 2200, and I've had enough for the day.
> (Two previous installations with the unverified
DVD got further than
> this, in one case bringing up a finished system which I was able to
> use for the rest of the evening, but which failed to boot the
> following morning.)
> In order to try diagnose the reason for all this, I installed Windows
> XP, using the entire 20GB HD. This installed faultlessly, and ran
> perfectly, even after two shutdowns and reboots. I interpret this as
> meaning that I do not have a hardware problem.
I forgot to mention that I have also swapped in a HD, so that all the
readily accessible hardware elements would seem to be innocent.
At the moment,
the only thing I can think of is that the partitioning
scheme I chose is inadequate, because that's the only thing that has
not been tested. I have partitioned the HD as follows (from the
beginning of the disk):
Primary /boot 560MB ext3 (GRUB)
Logical Swap 560MB Swap
Logical / 8GB ext3
Logical /home 10GB ext3
I doubt the partitioning has anything directly to do your trouble, but
if you repartition in the future, note that your /boot is stupidly big
for a 20G HD with only one installed OS. 70G-100G is more than plenty
for any sane normal user. OTOH, but sure you have enough swap. If you
want to STD, you need at least as much swap as your installed RAM. If
you might ever install more RAM than you have now, be sure to use that
It seemed very unlikely to me. I mentioned it out of desperation, because
nothing else came to mind.
70G-100G? Should the G be a B? Bytes?
This early on, nothing is easier than repartitioning.
know what else to examine, and would be very grateful for
comments and advice.
roughly halfway down you'll see
kexec_reboot. Yours might be a machine that should be blacklisted but
isn't. Try disabling it.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when
is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 NIV
Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409
Felix Miata *** http://fm.no-ip.com/
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