Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (963 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] BIOS/GRUB Problem
  • From: Stan Goodman <stan.goodman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2010 12:22:50 +0200
  • Message-id: <201011071222.50635.stan.goodman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Sunday 07 November 2010 06:49:17 Felix Miata wrote:
On 2010/11/06 17:12 (GMT+0200) Stan Goodman composed:
1-Boot to BIOS setup
2-Note which HD is selected as first boot priority

Seagate (11.3)

3-Exit BIOS setup with save& power down
4-Disconnect SATA cable and/or power cable from Hitachi
5-Boot to BIOS setup
6-Note if first boot priority has changed
7-Use DFSee to give the Seagate a LVM disk name that includes the
word Seagate 8-Use DFSee to 'newmbr 1' (or same thing via its menu)
9-Try to boot Seagate

Boot Manager now comes up, and a v11.3 herald screen, after which

No Grub menu? This implies first boot after initial installation never
previously succeeded. First "boot" by default isn't a complete reboot.
By default the installer uses kexec to re-init after replacing the
installation kernel in memory with the installed kernel and initrd.

there is a maintenance screen, showing actions during the boot

These are normal boot messages, normally hidden by the "quiet" the
installer puts on the Grub menu's kernel lines. By removing quiet
and/or putting splash=verbose on those kernel lines you get to watch
boot progress instead of wondering what if anything is happening while
trying to get the OS started.

That long list of actions is what I normally see when booting. This one is
much shorter, and only a few lines are concerned with anything other than
worrying about fsck.

The first line is:

Trying manual resume from /dev/disk/by-id/ata-<Seagate#>-part5

The installer presumes you'll be wanting to resume from sleep by
putting resume=<swap-partition> on the kernel line. I always remove
this from desktop installations, as I never want a multiboot system to
presume I want to start wherever I left off.
. .

(i.e. without -a or -p optiona)
fsck failed. Mounting root device read-only

(Here the line "activating swap-devices in /etc/fstab" failed)

fsck failed. Please repair manually and repeat.
The root file system is currently read only
To remount it read-write do
# mount -n -o remount, rw/

I've never figured out how to manually do what couldn't be done
automatically upon encountering this series of messages. I fix it by
booting something else and doing fsck from that, and if that fails,
reformatting and restoring from backup, or reinstalling fresh.
Considering what has happened to your system over recent weeks, likely
fresh installation of 11.3 will be the best course of action.

I've been thinking about that for some time, but I have done a great deal
of configuration etc, and would resist losing it.

I could make a new partition to replace sda6, say sda8, and reinstall to
it, specibying that the sda7 continue to be used for /home, and not be
formatted. Or maybe easier, copy sda7 to a backup partition, reinstall in
the existing partitions as they are, then recopy the backup over sda7.

Question: If the problem is in GRUB, does it make sense to use David
Rankin's GRUB Recovery Cheat Sheet, and make a new GRUB?

ATTENTION Only CONTROL-D will reboot the system in this maintenance
mode. shutdown or reboot will not work.

It asked for root's pw, and I gave it, then a prompt appeared in red:

repair file system #

This is a root prompt, but you can't do much from it while / remains
mounted ro due to filesystem inconsistency.

I am not clear whether it wants me now to do fsck or to remount. If
the former, I assume it is on the installation DVD.

fsck is available from that prompt, but understanding how to get it to
do manually what it couldn't figure out how to do automatically has
always escaped me. Booting something else in order to fsck is what I
always do from this point.

If this is something I should do, where is fsck and how can I get to it?

10-Reconnect Hitachi
11-Boot to BIOS setup
12-Ensure Seagate is first HD priority

It is.

13-Exit BIOS setup with save, power off
14-Use DFSee to give Hitachi a LVM disk name that includes the word
Hitachi 15-Use DFSee to newmbr the Hitachi
16-Note which disk is #1& which is #2 according to DFSee

In "MBR and EBR operations, both are Disk2.

I don't see how this is possible unless a step is being missed by one
of us. Before selecting to perform MBR/EBR area operations from the
Mode=FDISK menu you should first select the disk to be operated upon
from the File -> Open object to work with menu, or exiting the menu,
entering disk nr on the command line, then going back to the
Mode=FDISK menu. If it still always refers to disk 2, maybe this is a
question to refer to Jan.

"missed by one of us"? You are too kind to me.

I spoke with Jan about this months ago, before this problem developed; he
mentioned taking it up with you, as a matter of fact.

I'll repeat the exercise, and let you know what happened.

I think it isn't necessary to first select the disk to be operated upon,
because it asks which disk after one chooses to make a new MBR. But I will
do exactly as written above when I repeat the procedure.

Simply starting DFSee you should see a table of partitioning, with each
HD having a heading line that includes:

---<disk #></dev/sdX>--------<LVM disk label>---

The first should have *Seagate*, the second *Hitachi*.

Yes, of course. And that's the way it is.

17-Exit DFSee
18-Restart DFSee with new logname DFSWORK2.TXT

Having done nothing in between?

Right, to generate a DFSee log with nothing in it other than the
information it displays upon startup.

19-Exit DFSee

Nothing was recorded.

Are you sure? Did you hit ESC at startup instead of typing in
DFSWORK2.TXT and hitting <enter>? Did you start DFSee from floppy or
CD and have no writable space available to save the log?

I definitely made the DFSWORK2 directory on a USB stick.

20-Upload DFSWORK2.TXT to
21-Make available via HTTP (cannot right click
links to open in new tabs from FTP list in Firefox 4 or SeaMonkey

The FTP facility is not available, because I have not had time to
deao with it since the hosting service disabled it after telling me
that it had been invaded. Is there somewhere else I can upload for
the List (when I have something to upload)? & are two of many places
that can serve this purpose. See also

22-Boot whichever HD brings up BM

See above. I can get as far as the<repair file system #> prompt. If
you intend that I boot from GRUB, please tell me how to get to a GRUB

What happened above was a Grub menu bypass that is normal on first boot
following installation. If you were to try again, I would expect you
would get a Grub menu or Grub prompt before a root repair # prompt.

I have fired up the system several times since, always with the same

23-Try to get a Grub prompt or menu
24-report back

At this point, I would settle for getting back to a GRUB prompt that I
could boot from, like before.

This has been some progress.


Stan Goodman
Qiryat Tiv'on
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