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Linux/Vista Hardware Issues & Booting

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  • Windows Vista
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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April 5, 2010 3:28:43 PM

I have been struggling with my computer crashing randomly in bothy vista and karmic for about three weeks now and only after two serious days of fighting have I been able to put together a real diagnosis and post. any help is greatly appreciated (pc specs listed in sig):

My computer was screaming about problems with reallocated sector errors in ubuntu (thanks windows for not saying or doing a thing until it was waaay too late). I cloned 1 vista and 1 karmic partition off the failing hard drive to my second hard drive. (it performed a file for file clone, rather than an image). [note: for the Vista partition I had to run chkdsk /r to get it in shape for cloning and it would fail around 150k/180k indices on stage 2, but through some luck booting into vista it started a chkdsk /r off the bat and repaired it before it subsequently crashed.]

I tried wiping and zero erasing the bad hard drive, and have followed up with RMA’ing Seagate because it appears that there is a platter going bad or something. Anyway, so at this point I have one 1T Seagate (dead), one 1T Seagate (healthy), and 1 320gig WD.

I was hoping that I could at least redo the MBR & boot record in order to get the computer to boot into GRUB and give me access to my two OS partitions. This failed. I am not sure how to manually manage this as trying to setup GRUB from a liveCD didn’t get me anywhere even after regenerating the device.map and grub.conf because I still couldn’t root any hard drives. [There was 1 267gig Vista partition, 1 88gig 9.04 Ubuntu partition, and 1 370gig media/apps partition. The files from the media/apps partition (about 80 gig) are also backed up on my second hard drive (the 320 gig WD).]

Basically it seems the current issue is getting a boot sequence in place that mounts the OSs in my system. To try to automagickally flush my MBR and boot sector I installed the beta 1 of 10.04 Ubuntu to a partition on the 320gig WD (the second hard drive). During setup it recognized both of the other OS's and imported their settings. On finish and reboot, however, I got a non-responsive black screen without even a boot error. Then, I used the program Smart Boot Manager to find out if I could at least boot the new Ubuntu partition on its own after hiding the other two; subsequently I tried every variation on boot sequence and availability I could. All met with failed boots.

I saw one thread here talking about people installing Lucid Beta 1 and getting a black screen on reboot and no log in screen and that may be the problem (probably should have added a stable distro), but I have a feeling it is not.

More about : linux vista hardware issues booting

April 13, 2010 9:22:01 AM

This topic has been moved from the section Homebuilt Systems to section Linux/Free BSD by R_manic
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April 13, 2010 1:00:20 PM

for anyone that gets into trouble like i listed above, and just wants their linux up and running again, i was able to get my mbr pulled back together with grub using the following guide:

http://grub.enbug.org/Grub2LiveCdInstallGuide

afterward, i targeted the unnecessary partitions with gparted for erase, unmounted all and remounted all and restarted and didnt end up with any corruption (still need to clean up menu list).

however, and this may not be related, but my BIOS post time has gone from 3 to about 15-20 seconds, and OS boot from GRUB menu went from about 8 to 30 seconds. Also i am running into an error trying to install vista from my OEM DVD; it gets to the green (kernel) loading bar part of the menu, then hangs indefinitely (for at least 25 minutes). i thought this may have to do with bios an ide/ahci driver loading issue but in ide mode it still isnt respnding.
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April 13, 2010 6:27:47 PM

Out of curiosity, have you ran memtest86+? With all the various errors you are getting, it is possible that the memory may be at least partially to blame.
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April 13, 2010 6:41:49 PM

ive run the windows and the linux memtests and another one from one of the other boot utils i ran, ran each through 2-3 times, all clean; no dice :( 
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April 16, 2010 2:50:00 PM

2 or 3 times is not very long. You need to leave it running for a few hours to see if it will force the error.
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April 16, 2010 3:03:08 PM

thanks for the info. i will run further memtest utils longer. it would be good at least to ensure i am not getting resulting from the sticks.

the problem that i am running into goes as follows.:

I am facing two primary problems. A) my BIOS post time has gone from 3 to about 15-20 seconds, and OS boot from GRUB menu went from about 8 to 30 seconds. B) i am running into an error trying to install vista from my OEM DVD (Home Premium 64-bit); it gets to the green (kernel) loading bar part of the menu, then hangs indefinitely (for at least 25 minutes). i thought this may have to do with bios and an ide/ahci driver loading issue but in ide mode it still isnt responding. (this disk is clean, and i have used it three times previously to reinstall.)

I flashed the BIOS and updated to the latest version (5112) and, although 5112 has its share of horror stories over on the intel forums, all of the bugs remained the same for me.

I am starting to wonder if GRUB has some odd permissions/restrictions over my hard drives. (Perhaps from using this guide) I am planning to migrate all of my media to a partition on the hard drive with the ubuntu install, and zero wipe the hard drive i have used to install Vista previously. basically, since i will diconnect the GRUBbed drive, and will be using bootable tools to zero wipe the second hdd, it should eliminate the possibility that GRUB has a bizarre boot control over my hard drive or dvd-drive.
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