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Linux Mint/Ubuntu freezes on boot (not always)

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January 18, 2012 8:39:07 AM

Hello. I have a computer with following configuration:

Case: CoolerMaster Elite 334, black
PSU: CORSAIR 550W, VX Series CMPSU-550VXEU
MBO: Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P, AMD 790X+SB750, S. AM3, 8xSATA RAID, DDR3
Memory: 2 x DDR3 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair, 1600MHz, 9-9-9-24, COR-TW3X4G1600C9DHX
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, socket AM3, BOX
Cooler: Scythe Katana 3
HDD: WD 1TB, 1001FALS, SATA II, 32Mb Cache, WD Caviar Black
HDD: WD 1.5TB, 15EARS, WD Caviar Green
DVD: DVD/RW Pioneer DVR-117FBK, 22x, ATA
GPU: MSI HD 6850 OC Cyclone, 1GB,DVI,HDMI,DX11
Additional: Controller TRANSCEND PDU3 USB3.0, PCI Express x1 2ch

My system is dual boot - Linux Mint & Windows 7 (used rarely for Steam). Until approx. 10 days ago I used older version of Mint (Helena or Isadora, not sure) and everything worked fine. However, I recently tried to reinstall my system, and that didn't finis very well. First I tried to install latest version of Linux Mint - version 12, Lisa. Booting from DVD (which is not faulty) worked fine every time I tried it. Also, booting from any other CD/DVD with any Linux distro worked without problem. Installing also went well but once installed on my PC - I could not boot system, no mather what I tried. I even reinstalled Mint once again, with some minor changes on my partition setup, but result was the same. just for confirmation I installed Ubuntu 11.10 x64 and whole scenario happened again - OS installed without problems, but couldn't boot. I tried to disable various options in BIOS but result was the same. I suspected it could be related to new kernel (although I don't know how or why) and decided to try installing older version of Mint (version 11, Katya). Once again, installation went well, and after that my system booted just fine. Although I didn't get what I wanted, which is latest version of Mint, I was somehow happy with that outcome and left things like that. However, when I tried to boot my PC the day after - system couldn't boot. Grub 2 shows, and after I pick my option (default one) and press Enter - boot process starts and after a few seconds computer freezes. Rebooting few times more didn't make any changes - my PC freezes, sometimes right after I choose option in Grub 2 (options disappears but screen is still in colour of Grub 2 background), and sometimes a few seconds later (fully black screen either with or without blinking cursor in upper left corner). After some time and few reboots later - computer finally boots and works fine rest of the day. And after that - every day when starting computer it's a new "struggle"; on some days computer boots without problem on first attempt, and on some days it boots after a series of rebooting. Few days ago that series of reboots lasted much longer than half an hour. On the other hand, Windows boots fine all the time.

For information to be complete, I have to say few more things: recently I upgraded BIOS and changed few SATA channels on my MBO from IDE to AHCI mode (channels 0-3 are in AHCI mode, and channels 4-5 are in IDE mode). My boot disk is connected to SATA channel 4. Up until recently, all my SATA channels were in IDE mode, but since I plan to buy SSD, I changed some channels to SATA just to see how it works. BIOS upgrade is connected to that - it seems that latest BIOS for my MBO supports AHCI mode much better (whatever it means) so I decided to make that upgrade (on suggestion from GigaByte support crew). However, after making that changes I still used my old Mint for a week or two and it worked just fine, I mentioned it just because it is a "major change". Of course I tried to change all SATA channeles back to IDE mode just to see if my PC will boot without problems but with no luck - it acted pretty much the same so I changed those SATA channels mode back to AHCI.

If someone finds it useful, compressed file with dmesg, lshw and lspci dumps can be downloaded from here.

Sorry for my rather long message. Hope someone will read it and will be able to help me with my problem.

Thanks in advance,
JM
January 18, 2012 6:25:21 PM

On which hdd is the linux Mint? If it is here -- HDD: WD 1.5TB, 15EARS, WD Caviar Green -- move it to the Caviar Black hdd
& try again; try using EasyBCD, too, after the move.
January 18, 2012 7:27:59 PM

Both Win7 and Linux Mint are intalled on Caviar Black. Caviar Green is used for storage only.
Related resources
January 18, 2012 11:43:40 PM

OP said, "My system is dual boot . . . I recently tried to reinstall my system, and that didn't finis very well . . . I could not boot system, no mather what I tried." It could be a boot problem.

Sarcasm aside, :ange:  let Windoze run the show and use Easy BCD
( http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Eas... )
or fix GRUB2 (don't ask me, I won't use it). :pt1cable: 
January 19, 2012 5:27:55 AM

But I'm not sure it has anything to do with GRUB2. As I said, after choosing Linux Mint on GRUB2 menu, computer starts booting and then freezes after a while, but in different stages. So, I believe GRUB2 "do his thing" correctly (except that I'm maybe missing some parameter - I tried few different parameters but no luck with any of them).
January 19, 2012 6:28:34 AM

lexman said:
But I'm not sure it has anything to do with GRUB2. As I said, after choosing Linux Mint on GRUB2 menu, computer starts booting and then freezes after a while, but in different stages. So, I believe GRUB2 "do his thing" correctly (except that I'm maybe missing some parameter - I tried few different parameters but no luck with any of them).


It's likely the Master Boot Record (MBR) was altered when reinstallation was attempted, is my guess. Each boot-up allows Win7 to attempt a fix, which sometime succeeds for a while. Hence, my recommendation of the boot loader Easy BCD, which should allow you to correct this mess in a manner the dominant OS prefers.

Start with the Boot Loader and progress systematically, is my suggestion.

Best wishes!
January 19, 2012 6:42:36 AM

First of all: thank you for helping. I'm still not convinced my problems are connected to MBR or even GRUB2, because older versions of Mint and also Windows 7 boots up nicely, and never versions on Mint do not. However, I obviously don't know what is the real problem and I sure am willing to try with Easy BCD. Maybe it'll help. However, before trying with that, I decided to try connecting another HDD to eSATA and install latest version of Mint to it. Who knows, maybe I'll have more luck with it. Once again: thank you, I really hope something will work.
January 20, 2012 5:25:48 AM

lexman said:
Hello. I have a computer with following configuration:

Case: CoolerMaster Elite 334, black
PSU: CORSAIR 550W, VX Series CMPSU-550VXEU
MBO: Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P, AMD 790X+SB750, S. AM3, 8xSATA RAID, DDR3
Memory: 2 x DDR3 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair, 1600MHz, 9-9-9-24, COR-TW3X4G1600C9DHX
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, socket AM3, BOX
Cooler: Scythe Katana 3
HDD: WD 1TB, 1001FALS, SATA II, 32Mb Cache, WD Caviar Black
HDD: WD 1.5TB, 15EARS, WD Caviar Green

GET RID OF IT, the EARS Green hdd -- http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop/WD-1-5TB-Green-driv...
http://linuxidx.com/linux.php?q=Western+Digital+1.5TB+G...

DVD: DVD/RW Pioneer DVR-117FBK, 22x, ATA
GPU: MSI HD 6850 OC Cyclone, 1GB,DVI,HDMI,DX11
Additional: Controller TRANSCEND PDU3 USB3.0, PCI Express x1 2ch

My system is dual boot - Linux Mint & Windows 7 (used rarely for Steam). Until approx. 10 days ago I used older version of Mint (Helena or Isadora, not sure) and everything worked fine. However, I recently tried to reinstall my system, and that didn't finis very well. First I tried to install latest version of Linux Mint - version 12, Lisa. Booting from DVD (which is not faulty) worked fine every time I tried it. Also, booting from any other CD/DVD with any Linux distro worked without problem. Installing also went well but once installed on my PC - I could not boot system, no mather what I tried. I even reinstalled Mint once again, with some minor changes on my partition setup, but result was the same. just for confirmation I installed Ubuntu 11.10 x64 and whole scenario happened again - OS installed without problems, but couldn't boot. I tried to disable various options in BIOS but result was the same. I suspected it could be related to new kernel (although I don't know how or why) and decided to try installing older version of Mint (version 11, Katya). Once again, installation went well, and after that my system booted just fine. Although I didn't get what I wanted, which is latest version of Mint, I was somehow happy with that outcome and left things like that. However, when I tried to boot my PC the day after - system couldn't boot. Grub 2 shows, and after I pick my option (default one) and press Enter - boot process starts and after a few seconds computer freezes. Rebooting few times more didn't make any changes - my PC freezes, sometimes right after I choose option in Grub 2 (options disappears but screen is still in colour of Grub 2 background), and sometimes a few seconds later (fully black screen either with or without blinking cursor in upper left corner). After some time and few reboots later - computer finally boots and works fine rest of the day. And after that - every day when starting computer it's a new "struggle"; on some days computer boots without problem on first attempt, and on some days it boots after a series of rebooting. Few days ago that series of reboots lasted much longer than half an hour. On the other hand, Windows boots fine all the time.

For information to be complete, I have to say few more things: recently I upgraded BIOS and changed few SATA channels on my MBO from IDE to AHCI mode (channels 0-3 are in AHCI mode, and channels 4-5 are in IDE mode). My boot disk is connected to SATA channel 4. Up until recently, all my SATA channels were in IDE mode, but since I plan to buy SSD, I changed some channels to SATA just to see how it works. BIOS upgrade is connected to that - it seems that latest BIOS for my MBO supports AHCI mode much better (whatever it means) so I decided to make that upgrade (on suggestion from GigaByte support crew). However, after making that changes I still used my old Mint for a week or two and it worked just fine, I mentioned it just because it is a "major change". Of course I tried to change all SATA channeles back to IDE mode just to see if my PC will boot without problems but with no luck - it acted pretty much the same so I changed those SATA channels mode back to AHCI.

If someone finds it useful, compressed file with dmesg, lshw and lspci dumps can be downloaded from here.

Sorry for my rather long message. Hope someone will read it and will be able to help me with my problem.

Thanks in advance,
JM
January 20, 2012 5:46:25 AM

chamaecyparis said:
HDD: WD 1.5TB, 15EARS, WD Caviar Green

GET RID OF IT, the EARS Green hdd -- http://community.wdc.com/t5/Deskto [...] 217/page/3
http://linuxidx.com/linux.php?q=We [...] +Software+



I believe all problems described there are connected to green drives not properly aligned (problem with a 4k sectors). Primarily, my two EARS drives were very problematic - for some time they worked rather nice and then they simply stopped working. However, after partitioning HDDs in Windows 7 - they work nice. of course, I still use them for storage only; WD Caviar Black is muche better choice for system.
!