Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

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Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby Jake_UK on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:52 am

Hi all,

I have what I think is a very strange occurance following install of Mint 14 Cinnamon 64-bit from a USB stick.

I built a new PC based around a Shuttle SZ77R5 and an EVGA GTX670 FTW graphics card. I want to dual boot so that I can run games in MS Windows so I first installed Win 7 from DVD. After a week or so of normal, problem-free use I went into the BIOS, set it to boot from USB and then installed Mint to the free space left on the SSD. All went well, no issues.

Upon rebooting, the monitor no longer displayed anything until it arrived at the Mint desktop (set to login automatically). Odd I thought, no GRUB selection screen. I reboot and same again, but I notice that it does take longer to boot to desktop than before... about the extra time that GRUB would take to auto-select the OS. So it seems GRUB is there, but the monitor is not displaying it for some reason. I manually edited the grub file (\etc\default\grub) to change the GRUB resolution and to use CLI rather than graphical selection screen but same result. I then manually edited the grub file to selected Win 7 instead of Mint and that worked - so GRUB is there and working, just not displaying on the monitor.

The funny thing is that neither will my BIOS now display. If I press DEL at bootup I'm confident that I go into the BIOS as no OS ever loads. So before I installed Mint the BIOS displayed fine, now neither it nor GRUB are being displayed. I'm using DVI-I interface but have also tried with HDMI (same result). No VGA option at the PC end.

I found one user who had a similar issue on another forum and the remedy that was proposed and worked for him was to unplug PC, take the RAM and CMOS battery out, disconnect PSU from everything, leave it for 30-45 minutes and reconnect. Before I go to all the hassle of dismantling my hardware to try this (and lose my BIOS settings in the process), any idea why this might occur with a Linux Mint install and any other potential fixes? I don't see why anything to with low-level hardware and BIOS would be altered by an OS install...?
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Re: Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby srs5694 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:10 pm

My guess is that the GRUB configuration utility failed to detect your Windows installation, and so set up GRUB to boot straight to Linux without giving you a GRUB menu. I can't be sure of that without more information, though: Please download the Boot Info Script, run it, and post the RESULTS.txt file that it produces, either as a link or between code tags. If I'm right, adding a manual boot stanza for Windows and perhaps changing a timeout value should fix the problem.
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Re: Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby Jake_UK on Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:42 pm

Thanks for the thought SRS. I don't think I'm able to use Boot Info Script since I manually edited grub to select Win7 as default and I can only get back into Mint by doing the same in reverse - but to edit grub and update I'd need to be in Mint... so a catch 22! I don't think I can even do this via LiveUSB (as can't sudo update-grub).

Doesn't the fact that Win 7 is on the list of choices in the grub file mean it must have detected it though (i.e. if it wasn't detected it wouldn't be listed)? When trying to manually (blindly!) select a different OS one time I think I managed to select memory test as pushing cursor key down two or three times when I felt that GRUB had been reached and then hitting Enter meant I never booted to Mint (this was before I editted the default in grub to Win7).

I think it's something more fundamental that's somehow been changed as I don't think the 'basic' video signal (i.e. video output before OS video drivers are loaded) is now either failing to be sent or failing to be detected. The fact the BIOS was visible normally before Mint install indicates it's not a fundamental HW issue (i.e. not basic gfx card or monitor incompatibility), but something in SW somewhere. But what would a Mint install have changed about that?
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Re: Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby srs5694 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:12 pm

Jake_UK wrote:Thanks for the thought SRS. I don't think I'm able to use Boot Info Script since I manually edited grub to select Win7 as default and I can only get back into Mint by doing the same in reverse - but to edit grub and update I'd need to be in Mint... so a catch 22! I don't think I can even do this via LiveUSB (as can't sudo update-grub).


Then do it from an emergency disc.
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Re: Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby Jake_UK on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:43 pm

OK, so I'm typing this from Mint as I worked out that the default selection in GRUB is at the end of the list rather than the top so by "blindly" pressing up four times (rather than going down as I was trying initially) means I can manually make the selection! :)

So GRUB is definitely there and working - I've now managed to not only change the default selection from Mint to Win7 via editting etc\defaults\grub but have now also worked out the right combination of key presses to make other selections when faced with the blank screen after switching on.

But the question I still have is why the pre-OS video signal might no longer be properly sent/recieved after installing Mint (bios was being displayed normally prior to Mint being installed)...?

Output from Bootinfoscript is below:

Code: Select all
                 Boot Info Script 0.61      [1 April 2012]


============================= Boot Info Summary: ===============================

 => Grub2 (v1.99) is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda and looks at sector 1 of
    the same hard drive for core.img. core.img is at this location and looks
    in partition 72 for .
 => Windows is installed in the MBR of /dev/sdb.

sda1: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System: 
    Boot files:        /bootmgr /Boot/BCD

sda2: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  Windows 7
    Boot files:        /Windows/System32/winload.exe

sda3: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       Extended Partition
    Boot sector type:  -
    Boot sector info:

sda5: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       swap
    Boot sector type:  -
    Boot sector info:

sda6: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ext4
    Boot sector type:  -
    Boot sector info:
    Operating System:  Linux Mint 14 Nadia
    Boot files:        /boot/grub/grub.cfg /etc/fstab

sda7: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ext4
    Boot sector type:  -
    Boot sector info:
    Operating System: 
    Boot files:       

sdb1: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System: 
    Boot files:       

============================ Drive/Partition Info: =============================

Drive: sda _____________________________________________________________________

Disk /dev/sda: 60.0 GB, 60022480896 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 7297 cylinders, total 117231408 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Partition  Boot  Start Sector    End Sector  # of Sectors  Id System

/dev/sda1    *          2,048       206,847       204,800   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS
/dev/sda2             206,848    84,459,519    84,252,672   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS
/dev/sda3          84,461,566   117,229,567    32,768,002   5 Extended
/dev/sda5          84,461,568    86,413,311     1,951,744  82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6          86,415,360   102,037,503    15,622,144  83 Linux
/dev/sda7         102,039,552   117,229,567    15,190,016  83 Linux


Drive: sdb _____________________________________________________________________

Disk /dev/sdb: 128.0 GB, 128035676160 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 15566 cylinders, total 250069680 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Partition  Boot  Start Sector    End Sector  # of Sectors  Id System

/dev/sdb1               2,048   250,066,943   250,064,896   7 NTFS / exFAT / HPFS


"blkid" output: ________________________________________________________________

Device           UUID                                   TYPE       LABEL

/dev/sda1        24265DC5265D991E                       ntfs       System Reserved
/dev/sda2        6844607844604B40                       ntfs       60GB SSD
/dev/sda5        fb70c39a-3102-4a55-9271-7857e9b93889   swap       
/dev/sda6        ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f   ext4       
/dev/sda7        f6032c8a-28d0-4d95-8ee7-1e32d49c61e7   ext4       
/dev/sdb1        86DCD6E5DCD6CE95                       ntfs       128GB SSD

================================ Mount points: =================================

Device           Mount_Point              Type       Options

/dev/sda6        /                        ext4       (rw,errors=remount-ro)
/dev/sda7        /home                    ext4       (rw)


=========================== sda6/boot/grub/grub.cfg: ===========================

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
#
# It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
#

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
  set have_grubenv=true
  load_env
fi
set default="Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)"

if [ x"${feature_menuentry_id}" = xy ]; then
  menuentry_id_option="--id"
else
  menuentry_id_option=""
fi

export menuentry_id_option

if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
  set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
  save_env saved_entry
  set prev_saved_entry=
  save_env prev_saved_entry
  set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
  if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
    saved_entry="${chosen}"
    save_env saved_entry
  fi
}

function recordfail {
  set recordfail=1
  if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
}

function load_video {
  if [ x$feature_all_video_module = xy ]; then
    insmod all_video
  else
    insmod efi_gop
    insmod efi_uga
    insmod ieee1275_fb
    insmod vbe
    insmod vga
    insmod video_bochs
    insmod video_cirrus
  fi
}

if [ x$feature_default_font_path = xy ] ; then
   font=unicode
else
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='hd0,msdos6'
if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos6 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos6 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos6  ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
else
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
fi
    font="/usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2"
fi

if loadfont $font ; then
  set gfxmode=2560x1440
  load_video
  insmod gfxterm
  set locale_dir=$prefix/locale
  set lang=en_GB
  insmod gettext
fi
terminal_output gfxterm
if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then
  set timeout=-1
else
  set timeout=10
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
set menu_color_normal=white/black
set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/06_mint_theme ###
set menu_color_normal=white/black
set menu_color_highlight=white/light-gray
### END /etc/grub.d/06_mint_theme ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
function gfxmode {
   set gfxpayload="$1"
   if [ "$1" = "keep" ]; then
      set vt_handoff=vt.handoff=7
   else
      set vt_handoff=
   fi
}
if [ ${recordfail} != 1 ]; then
  if [ -e ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt ]; then
    if hwmatch ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt 3; then
      if [ ${match} = 0 ]; then
        set linux_gfx_mode=keep
      else
        set linux_gfx_mode=text
      fi
    else
      set linux_gfx_mode=text
    fi
  else
    set linux_gfx_mode=keep
  fi
else
  set linux_gfx_mode=text
fi
export linux_gfx_mode
if [ "$linux_gfx_mode" != "text" ]; then load_video; fi
menuentry 'Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon 64-bit, 3.5.0-17-generic (/dev/sda6)' --class linuxmint --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
   recordfail
   gfxmode $linux_gfx_mode
   insmod gzio
   insmod part_msdos
   insmod ext2
   set root='hd0,msdos6'
   if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos6 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos6 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos6  ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   else
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   fi
   linux   /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-17-generic root=UUID=ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f ro   quiet splash $vt_handoff
   initrd   /boot/initrd.img-3.5.0-17-generic
}
menuentry 'Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon 64-bit, 3.5.0-17-generic (/dev/sda6) -- recovery mode' --class linuxmint --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
   recordfail
   insmod gzio
   insmod part_msdos
   insmod ext2
   set root='hd0,msdos6'
   if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos6 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos6 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos6  ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   else
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   fi
   echo   'Loading Linux 3.5.0-17-generic ...'
   linux   /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-17-generic root=UUID=ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f ro recovery nomodeset
   echo   'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
   initrd   /boot/initrd.img-3.5.0-17-generic
}
### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_lupin ###
### END /etc/grub.d/10_lupin ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
   insmod part_msdos
   insmod ext2
   set root='hd0,msdos6'
   if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos6 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos6 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos6  ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   else
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   fi
   linux16   /boot/memtest86+.bin
}
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
   insmod part_msdos
   insmod ext2
   set root='hd0,msdos6'
   if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos6 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos6 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos6  ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   else
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f
   fi
   linux16   /boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
}
### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
menuentry 'Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)' --class windows --class os $menuentry_id_option 'osprober-chain-24265DC5265D991E' {
   insmod part_msdos
   insmod ntfs
   set root='hd0,msdos1'
   if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1  24265DC5265D991E
   else
     search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 24265DC5265D991E
   fi
   chainloader +1
}
### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_uefi-firmware ###
### END /etc/grub.d/30_uefi-firmware ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
if [ -f  ${config_directory}/custom.cfg ]; then
  source ${config_directory}/custom.cfg
elif [ -z "${config_directory}" -a -f  $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
  source $prefix/custom.cfg;
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

=============================== sda6/etc/fstab: ================================

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
# / was on /dev/sda6 during installation
UUID=ec2fcbbb-fef2-40ae-8072-8c157e6f0b8f /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /home was on /dev/sda7 during installation
UUID=f6032c8a-28d0-4d95-8ee7-1e32d49c61e7 /home           ext4    defaults        0       2
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=fb70c39a-3102-4a55-9271-7857e9b93889 none            swap    sw              0       0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

=================== sda6: Location of files loaded by Grub: ====================

           GiB - GB             File                                 Fragment(s)

  41.432720184 = 44.488044544   boot/grub/grub.cfg                             1
  44.829616547 = 48.135434240   boot/initrd.img-3.5.0-17-generic               1
  42.392974854 = 45.519110144   boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-17-generic                  1
  44.829616547 = 48.135434240   initrd.img                                     1
  44.829616547 = 48.135434240   initrd.img.old                                 1
  42.392974854 = 45.519110144   vmlinuz                                        1
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Re: Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby Jake_UK on Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:41 pm

So I reset CMOS by removing the battery for 30-45 mins or so. This resulted in a perpetual blank screen when I replaced everything and powered on so I had to go and source another screen to find out what was happening. Plugging this in results in me immediately seeing all the POST messages, including the one telling me that CMOS had been reset and I needed to press F1 (or similar) to proceed (clearly what was holding up the previous boot!).

So with this new monitor (or TV technically!) I could not only see the POST text being properly displayed but also GRUB and the BIOS. Resetting the BIOS setting to back how they were (primary video to be expansion slot rather than on-board for example) got me back to where I was before: PC boots OK but with my monitor the video signal just isn't sent or received properly.

As stated before, prior to installing Mint alongside Win7 both POST & BIOS text was displayed just fine on this very same monitor so I really am at a loss as to why it no longer displays. Any ideas gratefully received!
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Re: Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby Jake_UK on Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:55 am

I'm giving this a bump in the hope that someone can help as I'm still having this issue but working around it by navigating through GRUB 'blind'. It would be really good to be able to see GRUB and BIOS on the screen though..
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Re: Neither GRUB nor BIOS displayed after Mint install

Postby srs5694 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:34 pm

It sounds to me like a BIOS setting relating to your video output device got changed, or perhaps you've got a defective cable for one monitor but not for another. (Cables for digital devices are usually two-way, and can result in blank displays under some circumstances if things aren't just right. The details vary depending on the software driving the monitor, though, so it's possible that the BIOS would fail to produce an image even if Linux is OK.)
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