I have an issue that seems like a GRUB issue, or a GPU issue, but I'm at a loss, as it persists after a full HDD format and a "clean" install.
This is an Acer Aspire laptop running Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 Cindy. Everything worked fine, including graphics, right out of the box.
After an attempt (which I now deeply regret) to install Bumblebee for Nvidia Optimus I got to a point where the computer would not load anything.
The current state is - it gets pass the BIOS Acer branded loading screen and goes to a black screen with a blinking cursor at the top left.
My first mistake, I think, was to install both the noeveu and the nvidia proprietary driver, as listed in this tutorial:
I got a warning at the terminal that there is a conflict, but that I should be able to resolve it after a reboot. It was after that faithful initial reboot that I first got to the black screen instead of GRUB.
I tried looking around on the internet and found related problems, but not quite the same, in summary, I tried most of the advice listed here:
However, without being able to reach a tty. I can only boot from the USB stick I use to install Mint (I keep one about at all times).
Here's what I've tried:
- hold SHIFT: same black screen, only in addition to the blinking cursor, I also get "GRUB" at the top left, but the system is still unresponsive
- tried setting nomodeset in the GRUB config, as well as a bigger timer (mine was set to 0) - no joy, same behaviour
- I tried reinstalling from USB without wiping the hard disk - I only formatted the root partition and mounted the rest:
This resulted in a GRUB screen (blue in colour), which, regardless of the option I selected, got me to the login manager, but with an inactive mouse and keyboard, so I was essentially unable to use Cinnamon. I managed to get to a tty with some Alt+SysReq combos, which I randomly found in a linux/unix help forum, but manually launching the X server didn't result in anything. I'd get to the tty, issue the "startx" command, get to the login manager, but with the same behaviour - a few seconds of activity with an inactive keyboard and mouse and then a complete freeze.
- last attempt before posting - I booted from USB, ran the LMDE installer, formatted the whole disk, presumably wiping all data, partitioned it anew, mounted root, boot, swap and home and continued the installation as usual. After completion of the presumable fresh installation, I still get the black screen with the blinking cursor and the behaviour from before the two attempts at re-installing.
I can't find this exact issue anywhere, but if it has been reported, I apologise for not looking hard enough. The only place I saw a description similar to my issue is in the second comment of this post:
Still, no suggestion from the post worked and after the "clean" install resulted in no progress at all, I am on the verge of despair
Any help appreciated!
re-installed again - the system booted correctly, I logged in with the main account and ran updates (including grub-install). Restarted - back to the black screen at boot.
I tried booting a different OS from USB, specifically not debian-based - Manjaro(KDE). Didn't even get to graphical environments and installers, but I got a possible hint at what's going on:
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GRUB loading... error symbol "grub_file_filters" not found entering rescue mode