[Solved] LMDE borked...hardware or software?

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all41
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Re: LMDE borked...hardware or software?

Post by all41 »

feffer wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:39 pm
all41 wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:28 pm

Depending on the results I would most likely disconnect the other drives while addressing this problem.
I posted the results of the two cmds that all41 gave me, and was hoping that he could follow up on this.
There is only one instance of grub reported, and os-prober is not detecting LMDE.
You mentioned lmde was acting strangely and you did a hard power-off. My guess is that corrupted
the mbr on that drive. If there are important files on that drive then boot into a live desktop using a
Mint install usb/dvd iso and back them up somewhere.
Is the drive still good? ---probably. Run the smart data tests in the Disks utility.
But at the very least it sounds like an lmde4 reinstall is in order. I would probably reverify the .iso
and rewrite the install medium beforehand.

Also, search the forums regarding reisub (raising elephants) and read the alternatives to a hard power off.
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feffer
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Re: LMDE borked...hardware or software?

Post by feffer »

thx for the reply! I use fsarchiver for OS and have a good backup of LMDE. However, this is probably a good time to install LMDE-4. I usually go from LTS versions to the next one...Ubuntu and Mint are also on previous LTS versions. So maybe a major redo is in order.

When setting up this machine, I used GPT exclusively, however after the crash I see that the Disk utility shows the SSD for linux OSes is now formatted via MBR. Unless there's another way, I think I need to delete all partitions, repartition and reformat with GPT, then install the OSes either from saved fsarchiver file or new iso. Is there a simpler way?

Finally, you suggest that the hard crash/shutdown may cause the GPT format to corrupt and be seen as MBR. That's scary and I will check your reisub reference.
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Re: LMDE borked...hardware or software?

Post by feffer »

Afraid I dug a deep hole. Did three things. 1: based on another poster, went into BIOS and settings. Legacy-EFI boot to only EFI boot, and also the boot order. This caused immediate problems so changed back to Legacy-EFI boot. 2. Used gdisk to convert MBR to GPT. 3. Installed LMDE_4 via iso. on SSD partition 3 (where older lmde was before the crash). After the install, I alter /etc/fstab to reflect changed UUID etc.

But reboot brought me to the Grub rescue > screen. It could not find Ubuntu's UUID (Ubuntu is on p1 and the UUID was corrected. Trying to reinstall Grub also failed. Really stuck and getting deeper.E

MAYBE OK...I think a made a mistake in BIOS by messing up the boot order. I have 3 linuxes on one SSD and Win_10 on another. The /boot/efi file is on the Win_10 SSD. Legacy of my original install 5 years ago. At least I can boot into LMDE_4 now. Not sure if the other distros survived yet.
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Re: LMDE borked...hardware or software?

Post by all41 »

So now from LMDE4 run sudo os-prober to see if the other os's are detected.
Personally I would want grub written to the drive with the Linux os's., and that would be the drive
at the top of the boot order in bios.
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Re: LMDE borked...hardware or software?

Post by feffer »

Yes, the other OSes are all detected. I've installed current LTS versions of mint & lmde. Ubuntu is still the older one and it's on the 1st SSD partition. You're right, I'd like grub on the linux SSD. Can I do that simply during ubun_20 install by choosing that as my grub location? I think so...the last install wins. What about the /boot/efi on the Win_10 disk. I think I need to leave that for the Win_10 boot. It has extraneous "ubuntu" dirs etc but I assume they'll be ignored if grub is pointed towards the linux os SSD?

Thanks for the help...it looked pretty dark when I started getting the GRUB Rescue > prompt...doesn't really feel like you're being "rescued."
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Re: LMDE borked...hardware or software?

Post by all41 »

Good to read you are progressing along.
Boot into your preferred Mint and run sudo grub-install /dev/sdx
where sdx is the drive with your Mints--make doubly-tripley sure that sdx is the correct drive.
You do not want to specify a partition designation here (for example do not specify sdx1)
You want the grub to be written partition independent.
After this your preferred Mint will be the top entry in your grub screen and will automatically boot there after the
grub timeout with no intervention---you already know most of this--just saying to confirm

After this---point all new installation grubs to that same sdx---
after which you can get back into your preferred Mint and run sudo update-grub
that will restore your grub boot order and move your preferred Mint back to the top.
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Re: [Solved] LMDE borked...hardware or software?

Post by feffer »

This thread was a bit confusing because I was not sure whether the issue was hardware or software related. For anyone with a similar issue, I'll try to summarize here.
1. On my multiboot machine one linux OS, LMDE-3 became unresponsive. I was never able to figure out why. Researching the logs would have been useful.

2. Being impatient, I did a hard shutdown...almost surely a mistake which probably led to corruption on my SSD as @all41 pointed out. He mentioned that there are other ways to make an emergency shutdown. Also doing an ssh from another machine on the network will often work. But I was impatient.

3. Corruption included changing the SSD from a GPT to an MBR type, the loss of the LMDE OS, and corruption of GRUB. I was able to restore the SSD type back from MBR to GPT without losing data (my other OSes) using gdisk via this solution using the "w" option. In retrospect, wiping the SSD completely and re-partitioning would not have been much more difficult considering that I was installing new LTS versions of my OSes.

4. The corruption of GRUB put me into GRUB Rescue > land...a hellish place to be. This would have been easier to resolve if GRUB's /boot/efi was on the same SSD as my linux OSes something @all41 encouraged.

5. @cretsiah made a post suggesting that BIOS settings can be an issue; namely whether the machine boots via UEFI (only) or either Legacy (MBR) or UEFI. This led to some confusion on my part: my original setting was the dual style (either, depending), but I changed it to only UEFI. This would have been OK, but once in the BIOS, one is tempted to do other things and I did; changing the boot order etc...It's easy to mess up, so my conclusion is when in the BIOS, be very careful.
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