[SOLVED] Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

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ldngrd
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[SOLVED] Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

My notebook won't start as usual: when I turn it on it shows the coloured maker's logo just fine, then offers the decrypt prompt. When an incorrect pass phrase is entered, the usual error message is shown. When I type the correct password, the screen turns black/off. The fans turn and the keyboard is lighted.

I tried typing in the password for my Mint login into the black, nothing happens. Same if instead I type first the name, then enter, then the password for my Mint login.

What could be the problem and how should I go about dealing with it?

My Linux version and hardware:
Linux Mint 'Petra' KDE 64-bit, updated until last week
No new software installs since a few boots back
Schenker XMG C703 notebook:
. Intel Core i7-4700HQ - 2,40 - 3,40GHz 6MB 47W
. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M 2048MB GDDR5
. 16GB (2x8192) SO-DIMM DDR3 RAM 1600MHz
. 512GB SATA-III SSD Samsung 840 Pro Series (MZ-7PD512 PRO)
Last edited by ldngrd on Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
miclis
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by miclis »

My laptop (ASUS k50in) boots like that normally. After I hit a power button, it shows the maker's logo and then the screen goes black. This is the moment when I type my password to decrypt a harddrive. When the process of unlocking the disc takes place, the screen is still black. After unlocking is completed, the Nvidia logo pops up for a second or two and then a GUI loads normally.
What's important, while having black screen I can always press the escape button which will 'turn on' my screen. Then I can normally see the decrypt prompt or the list of things being unlocked after typing the password.
I am not much help for you, my only advice is: try to hit the escape key when your screen goes black. Maybe any kind of a message or error will appear.

Laptop: ASUS K50IN
System: Linux Mint 17.3
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Thanks! Unfortunately, pressing Esc doesn't seem to do anything.
Cosmo.
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by Cosmo. »

ldngrd wrote:Linux Mint 'Petra' KDE 64-bit, updated until last week
Unbelievable. Linux Mint 16 aka Petra is out of support since more than 2 years.

Urgent need to install Mint 17.3 or Mint 18.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

As soon as I get this running, I will.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Or wait, did you mean that in the literal sense? I took it as 'I cannot believe anyone is that stupid not to upgrade in time'. But upon rereading I think you may have meant to say 'I cannot believe what this guy writes, because as 16 Petra is not supported anymore, the last updates were far before last week'.

And that means that maybe I'm wrong about the version. I know I initially installed 16 Petra and cannot remember upgrading. But I do remember the 'updates available' icon in the right lower screen corner, regularly clicking on it and entering my password to install the suggested updates. The last time last week. Does this mean my version must be 17? Or were these updates only to do with supporting software and not with the OS itself?

Anyway, no one any tips about the black screen after decrypt before logon?
Cosmo.
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by Cosmo. »

Open a terminal and enter:

Code: Select all

inxi -Sz
Paste the output here.
Then we - and you - will know what you have.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Yes, and how does one do that? I'm stuck with a black screen without even as much as a blinking cursor. I first need to circumvent or get past that.
Cosmo.
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by Cosmo. »

Try this (but no promise, if it helps):

Immediately after entering the password for the encrypted drive press and hold the left shift-key. If you are in luck, it shows the grub menu, where you should be able to read, what you have installed.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

:( It doesn't. I can see two or three short lines of text flashing in the upper left corner, passing too quickly to be able to read them. Something about pressing C, I believe. Then all black again.

Thank you for your continued effort to help me. I appreciate the exasperation about requests from people like me who know just slightly too much for their own good - just enough to get themselves into trouble - and far too little to know what the heck they are doing...
Cosmo.
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by Cosmo. »

i feared so.

Thank you for your kind words. I would surely continue to work at your problem, but I am out of further ideas. So sorry for not being able to get your data back.

This is the trouble with encryption: The risk, that something goes deeply wrong is bigger than on a not encrypted system, where you are nearly always able to at least back up your data. This means, that users of encrypted systems or encrypted homes have to do backups especially often. This advice does of course not help you at now, but perhaps in the future.

I don't use encryption for the complete home, so perhaps a user with experience jumps in with the one or other idea.
fabien85
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by fabien85 »

Throwing wild suggestions :
- first thing would be to find a way to backup your data. I see several possibilities, though not sure if they will work easily :
* boot a live USB of Mint or Ubuntu and try to decrypt the hard drive.
the drive is most probably encrypted with LUKS, so you will first need to install cryptsetup

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install cryptsetup
then this link may help you : http://askubuntu.com/questions/63594/mo ... mmand-line
if you successfully decrypt the hard drive, back up all your data to an external storage
* clone the (encrypted) hard drive to an external storage. Then use another computer to try to decrypt.
At least you have a backup, even if encrypted.
- then you may hope that the only problem is on the /boot partition, and not on the encrypted stuff itself. (no idea if this is the case or not).
If this is the case, the good news is that /boot is in clear, unencrypted. So you could try to cure it. Simplest would be if you had a backup of it. Or maybe if you know enough about grub to debug it.
At least, by examining the content of /boot/grub/grub/cfg, you can determine which system you installed. For example for me I have a line "menuentry 'Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon 64-bit' --class ubuntu ..." towards the middle of the file.
- If you have a backup of the encrypted partition, you could try to make a reinstall of the system. Then you put back the (backed-up) encrypted partition in place on the hard drive. And you cross your fingers / make a sacrifice to the IT elder gods, and reboot.
This would work with the most probability (or the least improbability) if you reinstall exactly the same system as you already had (which you should be able to find with the point above).
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Much obliged for the detailed tips! However, I cannot even get the system to boot from a live USB. I've tried a few different sticks, made with PenDriveLinux, LiLi and Rufus. I've tried changing the boot order through shift-F10. It doesn't seem to want to present me with anything else than eventually a decrypt password prompt and then a black screen. It is driving me mad.

What I plan to do now: buy a new ssd and exchange the present one (with encrypted OS and data) for the new empty one. Install Linux 18 onto the new disk. That seems the quickest and easiest way to get a usable, error-free and up-to-date and system again.

At a later stage I can try and see if I can decrypt the old disk. There are just a few important files which weren't backed up and although I don't want to loose them, I don't need them urgently.

Thanks again Cosmo and fabien85, and readers, for your time & effort, much appreciated!
fabien85
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by fabien85 »

There should be a way to boot from USB, what's on the internal hard drive shouldnt affect this in any way.
Can you enter the BIOS / firmware interface ? Normally you can perform a one-time boot from it, it's often called "boot override". Otherwise there should be a key to give a "boot menu", consult your computer manual to find the exact key (normally one of the F- keys or esc,del,suppr,enter).
I would have said to try a live DVD, but it seems this laptop doesnt have any DVD reader...

Last solution I see is the one you said.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Ah! Finally! I got, not into BIOS, but into the GNU GRUB. Your post made me try once more and find the right key combination. I called the manufacturer. Apparently speed and timing of pressing Ctrl-Alt-Esc (not F2) need to be just right.

The Grub Menu tells me I have Linux Mint 17 KDE 64-bit, 3.13.0-24-generic (/dev/sda1) and gives me the option of regular Mint boot, recovery mode, memory test and memory test (serial console). Recovery mode brings me to the recovery menu (resume, clean, dpkg, fsck, grub, network, root, system-summary).

Resume presents me with a warning that some graphic drivers require a full graphical boot and will therefore fail. In that case I should perform a standard boot. If I continue, I first see some code flashing past, and then I get the usual login screen. I entered my credentials and got a black screen, but with a cursor. I waited, but nothing happened. Restart and normal boot gave the black screen again.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Yes! Did the same again, and I'm now logged into my system. Under updates there is just one level-3 update available (accountservice v0.6.35-0ubuntu7.3 Query and manipulate user account information). I take it I should update this? Is there anything I could/should check concerning the black screen upon regular start-up?

In the meantime, I'll try and find the post-backup files I really don't want to loose and copy them to a stick.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Ahem. A few more updates if I refresh... Install them all?
fabien85
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by fabien85 »

Cool! Now you've got some way to debug.
So yeah backup your files. For the updates I dont know.

I'm thinking you may be another victim of the nvidia driver update.
There have been some reports on the forum of it crashing their system (e.g. here and there). Did you remember installing it ?
You can see the history of the updates you applied from the update manager : View > Update history (at least in cinnamon, not sure about KDE)
Otherwise you can look at /var/log/apt/history.log or /var/log/dpkg.log e.g. grep " install " /var/log/dpkg.log
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Yes, sure enough there have been a few nvidia-updates recently. On November 7th: nvidia-libopencl1-352, nvidia-opencl-icd-352, nvidia-352.
With those clues I'll search the forum and try the options suggested, eg. here and here.
ldngrd
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Re: Black screen after decrypt - help suggestions appreciated

Post by ldngrd »

Right, back into my system through normal boot! I tried several things. What seemed to have done the trick is purging all the nvidia drivers and then reinstalling them.

Remaining issue: everything is discoloured green... But I'm sure that can be fixed.
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