[Solved] Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

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LvsedeGhost
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[Solved] Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by LvsedeGhost » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:57 pm

Hi guys. Long time Linux enthusiast, first time poster. Normally when I run into Linux problems, I just research until I'm a novice expert at the problem. No luck this time though so I need some input from the actual experts :)

I have a Dell Inspiron Mini 1012 Netbook that I've been using as a Linux Mint toy for a while now. It started with Mint 17 KDE which worked great. Then I was excited to make the switch to Mint 18 KDE with plasma but I would always get freezes during a normal boot. I was able to fix it to boot normally every time by using the upstart option in the grub menu. I loved KDE with plasma but it was just too much for the little Dell and once I really got into using it, it was just too slow for my liking. So I installed Mint 18.3 Xfce and, just like with each 18.x KDE that I installed, it booted fine after the initial install, but every normal boot after that would freeze. I only had that first post-install boot to really play with Xfce but I loved every second of it and now I'm so excited to get this thing running like it should be. So here’s what I've found in my research and troubleshooting:

On a normal boot (with all kernel versions 4.13.0-36, 4.13.0-32 and 4.10.0-38) with nosplash set, it will always freeze while loading either:

Code: Select all

Starting Load/Save Screen Backlight Brightness of leds:dell::kbd_backlight... 
or

Code: Select all

Starting Load/Save Screen Backlight Brightness of backlight:dell_backlight... 
I once was able to get it to boot to command line login with either the upstart option or by setting acpi_osi=, acpi_osi=Linux or acpi_osi='!Windows 2012' at the grub menu. Now, however, upstart always freezes at either:

Code: Select all

Loading initial ramdisk ...

or

Code: Select all

ACPI Error: [CAPB] Namespace lookup failure, AE_ALREADY_EXISTS (20170531/dsfield-211)
ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_SB.PCI0._OSC, AE_ALREADY_EXISTS (20170531/psparse-550).
Now I am only able to reach the command line login through the recovery boot option, and then by selecting ‘normal boot’ from the recovery menu. Once it reaches the command line login, I am only able to load the normal system as root with ‘sudo startx’, because ‘startx’ times out and returns to command line with an xinit: server error and .Xauthority lock timeout. The best resource I've found for the boot freeze is this thread on Bugzilla:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1253523

In that discussion, Iván Jiménez says:
This bug is caused by the file /var/lib/systemd/backlight/platform-dell-laptop:leds:dell::kbd_backlight created by (I guess) systemd-backlight@.service, because I can boot with kernel-4.2.3-200.fc22.x86_64 after I remove that file.
Upon logging into the system with root, I removed that file from that location and backed it up elsewhere. However, on the next normal boot, I did make it all the way to the normal display manager login screen, but every attempted login simply took me back out to the login screen in a sort of login loop (I later found out that when lightdm loads, it will begin that login loop, not letting me past the login screen). So of course, on the next restart, the boot freezes as normal, and we are back at square 1.

Any input is appreciated :)
Last edited by LvsedeGhost on Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pjotr
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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by Pjotr » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:25 pm

Try this:

1. Do a clean installation of Mint 18.1 Xfce, 32-bit:
http://mirror.jmu.edu/pub/linuxmint/ima ... -32bit.iso

2. After installing it, first install all available updates, then reboot and finally upgrade it in-place to 18.3:
Update Manager - panel: Edit - Upgrade to "Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia".
This should leave your "old" kernel series (4.4) and graphics stack intact.

3. Reboot.
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LvsedeGhost
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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by LvsedeGhost » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:13 pm

Sounds good, trying it now :)

Any reason to take the 32 bit instead of the 64?

LvsedeGhost
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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by LvsedeGhost » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:31 am

Still no good. After installing all updates in 18.1, the next boot freezes as usual, upstart freezes at Loading initial ramdisk ... and I can't even get to the command line login with recovery mode because it always freezes at random places during boot. Each freeze happened at a different place. I wasn't even able to log back in to upgrade to 18.3 :(

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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by Pjotr » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:38 am

Have you already done a RAM test? Might be a rotten RAM strip. Or a dying hard disk: what does the application "Disks" report after you've booted from the Mint DVD?
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michael louwe
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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by michael louwe » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:03 pm

@ LvsedeGhost, .......
LvsedeGhost wrote:Dell Inspiron Mini 1012 Netbook...
.
That's quite an old Intel Atom N450-based netbook computer. 2010.?

If I were you, I would try installing LM 18.1 Xfce 64bit or 32bit(= kernel 4.4). If no problem, then I'll stick with LM 18.1 until EOL in 2021. If not stable, I will downgrade to kernel 3.13 LTS, which should be stable. If still unstable, then I will stick with LM 17.1 Xfce until EOL in 2019. Thereafter, maybe move to Linux Lite or MX-16/Anti-X.

Fyi, your Intel GMA 3150 graphics card has no 3D video acceleration support for Linux = not compatible with Cinnamon.

LvsedeGhost
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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by LvsedeGhost » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:06 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:38 am
Have you already done a RAM test? Might be a rotten RAM strip. Or a dying hard disk: what does the application "Disks" report after you've booted from the Mint DVD?

I did the RAM test and came up with a few errors. I'll check the disk before I start the next install. I'm getting closer to the point of just retiring the old Dell and replacing it at this point. Dell designed it to be a gigantic headache to replace either the RAM or the HDD so if those are the problem I'm just gonna hang it up on this one.
michael louwe wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:03 pm
That's quite an old Intel Atom N450-based netbook computer. 2010.?

If I were you, I would try installing LM 18.1 Xfce 64bit or 32bit(= kernel 4.4). If no problem, then I'll stick with LM 18.1 until EOL in 2021. If not stable, I will downgrade to kernel 3.13 LTS, which should be stable. If still unstable, then I will stick with LM 17.1 Xfce until EOL in 2019. Thereafter, maybe move to Linux Lite or MX-16/Anti-X.

Fyi, your Intel GMA 3150 graphics card has no 3D video acceleration support for Linux = not compatible with Cinnamon.
I tried Pjotr's suggestion of LM 18.1 Xfce 32bit with no luck and now I'm going to try 17.3 Xfce with 3.13. I'll let you guys know how 17.3 does, but I hate having to downgrade to the older 17 :(

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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by Pjotr » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:35 am

LvsedeGhost wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:06 pm
I did the RAM test and came up with a few errors.
Even a few errors mean: bad RAM, replace it immediately. Bad RAM causes a system to be completely unreliable and unstable.
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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by LvsedeGhost » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:41 pm

Solved! Good to go :D You guys rock! I installed LM 17.3 Xfce 64bit and, just like the old 17.3 KDE I originally had, it started right up with no issues. I updated everything along with adding kernel 4.4.0-116 (alongside 3.19.0-32), which also started right up without any issue. So I upgraded to LM 18 with:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install mintupgrade
mintupgrade download
mintupgrade upgrade
After the upgrade finished, the first LM 18 boot came up fine, but the 2nd boot froze at the usual

Code: Select all

Starting Load/Save Screen Backlight Brightness of leds:dell::kbd_backlight ...
So I just switched to upstart with:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install upstart-sysv
update-initramfs –u
And just like the 18.x KDE’s, it starts right up every time now. I owe you guys some mint beers!
So next question: Is it safe to upgrade to 18.3 with the 4.4.0-116 kernel or should I just keep it at 18 Sarah?

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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by Pjotr » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:29 pm

LvsedeGhost wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:41 pm
So next question: Is it safe to upgrade to 18.3 with the 4.4.0-116 kernel or should I just keep it at 18 Sarah?
Quite safe. :)
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19 Tara
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
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Re: Mint 18.3 Xfce and Boot Freezes on Dell Mini 1012

Post by LvsedeGhost » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:28 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:29 pm
Quite safe. :)
Awesome. Thanks again for the assist :) Image

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