[Abandoned] Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

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Mr_Wolfe
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[Abandoned] Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by Mr_Wolfe »

Started a new thread since it's technically a different question than this one. Mods let me know if I should consolidate the threads.

So: After many attempts and much hair pulling over the last few days, I successfully installed Mint 20--or so I thought. After finishing the initial setup and doing the first round of updates, I restarted the system--only to realize about an hour later that it was frozen on a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left hand corner. If you've read my other thread you might recognize this as the same problem I was having trying to get the live session to boot so I could install linux in the first place. Sure enough, my USB stick won't boot either.

I've spent most of the day trying to fix it to no avail. I've poured over these forums, numerous other sites, youtube videos, everything I can think of. But nothing has worked and none of the issues I've seen described quite match what I'm experiencing. Here's the issue in detail:

When powering on the computer, I can get into the BIOS and Boot menus, or wait for the Grub menu to come up. The grub menu lists two options:

Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon
Advanced options for Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon

Selecting the first option leads immediately to the black screen with the blinking cursor.

Selecting "Advanced Options" leads me to another menu with four choices:

Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon, with Linux 5.4.0-48-generic
Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon, with Linux 5.4.0-48-generic (recovery mode)
Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon, with Linux 5.4.0-26-generic
Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon, with Linux 5.4.0-26-generic (recovery mode)

All four options also lead to the black screen with the blinking cursor.

Alternately, I can use the boot menu to attempt to load a live session of Mint off of the usb drive I used for the install. This leads to a menu with nine options. I'm pretty sure the first four are network boot options as they begin with either "UEFI: HTTP IP4", "UEFI: HTTP IP6", "UEFI: PXE IP4" or "UEFI: PXE IP6". The next two options are the PC's two internal drives --the SSD where Mint is installed and the mechanical drive for data storage. The last three options are:

USB: PNY USB 2.0 FD 1100
UEFI: PNY USB 2.0 FD 1100
UEFI: PNY USB 2.0 FD 1100, Partition 2

Which is a little confusing, since I'm pretty sure those are all the usb stick but the installation guide doesn't say anything about there being three options or what each option means...

...but it doesn't matter because all three eventually lead to the same black screen with the blinking cursor that has become my nemesis.

I should mention I'm extremely new at linux and not nearly as tech-savvy as I used to be, and some of the suggested fixes in other threads made my eyes glaze over a little bit due to technical jargon I was unfamilliar with. I'm hoping for some guidance before I start blindly copy-pasting random commands that may or may not be relevant to my situation, since I know from experience that's a good way to have Very Bad Things (TM) happen. From what little I have been able to piece together in the last twelve or so hours I've been working on this, I'm fairly sure it is not just a display issue, because the keyboard appears to become genuinely unresponsive. Even the Alt + SysRq + REISUB trick doesn't work, so it seems to be more than just a frozen x server. (He says as if he fully understands what those terms mean, and didn't just learn about them ~5 hours ago.)

Unfortunately, although I can access the command line from the grub menu, the "inxi -Fxxxrz" command mentioned Here does not work, so I can't pull hardware specs that way. I'm pretty sure This is the same system, so maybe that will help?

Probably also worth mentioning that both internal hard drives have been recently formatted and Mint is the only OS currently installed.

Honestly, I'm running on caffeine and spite at this point, which isn't nearly as fun as it was a decade or so ago--and I realize I'm probably semi-coherent at best. If anyone has any suggestions (other than to chuck the entire tower in the nearest dumpster and light it on fire, which believe me I've considered. Repeatedly.) I'll be happy to hear it and give hopefully a more comprehensible response after I've had some sleep.
Last edited by Mr_Wolfe on Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by Kester »

Hi,

This may or may not help but others have experienced problems when the BIOS/UEFI has secure boot enabled. It might be worth temporarily, at least, disabling secure boot.
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by SMG »

Mr_Wolfe wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:36 pm
I'm pretty sure This is the same system, so maybe that will help?
The computer on that link has an Nvidia card. If that is the computer and you have not installed the Nvidia driver then you would get a blank screen.

Release Notes for Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon
Scroll to section on 'Solving freezes during the boot sequence'.

Sometimes booting from the USB (known as a live-session) and using compatibility mode will permit Mint to load so you might be able to get inxi information for us to be able to really help you.
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olo
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by olo »

welcome to the Mint 20 Cinamon frequent installation club.
After 10 reinstalls you get one for free :D
Set your snapshots on hourly and dayly, so you can easy revert with a life usb (decause the dead USB tend not to work)
In 39 years with computers this was my record, the trick is if you find out a system reacts fickle, safe after every new thing you install or major setting you change.Then try it it is stabile, reboot and see that it stays stabile. Then of to the next change. - rinse and repeat
Testing with (deepin) Mint20C right now: "2011: ASUS is proud to deliver the world's first ultrabook..." ASUS ZenBook UX31E (now triple boot Win 7, Win 10, LM 20)
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by Mr_Wolfe »

Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the replies and suggestions.

I forgot to mention this in my original post, but I do have secure boot disabled. I've also read through the release notes, but since I can't get Mint to boot (even in compatibility mode) I can't run timeshift or the driver manager. I tried the "nomodeset" trick from the release notes page under "Solving freezes during the boot sequence", but got the same black screen with the blinking cursor. (I also noticed that nomodeset is part of the commands for the compatibility mode option, so if compatibility mode doesn't work it stands to reason editing that command in won't either.) I also tried opening the command line from the grub menu and running inxi, but got an error saying the command could not be found.

What really frustrates me is the inconsistency here. Despite following the same exact steps I've only been able to get Mint to boot successfully three times out of at least a dozen. It's pretty hard to troubleshoot when the same actions produce different results seemingly for no reason. I'd really appreciate any insights anyone has because this is driving me crazy.

EDIT: So after digging around a bit more I've found out that apparently Linux not getting along with NVIDIA is a longstanding problem. Wish I'd had more of a heads up about that before I started, but oh well. Seems even ditching windows can't get me away from monopolistic shenanigans.

Still not 100% sure it is a graphics card issue. Seems odd that would cause the whole system to become unresponsive, rather than just the display.
It's not troubleshooting until you've seriously considered swearing off all technology and going to live in the woods.
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by SMG »

I pulled this quote from your other thread.
Mr_Wolfe wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:21 pm
By this point I had finished hooking the SSD from my husband's computer up to mine (also running win 10 but thankfully still functioning), and doing a full reformat on it.
How did you do this reformat?

A disk with Windows 10 preinstalled on it (which is what the Fingerhut link you provided indicates) would have a protected EFI partition. According to this How to Create a UEFI Bootable USB & Use It to Boot Your Computer [Partition Manager] "Since the EFI partition is a system and protective part on your hard drive, you can’t delete it in Disk Management. You need to convert it to a basic data partition using Diskpart and delete it."

That makes me wonder if one must do something special to reformat that partition from within a Windows 10 computer.

Perhaps you only reformatted the section of the drive with Windows 10 on it and there is still and EFI partition on the drive looking for Windows 10? That would not explain the issues with Mint not booting from the USB, but that might explain why the drive has problems booting even though only Mint is on it. It's possible the EFI partition has entries for loading both Win10 and Mint. If so, it is likely that Windows has the higher priority.

Given the USB has problems booting Mint also, I somehow think there is a setting in the UEFI/BIOS that is an issue here, but the achi setting is the only one I can think of as a possibility and I don't know if it applies to your husband's computer.
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by Mr_Wolfe »

Hmm, that's definitely something to look into.

I have an adapter that lets you use an internal HD as an external drive. I put the SSD from my husband's computer in that and hooked it up to my PC, did a full reformat in windows, then took it out and reinstalled it into my husband's computer.

If there is some kind of lingering partition from windows, that might be the source of the problem. I had to remove the drive originally because I couldn't get the computer to boot from the USB stick with it connected. After removing it I managed to get a live boot once, but had problems again after reinstalling the formatted drive. I did finally manage to get a successful live boot, install Mint to the SSD, and boot up Mint from there--but after going through the initial setup process, updating, and restarting it was back to not booting from either drive. Which is where I've been stuck for the last few days.

I'm not entirely sure how to check drive partitions in windows. Ironically I could do it in Mint, despite having all of 20 minutes experience with the OS, but if windows has a tool like Mint's "disks" app I'm not familiar with it. I guess I'll go over that link and see what I can gather from it. Thanks alot for the info! Feels like I'm stumbling in the dark here. :lol:
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by DAMIEN1307 »

Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot
Just wanted to point out, and yes, I realise its a mistake...lol, but, There is no such thing as "Windows Mint" as you wrote in the subject box...lol...That really should be "Linux Mint",...DAMIEN
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by DAMIEN1307 »

I'm hoping for some guidance before I start blindly copy-pasting random commands that may or may not be relevant to my situation, since I know from experience that's a good way to have Very Bad Things (TM) happen
There is a good PDF book free of charge that explains everything you will ever need to know about the commands for the terminal and what they all mean.
I have provided the link below.

Be aware that when you click this link, it will automatically just download the PDF file book into your "Downloads" folder or wherever else you have told your system to place downloads...enjoy...DAMIEN

https://sourceforge.net/projects/linuxc ... f/download
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by Mr_Wolfe »

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:34 am
Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot
Just wanted to point out, and yes, I realise its a mistake...lol, but, There is no such thing as "Windows Mint" as you wrote in the subject box...lol...That really should be "Linux Mint",...DAMIEN
Just noticed that, lol. In my defense, I had gone about 24 hrs without sleep when I posted that. :mrgreen:
DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:52 am
I'm hoping for some guidance before I start blindly copy-pasting random commands that may or may not be relevant to my situation, since I know from experience that's a good way to have Very Bad Things (TM) happen
There is a good PDF book free of charge that explains everything you will ever need to know about the commands for the terminal and what they all mean.
I have provided the link below.

Be aware that when you click this link, it will automatically just download the PDF file book into your "Downloads" folder or wherever else you have told your system to place downloads...enjoy...DAMIEN

https://sourceforge.net/projects/linuxc ... f/download
Thanks! I'll take a look at that. And I appreciate the head's up about it downloading automatically. Seems like few people online care about the kind of stuff we were taught to be wary of when I was first getting into computers. (Shakes fist in the general direction of 'kids these days' :P )
It's not troubleshooting until you've seriously considered swearing off all technology and going to live in the woods.
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by DAMIEN1307 »

Your very welcome Mr_Wolfe

As a side point, I used to know a man named "Boe" Wolfe whom i worked with at Valvoline some years ago, but thats not you, or is it???...lol...DAMIEN
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by antikythera »

Boe? haha, reminds me of Beowulf :D
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by Mr_Wolfe »

No, not me. Your friend has a cool name though! :lol:
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Re: Windows Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by SMG »

Mr_Wolfe wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:27 am
I'm not entirely sure how to check drive partitions in windows.
I do not have Win10, but they way I understand the information I found yesterday was that removing that partition has to be done in a non-gui program.

I believe all computers that came with Win8 or Win10 installed have UEFI. You could think of it as a sort of "modern, next-gen BIOS".

As part of that, Windows put a chip on the motherboard for a "license" instead of having the user punch in numbers. So I'm pretty sure if you install a copy of Win10 that it would be licensed because Windows would work with UEFI to see that chip on your husband's computer. I realize you do not want to reinstall Win10. I mention this because I think that interaction between what is on the hard drive and what is in UEFI (checking for the chip) may still exists for the Windows install somewhere in the current UEFI. I'm not sure exactly how that works because I think different manufacturers may have handled it differently.

Maybe someone else has a better understanding of it and can offer insight.
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by antikythera »

There's no separate chip on the motherboard, the license hash for OEM machines is contained inside a capsule within the EFI ROM chip itself. ROM chips are just larger than legacy BIOS ones used to be to accomodate all the EFI interface code, windows license hash and secureboot crud along with the rest of the usual gubbins.
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by SMG »

Thanks for the clarification, antikythera .
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by Mr_Wolfe »

antikythera wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:55 pm
There's no separate chip on the motherboard, the license hash for OEM machines is contained inside a capsule within the EFI ROM chip itself. ROM chips are just larger than legacy BIOS ones used to be to accomodate all the EFI interface code, windows license hash and secureboot crud along with the rest of the usual gubbins.
Wow, really? No wonder this is being such a pain in the @$$. What a great way to further secure their monopoly on the PC market--hardwire a bunch of proprietary garbage straight into the motherboard, and call it a 'convenience.' I actually wouldn't mind windows' borg-like tendency to lock users out of more and more of their own system as much if the OS actually worked and didn't break itself every second Tuesday.

Okay, well it looks like I've got a lot of reading up to do to understand how this new stuff works and how it might be interfering with my attempts to get Mint installed. God forbid people be able to do what they want with their own computers... :roll:
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by oceansky »

Hello,

I saw your post on my thread. My problem was quite similar to yours.

LM 20 seems buggy to me. Ubuntu 20.04.1(linux mint is based on it) is also buggy. I have downgraded my system to Linux mint 19.3. Since mine has Nvidia card also, i installed Nvidia driver 440.95.0.1. That fixed the problem.
I successfully installed Mint 20--or so I thought. After finishing the initial setup and doing the first round of updates, I restarted the system--only to realize about an hour later that it was frozen on a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left hand corner.
As i understand this correctly, you were successfully able to install LM 20 and run it for the first time but after updates and a reboot, screen froze with a cursor.

My suggestion.
1 Fresh install LM 19.3 (dont update it yet)
2 go to "Drivers Manager" check for missing drivers.
3 Incase it displays Nvidia driver select 440.95.0.1.
4 Restart the system
5 Now go for the updates.(Update Manager)
6 Restart again and check.

This is how the problem was solved in my case.
welcome to the Mint 20 Cinamon frequent installation club.
i got it working after 8th installation


So Good Luck !!
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by SMG »

oceansky wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:45 pm
Ubuntu 20.04.1(linux mint is based on it) is also buggy.
Ubuntu 20.04.1 just came out. There is not yet any version of Mint based on it. LM20 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 which came out this past spring. I and many others have very successful installs of it.

Having participated in both threads, I believe yours was a different issue. The equipment and the symptoms have enough differences to lead me to that conclusion.

The person who created this thread is having problems getting the USB to boot. I don't recall you having that issue.
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Re: Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon (64 bit) won't boot

Post by oceansky »

Ubuntu 20.04.1 just came out. ................ having that issue.
.
I never said LM 20 is based on 20.04.1. I said linux mint is based on it (by that i meant ubuntu). Well Linux mint is based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian distro of Linux.

BTW i checked, ubuntu 20.04 is also buggy. Similar problems. After all LM20 is based on it
I did finally manage to get a successful live boot, install Mint to the SSD, and boot up Mint from there--but after going through the initial setup process, updating, and restarting it was back to not booting from either drive.
May be its a usb boot issue, may be its a system issue or may be the problem lies with LM20.
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