SOLVED (almost!) All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

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ddmetzger

SOLVED (almost!) All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by ddmetzger »

I will try again -- this is my second attempt to get some help with this problem. This is NOT an unknown problem and has been around for quite a while. When I attempt to boot ANY MINT amd64 version of any release level (Gnome, Debian, KDE, etc.) I get to the grub splash screen and when I elect to boot live, the loader runs two or three lines of dots across the screen, prints "Ready" with a flashing cursor and then goes black screen forever. The computer is totally unresponsive and all I can do is kill the power. The "recovery mode" acts just the same. The memory test and CD integrity check - more of the same. Please do not ask me to compare checksums. I have done this dozens of times comparing the check sum at the download site with my ISO file and then ripping the burned CD back to an ISO file and checking again. There has NEVER been any checksum disagreement. My hardware is:

Dell Optiplex 740 AMD64 Athlon X2 [2.2 ghz per core]
2 Gig RAM
150 GB hard drive
nVidia GeForce 6150 LE graphics chipset.

I have downloaded and installed many operating systems with this hardware and never had any problems or errors. In fact, I have Ubuntu 10.10_64 and Open Suse 11.3_64-bit installed on this machine and they installed and continue to work perfectly. I just happen to prefer MINT and am frustrated that I can't get the 64 bit versions to boot/install/etc.

From searching Google and the MINT forum/s I conclude that the problem is with the on-board nVidia graphics chipset. There seems to be no self-consistent source of information about how to work around the problem. I must have tried nearly 50 grub command line arguments with absolutely NO luck. Among them have been;

xforcevesa
nomodeset
nouveau.modeset=0
nouveau.modeset=1
nouveau.blacklist=1

I have tried CD and DVD versions of all the 64-bit versions of MINT with the same "no boot" result.

It would seem logical that if Ubuntu boots and MINT is derived from Ubuntu, then MINT should boot. I read the forum entry about the difference between the boot and run kernels, but if MINT slavishly adheres to the Ubuntu code as they claim, how can there be this difference?? I would sure like to find a forum member who can tell me of a work-around for this problem. Nvidia chipsets aren't exactly low-volume odities in the computer marketplace and neither are Dell computers that use them. Is it possible to get some help from a MINT developer?

Cheers !!
Last edited by ddmetzger on Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rivenathos
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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by rivenathos »

Well, I was going to suggest the LMDE 64 version, but you said you already tried that one. I have had good luck with LMDE on finicky machines. Oh well... Sometimes we have hardware that is just stubborn. I have had my share, so I can sympathize.

That being said, have you considered installing pure Debian? Debian has never failed me on any machine I have tested. I have notes that are helpful at setting up the multimedia and other extras to give you a similar experience to what Mint has. There is some website linkage in the sidebar if you are interested. If all else fails, Debian is usually what works as a last resort.
Current hardware: a Dell OptiPlex 3010 desktop, a Dell Inspiron 531 desktop, and a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop.
Current OS: LMDE 3

SimonTS
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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by SimonTS »

This may not be quite the answer you are looking for but... Do you happen to have a spare graphics card lying around? It could be fairly much anything - as long as it's not nVidia ;-P That way you could install Mint with the 'new' graphics card installed, then remove the card and re-boot - you would then have an installed system that you could tweak as you needed to get it working stable. The problem with a 'Live' boot is that there is only so much that you can modify.

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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by AlbertP »

Have you already tried rdblacklist=nouveau in Grub?

Or maybe init=init 3. With this, you get to a terminal. Type startx and press Enter. Now you can see all graphics-related failures and you can see what's going wrong.
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monkeyboy
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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by monkeyboy »

If memory serves there was a problem with the 6150 series chip and SATA drives. In your situation I would check the optical drive and if it is indeed a SATA model then I would try a USB install and see if that works. Sorry I couldn't be more specific, been a few years. Good Luck
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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by drhooves »

ddmetzger - I feel your pain. I have the exact same issue, probably because I too have an Optiplex 740 with a 64-bit AMD core (2x2.6Ghz) and 4 GB of RAM. What is especially aggravating for me is that Linux Mint v7 64bit BOOTS UP FINE. But versions 8, 9 and now 10 all leave me with a blinking cursor at the READY prompt, system hangs, and must be power cycled to regain control. I have tried many combinations of command line options, as well as upgrading to the latest bios (2.2.5) for the machine, all to no avail.

The 32-bit version of Mint versions 8 and 9 boot up with no problems as well.

If somebody out there can help us debug this issue, it would be greatly appreciated. I'll be happy to collect trace logs if given guidance on how to do that.

I've got a large video editing project on deck and I really want to run in 64-bit mode....

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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by SimonTS »

@drhooves - I'd ask the same question of you. Do you happen to have a spare graphics card laying around? If you could boot with a different card installed and the on-board one disabled then it might allow you to install Mint10 64-bit. You could then revert your hardware and debugging would be much easier to do. It's always easier to debug on a system that has an OS installed, rather than trying to change options off a 'Live' image. Alternately, could either of you put that hard-drive into a different PC, install Mint on that PC, then re-insert into your Optiplex 740 and see what happens from there?

ddmetzger

Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by ddmetzger »

Thanks to all you folks who made suggestions.

I neglected to mention in my original post that I had already tried the USB jump drive boot with the same unsatisfactory result. Just to be sure, I wiped the jump drive and burned it again using Unetbootin. No luck!

I tried the rdblacklist=nouveau and init=init 3 boot arguements with no success.

The Dell 740 is a thin profile model which requires a riser card for video cards which I do not have. I like the idea of booting with a different video adapter but I do not have a spare card here in Florida with me. That will have to wait until I return to NH next month. I also do not have another 64-bit computer here so the notion of installing the OS in a different computer and then switching the HD back to the Dell will also have to wait.

I should have mentioned in the original post that all 32-bit versions boot and install without a problem. I am still baffled that the 64-bit version of UBUNTU boots and installs without a hitch while MINT will not.

Is there a way that I could boot into 64-bit UBUNTU and then install 64-bit MINT from the running UBUNTU OS??

Thanks again!

deleted

Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by deleted »

Try:

Code: Select all

noapic acpi=off
as grub options.

More and more chip manufactures are putting their power management into the OS (read "Windows").
At one time, I had this problem. It was due to the kernel, not a particular Linux distro.

Other culprits have been RAID and "Cool and Quiet" settings at the BIOS. But I haven't had problems in quite sometime (on an HP Pavillion a6720y)

-Hinto

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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by drhooves »

@simonTS - sorry, I don't have a second video card to try. However, one thing I could try is attaching the monitor to the onboard video adapter, and see if that works. I also like your second idea of trying to install it on another machine and then swap out the hard drive - but my 740 is the only 64-bit machine in the house.

@hinto - tried toggling "Cool and Quiet" (from yes to no) and "Fast Boot" from yes to no. No effect. Tried the noapic acpi=off. No effect. Took the Mint 10 64-bit live CD and threw it into my Lenova W500 laptop for work - booted up fine.

Downloaded ubuntu 10 64-bit today, and it boots up and installs on the 740 just fine. So, assuming that Mint's version is a direct reflection of the Ubuntu kernel, it seems to me that somewhere between versions 7 and 8 the installer script for Mint got donkeyed up just enough to cause problems for a select group of machines - either Dell 740s or AMD 64-bit chips, or perhaps those with particular video card or settings that cause the hang.

Sometime in the next few days, I'll try the onboard video card and compare the Mint 7 installer options vs. the Mint 8/9/10 options and see if I can isolate it further.

Thanks for the suggestions....

deleted

Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by deleted »

noapic acpi=off
are 2 options that do slightly different things. I needed both a while back with Mint 8/Ubuntu, until I installed a later kernel, then Mint 9.
-Hinto

ddmetzger

Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by ddmetzger »

Tried grub options;
noapic
acpi=off
noapic acpi=off

Sorry, no joy.

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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by AlbertP »

Sorry about my init=init 3. This is working on Fedora, but on Ubuntu-based distros it indeed does not work. In Debian and LMDE you can use init=init 1 as a kernel argument in Grub to get to a console.
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busydoingnothing
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Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by busydoingnothing »

Posted in your other thread, but posting in here too if someone ends up here needing help:

Are you still having trouble? My girlfriend got the same machine (Optiplex 740) for her mom and I had the same problem (sitting at Ready), but I found a post that solved my problem. I put "mem=1982M" (without quotes) in the startup line. I created a USB flash with Linux Live USB Creator and booted off that. I initially had trouble booting off USB, but flashed to the latest BIOS (2.2.5 I believe) from the Dell website and it was fine. I got Linux Mint installed and it's running just fine. Hope this helps!

ddmetzger

Re: All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot!!

Post by ddmetzger »

Hi busydoingnothing!!

I received your forwarded eMail but it did not have a return address. I want to thank you for solving the MINT amd_64 boot problem. The [mem=1982M] added to the Grub boot commands did the trick. Now I can get all 64-bit versions to boot from the live disk and install. Mint (Gnome/Ubuntu) 64-bit works perfectly and I can now migrate my MINT 9 day-to-day use to MINT 10.

MINT LMDE is unfortunately another matter. The [mem=1982M} solution enabled me to get the live DVD to boot. When I tried to install it, the install program hung at "Grub Install". I then tried re-installing LMDE-64 without installing Grub and the Install completed just fine. I ran [Install-grub and update grub] from another distro on the same HD and tried to boot LMDE both with and without [mem=1982M} in the grub commands. Now it gets slightly past the "ready" point with a few other error messages and hangs. I think I am on the 50 yard line in need of a few first downs yet.

I am going to mark this thread as solved (almost) and start a new one with the new error messages included.

Many thanks to all the helpers along the way!!

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Re: SOLVED (almost!) All AMD64 versions of MINT fail to boot

Post by BoscoBearbank »

I know it's a 3-year old thread, but I just wanted to say that although no recent 64-bit kernel from any distro has booted on my Dell Optiplex 740 (AMD 5600+ 4GB RAM, GeForce 6100LE onboard video), 32-bit kernels work fine.

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