[SOLVED] No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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genghis_john
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[SOLVED] No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by genghis_john »

My girlfriend wanted Linux Mint 12 installed onto her external hard drive after she saw the wobbly windows (people are always attracted by that!) and of course I obliged and installed from a live CD to her external USB without error.

I am not a Linux guru myself, I'm just a beginner. Randomly, today when she booted her laptop, I got a screen similar to most shells that I've seen, but I'm not familiar with any commands that work except "ls".

This is what appeared on the screen:

error: no such device: a274fe4a-5d94-4eab-a381-ccf61897e6de
grub rescue>

And that's where the cursor sits. When I ls, I get:
grub rescue> ls
(hd0) (hd0, msdos3) (hd0, msdos2) (hd0, msdos1)

I'm guessing these are devices or partitions of some sort? I'm at a loss of how to fix this issue. I opened up the laptop looking for a motherboard jumper, but I couldn't find it on the laptop's motherboard, and the CMOS battery is soldered into place. I may just be taking stabs in the dark at how to fix the issue, but hopefully I'm at least on the right track.

I can't get to the Windoze 7 installation on her hard drive, and I can't pull up the BIOS or the boot menu on startup. It just says "resuming" or something to that effect.

If anyone has any solution that might help me, I would be much obliged. If there's anything else you need to know, please ask, I'll be watching this thread like a hawk.

Please ignore my ignorance!

Thanks for any help you may have!
Last edited by genghis_john on Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HughT
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by HughT »

Well I can't give you the answer you need, but I can tell you that hd0 is the first (probably only!) internal hard drive with three msdos partitions. The number a274fe4a-5d94-4eab-a381-ccf61897e6de is a UUID Universally Unique Identifier, which is an alternative way of identifying a device such as a hard drive. If you run

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sudo blkid
you'll see a list of all the mounted devices / partitions. I suspect that your UUID is for the external drive, which isn't mounted. I'm guessing that Grub is installed on the internal hard-drive and can't find the operating system on the un-mounted external drive. Does that make sense?
I don't know why you can't get to BIOS. Normally you'd want to check that this is configured to try booting from USB before trying the internal hdd. Have you tried taking the battery out for ten minutes to make sure it's really dead, then trying to access the BIOS again. Hopefully there's a few ideas here to help you.
Please Edit your post title and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

sagirfahmid3
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by sagirfahmid3 »

Ahh, ok I know what happened :shock: .
Windows MBR (master boot record) got replaced by Mint's GRUB2 loader, that's why you get the Grub rescue prompt. Except, Grub2 was written on the USB drive, not the internal one. This is why it fails to load; it must be looking for the loader on the USB harddrive.
Nonetheless, if you have the Windows 7 recovery DVD or Rescue CD, follow this article published by Microsoft:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

Either Windows Vista or Windows 7 DVD will work. You can "borrow" one from the internet (I'm not promoting piracy. It's not piracy if you already have the genuine version) if you've lost the recovery DVD or didn't get one. Note that this method WONT delete any of your data, so it's safe...which is good :lol:

Let me know how it goes.

genghis_john
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by genghis_john »

Thanks you two! I'm going to try to unplug the battery for at least 10 minutes like you suggested, and then try to set it to auto-boot from the USB before trying the internal, and see if that works. Would she still be able to get to the internal operating system?

If that doesn't work, I'm going to have to download a Windoze 7 recovery disc, because I can't find mine, and the only one I can find is a Vista (blergh) recovery disc. I haven't used a disc for anything in so long, do stores even sell them anymore? :P

Thanks for all your help so far guys, I'll be sure to post the results!

sagirfahmid3
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by sagirfahmid3 »

genghis_john wrote:I'm going to try to unplug the battery for at least 10 minutes like you suggested, and then try to set it to auto-boot from the USB before trying the internal, and see if that works. So would she still have the option to boot to Windoze even though it boots to the external first? (like would the grub still come up?)
The battery unplugging wont work. It's not a problem with the battery; it's related to the harddrive's boot sector. Saying this as politely as I can: please don't waste time unplugging and plugging in the battery. Second of all, yes, if you plug in the USB harddrive you will be able to boot; this is a major inconvenience though. I would still suggest you get that Vista DVD or Windows 7 DVD and follow that article I pointed you to.

Edit: Woops! Forgot to mention, you're gonna have to add an entry for Mint with EasyBCD.
Last edited by sagirfahmid3 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

conslie
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by conslie »

Just a note about wobbly windows and other such effects. They are part of Compiz, which is incompatible with the basic install of LM 12. There are work-arounds, but you may want to get LM 11 Gnome edition and use that. LM 12 uses a newly released version of Gnome, which is still a work in progress.

HughT
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by HughT »

Yes, sagirfahmid3 has a good point, it's probably best to sort out Windows first, you probably want it repaired anyway. The idea of completely powering down the PC was to get rid of 'resuming' and access the BIOS. So if you repair Windows you should be able to do that. But what concerns me is that it appears as if grub is on the internal drive because the ls command returned hd0. Repairing Windows will over-write that. So you may need to repair or indeed install grub on the external drive.
If after repairing Windows you find that Mint won't boot you'll have to:

1) check the boot order is DVD, then USB, then internal hard-drive.
2) create a grub on the USB.
Then your BIOS decides whether to go to Mint if the USB drive is plugged in, or to Windows if there's no USB or DVD.

I've never tried this on an external drive, only on an internal one, but to restore grub you'll have to use your Mint installation CD in 'live mode'. Are you familiar with that? Start the computer with the CD and USB drive installed. The BIOS boot order will make it boot to the Mint CD which will load into RAM. In a terminal enter

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mount
this will check that the USB is mounted so that we can work with it. The command will probably return something like '/dev/sdb1 on / type ext4' (and a load of other stuff). You'll know it's the external because the file system is ext4 rather than Windows' NTFS. If it's not mounted, we can find it's name by the command

Code: Select all

sudo fdisk -l
which lists all devices, mounted or not. To mount the USB drive use the command

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sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt
but replace sdb1 with the correct designation if necessary.

Okay, so now we've got the USB drive mounted and next we install grub on it:

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sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sdb 
(again replace sdb with the correct name if necessary, note there is a space between mnt and /dev and do not put a number after sdb). Close the terminal

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exit
So now you can quit, remove the DVD and restart with the USB still connected. You should now boot into Mint (fingers crossed). Finally, just to be on the safe side run

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sudo update-grub 
Hope this works, if not report back, if it does, edit the title as [Solved]
Please Edit your post title and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

genghis_john
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by genghis_john »

Going to go buy a DVD today to put the recovery disk onto, Removing the battery for 10 minutes did get me back into the BIOS, however I can't get any operating system to boot. When I try to boot Windoze, I get the grub rescue, when I try to boot Linux, it just sits at a black screen with a blinking cursor.

I will follow your helpful guide and report back sometime this evening. If it works, I'll be sure to edit as [SOLVED].

genghis_john
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Re: Error: No such device (noob alert here) I don't even...

Post by genghis_john »

I tried everything you all suggested, but to no avail. I gave up and installed Ubuntu 11.10 on the laptop and everything works fine now.

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Re: [SOLVED] No such device (noob alert here) I don't even..

Post by Aging Technogeek »

Justa little clarification about Grub - where it is mounted and how it works.

The mbr of the primary hard drive (hd0 or sda) is where the Pointer to the Windows bootloader is normally installed. Only the pointer is in the mbr because the mbr is only 512 Bytes. The main bootloader is within the Windows partition.

When a Linux distro that uses Grub is installed, the default is to place the Grub pointer in the mbr, overwriting the Windows boot pointer in the process. The Grup pointer directs the BIOS to the Linux partition to find the required boot information. Here, the Grub program has set up a dual boot menu that is displayed at start up so you can choose the OS you want to use.

Since the Windows bootloader is still on the main Windows partition, the pointer from the boot menu allows the BIOS to find it and boot Windows.

When the Linux partition is removed or deleted (in this case by unmounting and removing the external drive) the BIOS looks in the mbr and is directed to a location that does not exist any longer. Even if the external drive is plugged in again the BIOS may not recognize it, especially if anything was changed on the drive while it was unplugged - this could easily change the UUID of the drive.

If you are going to install Mint to an external drive, either do not disconnect the drive once Mint is installed, or install it with the internal drive disconnected. This will force Grub to put the boot pointer on the external drive. Then, to use Mint, just plug in the external drive and set the BIOS boot menu to boot from external USB source first.
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