Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB [SOLVED]

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ToneLa
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Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB [SOLVED]

Post by ToneLa »

Hey,

So I get a flashing cursor on the top left, when I should be booting into Mint. There are no other OS's, there aren't even any other discs.

I installed Linux Mint (the latest 64bit ISO with Cinnamon) onto the SSD in my ThinkPad 420. The live CD was happy, I did this offline as I did read up and there was an issue with the online package for GRUB (I've tried both, and multiple reinstalls)

I'm thinking basically, since I don't see GRUB - and no, tapping Shift during boot doesn't do anything - that it is an issue with GRUB,

On the live CD I can see that the file system looks in place where i installed Mint.

Here is what I've tried:

- Rescatux fails at virtually everything - "something went wrong!" with every step.
- I've changed in the BIOS the boot order and I've changed to UEFI when it was in "Legacy mode.
- I've tried updating GRUB through the live CD by mounting the drive; but nothing works, and I'm posting now because google just turns up tons of people offering different solutions and none work for me. I've asked it to get Grub and install, and there is no change.

Do forgive me, I'm new to linux; I've read some literature that said what i'm getting is not, in fact, a system hang, but a video resolution mismatch - but that pointed me at Rescatux. (I am wondering about SuperGrub, but apparently it doesn't fix GRUB? And what's with Rescatux throwing out "something went wrong"?)

And rescatux, no matter what option I try, keeps saying the live CD is not a UEFI system.

Every attempt seems to bring more problems, every fix I try leads to something new to fix :(
Last edited by ToneLa on Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
AscLinux
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by AscLinux »

- I've changed in the BIOS the boot order and I've changed to UEFI when it was in "Legacy mode.
While it is possible to change the boot mode without reinstalling anything it is not a task for newcomers. You better keep the boot mode you had at the time of installation.
ToneLa
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by ToneLa »

AscLinux wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:02 am
- I've changed in the BIOS the boot order and I've changed to UEFI when it was in "Legacy mode.
While it is possible to change the boot mode without reinstalling anything it is not a task for newcomers. You better keep the boot mode you had at the time of installation.
Thanks, noted. I have switched it back to Legacy already (it's one or the other) - indeed these are the only options and I've tried everything I've noted in both. I'll keep that aspect the same from now on (and that was a stab in the dark in the first place!)

So, onwards - any ideas on the main issue here? :)
AscLinux
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by AscLinux »

Basically, when you use legacy mode some motherboard firmwares are looking for bootable flag. Linux does not need this flag to boot, but if you used GPT partitioning then this flag may be not set and the firmware does not find anything to boot. Just guessing.
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by rbmorse »

The symptom you describe usually means the system UEFI/BIOS can't find a valid boot loader at the location (drive/partition) where the system setup says it should be. I'm not familiar with the Thinkpad UEFI, but somewhere in the setup there should be a place to define the system boot device. Make sure the setting is sane, or if it lists multiple possibilities, try a different one.

There may also be an "override" section that gives you the opportunity to select a different device to act as a boot device for a one time basis on the next restart.
Hope is not a plan
ToneLa
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by ToneLa »

rbmorse wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:07 am
The symptom you describe usually means the system UEFI/BIOS can't find a valid boot loader at the location (drive/partition) where the system setup says it should be. I'm not familiar with the Thinkpad UEFI, but somewhere in the setup there should be a place to define the system boot device. Make sure the setting is sane, or if it lists multiple possibilities, try a different one.

There may also be an "override" section that gives you the opportunity to select a different device to act as a boot device for a one time basis on the next restart.
Thanks for that. Here's a thought. My boot order currently prioritises the SSD I can see the installation has written to. (My method was to install to the whole disk).

Perhaps GRUB is on another partition? I ask because it lists other HD entries. Am I wrong pointing it at the large volume where Mint installed to - sda1 - because, perhaps I'm neglecting the role of GRUB....?

I will consult what the BIOS allows and tinker accordingly. I'm sure it's going to be something fairly linear. I did research Mint on this exact model, and the reports were so glowing I simply can't believe it would be something obscure (famous last words!)
Last edited by ToneLa on Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
gm10
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by gm10 »

The typical reason is due to missing graphics drivers for nvidia/radeon gpus, see the "Solving freezes during the boot sequence" section in the release notes.

We'd need to see output from the following terminal command to be able to advise in more detail (run it from the installation medium, copy & paste into your next post):

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz 
You've been a bit inconsistent about your setup (e.g. single disk in OP, multiple disk in post one up) so without seeing that I won't advise more.
ToneLa wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:42 am
I installed Linux Mint (the latest 64bit ISO with Cinnamon) onto the SSD in my ThinkPad 420. The live CD was happy, I did this offline as I did read up and there was an issue with the online package for GRUB (I've tried both, and multiple reinstalls)
That issue has been fixed for the images you can currently download.
ToneLa wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:42 am
I'm thinking basically, since I don't see GRUB - and no, tapping Shift during boot doesn't do anything - that it is an issue with GRUB,
Don't tap it, you need to hold Shift down after the BIOS screen to bring up the menu. Some users have success (additionally) pressing Esc. A Ctrl+Alt+Del induced reboot forces you into the menu, too.

If GRUB didn't load your BIOS would complain about a missing boot device.
ToneLa
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by ToneLa »

gm10 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:41 am
The typical reason is due to missing graphics drivers for nvidia/radeon gpus, see the "Solving freezes during the boot sequence" section in the release notes.
I have read the release notes, but have onboard Intel graphics, neither Nvida or ATI.

Terminal output as requested:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz 
[/quote]

Code: Select all

System:    Host: mint Kernel: 4.15.0-20-generic x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.8.8 (Gtk 3.22.30-1ubuntu1)
           Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara
Machine:   Device: laptop System: LENOVO product: 2347A31 v: ThinkPad T430 serial: N/A
           Mobo: LENOVO model: 2347A31 serial: N/A
           UEFI [Legacy]: LENOVO v: G1ETB5WW (2.75 ) date: 03/05/2018
Battery    BAT0: charge: 25.6 Wh 48.8% condition: 52.5/56.2 Wh (93%)
           model: SANYO 45N1015 status: Discharging
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i5-3320M (-MT-MCP-) 
           arch: Ivy Bridge rev.9 cache: 3072 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 10376
           clock speeds: max: 3300 MHz 1: 1318 MHz 2: 1344 MHz 3: 1339 MHz
           4: 1254 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller
           bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 )
           drivers: modesetting (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1600x900@60.01hz
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile
           version: 4.2 Mesa 18.0.0-rc5 Direct Render: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 7 Series/C216 Family High Def. Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.15.0-20-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection
           driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: 6080 bus-ID: 00:19.0
           IF: enp0s25 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak]
           driver: iwlwifi bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: wlp3s0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 256.0GB (0.9% used)
           ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: N/A size: 63.9GB
           ID-2: /dev/sda model: INTEL_SSDSC2BW24 size: 240.1GB temp: 0C
           ID-3: USB /dev/sdb model: DT_101_G2 size: 15.9GB temp: 0C
Partition: ID-1: / size: 3.8G used: 64M (2%) fs: overlay dev: N/A
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 40.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 2583
Info:      Processes: 233 Uptime: 2 min Memory: 972.9/7678.2MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 7.3.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.191) inxi: 2.3.56 
HDD Total Size: 256.0GB (0.9% used)
ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: N/A size: 63.9GB = this is an SDcard I use for storage and not bootable anyway
ID-2: /dev/sda model: INTEL_SSDSC2BW24 size: 240.1GB temp: 0C = This is my hard drive
ID-3: USB /dev/sdb model: DT_101_G2 size: 15.9GB temp: 0C = The USB stick I'm running this live session from

My hard drive, Gparted says /dev/sda1, it's currently at the second top of the boot order in my BIOS (after the USB stick)

Don't tap it, you need to hold Shift down after the BIOS screen to bring up the menu. Some users have success (additionally) pressing Esc. A Ctrl+Alt+Del induced reboot forces you into the menu, too.

If GRUB didn't load your BIOS would complain about a missing boot device.
Holding shift does not work either. I should note, the time from the initial BIOS screen to the cursor is extremely quick - 2 seconds, say?

But, ctrl-alt-Del does reboot the system... Albeit to the flashing cursor.

Appreciate you looking.
gm10
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by gm10 »

ToneLa wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:20 am
HDD Total Size: 256.0GB (0.9% used)
ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: N/A size: 63.9GB = this is an SDcard I use for storage and not bootable anyway
ID-2: /dev/sda model: INTEL_SSDSC2BW24 size: 240.1GB temp: 0C = This is my hard drive
ID-3: USB /dev/sdb model: DT_101_G2 size: 15.9GB temp: 0C = The USB stick I'm running this live session from
Thanks for the info, now let's take a swing at it. Your GPU is indeed ruled out as the cause. As to the drives, however, first thing to try is to remove the SDcard before boot, those are known to cause boot problems.

If that does not help, if you could provide the output of

Code: Select all

sudo parted -l
that would be helpful, it will show us your partition layout and flags to make sure nothing is wrong there.

My recommendation, however, would be to switch from Legacy to UEFI mode, disable Secure Boot and TPM options (the latter only if you can find it, some Thinkpads have these), and then do a fresh install in automatic mode (without that SDcard plugged in). Stay online during the install so it can retrieve updates. If you've already tried this, then nevermind (you said in your OP that you already tried multiple re-installs but I'm not sure if with these options).
ToneLa
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB

Post by ToneLa »

Greetings from Linux Mint :D
gm10 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:42 am
My recommendation, however, would be to switch from Legacy to UEFI mode, disable Secure Boot and TPM options (the latter only if you can find it, some Thinkpads have these), and then do a fresh install in automatic mode (without that SDcard plugged in). Stay online during the install so it can retrieve updates. If you've already tried this, then nevermind (you said in your OP that you already tried multiple re-installs but I'm not sure if with these options).
I had three boot options, Legacy, UEFI, or Any. The default was Legacy. UEFI led me to a boot menu, but any option (even the USB) would cycle back to boot. So I changed it to Any, with the logic I didn't want to exclude UEFI and knowing Legacy was not working

I've left it set at Any - did a fresh install online, and I'm in. I've rebooted a couple of times and I'm getting into Mint with zero issue. Including, happily, booting with my SD card back in place!

Thanks for your help, all!
gm10
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Re: Installed OK; but flashing cursor, no GRUB [SOLVED]

Post by gm10 »

Surprised UEFI didn't work directly but Any was the next best thing indeed. Glad to hear it went smoothly with that. Enjoy your Linux Mint! :)
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