[SOLVED] Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

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SoyDodger
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[SOLVED] Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by SoyDodger »

I was a Windows user until about 3 months ago, so I need a bit of hand-holding, I hope someone here has the patience to help.

After a successful POST and drive decrypt sequence, I run into a black screen. System otherwise seems to be running fine. I am aware that this is similar to other recent (Jan 2020) users issues like here...

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=309757

and here...

viewtopic.php?f=49&t=309784

As far as I am able I have followed the instructions or pointers above, but I need something more specific for my level of understanding.

I have been running 19.3 (Cinnamon x64) with a 5.0.x kernel (which I didn't know until I went back to check it in grub), and I tried going from an earlier kernel like 4.15, but I'm not sure that I'm "doing it right". After trying to revert and seeing packages being checked, it finished with a warning about mint-vg cannot be found. Searching for this, the most recent thread is 2018, and not much use.

The original installation media is not available to me, so I don't think I can use Timeshift. I did prepare another bootable USB earlier today, just in case I have to "nuke it", but I'd rather not do that just for what is probably a driver or PPA issue.

I am fairly confident its the nVidia drivers not playing nice (like the threads above indicate) and I just need to wind it back, but when faced with the grub advanced settings, I don't know how to access the PPA to uninstall the prior drivers.

I would be exceptionally grateful if someone could give me the "grub for dummies" process to get working again. How do I undo updates? Why did my attempt at the earlier kernel version not work?

Maybe relevant: only package change I made this week was a switch from Transmission to qBittorrent. Otherwise I haven't manually agreed a package update in a week or so.

EDIT: Feel rude bumping, but still need help with this one. If there's an admin reading and this should be in a different forum category, please feel free to move the thread.
Last edited by SoyDodger on Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
i5-3470, 8GB RAM, ASUS P877-M, a small SSD, noooo RGB, an nVidia GTX750 ti, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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Moem
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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by Moem »

SoyDodger wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:02 am
The original installation media is not available to me, so I don't think I can use Timeshift. I did prepare another bootable USB earlier today,
This, at least, I can help with: you do not need the original installation medium, the one you just created is fine (and most likely identical, if you chose the same version).
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

SoyDodger
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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by SoyDodger »

Thanks for your suggestion Moem. I swapped my boot order to USB first, then went in through Live Mint on a USB and followed the guide for using Timeshift here:

https://www.reallinuxuser.com/how-to-us ... g-on-a-pc/

Timeshift could not find any snapshots I had saved (if I had them) on C:
It is possible (not likely) I may have selected a back-up location on one of the old NTFS or FAT Windows drives as they had more free space (doh!).

Anyone any more suggestions?
i5-3470, 8GB RAM, ASUS P877-M, a small SSD, noooo RGB, an nVidia GTX750 ti, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by SoyDodger »

So... last call for help.

I seem to have worked out that I can get to grub cmd at boot, what I need is the code to remove nvidia drivers. Anyone able to help, or can admin move this to the right sub?
i5-3470, 8GB RAM, ASUS P877-M, a small SSD, noooo RGB, an nVidia GTX750 ti, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by Hoser Rob »

SoyDodger wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:15 am
... I may have selected a back-up location on one of the old NTFS or FAT Windows drives as they had more free space ...
AFAIK timeshift doesn't recognize NFTS or FAT.

I'd just do a clean reinstall, forget disk encryption (it's too complex for beginners in Linux), and in the future use an external drive for timeshift backup. Putting those backups on the same drive you use in the computer you're backing up is just idiotic.

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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by JoeFootball »

SoyDodger wrote: I would be exceptionally grateful if someone could give me the "grub for dummies" process to get working again.
This article covers GRUB, and has a section specific to booting to older kernels...

https://www.howtogeek.com/196520/grub2- ... ot-loader/

Also, if needed, see this article for more GRUB info...

https://www.howtogeek.com/196655/how-to ... -settings/

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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by SoyDodger »

Hoser Rob wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:08 am
AFAIK timeshift doesn't recognize NFTS or FAT.
Just so. This was the issue. It's looking like reinstall is the way to go.
i5-3470, 8GB RAM, ASUS P877-M, a small SSD, noooo RGB, an nVidia GTX750 ti, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by SoyDodger »

JoeFootball wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:42 am
This article covers GRUB, and has a section specific to booting to older kernels...

https://www.howtogeek.com/196520/grub2- ... ot-loader/

Also, if needed, see this article for more GRUB info...

https://www.howtogeek.com/196655/how-to ... -settings/
Thanks very much for these. It seems grub and terminal are very different creatures. You see how absolutely green I am! I expect with more experience and competence I would be able to go in through grub and get what I need, but like that guide implies, it's not for the feint of heart. Only for those who really know what they're about.

Re-install will have to do.

Also, just to wrap up the thread, here's a quick synopsis.
Black screen after post, and decryption. Hardware was functioning fine, Live USB version shows everything is "hunkydory".

Looked for a Timeshift save but it can't read my old, FAT/NTFS drives which is where I would have put it (not knowing that).
*This was the takeaway from today.*

I tried swapping out the HDMI cable from the GTX750ti to a DVA from the motherboard to the monitor as the i5 I have also has integrated graphics (behold the power of HD2500!) This would give me the chance to go in, unwind any nvidia packages and make a Timeshift save on an EXT drive. However, either no hot-swap or automatic reconfig happens on Mint at startup (like with Windows), or I did something wrong. But I have done this before with Windows to trouble shoot a graphics card and test different hardware configs.

Solution: Reinstall. Keep your Timeshift on an external EXT format USB (out of the reach of children). Don't install all updates automatically, if it ain't broke and it ain't a security issue, don't fix it.


Big thank you to all who chimed in to try and help this salty old Windows dog.
i5-3470, 8GB RAM, ASUS P877-M, a small SSD, noooo RGB, an nVidia GTX750 ti, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by JoeFootball »

SoyDodger wrote: It seems grub and terminal are very different creatures.
Yes, they are different. :)
SoyDodger wrote: Re-install will have to do.
Did you try booting to previous kernels, as the article I provided gives info on?
SoyDodger wrote: I tried swapping out the HDMI cable from the GTX750ti to a DVA from the motherboard to the monitor as the i5 I have also has integrated graphics (behold the power of HD2500!) This would give me the chance to go in, unwind any nvidia packages and make a Timeshift save on an EXT drive. However, either no hot-swap or automatic reconfig happens on Mint at startup (like with Windows), or I did something wrong.
Hmm, if that didn't work, that might give evidence to NVIDIA not being the issue.
SoyDodger wrote: Solution: Reinstall.
If booting to the previous kernels do not provide a recourse, then that's certainly an option.
SoyDodger wrote: Don't install all updates automatically, if it ain't broke and it ain't a security issue, don't fix it.
I'm not sure that I'd go as far to say that. I think that with a good Timeshift regimen, I'd keep up with all updates.
SoyDodger wrote: Big thank you to all who chimed in to try and help this salty old Windows dog.
You're welcome. If you do happen to get in via booting to a previous kernel, the output of inxi -Fxz posted here would allow people to see the details of your system.

If it turns out that the 5.3.x kernel branch is the issue with your system, I would try installing the latest 4.15.x kernel, and boot from that. If that works, then I would stick with that branch, as it's LTS, with support until April 2023. The 5.0.x branch is about to reach end-of-life for support, or may have already.

SoyDodger
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[SOLVED] Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by SoyDodger »

Thanks for the corrections and pointers. I *really* appreciate it. Learning how to use Linux is a well overdue step for me and it is like a language. Once you pick up the "common phrases" things are relatively easy, especially with a working Timeshift regimen on a drive that can be read by the system. :lol:

I had tried booting to an older kernel branch 4.15 (two versions) and an earlier 5.0 version, several times each. Each time I still had the same issue.
With the earlier 5.xx kernel, after the system ran through the post and boot process, I either hit the same black screen issue or (with the earlier 4.15.xx) I got a stream of code (looked like unpacking and installing the "un-update"; which resulted in a "mount-vg" and "mount-vg cannot be found" error, and sometimes even "not enough free space", which is very confusing as I had lots of space available on the drive. I then got the request to decrypt the drive. I suspect that there was a corrupt file somewhere in the 4.15 version which was what I needed.

Because of time issues and needing to get up and running I had to take the nuclear option and start over. Everything is now running smoothly again. Fortunately with Mint you can get up and running very quick, and the way I had my drives and personal files partitioned meant I didn't lose anything except one or two docs. I'm now spending time swapping everything over to EXT system, but it's a one-time time penalty, so no biggie. Which reminds me, now I have everything running and packages reinstalled, I should do another Timeshift.

Re. Keeping up with updates. Will do.

Will keep the

Code: Select all

inxi -Fzx
code stored away for another day. I now keep a notepad by the computer for sudo bits as the post-its were starting to make my monitor look like a Christmas tree.
i5-3470, 8GB RAM, ASUS P877-M, a small SSD, noooo RGB, an nVidia GTX750 ti, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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Re: [SOLVED] Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by JoeFootball »

SoyDodger wrote:Everything is now running smoothly again.
Good work! :) If you edit the title of your original post as [Solved], it will show as such in the forum. Thanks!

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Re: Black Screen After Boot Decrypt. (Hand-holding for a newbie.)

Post by SoyDodger »

Ah... changing the last one didn't change the others. Good to know. Thanks for pointing that out.

Done and dusted.
i5-3470, 8GB RAM, ASUS P877-M, a small SSD, noooo RGB, an nVidia GTX750 ti, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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