Mint missing again
March 9, 2019 at 2:21 pm #31448
Last night I thought “Not done a backup recently”. Booted up OK this morning, shut down OK. Went for ride on the bike as usual. Got home, switched on ready for some ‘bike vids, will not boot!
Booted up with Mint 19 install disc and I could see the main drive, so connected up the backup drive. Apart from half a dozen .jpeg files (not .jpg files), everything copied to backup OK.
Maybe it is my second 240GB SSD failing? How do I get it to boot again without wiping anything, or do I just put a spinner back in and reinstall Mint 19.x, and forget about these wonder solid state drives?
April 10, 2019 at 9:52 pm #32532
Ed, Yes, I have been chewing the thing over today, and the logical thing is to move this SSD to the other machine.
If it won’t boot (because of the graphics card for example), then that leaves me with another fresh reinstall.
I have also been looking at another SSD, It seems there are a few in the just sub £30 bracket (but I will ignore the Kingston on principle) even including a WD “Green”. Then a few around £40, with some crazy way high prices.
Just one fail in the other machine, and It will go back once more to supplier, with a new one ordered as well.
Les.April 11, 2019 at 10:31 am #32538
The deed is done. SSD put into the other machine, my original, same 4GB Ram,GT620 card, different WiFi card, slightly slower CPU but otherwise identical.
Booted no problem, required WiFi password entering.
I WILL however now install all those programmes I held back on (but not Kodi for now) and see if that is cured, or if it is the SSD again.
Fingers crossed, Les.April 13, 2019 at 4:45 pm #32628
I am no expert on GRUB but it sounds to me like something could be messing with the grub.cfg file.
I say this because there is an obscure option in the Windows BCD file that makes a system behave differently for a reset and a cold start.
That option is only ment to be used by Microsoft during a Windows install but it is there to be messed with.
I don’t know if GRUB or GRUB2 has a similar option but it sounds to me like a program is doing something like it as a one time configuration that fails to finish properly.
Just a thought ?April 13, 2019 at 4:57 pm #32629
Oh yes, the way to test it would be to keep a good copy of grub.cfg from your system somewhere.
Next time the problem happens use a live version of Linux to rename grub.cfg to grub.old and copy the good copy in to replace it.
If it does not help you can always just rename grub.old back to .cfg and delete the copy.April 13, 2019 at 8:41 pm #32638
Wheels, Linux uses write-behind as a default. Although this generally speeds things up, it means that (say) an unstable power supply to a drive could well result in corruption and I’d hate to forecast the impacts following (say) a kernel update.April 13, 2019 at 9:10 pm #32639
Windows uses what it calls “Lazy write” which is about the same thing. However it doesn’t use it for system files so its only your important data thats up for grabs ?April 13, 2019 at 9:23 pm #32640
At one time MS were keen to promote Transactional NTFS for mission critical data (see above) but they have off it now. Im not sure if it is even an option in W10.April 13, 2019 at 9:26 pm #32641
Linux has journalling, but an unstable power supply trumps all!April 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm #32642
I agree. It does.
It just “Feels” like something else in this case. A PC that fails to boot the first or second time from cold but then starts and runs normally sounds like a PC with a dodgy PSU.
Starting the first time but then failing every restart just seems a bit odd.April 14, 2019 at 2:33 pm #32663
WoF, to clarify a bit. It is NOT a case of only cold start failures. Under normal circumstances, my PC gets turned on and off about 4 times daily. However, not wanting all the aggro of what COULD follow a failure to boot, I now leave it on all day.
Around Christmas/New Year, when it failed to boot and the SSD could not be mounted from an install desktop (i.e., a live session from volatile memory), I lost some very important photos of on going construction, which I needed to get past the Building control department. (Meeting Tues morning, fingers crossed). So, NOT a cold start issue.
Of course that does NOT mean it is not a PSU fault.
So far a few days only since I changed the SSD to my original shuttle. Thinking in terms of BLOCKS of stuff, the differences now are motherboard (inc RAM and CPU), Power supply, Graphics card (GT620 now, GT720) and WiFi cards. Clearly the M/B, the PSU and the Graphics card COULD be the problem. What about the WiFi, COULD it be the cause?
If it stays good, I will change all these , one at a time, as I do want isolate the cause if it isn’t the SSD.
Les.April 14, 2019 at 9:38 pm #32672
Of course it COULD be TWO problems causing similar results which is always a bugger ?
I really dont think its the WiFi card though.
To try to narrow things down a bit a couple of questions.
Does your PC have a BIOS or is it UEFI (I suspect the latter)
Can you always boot from a DVD now ? If you couldnt in the past but you can now what changed.
Apart from the unfortunate loss of photos incident if you boot from DVD now can you always see the SSD ?
Just trying to pin this down to hardware or software. You have my interest now ?April 14, 2019 at 11:22 pm #32676
WoF, We will discount the TWO fault for now (I hope).
No, I don’t think a WiFi card likely as a cause, I list it as one of four blocks to be suspect.
Bios system. A 10 year old Shuttle (well, two of them), model SN78SH7. Athlon 11 cpu, 4Gb ram. Onboard graphics but not used (will not handle current Mint distro) but GT620 (my original shuttle) and GT720 in the other (From which I have just transferred the SSD.
It will always boot from CD/DVD when asked. The SSD that could not be seen was the one which I returned and for which got an identical replacement.
Since fitting the replacement SSD, it has always been accessible from an “Install load” (Boot DVD).
I know this is becoming a very long thread, but I think I have covered ALL points over the last 50+ (HOW many?)posts.
But thanks for your interest.
Les.April 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm #32695
Well that knocks out my favorite idea then. I was hoping you were going to say you had a UEFI system because I have a fix for that ?
I will have a look back through all your posts to see exactly what you have done and have a think.April 15, 2019 at 10:20 pm #32700
A quick trawl of the Web for “Error read and write outside HD0” came up with a ton people with strange boot problems. Sometimes the system would not see the HDD at all ask for a boot CD and other times they got odd GRUB errors. Sound familier ?
The number one answer was corrupt CMOS settings and the number one cure was to pull out the battery or just replace it.
Apparently GRUB2 does actually read those settings so its worth a go.April 15, 2019 at 10:59 pm #32703
WoF, sounds a bit of a long shot, but it would certainly fit the facts. A good reason for no boot if the SSD is “gone AWOL2 in CMOS.
If this current setup continues to behave for at least a couple of weeks, I will move SSD back to the other shuttle, and fit a new lithium battery. I will start looking at CMOS if anything shows, perhaps before the battery fitting.
It would be most instructive to get a definite answer.
Thanks, Les.April 16, 2019 at 7:56 am #32704
One question – WHY do you keep power cycling your machine? This is definitely not good practice. If you are doing it to save money it is far better to change your power settings to suit as one ‘bad’ bit of power cycling (i.e. you do not wait for all disk activity to cease) results in corrupted files. If you tend to go away for a long time then you could try hibernate. Be warned however this can get into a fatal lock state with your power settings, so set up with care.April 16, 2019 at 12:58 pm #32711
Some people found that just entering the CMOS setup and then saving without changing anything fixed their problems but it would be a safer bet to take a note of your settings (got a digital camera ? Take pictures of them) and then pulling out the battery for at least 2min. After all its free !April 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm #32716
Ed, I have never tried hibernate, but because I sometime use “Simplescreenrecorder” to record an online event whilst I am out, my settings ensure no sleeping or K/B locking at anytime.
Actually I have been shutting down (but NOT recently) maybe 4 times daily for at least the last dozen years with no problems until the recent events. I think I will avoid hibernate at least for now, rather than get different problems.
WoF, I won’t be doing anything on this PC for now, but when I go over to the other one (2 weeks probably), I will do a few cmos checks before the full boot process. If I spot anything, and at any rate after a few days, a new battery will be installed.
No need to take photos, I can handle cmos settings, done hundreds in the past when I built PCs. Just MOST software stuff goes over my head. No interest unless it hits me in the face.
Cheers, Les.April 16, 2019 at 4:05 pm #32720
It is still a bad idea to power cycle more than once a day. Studies have shown that mobos etc are far more prone to failure if subjected to excessive power cycling.April 16, 2019 at 4:11 pm #32722
I still take pic’s Les. I have an enthusiast mobo from Gigabyte and it has a setting for everything you can set ! I can store 3 CMOS profiles and I forget what I put in them too. I think one makes the tea ?
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