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Thread: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

  1. #1

    Angry Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hi folks,

    I have installed the new OpenSuse 11.1 on my netbook "Medion Akoya mini E1210". The problem is, rebooting the system from within Linux ends up in a black screen after syncing the hard disk (if I am right it's the last operation before reboot normally performs).

    First I supposed it's a bug in the Linux kernel 2.6.27.7-9. So I also tested the latest stable Kernel from kernel.org (2.6.28) with
    the same problem. Some further tests with kernel parameters didn't worked. Later I found out that the reboot issue already exists before booting the kernel. No reboot is performed while pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del within Grub (also text mode).

    So I did some experiments with the boot order, because I use a dual boot order and Windows reboots (I also tested DOS boot directly from USB stick and tested different reboot variants [soft and hard resets, far jumps to BIOS], all worked fine).

    This system starts by executing the standard mbr which executes the boot sector of the active partition (partition one). The boot
    sector starts the Windows boot manager. Starting windows out of windows' boot manager, reboots works fine. Starting Linux out of windows' boot manager by executing the boot sector of the Linux partition (logical drive within extended partition) which then starts the grub boot manager, reboot is not working anymore.

    Changing the boot order (active flags in partition table) in that way, the mbr directly executes the boot sector of the extended
    partition resulting in directly executing the grub boot manager, reboots out of grub and Linux work fine. Also if windows is started by executing windows' boot manager out of grub, the reboot will perform correctly.

    The results of the second scenario will be the same if (now possible) the boot manager call each other multiple times (e.g. mbr -> grub -> winboot -> grub -> winboot -> ...). I want to know why reboot hangs in the first scenario. Maybe its a BIOS bug.

    My only idea for testing this is to write an own boot sector which will be executed by grub in the first scenario to test different system reset strategies. If this also hangs, it is probably a BIOS bug.

    Does anybody else noticed this behaviour on Medion Akoya, MSI wind or EeePC netbooks? Futher ideas are appreciated.


    Best regards,
    Paul

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hello Paul,

    I have also this netbook-Medion MD97160, with 160 GB harddisk and now 2 GB memory (bought from ALDI on 30/10/2008) and installed openSUSE 11.1-KDE4 on it. Do you have Gnome, KDE3 or KDE4 installed as desktop.
    What do you mean with "rebooting the system from within Linux" is that "Leave/Restart computer and then start either Windows XP or openSUSE 11.1". If that is the case then I cannot confirm that problem.

    Regards, Frans

    PS I have also a number of questions/problems with this netbook but to keep this thread clean I will start shortly a new thread "Experiences with Medion Akoya Netbook E1210 - MD97160" in this forum and your input will be helpfull.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hello Frans,

    I am using KDE3 and the console. With "rebooting" I mean, log out of kde and restart, entering "reboot" or pressing ctrl-alt-del in the console. In all three cases the system successfully terminates all services and programs by entering runlevel 0 and syncs the disk. After syncing, the kernel performs a hard reset or calls the real mode entry point of the system BIOS (0xFFFF:0x0). But after syncing disks the system hangs in the first scenario I described before. I suppose it is not problem with the kernel, because the system also hangs, if I press ctrl-alt-del in the grub boot menu (only in the first scenario).


    Best regards,
    Paul

  4. #4

    Exclamation Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hi all,

    I have tested both scenarios (see first posted message) again with a self written bootsector. The bootsector is loaded via the grub boot manager in a similar way like the linux kernel.

    With that bootsector I can directly test different system reset methods. Again, performing first scenario boot (BIOS -> XP boot manager -> grub -> bootsector), the system hangs with all reset methods. Performing the second scenario boot (BIOS -> grub -> bootsector), all reset methods perform fine.

    So it really seems to be a bug in the system BIOS of the Akoya E1210 laptop . It also affects the latest BIOS 1.10A released wo days ago.

    Best regards,
    Paul

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hi all,

    my first contact to the manufacturers was sobering. The manufacturers' (Medion) answer of my support request was short and clear: "The netbook is designed for Windows XP only" . So, they don't offer any support for other operating systems. But curiously, for help with other operating systems they offer support with costs. In my opinion such a statement is cynic.

    But I don't need any help with operating systems, I only need a bug fixed BIOS. Maybe the support does not have the knowledge of bootstrapping process.

    I think some companies are not aware of the customers are their life assurance. My decision: Medion never again.

    But I will not give up, to get a bug fix

    Best regards,
    Paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    buugmenot wrote:

    >
    > Hi all,
    >
    > But I don't need any help with operating systems, I only need a bug
    > fixed BIOS. Maybe the support does not have the knowledge of
    > bootstrapping process.
    >
    >
    > But I will not give up, to get a bug fix
    >
    > Best regards,
    > Paul
    >
    >

    Hi Paul,

    I have openSUSE 11.1/KDE 3.5.10 installed on the Medion Akoya E1210 -MD97160
    that I bought at the end of october 2008. Do you have the same one or the
    earlier version. What problem do you have with the BIOS.
    --
    Regards / Groeten,
    Frans

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hi Frans,

    I have an earlier version. My akoya modell is the MD96910, bought in July 2008.

    If have installed Suse Linux 11.1 and use the Laptop as a dual boot system with the preinstalled Windows XP. Linux is installed on a logical drive within an extended partition.

    During boot process, the system starts with the primary WinXP partiton and starts NTLDR (NT boot loader). From XP's boot menu I am able to start Linux, so NTLDR starts the grub boot loader. The boot process in a nutshell:

    BIOS -> MBR -> NTLDR -> Grub -> Linux

    If Grub is started it is no longer possible to perform a system reset (regardless using real mode entry point or hard reset) for rebooting. If you try to reboot, the system hangs somewhere in BIOS code. The problem still exists if I boot Linux and try a system reset.

    So, I think some garbage in the lower memory (below 1 MB) prevents performing a system reset.

    Best regards
    Paul

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hello Paul,

    The only thing you could try is to go in your openSUSE system Yast/System/Bootloader/Other/ProposeNewConfig

    and write the openSUSE GRUB bootloader to the MBR and check if your problem still exists with the Linux way of dual booting.

    Regards, Frans

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dualboot reboot problem Akoya E1210. BIOS Bug?

    Hello Frans,

    I do not need to install grub in the mbr. As I described above, it will work if grub starts before the nt boot loader, also if not installed in the mbr. But I have to start ntldr first, because I also want to write to ntfs partitions. This will be really bad idea, if windows is in hibernation mode und Linux writes to its ntfs partitions. This won't be recognized during system start, because ntldr is not loaded.

    Best regards
    Paul

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