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Thread: It boots every other time.

  1. #1

    Default It boots every other time.

    Hello.

    I installed Suse 11.1 on my Sony Vaio AR790. I had OEM Windows Vista installed on it. And I installed suse on an external usb drive.

    When things go well:

    1. I turn on my computer.
    2. I see a 'VAIO' splash screen which looks to be part of the bios. It is here I could press F2, and configure my bios. This step takes way too long for my taste.
    3. Finally, I see a list of operating systems to choose from. I can choose Suse, Failsafe Suse, and Windows Vista.
    4. I choose Suse or Windows Vista, and everything seems fine.

    When things go bad:

    1. I turn on my computer.
    2. I see the Vaio splash screen.
    3. Then I see:

    loading grub 1.5...

    unable to load grub:
    error 21

    Then my computer just hangs.

    So, what I do is I control-alt-del. I get to the 'Vaio' splash screen. Then, everything seems to work.

    So it appears like dual booting works every other time.

    So again:
    1. Turn on computer
    2. choose windows/linux and have fun.
    3. shutdown computer
    4. Turn on computer
    5. Hang and have no fun.
    6. ctrl-alt-del
    7. choose windows/linux and have fun.
    8. shutdown computer.
    9. Repeat from 4.

    Does anyone know what is going on here? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: It boots every other time.

    Looks like your bootloading is a bit messy: it cannot find the usb-disk, so it cannot continue booting. Appearantly it does see the usb-disk after a reset.
    Also take a look at the boot device order in the BIOS of your computer. If your intention was to keep the internal HDD untouched, you should have installed/configured GRUB on the usb-disk, tell the BIOS to boot from the usb-disk
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  3. #3

    Default Re: It boots every other time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knurpht View Post
    Looks like your bootloading is a bit messy: it cannot find the usb-disk, so it cannot continue booting. Appearantly it does see the usb-disk after a reset.
    Also take a look at the boot device order in the BIOS of your computer. If your intention was to keep the internal HDD untouched, you should have installed/configured GRUB on the usb-disk, tell the BIOS to boot from the usb-disk
    Thanks. I definitely messed up the install somewhere. I just don't know how to fix it. My intention was to put all of suse on my usb drive.

    Anyways, if I change the boot order so that the usb drive is the only device bios boots from, I get an error about not finding an operating system. If I change the boot order os that my internal hdd is the only device bios boots from, I get the "Error 21" problem.

    Since my computer had windows pre-installed, I didn't get any os disks. I've been trying to mess with the mbr to get it fixed, so I doubt I have the original anywhere!! Is it possible to restore to the orignal mbr and try a clean restart without having to run out to the store and buy windows vista?

    thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Location
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    Default Re: It boots every other time.

    What Knurpht said. It sounds like you have the Grub bootable stuff on the USB stick, and that's a bad idea. It's my understanding that Opensuse 11.2 is going to have better support for booting from USB; for now, I'd try to stick to a hard drive installation.

    Incidentally, you have my sympathy about receiving a new PC with no install disk(s). More people should complain about this; it's ridiculous. To help address this, Microsoft has apparently made available an ISO that you can burn to CD. You can then boot onto it and run the Recovery Console, which includes options to repair the Master Boot Record (MBR).

    Here's a Microsoft support link about repairing the MBR:

    How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

    And here's an article with links to the downloadable ISOs.

    Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download — The NeoSmart Files

    Note that, after doing the MBR repair, you'll be back to Vista-only. But that'll get you back up and running. Then you can look at (re)install options on OpenSUSE.

  5. #5

    Default Re: It boots every other time.

    Quote Originally Posted by smpoole7 View Post
    What Knurpht said. It sounds like you have the Grub bootable stuff on the USB stick, and that's a bad idea. It's my understanding that Opensuse 11.2 is going to have better support for booting from USB; for now, I'd try to stick to a hard drive installation.

    Incidentally, you have my sympathy about receiving a new PC with no install disk(s). More people should complain about this; it's ridiculous. To help address this, Microsoft has apparently made available an ISO that you can burn to CD. You can then boot onto it and run the Recovery Console, which includes options to repair the Master Boot Record (MBR).

    Here's a Microsoft support link about repairing the MBR:

    How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

    And here's an article with links to the downloadable ISOs.

    Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download — The NeoSmart Files

    Note that, after doing the MBR repair, you'll be back to Vista-only. But that'll get you back up and running. Then you can look at (re)install options on OpenSUSE.
    Thanks guys for all the help. Thanks also for these MS links. I'll go ahead and fix my MBR, and try it again.

    Maybe I'll try downloading 11.2 and trying to install it on my usb harddrive.

    One thing I'm wondering about is whether I can boot Linux from my DVD, just as I do the linux install dvd?

    The reason for this, is that I'm not sure if my bios really does support booting from a usb harddrive, even though it says it does. It seems weird to me that rebooting every other time makes linux work. I would think state is not preserved between reboots?

    But, it does appear that booting the linux install dvd works every time. So I'm wondering if I can install linux on my dvd, the "boot part", and keep everything else of linux on my usb drive? Is this feasible? Is it hard to do or easy?

    thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: It boots every other time.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyYoda View Post
    Thanks. I definitely messed up the install somewhere. I just don't know how to fix it. My intention was to put all of suse on my usb drive.

    Anyways, if I change the boot order so that the usb drive is the only device bios boots from, I get an error about not finding an operating system. If I change the boot order os that my internal hdd is the only device bios boots from, I get the "Error 21" problem.

    Since my computer had windows pre-installed, I didn't get any os disks. I've been trying to mess with the mbr to get it fixed, so I doubt I have the original anywhere!! Is it possible to restore to the orignal mbr and try a clean restart without having to run out to the store and buy windows vista?

    thanks.
    Alright, so leave my internal hdd alone, and install everything on my usb hdd, including grub. I'll try out all these options just as soon as I get back from work.

    thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: It boots every other time.

    On 10/26/2009 09:36 AM, ToyYoda wrote:
    >
    > smpoole7;2055621 Wrote:
    >> What Knurpht said. It sounds like you have the Grub bootable stuff on
    >> the USB stick, and that's a bad idea. It's my understanding that
    >> Opensuse 11.2 is going to have better support for booting from USB; for
    >> now, I'd try to stick to a hard drive installation.
    >>
    >> Incidentally, you have my sympathy about receiving a new PC with no
    >> install disk(s). More people should complain about this; it's
    >> ridiculous. To help address this, Microsoft has apparently made
    >> available an ISO that you can burn to CD. You can then boot onto it and
    >> run the Recovery Console, which includes options to repair the Master
    >> Boot Record (MBR).
    >>
    >> Here's a Microsoft support link about repairing the MBR:
    >>
    >> 'How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to
    >> troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows'
    >> (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392)
    >>
    >> And here's an article with links to the downloadable ISOs.
    >>
    >> 'Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download — The NeoSmart Files'
    >> (http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/window...disc-download/)
    >>
    >> Note that, after doing the MBR repair, you'll be back to Vista-only.
    >> But that'll get you back up and running. Then you can look at
    >> (re)install options on OpenSUSE.

    >
    > Thanks guys for all the help. Thanks also for these MS links. I'll go
    > ahead and fix my MBR, and try it again.
    >
    > Maybe I'll try downloading 11.2 and trying to install it on my usb
    > harddrive.
    >
    > One thing I'm wondering about is whether I can boot Linux from my DVD,
    > just as I do the linux install dvd?
    >
    > The reason for this, is that I'm not sure if my bios really does
    > support booting from a usb harddrive, even though it says it does. It
    > seems weird to me that rebooting every other time makes linux work. I
    > would think state is not preserved between reboots?


    I don't think it is working "every other time". I see it as working
    from a cold boot, but failing from a warm boot. If so, you have a BIOS
    error.

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