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Thread: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    I recently, Oct 17th, 2014, purchased a New Refurbished HP 500-277c i7-Quad computer. It's installed OS is Windows 8. Spent over a week jumping thru hoops and finally found that I had to hold my tongue on the left side of my mouth instead of the right. Some of you have probably, no I know you have, gone thru this same scenario IF you have one of these machines.

    Anywho, I finally got openSuSE 13.1 installed on my machine. I was even able to do one of my Android builds. Great!! It only took an hour versus the 6 to 8 hours on my old machine.

    Then the catastrophe. I would have liked to move up to openSuSE 13.2. So, the FIRST thing that we are supposed to do... IF ... you are doing an "UpDate" is to ... UpDate your "current" system. So I went into Yast2 and the Software. Selected Packages and then selected "Update all that are newer". There were 29 items. So I clicked on ok. It did its thing and all "looked" ok... UNTIL I restarted the PC!! The boot sector got wiped!! F9 - F10 ... None of them got me to anything that would get my Windows back. I really don't understand how these updates can/could screw up my BIOS. -BUT- they did. Notice the date at the beginning of this. This is my 6th FULL recovery. Learning process is steep. My first UEFI/Win8 machine as a Dual Boot.

    Now then, since my machine was destroyed ... again .. I decided to put back the Windows and then just install a "New Copy" of openSuSE 13.2. That way I wouldn't have to worry about UpDating. Well, it is NOT that simple. Got the same thing in this "Released" version of 13.2 that I got in the "Pre-Releases". It did NOT understand my Partitions. I have/had a 931GB C: drive which I reduced down to 462GB for Win8 and then had 457GB for Linux. This was done via Win Disk Manager -AND- 13.1 understood it. Version 13.2 wants to use the whole 931GB. It does NOT recognize that Windows 8 is already there!!

    I don't want to go to another Linux... so I guess I'll just have to go back to 13.1 -and- NOT accept any UpDates. I seem to always get the weird machines.

    IF anyone has experienced similar things -and- has a fix... please let me know.

    Oh... a question. How important -and- is it absolutely necessary to update the current system before updating to a newer version. I mean after I get the 13.1 installed ... can I just go straight to 13.2???

    Thanks,
    -Chuck
    Box: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6Ghz | AMD Radeon R7 240 | 32GB RAM | openSuSE Leap 15/ KDE Plasma 5.12.6

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    On Wed 05 Nov 2014 12:06:01 PM CST, chucktr wrote:


    I recently, Oct 17th, 2014, purchased a New Refurbished HP 500-277c
    i7-Quad computer. It's installed OS is Windows 8. Spent over a week
    jumping thru hoops and finally found that I had to hold my tongue on the
    left side of my mouth instead of the right. Some of you have probably,
    no I know you have, gone thru this same scenario IF you have one of
    these machines.

    Anywho, I finally got openSuSE 13.1 installed on my machine. I was even
    able to do one of my Android builds. Great!! It only took an hour
    versus the 6 to 8 hours on my old machine.

    Then the catastrophe. I would have liked to move up to openSuSE 13.2.
    So, the FIRST thing that we are supposed to do... IF ... you are doing
    an "UpDate" is to ... UpDate your "current" system. So I went into
    Yast2 and the Software. Selected Packages and then selected "Update all
    that are newer". There were 29 items. So I clicked on ok. It did its
    thing and all "looked" ok... UNTIL I restarted the PC!! The boot sector
    got wiped!! F9 - F10 ... None of them got me to anything that would get
    my Windows back. I really don't understand how these updates can/could
    screw up my BIOS. -BUT- they did. Notice the date at the beginning of
    this. This is my 6th FULL recovery. Learning process is steep. My
    first UEFI/Win8 machine as a Dual Boot.

    Now then, since my machine was destroyed ... again .. I decided to put
    back the Windows and then just install a "New Copy" of openSuSE 13.2.
    That way I wouldn't have to worry about UpDating. Well, it is NOT that
    simple. Got the same thing in this "Released" version of 13.2 that I got
    in the "Pre-Releases". It did NOT understand my Partitions. I have/had
    a 931GB C: drive which I reduced down to 462GB for Win8 and then had
    457GB for Linux. This was done via Win Disk Manager -AND- 13.1
    understood it. Version 13.2 wants to use the whole 931GB. It does NOT
    recognize that Windows 8 is already there!!

    I don't want to go to another Linux... so I guess I'll just have to go
    back to 13.1 -and- NOT accept any UpDates. I seem to always get the
    weird machines.

    IF anyone has experienced similar things -and- has a fix... please let
    me know.

    Oh... a question. How important -and- is it absolutely necessary to
    update the current system before updating to a newer version. I mean
    after I get the 13.1 installed ... can I just go straight to 13.2???

    Thanks,
    -Chuck


    Hi
    The boot sector isn't wiped (doesn't exist with uefi/gpt), but the
    efivars in nvram may be disturbed,,, for HP systems, if you press F9 at
    boot you can get to the efi boot menu? Not familiar with your system,
    so can you check that an efi menu appears?

    One good thing about UEFI is that you can boot from a live USB CD (eg
    openSUSE 13.1 rescue) and with out having to mount/chroot this and that
    (as in mbr) just re-add the windows or any other OS efi entries since
    it's the boot OS talking to the hardware, not a disk.

    Just remember if you update windows 8 to 8.1 it will potentially
    destroy any other OS as it creates additional partitions.....

    So, what I suggest is if you confirm you can press the F9 key, and see
    either the efi entries of select 'boot from efi file' entry you should
    be all good to boot if the efivars in nvram plays up.

    Then once booted into open SUSE you can either manually recreate via
    efibootmgr, or the command update-bootloader --reinit.

    --
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° LFCS, SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 GNOME 3.10.1 Kernel 3.12.28-4-default
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    It always sucks when an installation or update goes awry. Doesn't matter what distro you're using either, it just plain sucks.

    Going from 13.1 to 13.2 is outlined pretty well here : https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:System_upgrade

    I'm not too knowledgeable with installing openSUSE myself, and definitely not with anything post-Windows 7 so I cannot help you there.

    There has been mention about a Grub 2 issue (moving from Grub to Grub 2) which requires running a rescue or something from the DVD ISO (booting into it on a Live USB ).
    "Linux provides freedom, problem is most users don't know what it is or how to use it." ~me
    Friends don't let Friends wear red shirts on away parties!
    Linux User #477531 | Danbury Area Computer Society (www.dacs.org)

  4. #4
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    Cool Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    Well, I'm a member of the Bullheaded, Hard headed Taylor clan. Never say never...

    I did the FULL recovery. could NOT get a bootable system of any kind, with any key combo. Since I had/have nothing to loose except time I went for the FULL and started anew.

    Could NOT do a FRESH install of 13.2. It did NOT recognise my partitions. It only saw the 931GB as a whole and nothing concerning the Windows. I had already divided up the partition so that there would be room for both ... and that was NOT recognised by 13.2.

    How-some-ever, I could Re-Install 13.1. It DID recognise my Windows and the Partitions. After installation I checked the updates and all but 3 were concerned with "Apparmor" which I did not install and do not want. So after UN-checking the apparmor ones I did the UpDate and the System was still ok. In case you are wondering ... apparmor was giving me fits with my VMware and so I quit letting it be installed. As it turns out it looks like it might have been the reason for my crash in the last try at updating 13.1.

    Anywho, that is all that I did ... install 13.1 and check those updates. I then put the 13.2 DVD in and went thru the hoops to boot from my DVD and got the 13.2 update. This time the UpDate recognized my 13.1 partition. Previously it had not. So, I took the reins and started the UpDate. I added nothing. Just a straight update. IT WORKED!!! I am now booted up into 13.2 on my New Machine. -But- I must set up Java 7 again and all the other stuff for my Android compiles. But it is looking good -and- I have already Re-Booted into Windws 8 -and- back to Linux.

    Thanks,
    -Chuck
    Box: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6Ghz | AMD Radeon R7 240 | 32GB RAM | openSuSE Leap 15/ KDE Plasma 5.12.6

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    How is that diske partitioned GPT/EFI or MBR?

    Did you at any time in the past try to install any Linux as MBR and the disk is based on GPT??

    Mixing modes can cause many strange problems and if not full repaired can be lingering. It sounds like there was confusion over the partitioning tables one set of software seeing GPT the other MBR.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    It is partitioned GPT/EFI. And yes I tried the legacy boot a couple of times when I was messing with gparted. And NO, I never tried the mixed modes. I'm not that dumb... almost ... but not yet. I read a lot of the forums BEFORE I tried to install.

    I lied on my last post. In the 13.2 install I lost my Windows boot option after the 13.2 install. Not sure how to get it back ... yet, -but- any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    -Chuck
    Box: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6Ghz | AMD Radeon R7 240 | 32GB RAM | openSuSE Leap 15/ KDE Plasma 5.12.6

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    Well if you managed to create a MBR partition table it would fit the problem reported. Essential the first track needs to be wiped clean if that turns out to be the problem.

    Did you boot to the BIOS boot menu? Is Windows still there? Can you boot Windows from there?

    If Windows is there and boots you can go to Yast -boot and check box to scan for other OS.

    If that does not work it can be done by command line

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    Well,
    It sounds like you did a bunch of stuff that burns bridges...

    From my experience using HP laptops for the past 10 years as my primary workhorse (My current is an HP Envy Touchsmart 17)...

    - Do not remove Windows. HP releases BIOS updates with an installer that runs only in Windows. If you remove Windows, you cannot ever update the BIOS.
    - Since approx 2009, HP removed the hardware strip of multimedia and system hotkeys that used to be just above the keyboard. Today, the hotkeys are implemented as alt-keys above the standard keyboard, sharing the F-function keys. HP has been wrestling with how to properly implement because the alt function is normally accessed through the OS, and of course when you first boot up, the OS isn't loaded. Several BIOS updates have tried to apply a consistent behavior to these hotkeys but with limited success (partly because the F2 key seems to be wired to function differently than the others). As HP tries to fix this, you <must> be able to update your BIOS (so see the above). In the meantime, be aware that simply pressing something like F10 may not work and may require something like Fn-F10.
    - The first thing anyone who purchases an HP laptop must do is <make an emergency boot disk>. Once created, then you can always restore the disk from the HP restore partition. If you don't make this disk on your own, you may have to pay for HP to ship one to you. Also, nowadays the HP/Windows restore clearly describes options that wipe out or retain your User files. Only a couple years ago, you could easily wipe everything despite what the described action is supposed to do.
    - Of course, don't wipe out or touch the HP restore partition. Once it's gone, you can't restore or re-install the usual way. I don't know if you can contact HP and have a full restore complete with Windows shipped to you. In any case, it'd probably be a lot more expensive than shipping you a simple boot disk (which last I checked cost about $20).
    - My personal preference and recommendation... I do not recommend UEFI boot, I recommend switching to "legacy" always. I don't believe the extra security warrants the complexity and issues associated with any recovery scenario. This is one of may BIOS update settings I have to reset, but I feel it's small compared to the problems it can cause when using default settings.

    Considering the above and what you described doing... I'll leave to you how to decide how you want toresolve the mess you find yourself in. There is nothing I know of about upgrading or updating openSUSE that should affect your boot partition. It's too bad it sounds like too much has changed to try to determine what might have happened... If you ever find yourself in the same situation in the future, I strongly suggest you hop on IRC and/or these forums before you wipe out the means to recover.

    Good Luck,
    TSU

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    gogalthorp - Thanks for your suggestion. The "Look for another OS" was already checked -but- I clicked on the OK anyway. It did something as it exited and then...and then after doing a ReStart ... I got my Windows selection in Grub again. Yes I can Dual Boot. Just a simple look and ok click. Touchy lil' aminals... aren't they.

    TSU - Nope. I did not burn any bridges. -And- mine is NOT a laptop. You are another who reads more into what is there, than what there is, and reply with accusatory remarks to intimidate the person with the problem. Now IF you will read gogalthorp's remarks you will learn how to be a little nicer and friendlier in your replies. I have been in this business for a long, long time -BUT- I don't know everything, nor do I claim to. At times a suggestion from a friend helps to straighten out a minor problem... like this one turned out to be.

    Thanks to gogalthorp,
    -Chuck
    Box: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6Ghz | AMD Radeon R7 240 | 32GB RAM | openSuSE Leap 15/ KDE Plasma 5.12.6

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Disappointment in SuSE and HP.

    Quote Originally Posted by chucktr View Post
    It is partitioned GPT/EFI. And yes I tried the legacy boot a couple of times when I was messing with gparted. And NO, I never tried the mixed modes. I'm not that dumb... almost ... but not yet. I read a lot of the forums BEFORE I tried to install.

    I lied on my last post. In the 13.2 install I lost my Windows boot option after the 13.2 install. Not sure how to get it back ... yet, -but- any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    -Chuck
    Hi
    Is the windows boot manager present in the output from (as root user)
    Code:
    efibootmgr
    
    eg
    Boot0000* Windows Boot Manager
    Or are there entries like;
    Code:
    Boot0006* Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk
    Either way, you can re-create via;
    Code:
    efibootmgr -c -L "Windows Boot manager" -l "\\EFI\\Microsoft\\Boot\\bootmgfw.efi"
    [/CODE]
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

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