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Thread: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

  1. #1
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    Default GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Hello, bear with me, this will take some explaining.

    This is a partition diagram of what I have currently connected to my notebook:
    Code:
    - Internal Hard Drive
      - NTFS - Winodws XP (currently broken)
      - Ext4  - openSUSE Tumbleweed
      - Swap
    - External HDD
      - NTFS - Miscellaneous Data
      - Ext4  - /home
      - Ext4  - Ubuntu
      - Extended
        - Ext4   - openSUSE Tumbleweed
        - FAT32 - Currently unused
        - Swap
    I want to boot the openSUSE Tumbleweed, that is on that external HDD. I have done that on other computers without a problem by just choosing the external HDD in the Boot Menu of the BIOS.

    On this computer, it just doesn't work. When I try to select it in the Boot Menu, it shows the 'grub rescue: unknown filesystem' error. There is a pretty common solution for this:
    1. ls
    2. ls (hdX,Y)/
    3. repeat 2. until it doesn't say unknown filesystem
    4. set the partition from 3. as root
    5. insmod normal
    6. normal
    The problem for me is, that the internal drive's partitions get recognised normally, but there are only four partitions listed under the external hdd and all of them are 'unknown filesystem'.

    As I said, if I connect the drive to a different computer, it works normally.

    Many thanks in advance to whoever is able to solve my problem,
    Greenscreener


    PS: I am horrible at naming things, if you get an idea on a different title, tell me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    At that stage of booting, BIOS services are being used to read the disk.

    It looks as if the BIOS on that computer has problems with your external drive.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Oh, my notebook is an HP EliteBook 6930p, is there anything I can do?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Can you show output of "fdisk -l" under Linux?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Code:
    Disk /dev/sda: 232,9 GiB, 250059350016 bytes, 488397168 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disklabel type: dos
    Disk identifier: 0xdf4edf4e
    
    
    Device     Boot     Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
    /dev/sda1              63 390625000 390624938 186,3G  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda2  *    390625280 480583679  89958400  42,9G 83 Linux
    /dev/sda3       480583680 488396799   7813120   3,7G 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 931,5 GiB, 1000202043392 bytes, 1953519616 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disklabel type: dos
    Disk identifier: 0x0002846e
    
    
    Device     Boot      Start        End    Sectors   Size Id Type
    /dev/sdb1  *          2048 1535508479 1535506432 732,2G  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sdb2       1535508480 1746444287  210935808 100,6G 83 Linux
    /dev/sdb3       1746444288 1834354687   87910400  41,9G 83 Linux
    /dev/sdb4       1834354688 1953519615  119164928  56,8G  f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sdb5       1834356736 1937356799  103000064  49,1G 83 Linux
    /dev/sdb6       1937358848 1937891327     532480   260M  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sdb7       1937893376 1953519615   15626240   7,5G 82 Linux swap / Solaris

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    (I am mildly surprised that the external can be booted from other computers, but that may be because we don't know what boot code is installed on it.)

    You should be able to boot the external TW from the internal TW's Grub menu if you boot the internal and update its bootloader while the external is attached and turned on. Os-prober used by the internal's update process should automatically add at least one entry to do so, unless you have disabled its os-prober in its /etc/default/grub.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenscreener View Post
    there are only four partitions listed under the external hdd and all of them are 'unknown filesystem'.
    Both likely have the same reason - if grub fails to read disk, it also fails to follow logical partitions chain. fdisk output looks good. How do you connect this disk (USB, eSATA, whatever)?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    (I am mildly surprised that the external can be booted from other computers, but that may be because we don't know what boot code is installed on it.)
    Actually, it workes on multiple computers without a problem, I would even say, that it works more often than it doesn't. I also have a feeling, that it tends to work more on newer computers. Also, what is boot code, is there a way of me obtaining it and can it help you somehow?


    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    You should be able to boot the external TW from the internal TW's Grub menu if you boot the internal and update its bootloader while the external is attached and turned on. Os-prober used by the internal's update process should automatically add at least one entry to do so, unless you have disabled its os-prober in its /etc/default/grub.
    Yes, GRUB detects all the OSes on the drive and shows them, but when I try to boot them, it says 'unknown device: *uuid*' and then something about having to select the kernel first.


    The external drive is connected over USB. The cable and drive port is 3.0 but the computer's port is 2.0, if that helps. (In the past, the drive has booted from both 3.0 and 2.0)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenscreener View Post
    ... it says 'unknown device: *uuid*' and then something about having to select the kernel first.
    To be precise:
    Code:
    error: no such device: 267f0a04-2f07-463a-b981-a1c31fa48ddf.
    error: no such partition.
    error: you need to load the kernel first.
    
    Press any key to continue...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: GRUB 'Unknown filesystem' weirder than usual

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenscreener View Post
    To be precise:
    Code:
    error: no such device: 267f0a04-2f07-463a-b981-a1c31fa48ddf.
    error: no such partition.
    error: you need to load the kernel first.
    
    Press any key to continue...
    This is expected in this case, if grub does not know filesystem on disk it also cannot search for UUID. Are you using legacy BIOS or EFI?

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