Odd Boot-up Problem

I use OpenSUSE 10.3 on a Dell Inspiron 8600, which is about 4 years old. I use a Dell docking station, to which I have a wireless keyboard and mouse attached as well as a line to a router, a printer cable and an electric adaptor (also Dell). I have it set for dual boot, having kept the Windows that came with the machine. For a long while, I had no difficulties booting up.

Now, the problem. Beginning a few days ago, with the computer attached to the docking station, after boot-up began and the menu for operating systems was displayed, the computer froze up. When I turned the computer off, removed the computer from the docking station and then booted up, there was no problem in selecting the operating system. I could then reattach the computer to the docking station and it would function well.

Is the problem in the dual boot arrangement? If it is, how can I fix it?



Hi Tuch,

I don’t think its the dual boot playing up.
Could be something you updated (like drivers or support for the docking station) or have added to your running environment / desktop.

Where exactly did it freeze and are there any messages in /var/log/messages or /var/log/warn?
If it happens again check the /var/log/boot.xxx files for clues.


Did you change any thing in you,re
BIOS setup ? Maybe by accident.
Suse can act very strange sometimes when you make a change in you,re BIOS setup.


Thanks for the responses.

I don’t recall doing anything differently, other than downloading security updates for OpenSUSE, of which I was notified by Novel. I made no changes in BIOS.

What sort of procedure should I follow to see if there is an incompatibility between some software and the booter?

You said the computer froze at the ‘select OS to boot’ screen.

What indications of ‘froze’ do you have? Keyboard not work? Is there an auto-select timer that should be counting down, but isn’t?

Which keyboard are you using that isn’t working? The laptop’s built-in? or the wireless?

Which multi-os boot selecter are you using? GRUB? Lilo? Windows thingy?

Is it possible that you’re using GRUB/Lilo and there was an update recently, possibly changing how the keyboard (internal/external) is seen?

Take Care,


By froze, I mean that the keys didn’t work. I use the keyboard on the laptop. I use Grub and don’t recall any recent updates to it.

BUT Never Mind That. By mistake, I turned on the computer while docked up and this time, It Worked! There was no freeze. I have no explanation; nothing changed between yesterday, when the computer froze at the boot screen and today, when it didn’t.

Computers are occasionally malevolent and sneaky.

Never mind the last note. It happened again. So, how do I find out what the problem is (or do I have to do a complete reinstallation, in which case I might as well try 11.0, despite my aversion to things with a “.0”.)?

Check grub and make sure it’s not using /dev/sdx . By adding a device during the boot sequence it changes the order of things. Use UUID.

I have a ESata hard drive that does what you describe no matter if I am using UUID or not. I simply have to have it unplugged when starting the computer. I was thinking it was some sort of bios detection error that GRUB doesn’t like. However, when I connect the same hard drive with USB, no problems. Sometimes I think the computer just hates me, :stuck_out_tongue: