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Philipp 06-25-2011 01:12 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Hi there,
I have a debian server that doesn't boot anymore since I ran
upgrade-from-grub-legacy. It uses xen. I managed to upgrade to Debian
6 and got everything working. Well, a power outage caused my domUs to
not boot anymore and while trying to deal with that I also figured I
didn't complete the upgrade to grub2 and thought it might fix things.
Well, now nothing boots anymore.

The main issue appears to be that it can't find the root device for some
reason. The grub2 menu shows up, I can select boot options, some of
those seem to boot but can't find the root device (the very disk grub2
and everything else is on).

I tried adding "dummy=dummy" as the first parameter in the grub.cfg file
for "multiboot" and all occurrences of"module", but that didn't help.
(from:
http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XenCommonProblems#head-d038e27f4f3ad6b96ef1643c1812237cb1408730)

On a sidenote, vga out on the server doesn't seem to work, so I'm trying
to boot in qemu. As a consequence I get mdadm errors because the raid
disks aren't present, but since those are used for data storage only to
my knowledge this shouldn't matter.

Any advice on how to get the system to boot again is appreciated.

Regards,
Philipp


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Philipp ‹berbacher 06-25-2011 04:35 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Excerpts from Philipp's message of 2011-06-25 15:12:26 +0200:
> Hi there,
> I have a debian server that doesn't boot anymore since I ran
> upgrade-from-grub-legacy. It uses xen. I managed to upgrade to Debian
> 6 and got everything working. Well, a power outage caused my domUs to
> not boot anymore and while trying to deal with that I also figured I
> didn't complete the upgrade to grub2 and thought it might fix things.
> Well, now nothing boots anymore.
>
> The main issue appears to be that it can't find the root device for some
> reason. The grub2 menu shows up, I can select boot options, some of
> those seem to boot but can't find the root device (the very disk grub2
> and everything else is on).
>
> I tried adding "dummy=dummy" as the first parameter in the grub.cfg file
> for "multiboot" and all occurrences of"module", but that didn't help.
> (from:
> http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XenCommonProblems#head-d038e27f4f3ad6b96ef1643c1812237cb1408730)
>
> On a sidenote, vga out on the server doesn't seem to work, so I'm trying
> to boot in qemu. As a consequence I get mdadm errors because the raid
> disks aren't present, but since those are used for data storage only to
> my knowledge this shouldn't matter.
>
> Any advice on how to get the system to boot again is appreciated.
>
> Regards,
> Philipp

Just to add a little more information:
The system waits for the root file system for a while and then drops
into a shell with the (initramfs) prompt.

There's no /dev/sd* or /dev/disk for some reason.

The currently installed kernels are:
vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-xen-amd64
vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-amd64

None of those boots.

Following is my current grub.cfg
Thanks for any hints.

Regards,
Philipp


### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
load_env
fi
set default="0"
if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
save_env saved_entry
set prev_saved_entry=
save_env prev_saved_entry
set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
saved_entry="${chosen}"
save_env saved_entry
fi
}

function load_video {
insmod vbe
insmod vga
insmod video_bochs
insmod video_cirrus
}

insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
set gfxmode=640x480
load_video
insmod gfxterm
fi
terminal_output gfxterm
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
set lang=en
insmod gettext
set timeout=5
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
set menu_color_normal=cyan/blue
set menu_color_highlight=white/blue
### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 and XEN 4.0-amd64' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --class xen {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos0)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
multiboot /boot/xen-4.0-amd64.gz /boot/xen-4.0-amd64.gz placeholder
module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 placeholder root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
module /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 and XEN 4.0-amd64 (recovery mode)' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --class xen {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
multiboot /boot/xen-4.0-amd64.gz /boot/xen-4.0-amd64.gz placeholder
module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 placeholder root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro single
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
module /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 and XEN xen_domU_initrd_xfs.img' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --class xen {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
multiboot /boot/xen_domU_initrd_xfs.img placeholder
module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 placeholder root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
module /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 and XEN xen_domU_initrd_xfs.img (recovery mode)' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --class xen {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
multiboot /boot/xen_domU_initrd_xfs.img placeholder
module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 placeholder root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro single
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
module /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 and XEN xen_domU_initrd_xfs_raid.img' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --class xen {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
multiboot /boot/xen_domU_initrd_xfs_raid.img placeholder
module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 placeholder root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
module /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 and XEN xen_domU_initrd_xfs_raid.img (recovery mode)' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --class xen {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
multiboot /boot/xen_domU_initrd_xfs_raid.img placeholder
module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 placeholder root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro single
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
module /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries. Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment. Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
if [ -f $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
source $prefix/custom.cfg;
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/50_linux ###
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro quiet
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 (recovery mode)' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro single
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.26-2-xen-amd64' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.26-2-xen-amd64 ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-xen-amd64 root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro quiet
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.26-2-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.26-2-xen-amd64 (recovery mode)' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.26-2-xen-amd64 ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-xen-amd64 root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro single
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.26-2-xen-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.26-2-amd64' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.26-2-amd64 ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-amd64 root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro quiet
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.26-2-amd64
}
menuentry 'Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 2.6.26-2-amd64 (recovery mode)' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod jfs
set root='(/dev/sdd,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f
echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.26-2-amd64 ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-amd64 root=UUID=4745f09d-c277-4113-b84a-898fa406e61f ro single
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.26-2-amd64
}
### END /etc/grub.d/50_linux ###


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lee 06-25-2011 06:06 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:

> The system waits for the root file system for a while and then drops
> into a shell with the (initramfs) prompt.
>
> There's no /dev/sd* or /dev/disk for some reason.

A few weeks ago I found that I was suddenly unable to boot a
self-compiled kernel after making a change to only one option which
wouldn't affect booting at all. The kernel couldn't find the root fs and
after some waiting put me into an emergency shell. Apparently the lvm
volumes the root fs resides on were unavailable for unknown reasons.

Fortunately, kernels from Debian packages still boot. I haven't found a
solution other than to run stock kernels yet. The only thing I could
find out is that it eventually has something to do with the initramfs
not being built correctly by the update-initramfs tool.


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Philipp ‹berbacher 06-25-2011 06:54 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Excerpts from lee's message of 2011-06-25 20:06:48 +0200:
> Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:
>
> > The system waits for the root file system for a while and then drops
> > into a shell with the (initramfs) prompt.
> >
> > There's no /dev/sd* or /dev/disk for some reason.
>
> A few weeks ago I found that I was suddenly unable to boot a
> self-compiled kernel after making a change to only one option which
> wouldn't affect booting at all. The kernel couldn't find the root fs and
> after some waiting put me into an emergency shell. Apparently the lvm
> volumes the root fs resides on were unavailable for unknown reasons.
>
> Fortunately, kernels from Debian packages still boot. I haven't found a
> solution other than to run stock kernels yet. The only thing I could
> find out is that it eventually has something to do with the initramfs
> not being built correctly by the update-initramfs tool.

Thanks lee, I think I saw a bug report regarding your problem. However,
in my case no LVM is involved. Could it be that the initramfs is messed
up for some reason?


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lee 06-25-2011 08:40 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:

> Excerpts from lee's message of 2011-06-25 20:06:48 +0200:
>> Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:
>>
>> > The system waits for the root file system for a while and then
>> > drops into a shell with the (initramfs) prompt.
>> >
>> > There's no /dev/sd* or /dev/disk for some reason.
>>
>> A few weeks ago I found that I was suddenly unable to boot a
>> self-compiled kernel after making a change to only one option which
>> wouldn't affect booting at all. The kernel couldn't find the root fs
>> and after some waiting put me into an emergency shell. Apparently the
>> lvm volumes the root fs resides on were unavailable for unknown
>> reasons.
>>
>> Fortunately, kernels from Debian packages still boot. I haven't found
>> a solution other than to run stock kernels yet. The only thing I
>> could find out is that it eventually has something to do with the
>> initramfs not being built correctly by the update-initramfs tool.
>
> Thanks lee, I think I saw a bug report regarding your
> problem. However, in my case no LVM is involved. Could it be that the
> initramfs is messed up for some reason?

The initramfs image for a particular kernel comes in a Debian package
with the kernel, doesn't it? If generating the images were to produce
broken images, wouldn't there be quite a few people having similar
problems? I really don't know ...

What if you install a more recent kernel from a rescue system?


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Philipp ‹berbacher 06-26-2011 02:38 AM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Excerpts from lee's message of 2011-06-25 22:40:59 +0200:
> Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:
>
> > Excerpts from lee's message of 2011-06-25 20:06:48 +0200:
> >> Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:
> >>
> >> > The system waits for the root file system for a while and then
> >> > drops into a shell with the (initramfs) prompt.
> >> >
> >> > There's no /dev/sd* or /dev/disk for some reason.
> >>
> >> A few weeks ago I found that I was suddenly unable to boot a
> >> self-compiled kernel after making a change to only one option which
> >> wouldn't affect booting at all. The kernel couldn't find the root fs
> >> and after some waiting put me into an emergency shell. Apparently the
> >> lvm volumes the root fs resides on were unavailable for unknown
> >> reasons.
> >>
> >> Fortunately, kernels from Debian packages still boot. I haven't found
> >> a solution other than to run stock kernels yet. The only thing I
> >> could find out is that it eventually has something to do with the
> >> initramfs not being built correctly by the update-initramfs tool.
> >
> > Thanks lee, I think I saw a bug report regarding your
> > problem. However, in my case no LVM is involved. Could it be that the
> > initramfs is messed up for some reason?
>
> The initramfs image for a particular kernel comes in a Debian package
> with the kernel, doesn't it? If generating the images were to produce
> broken images, wouldn't there be quite a few people having similar
> problems? I really don't know ...
>
> What if you install a more recent kernel from a rescue system?

I managed to install the normal most recent kernel (.32-5) by chroot
and it doesn't boot either. In addition I uninstalled mdadm to make sure
it's not the cause of those issues, yet no luck, it fails at
init-bottom because it doesn't manage to mount root.
Could it be that grub2 can't handle a jfs root? I'm pretty much out of
ideas. I'll try downgrading to grub1 tomorrow..


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Philipp ‹berbacher 06-26-2011 04:44 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Excerpts from Philipp ‹berbacher's message of 2011-06-26 04:38:27 +0200:
> Excerpts from lee's message of 2011-06-25 22:40:59 +0200:
> > Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:
> >
> > > Excerpts from lee's message of 2011-06-25 20:06:48 +0200:
> > >> Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:
> > >>
> > >> > The system waits for the root file system for a while and then
> > >> > drops into a shell with the (initramfs) prompt.
> > >> >
> > >> > There's no /dev/sd* or /dev/disk for some reason.
> > >>
> > >> A few weeks ago I found that I was suddenly unable to boot a
> > >> self-compiled kernel after making a change to only one option which
> > >> wouldn't affect booting at all. The kernel couldn't find the root fs
> > >> and after some waiting put me into an emergency shell. Apparently the
> > >> lvm volumes the root fs resides on were unavailable for unknown
> > >> reasons.
> > >>
> > >> Fortunately, kernels from Debian packages still boot. I haven't found
> > >> a solution other than to run stock kernels yet. The only thing I
> > >> could find out is that it eventually has something to do with the
> > >> initramfs not being built correctly by the update-initramfs tool.
> > >
> > > Thanks lee, I think I saw a bug report regarding your
> > > problem. However, in my case no LVM is involved. Could it be that the
> > > initramfs is messed up for some reason?
> >
> > The initramfs image for a particular kernel comes in a Debian package
> > with the kernel, doesn't it? If generating the images were to produce
> > broken images, wouldn't there be quite a few people having similar
> > problems? I really don't know ...
> >
> > What if you install a more recent kernel from a rescue system?
>
> I managed to install the normal most recent kernel (.32-5) by chroot
> and it doesn't boot either. In addition I uninstalled mdadm to make sure
> it's not the cause of those issues, yet no luck, it fails at
> init-bottom because it doesn't manage to mount root.
> Could it be that grub2 can't handle a jfs root? I'm pretty much out of
> ideas. I'll try downgrading to grub1 tomorrow..

Well, after downgrading to grub1 the system still doesn't boot, so it
seems like grub2 was the trigger but isn't the problem.
The normal kernel and removal of mdadm should pretty much rule xen and
mdadm out as well, so what's left? Udev? Something else?

I tried manual mounting from busybox:
mount /dev/sda1 /root
fails with Invalid Argument

mount -t jfs /dev/sda1 /root
fails with No such device

So this is what happens during boot as well. I found a post suggesting
that it might be a missing driver because the device is there. I tried
modprobing a couple of modules in busybox, but nothing I tried helped.

initramfs.conf is set to most and I rebuilt it a couple of times.

Ideas please?


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Joe 06-26-2011 07:46 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
On Sun, 26 Jun 2011 18:44:49 +0200
Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> wrote:

>
> I tried manual mounting from busybox:
> mount /dev/sda1 /root
> fails with Invalid Argument
>
> mount -t jfs /dev/sda1 /root
> fails with No such device
>
> So this is what happens during boot as well. I found a post suggesting
> that it might be a missing driver because the device is there. I tried
> modprobing a couple of modules in busybox, but nothing I tried helped.
>
> initramfs.conf is set to most and I rebuilt it a couple of times.
>
> Ideas please?
>
>

A wild guess, but you sound just about ready for that:

A few months ago, I copied (offline) a Lenny installation to a new
drive, and then tried to install grub (-legacy) to the MBR from the
running system. No luck, though it might be that I did not find the
right method. Anyway, I removed the working drive, moved the cables,
then booted from a CD and tried to restore the MBR to the new drive.
There are instructions for doing that everywhere on the Net, the only
problem being that they didn't work for me. Once I could see what I was
doing I tried a few syntax variations, still with no luck.

Trying different boot media, I got several different failure messages,
mostly to do with files and folders not being found, when they were
clearly visible to the rescue OS, and I was able to mount the hard
drive partitions and even write to them.

I know grub has its own disc drivers, and I guessed that the version
installed on the hard drive was not the same as the rescue version. So
I tried every grub-legacy boot medium I had and eventually found one
that worked. I can't remember now what it was, but it was either the
last CD Knoppix I have, 3.9, or an old Ubuntu. Most recent live distros
use grub2, which was no use at all.

So it looks to me that grub is changing quickly (as was grub-legacy),
and to make a successful rescue you need to be using a grub version
which is the same as or very close to the one on the hard drive.

As it happens, a couple of years ago I had your problem on Sid. The
two-grubs-in-series booting was working OK, so I ran the command to
upgrade fully to grub2 and the drive never booted again. I reinstalled
Sid, which was fine with a new grub2. Had I had the time then, I might
have investigated further and found the grub version issue, which was
almost certainly what stopped me repairing things. I assumed then that
if the SuperGrub2 disc didn't work, nothing would.

Never used to have this trouble with lilo....

...though of course in the last few years before grub appeared, lilo
was very mature and stable. I still have a tomsrtbt floppy...

--
Joe


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Philipp ‹berbacher 06-27-2011 02:45 AM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Excerpts from Joe's message of 2011-06-26 21:46:47 +0200:
> On Sun, 26 Jun 2011 18:44:49 +0200
> Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> wrote:
>
> >
> > I tried manual mounting from busybox:
> > mount /dev/sda1 /root
> > fails with Invalid Argument
> >
> > mount -t jfs /dev/sda1 /root
> > fails with No such device
> >
> > So this is what happens during boot as well. I found a post suggesting
> > that it might be a missing driver because the device is there. I tried
> > modprobing a couple of modules in busybox, but nothing I tried helped.
> >
> > initramfs.conf is set to most and I rebuilt it a couple of times.
> >
> > Ideas please?
> >
> >
>
> A wild guess, but you sound just about ready for that:
>
> A few months ago, I copied (offline) a Lenny installation to a new
> drive, and then tried to install grub (-legacy) to the MBR from the
> running system. No luck, though it might be that I did not find the
> right method. Anyway, I removed the working drive, moved the cables,
> then booted from a CD and tried to restore the MBR to the new drive.
> There are instructions for doing that everywhere on the Net, the only
> problem being that they didn't work for me. Once I could see what I was
> doing I tried a few syntax variations, still with no luck.
>
> Trying different boot media, I got several different failure messages,
> mostly to do with files and folders not being found, when they were
> clearly visible to the rescue OS, and I was able to mount the hard
> drive partitions and even write to them.
>
> I know grub has its own disc drivers, and I guessed that the version
> installed on the hard drive was not the same as the rescue version. So
> I tried every grub-legacy boot medium I had and eventually found one
> that worked. I can't remember now what it was, but it was either the
> last CD Knoppix I have, 3.9, or an old Ubuntu. Most recent live distros
> use grub2, which was no use at all.
>
> So it looks to me that grub is changing quickly (as was grub-legacy),
> and to make a successful rescue you need to be using a grub version
> which is the same as or very close to the one on the hard drive.
>
> As it happens, a couple of years ago I had your problem on Sid. The
> two-grubs-in-series booting was working OK, so I ran the command to
> upgrade fully to grub2 and the drive never booted again. I reinstalled
> Sid, which was fine with a new grub2. Had I had the time then, I might
> have investigated further and found the grub version issue, which was
> almost certainly what stopped me repairing things. I assumed then that
> if the SuperGrub2 disc didn't work, nothing would.
>
> Never used to have this trouble with lilo....
>
> ...though of course in the last few years before grub appeared, lilo
> was very mature and stable. I still have a tomsrtbt floppy...
>
> --
> Joe

Thanks Joe,
this didn't help me unfortunately.

However, after spending many hours on this (thanks phcoder from #grub)
it turned out that necessary modules were missing from initramfs.
Adding jfs was enough for the system to boot in qemu but not for the
real hardware. I've not yet found out what's necessary for that. So,
almost solved.. and not sure what to put into the bug report yet.


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lee 06-27-2011 06:57 PM

debian 6.0 boot failure after update to grub2
 
Philipp ‹berbacher <hollunder@lavabit.com> writes:

> However, after spending many hours on this (thanks phcoder from #grub)
> it turned out that necessary modules were missing from initramfs.
> Adding jfs was enough for the system to boot in qemu but not for the
> real hardware. I've not yet found out what's necessary for that. So,
> almost solved.. and not sure what to put into the bug report yet.

Since I'm not using JFS and had similar symptoms, it's probably not only
related to JFS modules. You could say in the bug report that systems
eventually become unable to boot because of modules missing from
initramfs. IIRC, there has been an update of mkinitramfs or
update-initramfs a while ago in Testing --- that was after I found
myself unable to boot my kernel. I don't know whether this updated is
related at all, though.


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