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Old 07-05-2008, 04:39 PM
Florian Philipp
 
Default Grub on a new disk

On Sat, 5 Jul 2008 15:06:31 +0100
Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:

> > I've already changed the BIOS boot order to look at /dev/hdd's MBR
> > first but that didn't help.
>
> Right, have you checked your device.map to see if there's anything
> untoward in there?
>

(fd0) /dev/fd0
(hd0) /dev/hda
(hd1) /dev/hdb
(hd2) /dev/hdd

Looks clean to me.

> > Now the system boots correctly but it takes ages (>10sec) to come
> > from "Grub loading Stage1.5" to "Grub loading, please wait..."
>
> Stage1.5 contains the filesystem driver which will allow GRUB to be
> able to read the fs of hdd on which the /boot/grub/stage2 file is
> stored. Since 10 seconds to read a relatively small file is rather
> excessive, could it be a drive cable/ribbon fault?
>

And then the system works flawlessly? I don't think so. Badblocks
doesn't report anything on /dev/hdd1 right now and I've checked the rest
of the disk before I moved the system there.

> > and then another 10sec or more to open the menu.
>
> Ditto. If it were that the GRUB code in the bootloader went into a
> loop or something, scanning all drives, then by this step it would
> not need to probe or access any other device. The fact that it takes
> so long points towards a hardware rather than a configuration issue.
> Other than that could it be a fs corruption problem? </clutching at
> straws>

e2fsck -f /dev/hdd1 shows no problem. dd can read the MBR of all disks
easily.

>
> Unless better ideas are proposed you may want to remerge grub, then
> re-install it manually in the first disk MBR using a grub > prompt
> (as per the handbook) and point it's root to your hdd disk.

Reemerged grub, installed it with grub-install into /dev/hdd and (just
to be sure) /dev/hdd1, let the BIOS boot from /dev/hdd - didn't help.

Then I've installed grub into hda's MBR. Then something odd happened:
Stage1.5 loads quiet fast but then Grub hangs once again of ~20sec
with: "Grub loading, please wait ..."

Since that is the moment when Grub accesses /dev/hdd for the first
time, I think it could really be a problem with the hard disk, however,
one that doesn't affect anything else. Maybe an automatic SMART
self-test at boot-up? I'll investigate and as a workaround I'll get an
SD-card or cheap USB-stick for Grub, since - unfortunately - the kernel
is too big to fit on a floppy.
 
Old 07-05-2008, 09:14 PM
Mick
 
Default Grub on a new disk

On Saturday 05 July 2008, Florian Philipp wrote:
> On Sat, 5 Jul 2008 15:06:31 +0100

> Then I've installed grub into hda's MBR. Then something odd happened:
> Stage1.5 loads quiet fast but then Grub hangs once again of ~20sec
> with: "Grub loading, please wait ..."
>
> Since that is the moment when Grub accesses /dev/hdd for the first
> time, I think it could really be a problem with the hard disk, however,
> one that doesn't affect anything else. Maybe an automatic SMART
> self-test at boot-up? I'll investigate and as a workaround I'll get an
> SD-card or cheap USB-stick for Grub, since - unfortunately - the kernel
> is too big to fit on a floppy.

I know what I would have done - right from the start. Not used grub-install.
Not installed it in every single disk. Not installed it in any partition,
unless I intended to chainload separately the GRUB bootloader of the said
partition. Now, I know that this doesn't help and won't resolve your issue,
but perhaps next time . . .

I am not sure how GRUB goes about probing and reading boot sectors at boot
time. As I understand it at the time it is installed in an MBR, the position
of the grub fs is also written in there right after the boot code. At boot
time the boot code (stage1) jumps to the block device where grub's root fs is
stored to read and execute stage1.5 which can read the /boot device fs and
then read the stage2 files, which finally go and load the main OS kernel
image. Assuming this is correct, then what you have installed in the MBR of
hdb and hdd and the partition boot sector of hdd1 is irrelevant and it
*should not* make grub take so long.

That's the reason why I said something hardware-wise may be amiss, although I
can see that your checks and reasoning are sound.
--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 07-06-2008, 09:08 AM
Mick
 
Default Grub on a new disk

On Saturday 05 July 2008, Mick wrote:
> On Saturday 05 July 2008, Florian Philipp wrote:
> > On Sat, 5 Jul 2008 15:06:31 +0100
> >
> > Then I've installed grub into hda's MBR. Then something odd happened:
> > Stage1.5 loads quiet fast but then Grub hangs once again of ~20sec
> > with: "Grub loading, please wait ..."
> >
> > Since that is the moment when Grub accesses /dev/hdd for the first
> > time, I think it could really be a problem with the hard disk, however,
> > one that doesn't affect anything else. Maybe an automatic SMART
> > self-test at boot-up? I'll investigate and as a workaround I'll get an
> > SD-card or cheap USB-stick for Grub, since - unfortunately - the kernel
> > is too big to fit on a floppy.
>
> I know what I would have done - right from the start. Not used
> grub-install. Not installed it in every single disk. Not installed it in
> any partition, unless I intended to chainload separately the GRUB
> bootloader of the said partition. Now, I know that this doesn't help and
> won't resolve your issue, but perhaps next time . . .
>
> I am not sure how GRUB goes about probing and reading boot sectors at boot
> time. As I understand it at the time it is installed in an MBR, the
> position of the grub fs is also written in there right after the boot code.
> At boot time the boot code (stage1) jumps to the block device where grub's
> root fs is stored to read and execute stage1.5 which can read the /boot
> device fs and then read the stage2 files, which finally go and load the
> main OS kernel image. Assuming this is correct, then what you have
> installed in the MBR of hdb and hdd and the partition boot sector of hdd1
> is irrelevant and it *should not* make grub take so long.
>
> That's the reason why I said something hardware-wise may be amiss, although
> I can see that your checks and reasoning are sound.

Just in case, you may want to try this:

# grub <--Also use --no-floppy if it hangs probing a floppy drive that
doesn't exist-->
grub> root (hd2,0) <--If your /boot drive is e.g. in /dev/hdd1)-->
grub> setup (hd0) <--This will re-install GRUB in the MBR of /dev/hda-->
grub> quit

If this does not help then I am not sure what else might fix it.
--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 07-06-2008, 11:43 AM
Florian Philipp
 
Default Grub on a new disk

On Sun, 6 Jul 2008 10:08:29 +0100
Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:

> Just in case, you may want to try this:
>
> # grub <--Also use --no-floppy if it hangs probing a floppy drive
> that doesn't exist-->
> grub> root (hd2,0) <--If your /boot drive is e.g. in /dev/hdd1)-->
> grub> setup (hd0) <--This will re-install GRUB in the MBR
> grub> of /dev/hda--> quit
>
> If this does not help then I am not sure what else might fix it.

I thought I had already done this but just to make sure, I've done it
again - no effect.

If there is really some kind to self-test going on, it's invisible to
smartctl. A short self-test showed no errors, either.

I'll look out for firmware updates for that disk and will buy a small
SD/MMC/CF-card for testing. Maybe I'll also ask the Grub-guys whether
they have any ideas.

Thanks anyway! At least I know it's not just me who is confused by this
behavior.
 
Old 07-06-2008, 08:36 PM
Dale
 
Default Grub on a new disk

Florian Philipp wrote:

On Sun, 6 Jul 2008 10:08:29 +0100
Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:



Just in case, you may want to try this:

# grub <--Also use --no-floppy if it hangs probing a floppy drive
that doesn't exist-->
grub> root (hd2,0) <--If your /boot drive is e.g. in /dev/hdd1)-->
grub> setup (hd0) <--This will re-install GRUB in the MBR
grub> of /dev/hda--> quit

If this does not help then I am not sure what else might fix it.



I thought I had already done this but just to make sure, I've done it
again - no effect.

If there is really some kind to self-test going on, it's invisible to
smartctl. A short self-test showed no errors, either.

I'll look out for firmware updates for that disk and will buy a small
SD/MMC/CF-card for testing. Maybe I'll also ask the Grub-guys whether
they have any ideas.

Thanks anyway! At least I know it's not just me who is confused by this
behavior.



From the man page:

smartctl -t long /dev/hdc
Begin an extended self-test of drive /dev/hdc. You can issue
this command on a running system. The
results can be seen in the self-test log visible with the ´-l
selftest´ option after it has completed.


I run that from time to time myself. It takes a while tho.

Dale

:-) :-)
--

gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 07-20-2008, 08:52 AM
Florian Philipp
 
Default Grub on a new disk

Florian Philipp schrieb:

On Sun, 6 Jul 2008 10:08:29 +0100
Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:


Just in case, you may want to try this:

# grub <--Also use --no-floppy if it hangs probing a floppy drive
that doesn't exist-->
grub> root (hd2,0) <--If your /boot drive is e.g. in /dev/hdd1)-->
grub> setup (hd0) <--This will re-install GRUB in the MBR
grub> of /dev/hda--> quit

If this does not help then I am not sure what else might fix it.


I thought I had already done this but just to make sure, I've done it
again - no effect.

If there is really some kind to self-test going on, it's invisible to
smartctl. A short self-test showed no errors, either.

I'll look out for firmware updates for that disk and will buy a small
SD/MMC/CF-card for testing. Maybe I'll also ask the Grub-guys whether
they have any ideas.

Thanks anyway! At least I know it's not just me who is confused by this
behavior.


A small update: I moved grub to a floppy while keeping the kernel images
on disk. This solved my problem. Grub's bootup is now only limited by
floppy I/O-speed. I'll use a cheap CF-card as a more permanent replacement.
 

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