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Old 11-16-2009, 08:19 AM
Andrew Farris
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

On Mon, 2009-11-16 at 00:44 +0000, David Armour wrote:
> ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select
> 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
> progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
> everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]

2 questions:
1. Is your computer an older computer (4-5 years old?)
2. have you recently switched keyboards (such as from a PS2
keyboard, to a USB keyboard, or the other way around)?

I had something similar to what you've described happen to me a few
years back on my old computer when I 'upgraded' from a PS2 to a USB
keyboard. I had no keyboard control in BIOS, or with any boot menus
etc... but once the OS booted up everything worked fine. The issue was,
at the time, a bug in the motherboard's BIOS with how it controlled
keyboards... basically it would save the location of the keyboard you
were using in the BIOS settings, and wouldn't scan for a new one if the
previous keyboard wasn't found... hence the behavior.

If you have BIOS keyboard control, then I don't know... maybe
reinstalling GRUB would help?

Just in case it's helpful: The way I fixed my issue was to plug in my
old PS2 keyboard (and remove the USB), reboot and get into BIOS, and hit
the 'Reset to Factory Defaults' option. Then, just after hitting 'save
and exit' power off, unplug the PS2 keyboard and lug in the USB, then
start up again. It worked fine from then on, though trying to go back to
tfrom 2000-ish range?he PS2 keyboard resulted in the same behavior, and
solution.

Even if your issue doesn't fit the same criteria, it still might be
worth while to try. if you don't have an older keyboard (or a PS2 port
for that matter), you can also accomplish the same effect by resetting
BIOS manually with the onboard pin header, or removing the BIOS battery
for 10 seconds or so.

This is of course, assuming a desktop. if you have a laptop, then if you
still want to do it, you will need to figure out how to reset BIOS on
your particular laptop, as most every laptop has a different method.

Hope that helps!

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Old 11-16-2009, 11:27 AM
"Karl F. Larsen"
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

David Armour wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Jaunty boots, but....
>
> ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select
> 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
> progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
> everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]
>
> I'm concerned that something has majorly borked my computer boot se-
> quence, but that since the operating system's robustness successfully masks
> the underlying borkiness, I've been shielded from any meaningful incon-
> veniences. In the spirit of 'what have I got to lose', I've considered upgra-
> ding from Jaunty to Karmic, despite some of the usual scary stories, but
> I worry that doing that over top of the borkiness will just cause it to per-
> sist.
>
> I've been meaning to ask about this here for a while now, because I can't
> seem to learn much from Google. As always, any ideas welcome. TIA.
>
> Sunday, November15 '09 3:59pm:
>
> [1] A few notable exceptions:
> bluetooth file transfers stopped working back in Intrepid in Oct;
> CUPS no longer 'sees' the HP LaserJet it's been communicating
> with successfully for several years ... and which was the
> original reason I switched from BSD to Ubuntu;
> terminal displays .bashrc lines that reference "unexpected EOF"
> workspace switcher's names don't persist across re-boots;
>
>
>
It sounds like you might have a computer problem. Might be
your hard drive is failing. Tell us about your computer. How
old? I ask this because I'm using Jaunty and have just on bug
reported on it. Otherwise it is perfect at the moment.

73 Karl


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Old 11-16-2009, 04:01 PM
NoOp
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

On 11/15/2009 04:44 PM, David Armour wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Jaunty boots, but....
>
> ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select
> 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
> progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
> everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]

This sounds very similar to a problem that I had last year. I set up a
dual-boot on an old (very old) eMachine for a friend's housekeeper. She
had a Dell usb keyboard, and I could not use the keyboard for Grub. It
would work fine in BIOS, and once booted, but not for Grub. I dug out
the email that I sent to them to fix this, you might try the same:

> Glad it works & all the peripherals came up ok
> (except for keyboard at the Grub menu). It's the first time that I've
> configured a desktop to look like a Mac, so it was fun experimenting to
> get it right.
>
> She still has a keyboard problem on startup & that bothers me. What
> happens is that the keyboard will work with bios at start, the the Grub
> bootloader starts (that is the menu that allows you to switch between
> linux & windows etc), then it works again at her login screen.
>
> The problem is that the bios is set to have the operating system
> control the USB keyboard & Grub isn't an OS. So the keyboard doesn't get
> reactivated again until Ubuntu starts. There is a way to fix this:
>
> 1. Shut down the computer.
> 2. Turn on the computere and as soon as it starts press DEL (I think
> it's DEL for that machine, if not try F2 or F1) so that it starts the
> BIOS manager.
> 3. Look for a USB Keyboard setting in the BIOS menus and if available
> select so that it does not depend on the OS. I forget what the exact
> menu is, but if you poke in around BIOS you should be able to find it.
> Don't change anything else, only the USB keyboard setting!. Save and
> boot. At the Grub menu (the DOS looking menu) press ESC as soon as it
> comes up. If it halts, you can then use the down arrow to select Win98
> so she can boot into that to see what Win98 looks like on that computer.
>
> That should fix the keyboard problem.

Note: sounds simlar to the problem Andrew Farris had as well.


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Old 11-16-2009, 08:26 PM
thomas
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

Karl F. Larsen wrote:
> David Armour wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>>
>> Jaunty boots, but....
>>
>> ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select
>> 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
>> progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
>> everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]
>>
>> I'm concerned that something has majorly borked my computer boot se-
>> quence, but that since the operating system's robustness successfully masks
>> the underlying borkiness, I've been shielded from any meaningful incon-
>> veniences. In the spirit of 'what have I got to lose', I've considered upgra-
>> ding from Jaunty to Karmic, despite some of the usual scary stories, but
>> I worry that doing that over top of the borkiness will just cause it to per-
>> sist.
>>
>> I've been meaning to ask about this here for a while now, because I can't
>> seem to learn much from Google. As always, any ideas welcome. TIA.
>>
>> Sunday, November15 '09 3:59pm:
>>
>> [1] A few notable exceptions:
>> bluetooth file transfers stopped working back in Intrepid in Oct;
>> CUPS no longer 'sees' the HP LaserJet it's been communicating
>> with successfully for several years ... and which was the
>> original reason I switched from BSD to Ubuntu;
>> terminal displays .bashrc lines that reference "unexpected EOF"
>> workspace switcher's names don't persist across re-boots;
>>
>>
>>
>>
> It sounds like you might have a computer problem. Might be
> your hard drive is failing. Tell us about your computer. How
> old? I ask this because I'm using Jaunty and have just on bug
> reported on it. Otherwise it is perfect at the moment.
>
> 73 Karl
Is it possible to use an external disk drive to copy the content of
my hard drive the same way that it is done in Windows? I think
that my problem might be hardware (submitted a couple of e/m
notes on this) too.

Strange, if hardware, the problems only exist when I am using
the 9.10 Ubuntu. When I used the "try out" version of Ubuntu 9.04
there are no problems.

Oh yes, my two problems are screen blinking (fickling) and the
system lockup with everything on the screen becoming weird and
then going away. Then I can only turn the computer off. When I
turn it on I get this message:

"Reboot and select Proper boot device - or insert boot media and
press any key".

Thomas

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Old 11-16-2009, 09:20 PM
"Karl F. Larsen"
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

thomas wrote:
> Karl F. Larsen wrote:
>> David Armour wrote:
>>
>>> Hello,
>>>
>>> Jaunty boots, but....
>>>
>>> ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select
>>> 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
>>> progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
>>> everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]
>>>
>>> I'm concerned that something has majorly borked my computer boot se-
>>> quence, but that since the operating system's robustness successfully masks
>>> the underlying borkiness, I've been shielded from any meaningful incon-
>>> veniences. In the spirit of 'what have I got to lose', I've considered upgra-
>>> ding from Jaunty to Karmic, despite some of the usual scary stories, but
>>> I worry that doing that over top of the borkiness will just cause it to per-
>>> sist.
>>>
>>> I've been meaning to ask about this here for a while now, because I can't
>>> seem to learn much from Google. As always, any ideas welcome. TIA.
>>>
>>> Sunday, November15 '09 3:59pm:
>>>
>>> [1] A few notable exceptions:
>>> bluetooth file transfers stopped working back in Intrepid in Oct;
>>> CUPS no longer 'sees' the HP LaserJet it's been communicating
>>> with successfully for several years ... and which was the
>>> original reason I switched from BSD to Ubuntu;
>>> terminal displays .bashrc lines that reference "unexpected EOF"
>>> workspace switcher's names don't persist across re-boots;
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> It sounds like you might have a computer problem. Might be
>> your hard drive is failing. Tell us about your computer. How
>> old? I ask this because I'm using Jaunty and have just on bug
>> reported on it. Otherwise it is perfect at the moment.
>>
>> 73 Karl
> Is it possible to use an external disk drive to copy the content of
> my hard drive the same way that it is done in Windows? I think
> that my problem might be hardware (submitted a couple of e/m
> notes on this) too.
>
> Strange, if hardware, the problems only exist when I am using
> the 9.10 Ubuntu. When I used the "try out" version of Ubuntu 9.04
> there are no problems.
>
> Oh yes, my two problems are screen blinking (fickling) and the
> system lockup with everything on the screen becoming weird and
> then going away. Then I can only turn the computer off. When I
> turn it on I get this message:
>
> "Reboot and select Proper boot device - or insert boot media and
> press any key".
>
> Thomas
>
I do not work for you. Do not ask me in the future for help.
Try giving your complex problems to Google. As for all your
MANY requests for help it does sound like your computers are
old and broke.

73 Karl


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Linux User
#450462 http://counter.li.org.
Key ID = 3951B48D


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Old 11-17-2009, 05:19 AM
David Armour
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

Hello Andrew

> On Mon, 2009-11-16 at 00:44 +0000, David Armour wrote:
> > ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select
> > 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
> > progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
> > everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]
>
> 2 questions:
> 1. Is your computer an older computer (4-5 years old?)
> 2. have you recently switched keyboards (such as from a PS2
> keyboard, to a USB keyboard, or the other way around)?
>

Thanks for your reply. I'd have to guess that my computer is relatively ancient
(bought used and upgraded in fits and starts, most recently (in June) with an
AMD Sempron motherboard). And yes, I have been using a Microsoft USB/PS2 hybrid
keyboard. I have been using the keyboard now for a couple of years, and only
noticed the behaviour above a couple of weeks back.

<snip>

> If you have BIOS keyboard control, then I don't know... maybe
> reinstalling GRUB would help?

Of course, I also have to go back to work tomorrow, so it'll take me a couple
more days to get around to trying your suggestion.
>
> Just in case it's helpful: The way I fixed my issue was to plug in my
> old PS2 keyboard (and remove the USB), reboot and get into BIOS, and hit
> the 'Reset to Factory Defaults' option. Then, just after hitting 'save
> and exit' power off, unplug the PS2 keyboard and lug in the USB, then
> start up again. It worked fine from then on,

I just replaced the keyboard on my second computer which was garbling the login
input as well as a usb cable that was blocking the os from seeing the external
hard drive. Every so often, some sort of hardware issue shows up.

Thanks for your suggestions.


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Old 11-17-2009, 05:31 AM
David Armour
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

NoOp <glgxg <at> sbcglobal.net> writes:

>
> On 11/15/2009 04:44 PM, David Armour wrote:
> > ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select
> > 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
> > progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
> > everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]
>
> This sounds very similar to a problem that I had last year. I set up a
> dual-boot on an old (very old) eMachine for a friend's housekeeper. She
> had a Dell usb keyboard, and I could not use the keyboard for Grub. It
> would work fine in BIOS, and once booted, but not for Grub. I dug out
> the email that I sent to them to fix this, you might try the same:
<snip>
> > 3. Look for a USB Keyboard setting in the BIOS menus and if available
> > select so that it does not depend on the OS. I forget what the exact
> > menu is, but if you poke in around BIOS you should be able to find it.
> > Don't change anything else, only the USB keyboard setting!. Save and

I think the recently-solved problem with the keyboard on my second machine may
have blinded me to the possibility that the keyboard on this machine might also
have headed south for the winter! It's a bit younger, I think, although I don't
actually remember how I got it now, which suggests that it's older than I tend
to think of it as. Currently, this house could qualify as a home for aging
computers; my wife's power supply seems to have kicked the bucket this evening!
Threes, right?

Thanks v. much for your help.


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Old 11-17-2009, 10:15 PM
NoOp
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

On 11/16/2009 10:31 PM, David Armour wrote:
> NoOp <glgxg <at> sbcglobal.net> writes:
...
>> > 3. Look for a USB Keyboard setting in the BIOS menus and if available
>> > select so that it does not depend on the OS. I forget what the exact
>> > menu is, but if you poke in around BIOS you should be able to find it.
>> > Don't change anything else, only the USB keyboard setting!. Save and
>
> I think the recently-solved problem with the keyboard on my second machine may
> have blinded me to the possibility that the keyboard on this machine might also
> have headed south for the winter! It's a bit younger, I think, although I don't
> actually remember how I got it now, which suggests that it's older than I tend
> to think of it as. Currently, this house could qualify as a home for aging
> computers; my wife's power supply seems to have kicked the bucket this evening!
> Threes, right?
>
> Thanks v. much for your help.
>
>

I still think you might want to look in the bios settings, as you'd
mentioned that it works for everything except for grub. Also, recommend
you test it on a different usb port - preferably a back usb port rather
than one in front of the machine. You might be surprised; front/extended
usb ports generally are sensitive to electrical noise.



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Old 11-18-2009, 06:08 AM
David Armour
 
Default Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

NoOp <glgxg <at> sbcglobal.net> writes:
> On 11/16/2009 10:31 PM, David Armour wrote:
> > NoOp <glgxg <at> sbcglobal.net> writes:
> >> > 3. Look for a USB Keyboard setting in the BIOS menus and if available
> >> > select so that it does not depend on the OS. I forget what the exact
> >> > menu is, but if you poke in around BIOS you should be able to find it.
> >> > Don't change anything else, only the USB keyboard setting!. Save and
> > Thanks v. much for your help.

I re-booted with the keyboard plugged in to the PS2 outlet, and viola! the grub
menu behaved! Woot!

I can't tell you how relieved I felt at that point! FWIW, the BIOS defaults key
to press (at least on my system) was F9.

> I still think you might want to look in the bios settings, as you'd
> mentioned that it works for everything except for grub. Also, recommend
> you test it on a different usb port - preferably a back usb port rather
> than one in front of the machine. You might be surprised; front/extended
> usb ports generally are sensitive to electrical noise.

It was plugged in to one of the back ports, although I'm not entirely sure which
of the ports, front and back, is usb 1 or usb 2. I used the keyboard, in part,
for the additional usb ports, where I could plug in my flash-drives.

But now that I've learned it's a hardware issue, I can live with the
non-accessibility of the grub menu on a daily basis, and switch back to PS2
whenever I need recovery mode.

And I don't know what was going on this morning with gmane, but when I got down
to the bottom of my reply, the image where the word was supposed to be wasn't
there. ??! Tonight it's working, so this is a belated thank you for your help.





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