Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backup

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Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backup

Postby dxrtbyte » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:05 pm

I'm at a loss on this one. I have 4 OS's using something like 16 partitions on a single disk. My OS's are Windows, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora and openSUSE. Windows has a Recovery partition (which is the Windows boot partition) plus its own main partition. Each of the Linux systems has 3 partitions - boot, root, and swap. Plus there is an MBR partition at the beginning of the disk.

Everything was was working fine until I tried to update Ubuntu using the Ubuntu software update app. After that completed, I was no longer able to boot Ubuntu (all I get is a black screen with an underscore character blinking in the upper left corner). All of the other OS's still boot and run fine. So I figured that something got hosed in the Ubuntu partitions, and I used IFW to restore all my Ubuntu partitions from my full disk backup. But that didn't solve the problem. So then I also restored my BootIt partition, MBR partition, and Recovery partition. Same problem. I've restored everything I can think of, but BootIt still won't boot Ubuntu, although all the other OS's still boot and run fine.

Where do I go from here? What could possibly be screwed up that can't be fixed by restoring all the partitions used by Ubuntu and BootIt?

Edit update: My original version of Ubuntu (which worked and was backed up) is version 14.04. I was attempting to update it to 14.10.
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Re: Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backu

Postby TeraByte Support(TP) » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:18 am

dxrtbyte wrote:
> I'm at a loss on this one. I have 4 OS's using something like 16
> partitions on a single disk. My OS's are Windows, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora and
> openSUSE. Windows has a Recovery partition (which is the Windows boot
> partition) plus its own main partition. Each of the Linux systems has 3
> partitions - boot, root, and swap. Plus there is an MBR partition at the
> beginning of the disk.
>
> Everything was was working fine until I tried to update Ubuntu using the
> Ubuntu software update app. After that completed, I was no longer able to
> boot Ubuntu (all I get is a black screen with an underscore character
> blinking in the upper left corner). All of the other OS's still boot and
> run fine. So I figured that something got hosed in the Ubuntu partitions,
> and I used IFW to restore all my Ubuntu partitions from my full disk
> backup. But that didn't solve the problem. So then I also restored my
> BootIt partition, MBR partition, and Recovery partition. Same problem.
> I've restored everything I can think of, but BootIt still won't boot
> Ubuntu, although all the other OS's still boot and run fine.
>
> Where do I go from here? What could possibly be screwed up that can't be
> fixed by restoring all the partitions used by Ubuntu and BootIt?
>
> Edit update: My original version of Ubuntu (which worked and was backed
> up) is version 14.04. I was attempting to update it to 14.10.

I'd suggest checking that the Ubuntu boot menu item (Boot Edit) is still properly configured, and has the correct partitions loaded in the MBR Details section of Boot Edit. Also, what is the "MBR partition"?

Edit: Also in the Ubuntu boot item, make sure the right partition is set as boot partition - the Ubuntu /boot partition in this case.
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Re: Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backu

Postby dxrtbyte » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:15 pm

Yes, I verified that the Ubuntu Boot Partition is still selected as the partition to boot the Ubuntu menu item. Boot edit is still configured correctly, as it was before the problem occurred. And all the Ubuntu partitions are mapped to the Ubuntu menu entry. All of that should have been restored when I restored the BootIt partition from the backup image, and as far as I can tell, everything is still configured the same as it was when it was working correctly.

The MBR partition is the FAT16 partition at the beginning of the HDD, covering LBA's 63 through 80324. It was created as part of the original Windows installation (when I bought my PC - before I added any additional OS's).

I can't help thinking that whatever changed must be somewhere other than in the partitions I restored from backup (which includes all the Ubuntu partitions, plus the BootIt partition). But I can't imagine what else it could be - all the other OS's are booting and working correctly. I'm really at a loss here. What are the other possibilities?
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Re: Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backu

Postby TeraByte Support(TP) » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:38 pm

dxrtbyte wrote:
> Yes, I verified that the Ubuntu Boot Partition is still selected as the
> partition to boot the Ubuntu menu item. Boot edit is still configured
> correctly, as it was before the problem occurred. And all the Ubuntu
> partitions are mapped to the Ubuntu menu entry. All of that should have
> been restored when I restored the BootIt partition from the backup image,
> and as far as I can tell, everything is still configured the same as it was
> when it was working correctly.
>
> The MBR partition is the FAT16 partition at the beginning of the HDD,
> covering LBA's 63 through 80324. It was created as part of the original
> Windows installation (when I bought my PC - before I added any additional
> OS's).
>
> I can't help thinking that whatever changed must be somewhere other than in
> the partitions I restored from backup (which includes all the Ubuntu
> partitions, plus the BootIt partition). But I can't imagine what else it
> could be - all the other OS's are booting and working correctly. I'm
> really at a loss here. What are the other possibilities?

The most common problem with something like this is that the grub2 boot loader is damaged, and needs to be reinstalled.

The KB article linked below has a procedure that you can work through step by step to see if you can boot into Ubuntu manually from a Grub2 boot disk (link provided in the article), and then reinstall Grub2 from the command line within Ubuntu. Be sure not to skip step 2, which is to attempt booting Ubuntu from the BIBM menu before booting from the grub2 boot disk, even though you know it will fail. That is done to ensure that the Ubuntu partitions are loaded into the MBR, so that they can be accessed from the Grub2 boot disk.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=408

Note that if the attempt to boot into Ubuntu in step 5 fails, see "Issue 2" in the troublshooting section at the end of the article for an alternate method of manually booting into Ubuntu.
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Re: Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backu

Postby dxrtbyte » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:29 pm

OK, I was able to recover everything by doing that (I had to use the Issue 2 solution). So that's good.

However...

I am very concerned that IFW failed to properly backup and restore the Ubuntu partitions from the backup image. Should I post a new issue in the IFW forum to address that problem?
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Re: Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backu

Postby TeraByte Support(TP) » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:10 am

dxrtbyte wrote:
> OK, I was able to recover everything by doing that (I had to use the Issue
> 2 solution). So that's good.
>
> However...
>
> I am very concerned that IFW failed to properly backup and restore the
> Ubuntu partitions from the backup image. Should I post a new issue in the
> IFW forum to address that problem?

Glad to hear you got it working again.

To figure out what happened, I can try to recreate the issue here. It may help if you can clarify these items:

1. Are all Ubuntu partitions primary partitions?

2. You did the Ubuntu update from 14.04 to 14.10 from within the running Ubuntu 14.04 install, using the software update application?

3. Did you get the same symptom when booting Ubuntu (blank sceen, cursor upper left) both before and after you restored the Ubuntu partitions?

4. Did you restore all 3 Ubuntu partitions?
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Re: Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backu

Postby dxrtbyte » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:29 am

TeraByte Support(TP) wrote:


> To figure out what happened, I can try to recreate the issue here. It may help if you
> can clarify these items:
>
> 1. Are all Ubuntu partitions primary partitions?

The Boot partition is a primary partition. The Root and Swap partitions are together in a single extended partition. They are the only ones in that extended partition, and that is the only extended partition on the disk.
>
> 2. You did the Ubuntu update from 14.04 to 14.10 from within the running Ubuntu 14.04
> install, using the software update application?

Yes. It all went fine until it got to the end and did a restart, at which point it wouldn't boot. I know that Ubuntu discourages having grub2 in a partition, so perhaps their upgrade process doesn't deal with that situation correctly.

> 3. Did you get the same symptom when booting Ubuntu (blank sceen, cursor upper left)
> both before and after you restored the Ubuntu partitions?

Yes. The partitions did get restored to 14.04, but it failed to boot, the same as 14.10 failed to boot. After I re-installed grub2 via your recovery process, I now have my original 14.04 system back and running.

> 4. Did you restore all 3 Ubuntu partitions?

Yes. I restored from a differential backup. I tried both IFW from within Windows, then IFD from an IFD boot CD. Same result.
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Re: Can no longer boot one OS, even after restore from backu

Postby TeraByte Support » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:26 pm

file system could have been dirty .. sometimes a new install doesn't set
some of the in use bits that cover the linux boot code, fsck -f can fix
that - probably good idea to force a check after a new install (from an live
boot disk of course).

"dxrtbyte" wrote in message news:9525@public.bootitbm...

TeraByte Support(TP) wrote:


> To figure out what happened, I can try to recreate the issue here. It may
> help if you
> can clarify these items:
>
> 1. Are all Ubuntu partitions primary partitions?

The Boot partition is a primary partition. The Root and Swap partitions are
together in a single extended partition. They are the only ones in that
extended partition, and that is the only extended partition on the disk.
>
> 2. You did the Ubuntu update from 14.04 to 14.10 from within the running
> Ubuntu 14.04
> install, using the software update application?

Yes. It all went fine until it got to the end and did a restart, at which
point it wouldn't boot. I know that Ubuntu discourages having grub2 in a
partition, so perhaps their upgrade process doesn't deal with that situation
correctly.

> 3. Did you get the same symptom when booting Ubuntu (blank sceen, cursor
> upper left)
> both before and after you restored the Ubuntu partitions?

Yes. The partitions did get restored to 14.04, but it failed to boot, the
same as 14.10 failed to boot. After I re-installed grub2 via your recovery
process, I now have my original 14.04 system back and running.

> 4. Did you restore all 3 Ubuntu partitions?

Yes. I restored from a differential backup. I tried both IFW from within
Windows, then IFD from an IFD boot CD. Same result.

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