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Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

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jbMacAZ
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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#41 Postby jbMacAZ » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:18 pm

Looking back at your post #1 and the other errors you listed, it looks like there is a problem initializing the USB controller. If that controller is offline, the kernel can't access the InstalledUSB, hence the
ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/e5e857f9-dd3d-43b2-b252-a5531d488478 does not exist

That error does not make any sense to me, because grub was just successfully loaded from that partition. Otherwise, you would not see the kingfisher background. During the handoff from grub to the kernel, something has gone wrong with hardware (re)initialization by the kernel. The kernel on the InstalledUSB is supposed to be the same as the liveUSB, I'd expect it to act the same.

For completeness, I'd take the InstalledUSB with the edited fstab back to the other system and try to boot it there. If it works on the original system, the installedUSB is configured specifically for the hardware it was installed on, unlike the liveUSB. If the errors are the same, there must be a problem with the kernel or initramfs, maybe missing legacy USB module(s). If fact, your post#1 does mention missing modules... Unfortunately, I don't have any ideas on how to fix either outcome.
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br1anstorm
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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#42 Postby br1anstorm » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:30 pm

Ok, I thought - I'll try the completeness experiment....having edited fstab, I'd try again to boot that stick on the old Compaq on which I originally created the installed but non-booting MX-16 USB.

Well, well, no joy. Same old sequence: bootloader grey kingfisher screen.... "loading kernel".... "loading initial ramdisk".... then that screen full of text again, same list of "device not accepting"/"device descriptor read errors.....gave up waiting.... missing modules, etc etc etc" .....all the way down to the ......"can't access tty; job control turned off".

So none of what we have tried - changing the 'set root' in grub.cfg , trying various grub reinstall/update commands, and editing fstab - has made the slightest difference. It's not an issue related to the brand of USB, or the ports used; and the problem arises irrespective of the computer into which the USB stick is plugged.

It's been a long and frustrating road. I am very grateful for all the thought and effort that has gone into grappling with this. It is disappointing. The MX installer has failed to install to a (virgin) USB stick - or rather, to make a bootable installation. We don't know why. If there is something (a module) missing, is that because the installer didn't install it? If the MX-16 grub can't recognise what or where it is booting (and won't work in any computer - not even the one used to create the installation) is this a flaw in the MX-16 grub? I don't have the expertise to answer any of these questions. I just know I have an MX-16 USB stick which won't boot. So it's useless. I shall therefore wipe it and move on. I can't mark this thread "Solved". I just have to leave the developers and anyone else who is interested to ponder on the evidence, and to reflect on whether to do anything further.

Tomorrow is a new day...

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Jim205
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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#43 Postby Jim205 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:58 pm

Please compare post #35 and post #36, to see the difference in F-stab. Post #35 indicates that NTFS-3G file system is the first to get loaded. MX-16 wants ext 4 to be loaded first. The simplyeist way to correct your problem is, as I see it, to download a new fresh copy of MX-16, or if you prefer, MX17RC1 , and burn it to DVD. Then with your new copy of MX running, insert your USB stick. Start GParted, and find your USB stick. If USB stick is mounted, GParted will tell you to unmount it. Delete contents of USB stick. Go to MX Tools and start make Live USB. In the drive to write too, make sure the correct USB is selected. Select ISO to write to USB stick. If writing is good it will tell you. I did this with a Sony 4GB stick, that had MX-14 on it, and put MX-17RC1 on it. Jim205 Registered Linux User 421183

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asinoro
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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#44 Postby asinoro » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:48 am

br1anstorm wrote:Well, next step completed. I edited the fstab file to insert # before each of the entries which had mount point of /media.
[NOTE: I did not edit the "fstab.backup" file which I noticed sits alongside it in /etc. Should I have done so? Would it make a difference?]

Closed down, and then tried to boot from this pesky MX-16 USB stick.

Sadly, no joy. Once again, I got the initial bootloader screen with kingfisher background, was able to select MX-16. Up came a message about the kernel and then 'initialising ramdisk...'.

Then 'Loading'..... and very shortly thereafter, the familiar whole long screen of text as in my original post #1 of this thread. Starts with 'Scanning for Btrfs' and listing about a dozen lines of 'device not accepting address error -71' and 'device descriptor read/64, error -71' , followed by 'Gave up waiting for root device..... Missing modules..... ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/e5e857f9-dd3d-43b2-b252-a5531d488478 does not exist..... Dropping to a shell! modprobe: module ehci-orion not found in modules.dep...... Busybox etc....and finally '/bin/sh: can't access tty: job control turned off (initramfs)....' followed by a flashing cursor.

This is just an abbreviated summary of the text that appears. As it is all on a black screen on the computer I'm trying to boot, I have no way of copying the full text directly or of scrolling up or down. And after a certian period it times out and the screen goes black. So the precise details, references and spacings I'm posting up are not necessarily as they appear on screen.

Only way to close is by powering off the machine.

So, depressingly, we still seem no closer to identifying the problem, never mind figuring out a solution. If there is any particular bit of the string of onscreen text that needs to be scrutinised closely, let me know and I'll try to re-type it accurately and fully, and post it up. The quote in my OP is fairly complete.


Because everything is experience where we learn by it, you can understand that your problem will be solved when you run,

Code: Select all

fsck -y /dev/sdXX

where your usb is to fix any potential mistakes, from live usb, dvd with unmounted your usb target since your grub is installed.
This is my last help for this topic.

As I mention before!
viewtopic.php?f=92&t=43243&start=30#p426362
If your case is solved edit [Solved] to your initial post title to help other users.
Don’t forget to Backup your system
Fix your Grub

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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#45 Postby br1anstorm » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:12 am

Well, asinoro, thank you for your further advice. As you say, this is a learning experience. So I ran your suggested command - after unmounting the non-booting USB stick, which is dev/sdc. (the root partition is sdc1, home is sdc3, and swap is sdc2).

This is what I got:

Code: Select all

$ fsck -y /dev/sdc1
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: No such file or directory while trying to open /dev/sdc1
Possibly non-existent device?
demo@mx1:~
$ fsck -y /dev/sdc3
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: No such file or directory while trying to open /dev/sdc3
Possibly non-existent device?
demo@mx1:~


Ok..... so what do you learn from that, and what problem does it reveal?

Just as a learning experiment, I tried the same command for the whole USB stick, dev/sdc. And this is what I got.

Code: Select all

$ fsck -y /dev/sdc
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: Permission denied while trying to open /dev/sdc
You must have r/w access to the filesystem or be root
demo@mx1:~


What I learn is that the non-booting stick is useless and the install hasn't worked. Am I right?

I think it would be unwise for me to go into the terminal as root and try again, because I have no idea what I should do in response to any messages or code which might come up on screen. I would not understand what I might read, and I would not know what to write. Experimenting is fine, up to a point. But if you play with matches without knowing exactly what they can do, you are likely to get burned!

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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#46 Postby br1anstorm » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:31 am

Hello Jim.... I am inclined to make a fresh start in the way you suggest.

Jim205 wrote:Please compare post #35 and post #36, to see the difference in F-stab. Post #35 indicates that NTFS-3G file system is the first to get loaded. MX-16 wants ext 4 to be loaded first. The simplyeist way to correct your problem is, as I see it, to download a new fresh copy of MX-16, or if you prefer, MX17RC1 , and burn it to DVD. Then with your new copy of MX running, insert your USB stick. Start GParted, and find your USB stick. If USB stick is mounted, GParted will tell you to unmount it. Delete contents of USB stick. Go to MX Tools and start make Live USB. In the drive to write too, make sure the correct USB is selected. Select ISO to write to USB stick. If writing is good it will tell you. I did this with a Sony 4GB stick, that had MX-14 on it, and put MX-17RC1 on it. Jim205 Registered Linux User 421183


But just one point of clarification. You recommend using the MX Tools LiveUSB Maker. I have never used this program, but am willing to give it a try if it can deliver what I seek. I just need to know: does that program only make a LIVE USB (as the name suggests)? Or can it also fully INSTALL MX-16 on a USB stick (in the same way as installing on any other internal or external drive)?

Is your MX-17RC that you have on your Sony 4GB stick a Live Session USB, or a full, normal, complete install? There is of course a crucial difference between a LiveUSB (or CD/DVD) and a full install.

I ask because I already have a perfectly good Live USB of MX-16 which I have used happily on various computers. I don't need another Live USB. I want to INSTALL MX-16, fully and permanently, with its root, home and swap partitions, on a USB stick. I have done that perfectly easily with Mint, Zorin and LXLE using their standard - Ubuntu - installers (not Live USB-makers). This whole saga is about whether and how to do a full INSTALL of MX-16 on a USB stick.

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asinoro
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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#47 Postby asinoro » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:38 am

br1anstorm wrote:Well, asinoro, thank you for your further advice. As you say, this is a learning experience. So I ran your suggested command - after unmounting the non-booting USB stick, which is dev/sdc. (the root partition is sdc1, home is sdc3, and swap is sdc2).

This is what I got:

Code: Select all

$ fsck -y /dev/sdc1
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: No such file or directory while trying to open /dev/sdc1
Possibly non-existent device?
demo@mx1:~
$ fsck -y /dev/sdc3
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: No such file or directory while trying to open /dev/sdc3
Possibly non-existent device?
demo@mx1:~


Ok..... so what do you learn from that, and what problem does it reveal?

Just as a learning experiment, I tried the same command for the whole USB stick, dev/sdc. And this is what I got.

Code: Select all

$ fsck -y /dev/sdc
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: Permission denied while trying to open /dev/sdc
You must have r/w access to the filesystem or be root
demo@mx1:~


What I learn is that the non-booting stick is useless and the install hasn't worked. Am I right?

I think it would be unwise for me to go into the terminal as root and try again, because I have no idea what I should do in response to any messages or code which might come up on screen. I would not understand what I might read, and I would not know what to write. Experimenting is fine, up to a point. But if you play with matches without knowing exactly what they can do, you are likely to get burned!


From my terminal as root with no usb.

Code: Select all

fsck -y /dev/sdb123
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: No such file or directory while trying to open /dev/sdb123
Possibly non-existent device?


From my terminal not as root with usb in.

Code: Select all

fsck -y /dev/sdb
fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
e2fsck 1.42.12 (29-Aug-2014)
fsck.ext2: Permission denied while trying to open /dev/sdb
You must have r/w access to the filesystem or be root


Conclusion you are a troll which came to make problems to MX by trying to show that it is problematic.
If your case is solved edit [Solved] to your initial post title to help other users.
Don’t forget to Backup your system
Fix your Grub

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Paul..
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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#48 Postby Paul.. » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:04 am

This whole saga is about whether and how to do a full INSTALL of MX-16 on a USB stick.


@br1anstorm: A Live USB w/Persistence enabled will accomplish the same thing. See Dolphin_Oracle's video on this:
https://mxlinux.org/mx-16-live-usb-persistence

If that does not meet your needs, use one of the other distros you have listed (Mint, Zorin et al.)

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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#49 Postby richb » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:07 am

Paul.. wrote:
This whole saga is about whether and how to do a full INSTALL of MX-16 on a USB stick.


@br1anstorm: A Live USB w/Persistence enabled will accomplish the same thing. See Dolphin_Oracle's video on this:
https://mxlinux.org/mx-16-live-usb-persistence

If that does not meet your needs, use one of the other distros you have listed (Mint, Zorin et al.)

I totally agree.
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Re: Installation woes and a GRUB headache - Part 2

#50 Postby br1anstorm » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:24 am

asinoro wrote:
....edit......

Conclusion you are a troll which came to make problems to MX by trying to show that it is problematic.


Oh dear. That is not the response I expected. But I cannot let it pass without a response. I hope (and believe) it does not reflect the normal spirit of the community.

I am still (after some three years) a Linux novice and have been honest about the limits of my knowledge.
I have managed successfully to install and use other distros on USB sticks (and/or external HDDs connected by USB). I know this may be unusual, but I did explain why I wanted to try it. I accept that a LiveUSB with persistence is similar. But nevertheless I wished to give it a go with MX-16, a distro which I like a lot.
When I tried it, I ran into problems.
With the best of intentions, I sought advice and guidance - and received a lot of thoughtful responses, for which I was very grateful.
I believed that looking at the evidence might be useful for the community as well as - perhaps - solving the problem for me.
So far the non-booting USB stick hasn't been resolved. It's disappointing, but not a disaster.

Against that background, to be accused of being a troll "coming to make problems for MX" is unworthy and unjustified. Not only is it insulting to me, but it devalues the genuine efforts that the various contributors in the thread have made to analysing what the issue (of non-booting on a USB stick) might be. So please, no more such ill-judged remarks.


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