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Thread: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

  1. #1
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    12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    Hi, folks,

    I managed to bork my 11.10 installation, probably with an unnecessary NVidia GPU driver upgrade. But I've been meaning to upgrade to 12.04 for a while, and so I'm trying to do that. I'm tired of managing my GPU driver issues manually, and I'm hoping that 12.04.1 will solve that problem for me.

    Here's my configuration information:

    • Gigabyte GA-MA78-US2H motherboard, 8 GB RAM, AMD Phenom II x6 1100T CPU
    • NVidia 460 family GPU card
    • Ubuntu 11.10 OS, 64-bit; no other operating systems to complicate matters
    • Two hard drives operated in RAID1 configuration, administered by mdadm; four partitions; swap, root for 11.10, home, and one spare partition that I reserved for the root for 12.04

    I downloaded both the standard and the alternate installations of 12.04.1, x86, 64-bit. Both passed their checksum tests, and I burned two CD's. My system boots from the 12.04.1 live CD (with the nomodeset option). I am using it right now.

    Because I'm using RAID, I have been using the alternate CD's to install Ubuntu. I've been doing this with success since 10.10. But when I try this with 12.04.1, I only get up to grub-install, and then the system hangs. I've waited 15 minutes to an HOUR before giving up. The hard drives were thrashing the whole time. I had this exact same problem when I tried plain-old 12.04 (rather than 12.04.1) several months ago.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to why grub-install is failing, and how I might fix it?

    Alternately: in a recent thread another poster hinted that you can install to a RAID from the standard, live CD, if you know what you are doing. He didn't give directions, though. How do I proceed? I figure that the first step would be to build my RAID. I can do that. From the Live CD, I am able to:

    • sudo apt-get install mdadm
    • build all of my RAID1 partitions with a series of sudo mdadm --create commands (EDIT: sudo mdadm --assemble --scan works better!)
    • mount both the 11.10 root partition and the home partition.

    Can I just run the graphical installation process from there? The empty partition that I reserved for 12.04 won't mount, obviously, because it isn't formatted yet.
    Last edited by ladasky; December 4th, 2012 at 08:29 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    Added RAID to your title as only a few know RAID. I do not.

    Run the BootInfo report. You probably need to install the mdadm first.

    Post the link to the BootInfo report that this creates. Is part of Boot-Repair:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Info
    Boot Repair -Also handles LVM, GPT, separate /boot and UEFI dual boot.:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
    You can repair many boot issues with this or 'Create BootInfo' report (Other Options) & post the link it creates, so we can see your exact configuration and diagnose advanced problems.
    Install in Ubuntu liveCD or USB or Full RepairCD with Boot-Repair (for newer computers)
    http://sourceforge.net/p/boot-repair/home/Home/
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuSecureRemix

    Boot Repair runs the Bootinfoscript as part of BootInfo report it creates.
    Boot script is able to search LVM partitions if the LVM2 package is install, Fedora needs to be mounted to see it with os-prober
    # ("apt-get install lvm2" in debian based distros)
    # Is able to search Linux Software Raid partitions (MD Raids) if
    # the "mdadm" package is installed.
    sudo apt-get install lvm2
    sudo apt-get install mdadm
    sudo apt-get install gawk
    sudo apt-get install xz-utils
    # unlzma is equivalent to xz --format=lzma --decompress.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  3. #3
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    Yeah, after adding mdadm in live session and creating the md devices, you should be able to simply start the install with the desktop icon.

    It would be better to use manual partitioning, the Something Else option. When the partitions list shows, the md devices should be there. Do not try to mount them before you begin the install process, you need to install on unmounted devices.

    Select /dev/sda for the bootloader installation if that's one of the disks part of the array. You can add grub2 to /dev/sdb once the system is running.

    I don't remember whether I have tried this with the live cd, but in theory it should work.

    It's very strange that the alternate cd is giving you trouble. You might be affected by some bug, strange hardware combination, etc.

    PS. Forgot to mention. I would actually create the partitions too with parted before starting the GUI install. Right after you create the md devices you plan to use, use parted and create single partition from each md device. I think this step was necessary. Later in the manual partitioning step you only select the partitions to use, and select their mount points. You don't actually create them in that step.
    Try both options, I'm not 100% sure which one will work, maybe both.
    Last edited by darkod; December 4th, 2012 at 12:15 AM.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  4. #4
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    I'm not done yet, but I'm popping in with a status update.

    Before I had read any of your answers, I attempted a live CD installation onto my RAID, and it failed. HOWEVER I think that part of the problem was that the Live CD commandeered one of my physical swap partitions. The system wouldn't let me redefine the new RAID1 swap while one of its components was in use. Also, selections with the partition editor inside the graphical installation utility were clunky, and doing odd things.

    I have done some research and discovered the command sudo swapoff -a, which unmounts all swap partitions. I have 8 GB of RAM, I should be OK without swap, at least during any installation process.

    oldfred: I followed your links to the boot-repair package. I got some errors following the installation directions, but that may be due to the fact that the instructions date back to Ubuntu 11.04? Anyway, boot-repair runs. On startup, I got a message which read: "DMRaid packages my interfere with mdraid. Uninstall them?" I selected "yes", as I'm using mdadm and not dmraid.

    My boot report is here. I don't know how to read most of it. But one thing that jumps out at me (see lines 67-73) is that I seem to have no 11.10 partition at all on my RAID any more. It should appear on /dev/md/1. Instead, I have 12.04.1 there? No, I'm pretty sure that I don't. Funny -- I was TRYING to install it on /dev/md/2.

    In any case, my 11.10 system already was NOT working before I starting fussing with this 12.04.1 installation. Something different is causing grub-install to hang when I try the 12.04 alternate install CD's.

    I see error messages on indicating that I have partitions "outside the disk" (lines 476, 530, and 656). I have no idea how that might have happened, but the report suggests that boot-repair knows how to fix those problems, and I am going to let it try to do so.
    Last edited by ladasky; December 4th, 2012 at 09:32 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    I do not know RAID, so those issues Darko or someone that knows RAID will have to help with.

    Normally this says e2fsck is needed, not sure if the same with RAID or not.

    Code:
    md/2: _______________________
    
        File system:       
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info: 
        Mounting failed:   mount: unknown filesystem type ''
    The partitions outside disk for sr0 are not an issue. I think it just has to do with the oversize CDs.
    But line 656 looks like md3. And it does not show details to confirm. Devices sda, sdb Partition table itself looks ok.

    But you also then seem to have errors in RAID partition table. Which may relate to drives being slightly different in size - see total sectors and then last partition is different:

    Code:
    /dev/sda4          93,747,200 1,250,263,039 1,156,515,840  fd Linux raid autodetect
    /dev/sdb4          93,747,200 1,250,260,991 1,156,513,792  fd Linux raid autodetect
    I thought with RAID they had to be the same, or sda4 needs to be a bit smaller to accommodate the slightly smaller sdb4 because sdb is a few sectors smaller than sda. Or if RAID is using the entire partition it does not match??
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  6. #6
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    1. I don't think the difference in sector size between sda4 and sdb4 is a problem. As we can see, /dev/md3 sector size is smaller than both numbers anyway, so it looks like the md3 device is correctly assembled despite the sda4 and sdb4 difference. Yes, the partitions should be identical size but it looks like md3 is assembled anyway with slightly smaller size.

    2. /dev/md2 fdisk results are little different compared to the other md devices. It actually shows a partition on it, like /dev/md2p1. The other md devices don't show this p1 partition and it seems to be the correct way (I just checked my server md devices and they don't have p1 in fdisk).
    I am not sure if this is an issue, or simply the md2 was created with another partition on top of it. I am also not sure if that explains why md2 doesn't show in any blkid results.

    3. The partition out of disk about sr0 is no issue, like oldfred says. That's a common message about CDs.

    If we put md2 aside, which shouldn't affect your new 12.04 installation on md1 anyway, I actually don't see anything bad in the bootinfo. It all looks normal.

    If it still fails to install grub2, you can try adding it from live session.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  7. #7
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    Update:

    I have things sort of working. I think that GRUB is an issue for me, and for other people. It may be a Linux bug. I believe that these links are relevant:

    http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=508834
    http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/inde...t-1356844.html
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...b2/+bug/508863

    Here are the details of what I've tried.

    After completing my Boot Repair process, I once again ran the GUI installer. The installer took forever to run, hanging up on GRUB-related commands. I decided to watch and wait because the GUI installer gave more feedback than the console installer on the alternate CD. Every 15 minutes or so, a new message would appear. Well, after grinding through two hours or so, the installer gave indications that it had, in fact failed. I have somewhat more detailed notes, but I don't think that they're relevant.

    I couldn't close the installer properly, I had to reboot the machine. But when I booted, I got... a GRUB menu, and then I booted into 12.04.1 from my hard drive, but without my user accounts. Apparently the system HAD installed, but failed to mount my /dev/md/3 as /home.

    Thinking that I had had a broken system that Boot Repair had probably fixed, I decided to go back to the alternate install CD. This time, I resolved to WAIT as long as it took. And if I wait the full TWO HOURS, grub-install and update-grub finish, and a grub.cfg file gets written, and I get a working system with 12.04.1 and my /home directory!

    But I'm not done. The Update Manager stepped in, of course, and offered me 231 updates. And I'm hung up again! Where? I opened the Details panel of the Applying Changes window. The following two commands, which occur sequentially, take 15-30 minutes EACH to execute:

    • run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub 3.2.0.34-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0.34-generic
    • Generating grub.cfg ...


    See the common element? GRUB.

    During the run-parts command, the entire system lagged. Mouse clicks on other applications were slowed to a crawl. I started writing this message from my backup laptop because, for a while, my main machine was basically unusable.

    I'm almost ready to mark this thread as solved. Before I do, I hope that someone will be able to help me with the slow GRUB problem. That seems to be the primary cause of my troubles.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    Both Boot-Repair & grub scan drive. If any partition does not correctly mount or has some corruption then they have issues. So did you run fsck on your partitions?
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  9. #9
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    Update:

    The system would NOT shut down properly yesterday. I left it on the Ubuntu closing splash page, the one with the five dots as a progress indicator, for a full hour before forcing a shutdown with the power switch.

    Booted on the live CD this morning. This page suggests that fsck isn't the right place to start looking for problems on a RAID.

    To unmount the swap, I executed:

    sudo swapoff -a

    I have now been waiting 90 minutes for the results of:

    sudo badblocks /dev/sda

    After I see the result, I'll execute:

    sudo badblocks /dev/sdb

    More soon. If you have another opinion about fsck on RAID, I'm open to it, I'm hardly an expert on these matters.

  10. #10
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    Re: 12.04.1, alternate CD hangs on grub-install - RAID

    Actually that doesn't say that you shouldn't use fsck. It's more related to physical check that the poster as asking about.

    I would still start with fsck of the md devices (without swap). The problem in your installation might be on the filesystem level, not physical. I do think fsck on md devices can help, depending on the problem.

    You can also check the SMART data on the hdds if you suspect physical failures. You might need to install smartmontools so you can use them.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Smartmontools
    Last edited by darkod; December 5th, 2012 at 09:43 PM.
    Darko.
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    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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