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Thread: Boot fails, but LiveCD can't see HDD -- need help troubleshooting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    2

    Boot fails, but LiveCD can't see HDD -- need help troubleshooting

    I'm having a strange problem that I can't figure out how to solve or even troubleshoot from other posts and lots of web searching. When I startup, the BIOS posts and I get the GRUB selection screen. I select a recovery mode kernel. At some point, I get an error that says that /dev was not found and it falls back into an initrdmfs prompt. I put in the 12.10 LiveCD I have around and reboot. The LiveCD loads, but gives a text message that says something like "general error mounting drives" and then goes about its business loading 12.10. When it gets there, I enter "fdisk -l" from a terminal and get nothing. There is nothing matching "/dev/sd*". If I shutdown and try to boot again without the CD, the BIOS does not find an installation disk. If I then unplug the machine and try again, I start this whole process over.

    So, from the fdisk and ls /dev outputs, I get the impression that the drive is not readable. But the fact that I can get into GRUB during some startups makes me think its not quite dead. When I setup the drive /boot, /home and / were all setup as separate partitions.

    Either way I think the drive is on the way out (if not already). If possible, I would at least like to just mount it and try to extract the most recent photos/videos that are not backed up. Any suggestions for how I might either figure out if/where the drive can be mounted, or restore the data?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    3rd Rock from the Sun
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Boot fails, but LiveCD can't see HDD -- need help troubleshooting

    I does sound like the HDD is corrupt.
    Boot with any Ubuntu LiveCD and use Gparted to see if it sees the HDD.
    Also post the output of:
    Code:
    sudo parted -l
    sudo fdisk -l
    To recover/rescue data try TestDisk.

    Good Luck...
    "Evolution is Nature's way of issuing upgrades."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    2

    Re: Boot fails, but LiveCD can't see HDD -- need help troubleshooting

    No, gparted doesn't see the HDD either, only the DVD. It's odd that sometimes it sees the boot partition during startup, but doesn't see it when starting from the DVD...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    U.S.A
    Beans
    1,331
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Boot fails, but LiveCD can't see HDD -- need help troubleshooting

    Sounds like you need a new HDD.
    Have you check the connection from your HDD to your motherboard? If you tinkered around in there recently, you may have moved the connection loose or something.

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