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Thread: [SOLVED] various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    This is a long one! We have 6 computers in our family. They are all fairly old computers with Athlon/Athlon XP on some sort of VIA chipset from various mobo manufacturers and 750MB of PC133 memory. They are all dual-boot Win98SE (primary master) and WinXP (primary slave) on two seperate HDDs on PCI add-in IDE controllers. I'm installing Ubuntu (8.10) on all of them as a third OS. I've completed two of these so far by putting Linux on a third HDD as secondary master. The first one was trouble-free starting as 7.10, upgrading to 8.04 LTS; installing 8.04 from scratch and upgrading to 8.10beta; and finally installing 8.10 final release from scratch. All of these operations went trouble-free. The second one was a little more difficult. I never used 7.10. I started at 8.04 from live CD and installed. The install failed a few times just at the point where it configures HAL, but finally it worked. Then I installed all the latest 8.04 updates and they failed the same way when it configured HAL, but finally I got them to install. Then I tried to upgrad to 8.10 using the alt CD but it failed with some broken package (a desktop theme of some sort), and so I installed 8.10 beta fresh from live CD and then got the latest updates online. It is finally stable. I think the main problem with that one was that ACPI was past the cut-off date and the install had to use ACPI force. Great, two down and 4 to go!

    So now I'm working on the third computer. DFI mobo with VIA KT133A chipset, 750MB of PC133 memory, but only 2 HDDs on PCI add-in IDE controller. Primary master is 80GB HDD with Win98SE on first primary FAT32 partition (sda1) and an extended partition with 4 logical FAT32 partitions (sda5,6,7,8 ). The second 250GB HDD (primary slave on IDE controller) is as follows: sdb1 is FAT32 and has WinXP; then there was undefined space; then there is an extended partition with 4 logical FAT32 partitions (sdb5,6,7,8 ). In the unallocated space I created an ext3 primary partition which is called sdb3, and a 1GB swap partition. So I don't know whatever happened to sdb2. If anyone is curious I could run gparted to see. So I've done like in both the other installs, I've installed grub into the boot sector and not in the MPR. Then I used a piece of software called BOOTPART to copy the 512 byte record from the LINUX boot sector to the C drive and use the Win NTLDR as the primary boot loader. Works just fine. So here are my travails in setting up this 3rd computer!!!!

    Just as in the 2nd computer, 8.04LTS live CD has a hard time booting and if it does the install often fails during HAL setup. And getting the updates from online and installing them has a couple of failed packages and it also fails during HAL setup. But I was able to boot the install and use dpkg -- configure -a (as superuser) to finish the interrupted package. But!! The 8.10 alt cd doesn't work at all. I use terminal sh /cdrom/cdromupgrade and it won't even start running. And it doesn't even give the auto upgrade window. So I tried upgrading online and it fails when configuring HAL. So I try the 8.10 final release live CD and it won't even boot. All I see is the orange progress line and it stops dead at about 10% of the way across. So I'm stuck at 8.04 with all the current updates applied. It's a lot of work to try to get this thing up to date and now that I've got it this far I'm afraid to do any more updates or upgrades.

    Anyone have any ideas why it can be so hard? Sometimes the CDs work and sometimes they don't. I checked the CDs when I burnt them and they are OK. I checked them from the Ubuntu menu when I'm booting from the CD and they are OK. Also I checked the MD5SUM hash and it's good. How do I keep a log of what's happenning so I can investigate and post it? On alt CD I get an option to rescue failed installs, but I don't know how to use it. Also I don't know how to use the recovery mode boot option. Sometimes the old kernel will boot, but ff the install fails too badly I get a syn-up error and the panic message (and flashing num lock lights) and so all I know how to do is re-try the install. Why so many problems?????

  2. #2
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    WoW! more of a journal...

    All I see is the orange progress line and it stops dead at about 10% of the way across. So I'm stuck at 8.04 with all the current updates applied. It's a lot of work to try to get this thing up to date and now that I've got it this far I'm afraid to do any more updates or upgrades.
    If you reboot and at the grub boot screen hit the esc key and select the kernel line that you want to boot from hit the e key to edit the kernel boot line and remove the quiet and splash from the kernel bootup line. This will let you see visually what its hanging up on.

  3. #3
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    Thank you cdtech. One more problem that I'm researching: I've attached 2 screenshots -- one for each HDD. As you can see, Ubuntu is on sdb3. Here's my problem: when I click on Places --> removable media, or Places --> Computer, it doesn't show sda. I want to use those FAT32 partitions because there is data there I want to use. This Ubunto partition is relatively small and I want to use the FAT32 partitions for storage. But only sdb is accessible. I need to access sda too.

    Oh, BTW, sdb2 IS the extended partition.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    How about opening a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and post:
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    Does that show your sda drive?

  5. #5
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    Thanks caljohnsmith. Yes my sda drive was listed when I did fdisk -lu. So why isn't it listed in Places --> removable media, or Places --> computer? My sdb is listed in both places and I can mount it. But I can't even find sda to do the mount. What next?

  6. #6
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    I'm not sure why your sda drive doesn't show up under the Places menu. You could easily manually mount the partitions by first creating a directory in /media to mount it on:
    Code:
    sudo mkdir /media/Data_1
    And of course you can name it anything you want. Then do:
    Code:
    sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/Data_1
    And change sdb1 to whichever sdb partition you want to mount on the new directory in /media. Then you will have access to it if you browse to the /media/Data_1 folder in the file browser.

    If you want, you could add an entry in your /etc/fstab so that the partition is automatically mounted on start up. If you would like help with that, then please post the output of the fdisk command I gave in my previous post, and also specify which partition you want to mount.

  7. #7
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    dad@kids1-linux:~$ sudo fdisk -lu
    [sudo] password for dad:

    Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders, total 156301488 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x30d030cf

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 63 31262489 15631213+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sda2 31262490 156296384 62516947+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 31262553 62524979 15631213+ b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda6 62525043 93787469 15631213+ b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda7 93787533 125049959 15631213+ b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda8 125050023 156296384 15623181 b W95 FAT32

    Disk /dev/sdb: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x51df4e9a

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 * 63 62910539 31455238+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sdb2 93996315 625137344 265570515 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sdb3 62910540 93996314 15542887+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sdb5 93996378 96036569 1020096 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sdb6 96036633 229327874 66645621 b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sdb7 229327938 362683439 66677751 b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sdb8 362683503 495990809 66653653+ b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sdb9 495990873 625137344 64573236 b W95 FAT32

    Partition table entries are not in disk order
    dad@kids1-linux:~$


    It is sda that can't be found. I did what you said (using sda1) and created the directory and issued the mount. It says the mount point doesn't exist:

    root@kids1-linux:/home/dad# mkdir /media/data_2
    root@kids1-linux:/home/dad# mount /dev/sda1 /media/data_2
    mount: mount point /media/data_2 does not exist

    A mystery to me. All the sda_ partitions are in /dev
    Any more ideas?

  8. #8
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    How about:
    Code:
    ls -l /media
    And see if the "Data_2" directory is there like it should be.

  9. #9
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    dad@kids1-linux:~$ ls -l /media
    total 28
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 6 2008-11-13 11:41 cdrom -> cdrom0
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-11-13 11:41 cdrom0
    drwxr-xr-x 9 root root 16384 1969-12-31 19:00 Data_1
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-11-17 16:44 data_2
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 2008-11-13 11:41 floppy -> floppy0
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-11-13 11:41 floppy0
    dad@kids1-linux:~$

  10. #10
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    Re: various update,upgrade, CD boot problems

    As you can see, sda extended partition is there with its logical partitions, but I just have no way of accessing it. It is not in Places --> removable media, or Places --> computer, or any way I know how to get to the files on those partitions. Is it possibly a permissions thing? Or is there a place where partitons are marked to be hidden? In review, sda has Win98SE on sda1 and I use the ntldr from that drive, and there are some logical partitions on the HDD. It is the drive Ubuntu can't see. sdb has WinXP on sdb1, sdb2 is an extended partition with 4 logical partitions, while sdb3 is the second primary partition on the hdd and it is my Linux partition. I believe my swap partition is in the extended partition. Since I don't know much about the way linux does things I am stumped.

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