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Thread: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

  1. #1
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    Question 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    A 10.10 LiveCD (burned from the ISO image) won't boot my system using my LG GSA-4167B DVD drive which has been working fine for several years.

    Upon boot, Ubuntu starts to boot up. The splash screen appears. The drive activity light flashes for a while and it sounds as if things are progressing. Then the drive gets into a funky pattern: click-click-spin fast. click-click-spin fast... The purple splash screen is still present, with 5 red dots (not flashing)

    The LG drive happily boots up a Windows CD, BartPE CD, Ultimate Win CD, Macrium recovery CD, Gentoo distro CD, etc etc. Only the Ubuntu 10.10 LiveCD is problematic.

    Oddly, a 10.04 LTS LiveCD obtained with the book "Ubuntu for Non-Geeks" boots OK. (that CD is not burned at home).

    The LG GSA-4167B is 2005 vintage, with IDE interface. I swapped it for an even older (2004) LG DW1610 DVD drive. That drive boots the 10.10 LiveCD just fine.

    I downloaded the 10.10 ISO image a second time and burned a second copy. Same results.

    The LG website had new firmware available for the GSA-4167B drive, so I downloaded that and flashed the drive. No change - it still won't boot the 10.10 CD.


    Are LG drives known to be problematic with Ubuntu? Are the CD-DVD drivers on the LiveCD limited in their functionality? If I go out and buy a new drive, should I avoid LG products?

    I'm stumped. Perhaps I'l try burning the 10.10 ISO on to a DVD and see if that makes any difference.

  2. #2
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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    Try pressing any key as the computer gets past the Bios screen. You'll see a menu with all those Try, Install options. First of all check the disc for defects.

    If the disc is good, try with some boot options like acpi=off or noapic etc by pressing F6.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDBootOptions

    The problem might not be being caused by LG drives.

    If you think so, you can try with USB drive, if you've got one.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...n/FromUSBStick

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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    Quote Originally Posted by kyphos View Post
    The LG GSA-4167B is 2005 vintage, with IDE interface.
    I have that drive, manufactured in December 2005 and purchased shortly thereafter. It has given me sterling service in a number of machines over the years, running a variety of distros and versions of Ubuntu. I've never had a problem with it that I can remember, except for an issue with an external USB enclosure but that's a problem with the enclosure, not the drive.

    I'll put it in one of my desktops later and see what happens when booting up from the 10.10 live CD. That may not be for some hours, but I will post back.
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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecat View Post
    I'll put it in one of my desktops later and see what happens when booting up from the 10.10 live CD. That may not be for some hours, but I will post back.
    It didn't take that long - I had a spare 20 minutes. I'm posting from the 10.10 live gnome desktop booted up with my LG GSA-4167B DVD drive. The only difference is that I originally burnt the ISO to a DVD-RW rather than a CD. But I hardly think that using a CD would be the problem. So - this particular model of LG drive is not the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyphos View Post
    Are LG drives known to be problematic with Ubuntu? Are the CD-DVD drivers on the LiveCD limited in their functionality? If I go out and buy a new drive, should I avoid LG products?
    I see that an older LG drive works for you, and I also have a later LG GH22NP20 from last year, which works just fine, so I'm happy with LG drives.
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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    @coffeecat,
    Thanks so much for testing your 4167B. Glad to hear it works for you. Mine has given me no problems in the past (using Gentoo distros and other various CD tools). This roadblock with the 10.10 LiveCD is my first problem with it.

    @sikander,
    Thanks to you for the pointer to the Ubuntu boot menu.
    - my CD tests OK using the 'check disk for defects' option.
    - I tried setting "acpi=oof". Same result
    - I tried setting "noapic". Same result.
    - I tried setting both of the above options. Same result.

    I discovered that pressing ESC during the boot process (while my drive is doing its repetitive seek-spinup-seek-spinup schtick) makes the purple splash screen disappear and a console log appears.

    The log reports lots of
    stdin: I/O error

    Then eventually something called "BusyBox" appears with this error:
    (initramfs) mounting dev/loop0 on //filesystem.squashfs failed.

    Good suggestion re booting from USB. I thought of that, but my BIOS does not appear to support USB boot.

    I'm stumped - this LG drive will boot various other non-Ubuntu CDs with no problem. It boots the 10.04 LiveCD (a mastered CD, not home-burned) OK. I've downloaded 10.10 twice and burned two CDs, just in case the first was flaky (and even though it tested OK).

    Out of curiosity, I burned the 10.10 ISO image to a DVD and tried booting from it. The disc spins and I hear the head seeking, but nothing - not even the Ubuntu splash screen.

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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    The stdin: I/O errors sound as though you are getting a lot of read errors. It's interesting that a pressed CD reads OK but not your burnt 10.10 CD. Are the "other non-Ubuntu CDs" burnt ones, and did you burn them with the same LG drive?

    You say the older LG drive boots the 10.10 CD OK. Was that CD burnt with the 4167B or the older drive? It might be interesting to burn a 10.10 CD with each of the drives and then test each with the "other" drive. Perhaps the 4167B drive is on the way out and a combination of a poor burn and a poor read is causing the problem, when it can still (just) read pressed CDs and CDs it burnt previously when still working properly.

    That last bit is pure speculation on my part. Sorry - I don't have anything more coherent to offer.
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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    @coffeecat,
    Thanks for the suggestions and speculations!

    All of my non-Ubuntu CDs are home-burnt. None were burned using the LG. I burned them using either the burner in my MacBook Pro or the burner in an IBM ThinkPad T42. The LG drive has been in service in a Gentoo box for 4-5 years, but I never burned any CDs or DVDs with it.

    I too was thinking that the drive is getting flaky and thus problematic on burned CDs. But it boots up a wide variety of other CDs (all home-made) including a Macrium recovery CD, BartPE, Ultimate Boot CD, Gentoo distro, etc. Also boots a commercial WinXP install CD. The 10.10 LiveCD is the problem.

    New data - I tried the edd=on option from the Ubuntu boot menu. That changes the boot behavior significantly. The console logs look like progress is being made on the Ubuntu start-up. Lots of messages reporting what's going on: files being opened, packages being copied, etc. Then a very bland Ubuntu login screen appears, asking for userid and password. There's a panel at the bottom, not at the top. I don't know the userid/password, so I couldn't get past it. I tried guest and root and blank, to no avail.

    I'm tempted to just go buy a new drive and see if I can get past this roadblock. All I can source locally with IDE interface is another LG. Your positive feedback on compatibility between LG and Ubuntu is a useful data point.

    I've burned several variations of 10.10 to date, all with my Mac. I'm going to try burning one with the ThinkPad and see if that makes a difference. I'm running out of blank CDs!
    Last edited by kyphos; November 18th, 2010 at 12:48 AM. Reason: fixed typo

  8. #8
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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    OP here with some additional test results.

    - burned another 10.10 ISO CD, this time using an IBM ThinkPad and its internal burner. (all other CDs were burned using a MacBook Pro). Made no difference. The LG 4167B won't get through the boot process. That CD, and the various other Ubuntu LiveCDs I've burned, will boot the ThinkPad successfully. So I think I've eliminated faulty burns from the equation.

    The boot process always displays the initial Ubuntu splash screen (from which the boot options can be selected). After 10 seconds or so, the loading process proceeds. For about 30 seconds, it sounds entirely normal: the LG drive can be heard quickly seeking back and forth, the disc is spinning, the activity light is flashing. Then the cadence abruptly changes. It goes into a cycle - a couple of seek noises, the disc spins up much faster for a second or two. Then the RPMs drop, the head chatters a couple times, the disc spins up again, slows down, head chatters. Repeat.

    This pattern is 100% repeatable. It's as if the software changes from using one mode of CDROM interaction to another. One hypothesis is that a new/different CDR driver gets loaded about 30 seconds into the booting process, and this CDR driver is somehow incompatible with the LG drive and the 10.10 LiveCD media.

    However, my last late-night experiment adds more bufuddlement. I moved the LG drive and the 10.10 LiveCD to another old PC that was gathering dust in the basement. It's a Asus A7N8X motherboard with 2003 vintage BIOS. The LG drive boots the LiveCD just fine! I was able to install Ubuntu onto the system with no problems.

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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    Quote Originally Posted by kyphos View Post
    Then a very bland Ubuntu login screen appears, asking for userid and password. There's a panel at the bottom, not at the top. I don't know the userid/password, so I couldn't get past it. I tried guest and root and blank, to no avail.
    For what it's worth the 10.10 login screen does have just one panel at the bottom but whether or not one would call it bland would be a matter of taste. It has the default purple background, same as the desktop wallpaper, and if there is one account then the username will appear in the login box highlighted in orange. The username for the live session is 'ubuntu' with a blank password, that is just press enter. However, if you are prompted for username and password when booting up with the live CD that generally means that something is wrong with the CD and/or drive, and 'ubuntu' and no password don't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyphos View Post
    However, my last late-night experiment adds more bufuddlement. I moved the LG drive and the 10.10 LiveCD to another old PC that was gathering dust in the basement. It's a Asus A7N8X motherboard with 2003 vintage BIOS. The LG drive boots the LiveCD just fine! I was able to install Ubuntu onto the system with no problems.
    That is weird. Is that reproducible, and not just one lucky good read?
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  10. #10
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    Re: 10.10 LiveCD won't boot with some LG drives

    @coffeecat,

    Thanks for the info on the default userid. Shoulda guessed 'ubuntu'

    The 'bland' login window that I encountered while booting the LiveCD is definitely not the nominal Ubuntu desktop login. It's all shades of gray; no purple. In fact, there's a pair: one asks for userid, and another wants password. And as you observed, there shouldn't be any login when booting the LiveCD. The first user screen to appear should be the intro screen with choices to play with it, or install it.

    My late-night experiment when 'possibly flaky CD' and 'possibly flaky LG drive' booted up on the old PC was not a one time thing. It's entirely repeatable. I installed a system using it, and tried booting from the CD again and again, using a variety of my downloaded/burned LiveCDs. All were OK. Also booted and installed from a WinXP distro CD, so I could run the LG firmware updater.exe and upgrade the 4167B. On the old system, the LG drive appears to work flawlessly.

    On my main system, it also seems to be just fine, except when it's booting the burned LiveCDs. Seems to be a combination of the K8N motherboard, the AMI BIOS, Sempron 2600 CPU, LG 4167B optical drive, and a burned LiveCD. And the phase of the moon.

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