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Thread: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

  1. #1
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    Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    I'm pretty much a newbie to Ubuntu and got a pretty strange bug, which prevents me from booting my machine. Here is the short story: I had Kubuntu installed as the only OS on my machine (it wasn't me who installed it). Everything worked fine until I decided I wanted to disable some unneeded boot devices (boot from CD, USB, network ...) in the UEFI firmware of my MSI motherbord. I'm not really sure what the problem was, though I presume a bug in the firmware, but after only changing the booting order of the devices and disabling the unneeded ones (CD, USB, network), keeping only booting from hard drives (both UEFI and legacy), the machine refused to boot at restart. I changed everything back as before but still no boot (blinking underscore appears each time). I run boot-repair-disk from a live USB but the recommended repair didn't work with the error message: "Please close all your package managers (software center, update manager, synaptic, ...). Then try again." I don't understand what it wants since I don't think I have any of those open so I just run the diagnostics and here is the pastebin:
    http://paste.ubuntu.com/p/YzjvGQ7pwH/
    If anyone has any idea of what is wrong and any suggestions on how to get my machine back up and running it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    Looks pretty hosed. Someone else might be able to give more help, but from where I sit, your best bet is to backup what you can, and do a new installation.

    I drink my Ubuntu black, no sugar.
    Ubuntu user 28819

  3. #3
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    I do not know LVM installs.
    And script has not been updated to fully show details on NVMe drives.

    But you are not showing any ubuntu entry in your UEFI?

    I would try using Boot-Repair's advanced mode and totally reinstall grub to get grub to reinstall UEFI boot entries. You normally have two, one shim for Secure boot (which also works with Secure boot off, and grub which is only for UEFI Secure boot off.
    Make sure you LVM partitions are mounted before running updates with Boot-Repair. If not encrypted it should mount them, automatically.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  4. #4
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    Thanks for your reply.
    I guess there is no Ubuntu entry in the UEFI because the firmware utility doesn't recognize right know any UEFI hard disks, it only recognizes the hard disks in legacy mode.
    The LVM partitions were indeed not mounted when I did the pastebin but they were when I retried (I changed the booting order in the firmware from the normal hard disk first to the SSD first, maybe that helped). I also checked and everything is still there on all the partitions (including the LVM) so I really hope I can get everything back up and running. I hope it is just missing UEFI boot entries.
    I tried rerunning Boot Repair in advanced mode but I got the error message again: "Please close all your package managers (software center, update manager, synaptic, ...). Then try again."
    Any ideas how to solve this?
    Also in advanced mode should I check/uncheck any other options compared to the suggested repair of Boot Repair?
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    Are you running Boot-Repair from Ubuntu live installer?
    Update manager should not be running?
    What brand/model system?

    Did you update UEFI and firmware for SSD?
    And UEFI udpates reset everything to defaults and you have to go back thru and redo any changes.
    With BIOS I had to take screen shots as I can 7 or 8 settings, but aony some are required and others optional.
    My new UEFI system gives me a list of changes and lets me save screens, so easier to keep track of UEFI setting changes.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  6. #6
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    Are you running Boot-Repair from Ubuntu live installer?
    Update manager should not be running?
    I run Boot-Repair from a live USB key (boot-repair-disk) so I do not understand either the error message regarding the update manager.

    What brand/model system?
    The motherboard is an MSI X299.

    Did you update UEFI and firmware for SSD?
    I didn't install the system and OS myself so I don't know but everything was running fine until recently so I assume the firmware was configured correctly for SSD. I did not do any update of the firmware nor a reset to defaults, the only thing I changed, which triggered the boot problem, was changing in the firmware setup utility the booting order and disabling booting from unneeded devices (CD/DVD, network...). I really didn't think this would cause any problems so I didn't take any screenshots of the changes but I think I changed everything back as it was and it still didn't work. I don't remember whether before the changes there was an active UEFI hard disk in the firmware setup utility (I assume yes since it was able to boot before) but right now the setup utility does not detect any UEFI hard disks.

  7. #7
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    You may get a UEFI update from Linux.
    https://fwupd.org/vendorlist

    Not sure if that is just their laptops or motherboards.
    One user posted that it updated UEFI, without his knowledge. And that would reset some UEFI settings.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  8. #8
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    Thanks for the feedback. Let me see if I understand the issue correctly.

    Since the firmware setup utility does not detect the hard disks in UEFI mode (only in legacy mode) could it be that there is an issue with Grub and a reinstallation of Grub could solve it or is it necessarily a firmware configuration issue and I should rather look into changes to the firmware configuration to make the UEFI hard disks appear back? If there is no way the non appearing UEFI hard disks in the firmware can be solved by Grub reinstall and reconfigure I will then focus on the firmware configuration.

  9. #9
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    It may just be settings in UEFI, new UEFI settings also have settings to turn on/off hard drives, also drives must be in AHCI mode unless you are running RAID 0.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  10. #10
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    Re: Unable to boot previously working install probably due to firmware bug

    My own personal experience is that, if you choose Legacy over UEFI, the installation will go a lot better. What had happened to me was that the installation went fine, and then grub, which is absolutely required to boot the system, failed to install, leaving an unbootable PC.

    For me, if you choose UEFI, the USB boot screen is hi-res, and nice-looking. The Legacy screen is low-res, but it is the one that works.

    I drink my Ubuntu black, no sugar.
    Ubuntu user 28819

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