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Thread: 19.10: Installed alsamixergui and force-reloaded alsa. Now I can't boot!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    7

    19.10: Installed alsamixergui and force-reloaded alsa. Now I can't boot!

    I'm typing this from my phone because, as the title indicates, my laptop does not boot.

    These are the actions I performed last on my Lenovo Flex 5, from least to most recent:

    • Unplugged laptop's HDMI connection from monitor.
    • Discovered laptop now had no sound (laptop had never been unplugged from monitor since installation of Lubuntu 19.10)
    • Plugged laptop's HDMI connection into television in order to watch something.
    • Discovered laptop still had no sound.
    • Installed alsamixergui
    • sudo alsa force-reload (these last few steps were suggested by a guide I found to restore sound to Lubuntu, but I may have misread the first part)
    • Rebooted, per the guide's continued instructions.
    • Began writing this.


    I also have an emergency Lubuntu install on a USB stick. Booting from it informs me that my files are all still there and this is not a hardware issue like the thing that ate Windows 10.

    I really do not want to reinstall. I had just gotten everything the way I liked it, and I'd hate to do that again.
    If anyone has any way to preserve my settings, configs, files, and packages--minus whatever did this--my figurative ears are open.

    (On a tangential note, I start a new semester of grad school in a week and a half. Only have the one laptop! *nervous chuckling*)
    Last edited by semper-solus; 1 Week Ago at 04:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    melbourne, au
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    253
    Distro
    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: 19.10: Installed alsamixergui and force-reloaded alsa. Now I can't boot!

    I don't know why you installed `alsa-mixergui`, I would have used `pavucontrol-qt` (installed by default) to see if sound was muted, or directed to somewhere you can't hear anything... I'd have been interested in what guide you followed, but really sound isn't your issue.

    Why can't you boot? Does it stop somewhere? Do you get any useful messages you can tell us? Do get grub? the `lubuntu` plymouth screen (with dots underneath)? or what do you see?

    I just booted a test machine which has a pretty fresh Lubuntu [20.04] installed (used for QA-testing Lubuntu) and it booted where I saw usual POST (power on self test for machine), next i saw `plymouth` (lubuntu logo & dots) then my login screen. I rebooted and when it was at the ~end of POST I hit the space bar and I got the `grub` menu (which let me select Ubuntu, Advanced options for Ubuntu, and memory tests). Does this work for you?

  3. #3
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    Nov 2019
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    Re: 19.10: Installed alsamixergui and force-reloaded alsa. Now I can't boot!

    What I saw was the Lenovo logo, then Plymouth, then, inexplicably, the Lenovo logo again (and that's where it froze).

    I have no idea what grub is. Somehow, I've gotten by for a year without seeing it. Or POST.
    Are those also automatically installed?

    Is sound not my issue?
    I'd been rebooting fine until I unplugged from the monitor. How do I know what my issue is?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    melbourne, au
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: 19.10: Installed alsamixergui and force-reloaded alsa. Now I can't boot!

    The lenovo/dell/hp/... logo appears when POST starts (power on self test; which is what all machines do when turned on, it's in the firmware of your machine; before the OS is started).

    Sorry I worded the "sound not the issue" poorly; I meant we need to get you back to a usable system first.

    I expect 'grub' to appear normally normal as most of my systems are dual boot (this box has a choice of 20.04 or 18.04 and it's grub that lets me pick when I want to use). If there is only a single OS (ie. system doesn't have another choice grub may not appear). I was trying to suggest hitting 'space' as I tried to describe it in my last post in hopes grub menu appears on your box. ...

    ... Nah what I was thinking won't work i fear. ... If grub appears, you could edit your boot entry to cause it to stop at runlevel 1 (ie. no gui, no networking); provide specific details on what you did with plans of me guiding you to reverse it. ...

    The last reply signals I wasn't clear enough, or with enough detail for you to understand what I was trying to say, and I think things will be missed... so I'll stop now. I'll give it some more thought (hopefully tomorrow)


    A different suggestion.

    If you do re-install, I'd suggest using "Manual Partitioning", select your existing partitions and do NOT format. This will cause your additional (installed) packages to be noted, system directories wiped, install takes place, then packages you had added will be installed (as they got wiped earlier), without touching your user files, then you're asked to reboot. For a desktop user (ie. most Lubuntu users) this won't touch your user configuration/settings (only system configs found in system directories which won't be GUI/user apps). If you don't get another user (or me returning with new ideas) offering help/suggestions that you understand, this is what I'd suggest you do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Distro
    Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: 19.10: Installed alsamixergui and force-reloaded alsa. Now I can't boot!

    Quote Originally Posted by semper-solus View Post
    How do I know what my issue is?
    It's in the title: your computer doesn't boot. No sound is an annoyance, but a computer that doesn't boot is a real problem. It was caused by whatever you did here:

    Quote Originally Posted by semper-solus View Post
    • Installed alsamixergui
    • sudo alsa force-reload (these last few steps were suggested by a guide I found to restore sound to Lubuntu, but I may have misread the first part)
    You've done "some things" to your package manager, which we'd have to guess the details of, and you aren't sure you did properly anyway, which has left your computer unable to boot in a way that you've not been clear about. We aren't mind readers.

    Now, to answer specific questions: POST is the Power-On Self-Test. It initialises the hardware, counts the RAM, and starts the display. Then it runs its own firmware and looks for a bootloader to do the next bit. The bootloader for Ubuntu (and most other distros) is called Grub. That finds the OS and loads that. Grub has options for the way it loads the OS, which can be accessed through its menu. In a multiboot the menu is shown by default, and in a single boot it is hidden by default. You can invoke the menu by holding Shift or spamming the Escape key, depending on whether you're using BIOS or UEFI, after POST for a few seconds before Grub starts loading the OS.

    You probably won't need to reinstall if you can work out what you did, or provide enough information so that someone else can work out what you did. You can boot from your emergency USB and use that support environment, which does boot, to fix your installed environment, which doesn't, by using a chroot. That just pretends that the place you've mounted a filesystem - your broken install, in this case - is / for all commands that you run; configuring Grub or doing package management would be likely candidates in this case from your sparse description.

    To change the sound output device, which started all of this, you'd probably have only needed to click on the volume control widget to tell it which device to use.
    Last edited by CatKiller; 1 Week Ago at 02:25 PM.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2019
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    Re: 19.10: Installed alsamixergui and force-reloaded alsa. Now I can't boot!

    I learned a lot from all of these posts.

    I couldn't figure out what caused the problem on my own, and I obviously can't explain why I couldn't boot in any great detail.
    Reinstalling without formatting didn't fix the problem, so I ended up just manually backing up all of my Documents, Videos, etc., and reinstalling with formatting.

    Problem technically solved, I guess. I boot. Sound works. And at least, now I know how to access the boot menu from grub instead of doing it from the BIOS menu, which, on a Lenovo Flex 5, requires a paper clip. So, thank you.

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