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Old 25th April 2012, 6:24 PM   #1
Cranky Thread Starter
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Unhappy Linux install problem (ubuntu and debian)

Hi all,

The last few days I've been having some trouble getting both Ubuntu and Debian to install on my server to be. Specs:
Mobo/CPU/GPU all running from: Zotac NM10 DTX mobo
4GB DDR2 Ram
7 HDDs (6 storage, 1 system)

The problem I've had with both ubuntu desktop (11.10 and 12.04 beta2) and Debian (latest version downloaded today), is that on booting I just get a blank screen with a blinking underscore... nothing else. I get through the whole installation fine with no issues, but then it just goes to this screen with the cursor flashing.

I have got it to install the server version of ubuntu 12.04, and then straight away I installed xfce and it worked and made it to a desktop, but I'm kind of wanting to go down the debian path now, and I can't work out why this keeps happening?

Just a note, it's not going straight to the command prompt - there is literally nothing else on the screen other than a blinking underscore about 4 lines down from the top of the screen...
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If you are willing to split can I get just the dust & gunge from items 13, 14, 15 & 16?
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Old 25th April 2012, 6:29 PM   #2
elvis
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1) Does the Ubuntu Live CD work?

2) Does it boot to a logon prompt without a GUI installed?
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Old 25th April 2012, 7:15 PM   #3
Cranky Thread Starter
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1) Does the Ubuntu Live CD work?

2) Does it boot to a logon prompt without a GUI installed?
1) yes, just booted into the 12.04 live cd of ubuntu and I've got the desktop up and running...

2) Yes it does. The Ubuntu server edition booted up fine, and I was able to log in and install xfce (xubuntu) from the command line...

edit: from the live cd, I tried running the commands here: link. The last post mentions something about fsck.ext4 ... I tried following those commands but got the following error message: "Device or resource busy while trying to open /dev/sdd file system mounted or opened exclusively by another program?"

I tried to unmount it with sudo umount /dev/sdd but it tells me that it isn't mounted.

Also tried to mount it, and it tells me it can't find /dev/sdd in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab

I'm downloading rescatux from the same link above, and will try that suggestion next... any other ideas?

Am thinking of trying to install debian with KDE or some other desktop environment to see if my issues are gnome related?

I'm basically a complete *nix newb, so I'm in the dark a bit here
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Originally Posted by TheBear21 View Post
If you are willing to split can I get just the dust & gunge from items 13, 14, 15 & 16?

Last edited by Cranky; 25th April 2012 at 7:29 PM.
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Old 25th April 2012, 7:26 PM   #4
elvis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranky View Post
1) yes, just booted into the 12.04 live cd of ubuntu and I've got the desktop up and running...

2) Yes it does. The Ubuntu server edition booted up fine, and I was able to log in and install xfce (xubuntu) from the command line...
Was it after installing XFCE that the problems started?

Also, try starting the system with the SHIFT key held down. This will get you into the GUB2 menu. Go to the line at the top that boots your most recent kernel and edit it. Where it starts with "vmlinux", go to the end of the line and delete the "quiet" and "splash" commands. From there, hit F10 to boot, and look for errors or delays.

Last edited by elvis; 25th April 2012 at 7:32 PM.
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Old 25th April 2012, 7:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by elvis View Post
Was it after install XFCE that the problems started?

Also, try starting the system with the SHIFT key held down. This will get you into the GUB2 menu. Go to the line at the top that boots your most recent kernel and edit it. Where it starts with "vmlinux", go to the end of the line and delete the "quiet" and "splash" commands. From there, hit F10 to boot, and look for errors or delays.
No, i tried installing ubuntu desktop edition before anything else and got this problem straight up. Also, I have formatted the disk each time between installs (Well I've told the install program to wipe the disk clean and reinstall each time).

Also, I tried holding shift key on boot and it didn't get me anywhere? Nothing happened (I saw that hold shift key in a post I found on google). When I hold shift... nothing happens. Just does exactly the same thing as when I don't hold shift...

Thanks for your help Elvis I edited my post above as well while you were typing I think
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If you are willing to split can I get just the dust & gunge from items 13, 14, 15 & 16?
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Old 25th April 2012, 7:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranky View Post
I tried following those commands but got the following error message: "Device or resource busy while trying to open /dev/sdd file system mounted or opened exclusively by another program?"

I tried to unmount it with sudo umount /dev/sdd but it tells me that it isn't mounted.
I think this is a shortfall in the Debian/Ubuntu installer. They now default to using LVM (the Logical Volume Manager), but that fails if the disk has already been carved up by LVM previously, as when the installer starts it fires up all the LVM volumes, and then can't get rid of them when it wants to blow the disk away for a clean install. It's a rather annoying, and something that should have been fixed a long time ago.

Here's a trick you can try. Please be careful though, as this is permanently data destroying. You can boot up a Live CD, and wipe a disk with the "dd" tool. The command to run is:

Code:
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sd<DEVICE> bs=1M count=10
What this does:

sudo - execute with root/admin privileges
dd - the command itself
if - input file. In this case, the special file "/dev/zero", which is just binary zeros
of - output file. In this case, a raw disk. Again, please take extra care to not wipe the wrong disk!
bs - block size. Here I tell it to use 1MB blocks
count - the number of times to write. I tell it to wipe the first 100 lots of 1MB (i.e.: zero out the first 10 MB of the disk)

This will blow away the partition headers, LVM headers, and all other special device headers. When you next boot and choose the "use the entire disk" option, it won't complain with the above error.

And once more for good effect - please be careful! Don't go wiping the wrong disk! If you've got multiple disks in the system, I strongly suggest temporarily removing the others that you don't want wiped by accident.
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Old 25th April 2012, 9:02 PM   #7
Cranky Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elvis View Post
I think this is a shortfall in the Debian/Ubuntu installer. They now default to using LVM (the Logical Volume Manager), but that fails if the disk has already been carved up by LVM previously, as when the installer starts it fires up all the LVM volumes, and then can't get rid of them when it wants to blow the disk away for a clean install. It's a rather annoying, and something that should have been fixed a long time ago.

Here's a trick you can try. Please be careful though, as this is permanently data destroying. You can boot up a Live CD, and wipe a disk with the "dd" tool. The command to run is:

Code:
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sd<DEVICE> bs=1M count=10
What this does:

sudo - execute with root/admin privileges
dd - the command itself
if - input file. In this case, the special file "/dev/zero", which is just binary zeros
of - output file. In this case, a raw disk. Again, please take extra care to not wipe the wrong disk!
bs - block size. Here I tell it to use 1MB blocks
count - the number of times to write. I tell it to wipe the first 100 lots of 1MB (i.e.: zero out the first 10 MB of the disk)

This will blow away the partition headers, LVM headers, and all other special device headers. When you next boot and choose the "use the entire disk" option, it won't complain with the above error.

And once more for good effect - please be careful! Don't go wiping the wrong disk! If you've got multiple disks in the system, I strongly suggest temporarily removing the others that you don't want wiped by accident.
Hi Elvis,

I did above, and when i rebooted I got a message about a grub error...

So I did a fresh install of debian. This time, at the end of the install I got a fatal error when it tried to instal GRUB, so I had a look around in the menu and saw that LILO was a potential alternative, so I installed this.

First boot didn't work - some error in LILO about /sbin/init not being available. I rebooted and it worked fine...

So I'm in! Made it to the Debian desktop so hopefully all is well

Thanks for the help Elvis!
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If you are willing to split can I get just the dust & gunge from items 13, 14, 15 & 16?
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