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#1 2012-10-08 15:14:18

elldirash
Member
Registered: 2012-10-08
Posts: 7

Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

Hi.

For a good while now i have tried to install Arch Linux on my Acer TravelMate 8371G. But every time i try to boot from an installation medium, the computer just starts reading from the medium like crasy, and crashes on the BIOS splash screen before ever doing anything. This issue happens just when the medium is in the computer, i dont even have to choose to boot from it - it just crashes right away! I have tried with both 32/64bit iso's, from CD/DVD medium, USB medium, and i even tried to boot it from a partition on the hard drive. I hope anyone is able to help - i really dont know what to do about this.

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#2 2012-10-08 22:41:15

johni
Member
Registered: 2012-02-03
Posts: 102

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

See if your BIOS has an option to disable the splash screen during boot.  Often the bios will display some error message behind the splash screen that you can't see.  If so it might give you a clue to the cause of the problem.

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#3 2012-10-08 22:44:19

bsilbaugh
Member
From: Maryland, USA
Registered: 2011-11-15
Posts: 141

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

Does this only happen with Arch? For example, can you boot Ubuntu from CD?


- Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. -- Mark Twain
- There's a remedy for everything but death. -- The wise fool, Sancho Panza
- The purpose of a system is what it does. -- Anthony Stafford Beer

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#4 2012-10-08 22:49:38

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

You know, this happens to me too, but only when I am trying to use a usb, and only in my usb 3.0 ports.  I thought maybe it was just my machine at first, like an issue with booting from the usb 3.0 ports, but I was then able to boot a dos usb to update my bios from one of those ports.  I didn't even think about it at first.  I just plugged it in, and then let it go.  but after it finished I looked down and thought "Hey! how come you worky now?!?!"

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#5 2012-10-08 22:58:15

headkase
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-12-06
Posts: 1,428
Website

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

The very first thing you should do is check to see if there is a BIOS update available for your computer.  If there is then install it.  If it doesn't work for this issue then it will have still resolved other issues - the reason one would be available in the first place.

Warning
If you choose to update your BIOS if a newer one is available if something goes wrong your computer can be left in an unusable state.  As in broken.  When searching for a BIOS make sure that you not only search for the exact model of your mainboard but also the exact revision of that mainboard.  Most BIOS updating utilities also require to be run from within Windows.  So if you do not have a Windows partition on your computer then you may not be able to update the BIOS.  Do not use any update utility except for manufacturer supplied ones - you don't want to take a chance.  Some manufacturers, notably ASUS, sometimes provide a means to update the BIOS when you are on the POST screen.  Those are independent of an operating system and you can just put the new BIOS on a USB thumbdrive for that.


We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.

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#6 2012-10-09 00:06:08

elldirash
Member
Registered: 2012-10-08
Posts: 7

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

Hey.

Thanks for the quick replies! I'll adress your answers in order:

#2: No, my BIOS doesnt have an option to disable splash. But i dont think this would be helpful anyways, because it seems like something is happening as soon as i turn on the computer - the boot medium (be it USB, CD/DVD or internal harddrive) begins reading like crasy, but nothing else happens. The splash screen shows the options F2 for BIOS setup, F12 for boot selection, e.g., but BIOS already crashed and nothing reacts on keypresses!

#3: Yes, so far it is only with Arch i get this issue. I am a regular Ubuntu user, but wanted to try something more Linux'y! So far i've tried with Ubuntu, Mint, Debian and i think i also once tried with OpenSuse without problems although im not sure about this last one!

#4 and #5: My BIOS is the latest version available and as mentioned in the OP i tried to boot both from USB, CD/DVD (still USB though, because the laptop has no built in optical drive), and also by writing the ISO to a partition on the built in harddrive! All of the above gave the same result!

I did an interesting observation today when messing around with stuff again. When making a USB bootable i use the command:
sudo dd if=blablapathtoisofile.iso of=/dev/blablamyusbdisk

Now creating a USB medium for Mint in the same way, i get the same reaction from the computer - BIOS crashes before ever getting started whenever the USB drive is plugged in! On the other hand, if i use the built in Ubuntu tool for creating a USB bootable, everything works as it is supposed to! When i realised this i tried to create an Arch bootable from inside Windows 7 using Linux Live USB Creator as well (just to try a different way of creating the boot medium). This, however, gives the same result sad

I hope this helps!

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#7 2012-10-09 01:04:13

bsilbaugh
Member
From: Maryland, USA
Registered: 2011-11-15
Posts: 141

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

According to this your model was verified to work with Arch. Of course, it looks like that was recorded back in 2010. Arch has evolved since then.

Of the top of my head, the changes since 2010 that might play a role here are:
1. Arch Linux transition from GRUB to GRUB 2 (though, it looks like Ubuntu has also been using GRUB 2 for a while now)
2. Introduction of UEFI kernel support (some of the other distros you've used might still be using old kernels)
3. A BIOS update that you (elldirash) might have performed since 2010

elldirash, have you compared your working Ubuntu version with Arch to see if you can identify any relevant differences with the bootloader configuration? Also, which version of Ubuntu/Linux kernel have you verified to work with your computer?

Last edited by bsilbaugh (2012-10-09 01:28:52)


- Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. -- Mark Twain
- There's a remedy for everything but death. -- The wise fool, Sancho Panza
- The purpose of a system is what it does. -- Anthony Stafford Beer

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#8 2012-10-09 09:05:00

elldirash
Member
Registered: 2012-10-08
Posts: 7

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

Hi.

Yes it seems that it has been working at some point on this model. Today i think i will see if i cant find an old version of the Arch boot medium and see if that works!

Wrt. 1 - Yes Ubuntu has been using GRUB 2 for a good while.

Wrt. 2 - I read about someone who had problems with UEFI support (i actually dont know what UEFI is) and tried pursuiting this. I created a custom boot image with UEFI support removed as per these instructions: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Un … t_from_ISO. It didnt make any difference.

No i havent compared bootloader configurations. I am not sure about how to do this and what to look for? Ubuntu 12.04 that im running uses the 3.2.0 kernel, but just a week ago i succesfully compiled and booted the latest upstream kernel.

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#9 2012-10-09 13:47:05

bsilbaugh
Member
From: Maryland, USA
Registered: 2011-11-15
Posts: 141

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

Come to think of it, I think the official install medium uses Syslinux--not GRUB. Sorry for the mix up.

Trying to boot the 2010 Arch installation medium might provide useful diagnostic info. Obviously, if that doesn't work, it's something to do with your particular machine. Be forewarned, however, that attempting to do a full upgrade from 2010 could be painful. In the end, you'll still probably want to try to install from a more recent installation medium.

If your objective is simply to get Arch installed, another option you have is to try installing Arch via an existing Linux OS that is running on your system: see Install from Existing Linux.


- Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. -- Mark Twain
- There's a remedy for everything but death. -- The wise fool, Sancho Panza
- The purpose of a system is what it does. -- Anthony Stafford Beer

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#10 2012-10-09 18:53:14

elldirash
Member
Registered: 2012-10-08
Posts: 7

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

I wasnt able to find an older ISO. However i found out that this laptop requires a UEFI boot medium - hence dd'ing the ISO to the USB disk wont work. I tried following this guide for creating an UEFI boot medium:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Un … B_from_ISO

Now at least the computer doesnt crash on start. However it still just tells me that the disk is not a boot medium! I created a single FAT32 partition on the disk using cfdisk and marked the partition as bootable - then i followed the guide above. What am i doing wrong?

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#11 2012-10-10 00:07:36

bsilbaugh
Member
From: Maryland, USA
Registered: 2011-11-15
Posts: 141

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

elldirash wrote:

I wasnt able to find an older ISO. However i found out that this laptop requires a UEFI boot medium - hence dd'ing the ISO to the USB disk wont work. I tried following this guide for creating an UEFI boot medium:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Un … B_from_ISO

Now at least the computer doesnt crash on start. However it still just tells me that the disk is not a boot medium! I created a single FAT32 partition on the disk using cfdisk and marked the partition as bootable - then i followed the guide above. What am i doing wrong?

Did you verify that you setup the USB boot medium correctly? For example, did you try booting from your USB using a different computer?

EDIT: Remember, no one here is watching over your shoulder as you work on your computer. So, posting things like, I tried A and it didn't work, probably isn't going to elicit much help. Try to give more info.

Last edited by bsilbaugh (2012-10-10 00:12:14)


- Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. -- Mark Twain
- There's a remedy for everything but death. -- The wise fool, Sancho Panza
- The purpose of a system is what it does. -- Anthony Stafford Beer

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#12 2012-10-12 09:17:05

elldirash
Member
Registered: 2012-10-08
Posts: 7

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

Thanks for your help and patience. I would like to provide more info, but i really don't know what to provide. Wrt. to the guide i linked, for me it seems that the only step that isnt entirely clear, is how to format and partition the USB drive (i dont know how to further explain how i did this) - other than that the guide should be straight forward. For now i think i've given up on the standard ways of creating the boot medium - im out of ideas. I think i will try to figure out how to create a medium with GRUB2 bootloader, since this seems to work for Ubuntu and e.g. Mint. I am also trying to install from within Ubuntu - mostly for learning purposes though.

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#13 2012-10-12 11:54:06

qinohe
Member
From: A Dutch location..)
Registered: 2012-06-20
Posts: 649

Re: Bios crash when booting from installation medium.

Maybe if you just read more carefully...
It's all there, your USB should just be FAT 16\32
And you shouldn't make it bootable,
you should edit your BIOS for the right one to boot.


-I can give you a ladder, but you need to climb it yourself-

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