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#1 2012-10-26 02:52:28

gdea73
Member
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 33

Syslinux & GPT: no boot

I have followed the instructions on the wiki to install syslinux manually and configure it as such, for use with GPT. I received no errors in my configuration, including the 'dd' step. I verified that the boot flag was set and that the syslinux.cfg file contained the correct partition for root. I installed the bootloader to /dev/sda.

I also tried doing it the 'automatic' way (with compensation for GPT, I did install gptfdisk for both methods) with the bash script syslinux-install_update -iam. This also 'succeeded' but I still have no usable bootloader.

Someone please help me out, I have tried both methods multiple times and I still can not boot to my hard drive.

Laptop I'm installing on is a Lenovo IdeaPad Z575, uses BIOS but not EFI.

TIA.
- gdea73 -

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#2 2012-10-26 07:02:25

msthev
Member
Registered: 2012-04-05
Posts: 177

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

syslinux-install_update -iam

will in fact fail at the second step (-a), which is setting the boot flag. Use

syslinux-install_update -im

instead and just set the Legacy BIOS Bootable bit yourself.



Edit, as it's nothing important:

DSpider wrote:

msthev, it uses the gptfdisk package to set the boot flag. Edit "/usr/sbin/syslinux-install_update" and see for yourself.

Yes, but it will fail if gptfdisk it's not installed, which isn't impossible, since you can set the attribute using gdisk. I had a similarly looking problem and the solution was to omit -a.

Last edited by msthev (2012-10-26 16:23:41)

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#3 2012-10-26 08:20:44

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

msthev, it uses the gptfdisk package to set the boot flag. Edit "/usr/sbin/syslinux-install_update" and see for yourself.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Be … e#Syslinux


gdea73, try to restore the BIOS to its default (or "fail safe") settings. Make sure that the drive with Arch Linux on it is set to boot first from the boot priority order. Also, using UUIDs instead of "/dev/sdx" may help, as well. Especially in a multi-boot scenario.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Sy … sic_Config

Last edited by DSpider (2012-10-26 08:23:18)


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#4 2012-10-26 13:14:56

gdea73
Member
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 33

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

Well, I verified the /dev/sdx partitions each time, and they remain consistent. My BIOS is overly simple and the only settings I bothered to change were enabling AHCI for the SATA drive, and also disabling the discrete GPU (temporarily, I'll deal with hybrid APU switching later).

The way the BIOS works is it has a boot order, but not the ability to disable boot items accordingly, it's set at CD-HD-USB-PXE.
With no CD in the drive, it goes to PXE, leading me to believe there's no boot loader.
I'm pretty sure syslinux-install_update worked, it didn't output any errors, in fact it said Syslinux installation successful.

When I get home I'll try setting the boot priority to the HD.

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#5 2012-10-26 15:04:01

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

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

They may remain consistent most of the time, but I have had it switch on me when I thought it wouldn't.  It only happens <1% of the time for me... but I have seen it happen.

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#6 2012-10-26 15:09:17

gdea73
Member
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 33

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

Well considering I've been using a Live CD and mounting /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda3 as / and /home respectively each time, I think their allocation is correct - otherwise, if root were something other than sda1 I doubt I could mount it with sda1 and still chroot, etc.

Nevertheless I will check that the partitions assignments are correct and reinstall syslinux yet again...
though I feel like there is something other than that missing here

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#7 2012-10-26 15:11:25

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

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

Oh, I think what myself and others were getting at is that if you have multiple disks (ie. /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, etc), then you cannot rely on them being consistent.  The partition numbers certainly are persistent though, so yes, you may reliably use sda1 every time.  Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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#8 2012-10-26 15:49:49

the.ridikulus.rat
Member
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 765

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#9 2012-10-26 21:17:01

gdea73
Member
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 33

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

WonderWoofy: oh, thanks for the clarification. The only hard disk in this laptop is a 500GB SATA II drive, with AHCI enabled, and is /dev/sda.
My setup is relatively uncomplicated, except for the choosing-GPT-and-syslinux part. Hardware-wise, 'tis just a laptop.

Update:
the.ridikulus.rat: Thank you for linking that, it is quite explanatory and comprehensive. I will follow the steps there and report back.

Last edited by gdea73 (2012-10-26 21:19:07)

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#10 2012-10-27 03:08:03

gdea73
Member
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 33

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

I'd like to clarify that from before, this is not a "multi-boot scenario." Arch is the only OS.

Secondly, I've finally gotten to a point at which I can boot - HOWEVER only when booting to the Arch CD and then selecting "boot existing OS." The BIOS completely avoids the HD at all costs. Which is very inconvenient.

There is a single BIOS update from August 2011 available on Lenovo's website. I obtained this laptop in March 2012, so I doubt that is an *upgrade* - also, it will be a pain to even try considering the installation process requires Windows 7. Like, graphical Windows, not even bootable DOS. Gosh, Lenovo. Sometimes...

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#11 2012-10-27 05:58:39

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

I obtained this laptop in March 2012

Then use UEFI.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Be … bootloader


Edit: And no, Syslinux doesn't support UEFI.

Last edited by DSpider (2012-10-27 06:00:19)


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#12 2012-10-27 16:09:14

the.ridikulus.rat
Member
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 765

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

The workaround to this might be simply adding "boot/active" flag to 0xEE Protective MBR partition entry of the disk using fdisk (not gdisk/parted).

EDIT: Link - http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/8035.html .

Last edited by the.ridikulus.rat (2012-10-27 16:10:07)

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#13 2012-10-27 16:12:04

the.ridikulus.rat
Member
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 765

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

DSpider wrote:

Edit: And no, Syslinux doesn't support UEFI.

Not yet. But it is in the works - http://git.zytor.com/?p=users/mfleming/ … k/firmware . May be released as Syslinux 6.0 . It is done by the same author who wrote efilinux and added EFISTUB to the kernel.

Last edited by the.ridikulus.rat (2012-10-27 16:33:59)

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#14 2012-10-30 18:05:58

gdea73
Member
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 33

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

I tried adding the boot flag to the 0xEE GPT "protective MBR" partition, it still didn't work.
This laptop does not support EFI.
This laptop evidently does not support GPT.

Actually, I started over using a normal MBR (MS-DOS partition table) and guess what? Same issue. That concerns me, actually a lot. My hard drive has 0 reallocated sectors, I can boot to the live CD successfully, but my BIOS does not see any of the partitions on my hard disk.

So this isn't even GPT related. And what's strange is also, I had been running Ubuntu 10.10 on this since I got it until a few weeks ago, and BIOS would boot to it *then* ...

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#15 2012-10-30 18:08:09

gdea73
Member
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 33

Re: Syslinux & GPT: no boot

I should try removing this hard drive, since it's a SATA drive and not one of those irritating smaller PATA interface laptop drives. I will attach it to an extra motherboard on the test bench, and see what happens.

My bet is that it will boot at least to syslinux, even if the kernel was compiled on a Llano-core APU instead of an Athlon XP 2800+ or whatever I have laying around...

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