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#1 2016-02-26 22:13:42

rjs02
Member
Registered: 2015-10-13
Posts: 7

[SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

Hi. Some weird stuff has been happening with my PC today. I've been using Arch for about 8 months now. All has been going great, except for some reason today when I try and boot I'm met with:

Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key

Weird... I've not touched anything on /boot in a while. The only changes I can think that I've made to my PC recently are running a "pacman -Syu" the other day, and setting up a Windows 7 VM using qemu this morning. I can't really pinpoint the problem - in my BIOS the SSD I have Arch installed on is no longer recognised as a UEFI bootable device.

I managed to partially solve the problem by chrooting into the machine from an installation USB and running

bootctl update

After exiting, unmounting and rebooting I got back into Arch absolutely fine. I then rebooted, and was met with the "reboot and select proper boot device" message again. I have a number of other SSDs in my machine, so on the off chance I repeated the process but changed my arch.conf boot config from

...
options    root=/dev/sda2 rw

to using the part UUID for the relevant partition. Again, exit chroot and reboot, I can get into Arch fine. Reboot from within Arch, nothing.

I have absolutely no idea what is going on here. I've got a feeling the problem could be solved if I just used a different bootloader, but I don't want to accept that this is something that I can't fix. If anyone has any insight on the issue that would be really appreciated.

My disk is split into 4 partitions - boot, root, home, and "data" (where I store stuff). All are ext4 besides boot which is fat32. Systemd-boot is the only bootloader I have ever used on the machine.

Last edited by rjs02 (2016-03-02 03:38:35)

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#2 2016-02-26 22:30:54

Slithery
Administrator
From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 5,632

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

When I had a similar problem it turned out to be a faulty SATA cable, the motherboard was deleting the associated NVRAM entry when it couldn't see the drive.

I'd wait to see if anyone has any software suggestions first though.


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan
Closing -- for deletion; Banning -- for muppetry. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#3 2016-02-26 22:32:31

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,810

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key

I have no experience with systemd-boot, but I'm 99.999_% certain that's a message from the BIOS indicating a boot order issue. Without further information, I'd guess the presence of some other device during boot screwed with the boot order. It could be the CMOS battery going bad, but that should result in a CMOS checksum error during POST.


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#4 2016-02-26 23:10:40

rjs02
Member
Registered: 2015-10-13
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

slithery wrote:

When I had a similar problem it turned out to be a faulty SATA cable, the motherboard was deleting the associated NVRAM entry when it couldn't see the drive.

I'd wait to see if anyone has any software suggestions first though.

I have actually tried a different SATA cable, and different SATA port but to no avail. sad

alphaniner wrote:
Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key

I have no experience with systemd-boot, but I'm 99.999_% certain that's a message from the BIOS indicating a boot order issue. Without further information, I'd guess the presence of some other device during boot screwed with the boot order. It could be the CMOS battery going bad, but that should result in a CMOS checksum error during POST.

Yeah, the system posts fine, and I can boot into Windows with a 100% success rate. I've tried unplugging all bootable drives other than the SSD in question - nada. When you say "further information", is there anything else in particular that would be helpful to provide?

Last edited by rjs02 (2016-02-26 23:11:04)

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#5 2016-02-27 05:50:37

TheSaint
Member
From: my computer
Registered: 2007-08-19
Posts: 1,515

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

I suspect is the windows boot loader. Any windows update ?


do it good first, it will be faster than do it twice the saint wink

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#6 2016-02-27 15:22:05

rjs02
Member
Registered: 2015-10-13
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

I've disabled Windows update, and all my Windows stuff is on a completely different drive to my Arch install. Surely there's no way, even if something had updated, that it could affect the Arch drive? As I said, the last thing I properly changed on my system before experiencing these issues was setting up a Windows 7 VM in qemu. I ran a Windows 7 loader within the VM which alters the boot partition, but this is localised to the guest, and wouldn't affect anything on the host right?

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#7 2016-02-27 22:24:59

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 6,462

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

Please post the output of:

# efibootmgr -v
# parted -l

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#8 2016-02-28 11:51:16

TheSaint
Member
From: my computer
Registered: 2007-08-19
Posts: 1,515

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

Check in the pacman.log what were the relevant updates.


do it good first, it will be faster than do it twice the saint wink

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#9 2016-02-28 13:41:56

rjs02
Member
Registered: 2015-10-13
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

Please post the output of:

# efibootmgr -v
# parted -l

From chroot into system off of usb:

# efibootmgr -v
Timeout: 0 seconds
BootOrder: 0002,0003
# parted -l
Model: ATA Samsung SSD 840 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 120GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name  Flags
 1      1049kB  538MB   537MB   fat32              boot, esp
 2      538MB   22.0GB  21.5GB  ext4
 3      22.0GB  32.7GB  10.7GB  ext4
 4      32.7GB  120GB   87.3GB  ext4


Model: Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 15.7GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 2      88.1kB  32.6MB  32.5MB  primary  fat16        esp

Output of efibootmgr changes after running "bootctl update" when chrooted in system from USB, rebooting and managing to get into Arch:

# efibootmgr -v
Timeout: 0 seconds
BootOrder: 0002,0000,0003
# parted -l
Model: ATA Samsung SSD 840 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 120GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name  Flags
 1      1049kB  538MB   537MB   fat32              boot, esp
 2      538MB   22.0GB  21.5GB  ext4
 3      22.0GB  32.7GB  10.7GB  ext4
 4      32.7GB  120GB   87.3GB  ext4

Now in Arch, but when I reboot I won't be able to get back in until I go through the whole "bootctl update" from USB process I explained before.

*edit: just confirming from phone that when I rebooted I couldn't get back in.

Last edited by rjs02 (2016-02-28 13:47:01)

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#10 2016-02-28 15:04:12

Scimmia
Fellow
Registered: 2012-09-01
Posts: 9,821

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

That efibootmgr output isn't good. It should list all of the nvram boot entries, I'm wondering if you have none.

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#11 2016-02-28 16:45:37

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 6,462

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

Try copying the systemd-boot .efi loader to the default loader location.

Presuming you are mounting /boot to sda1, use:

# cp /boot/EFI/systemd-boot/systemd-bootx64.efi /boot/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI

This should allow booting even in the absence of any persistent NVRAM entries.

EDIT: For 32-bit systems, replace X64 with IA32

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2016-02-28 16:47:14)

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#12 2016-03-01 01:54:21

rjs02
Member
Registered: 2015-10-13
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

But why would I have none? What would cause me to lose them all of a sudden?

Thanks Head_on_a_Stick! This works because some firmware use this as the fallback application right? Why would I suddenly need to start using this if it's been a-okay for this long? Also, "sudo efibootmgr -v" still only outputs:

Timeout: 0 seconds
BootOrder: 0000,0002

Is this a "problem"?

Last edited by rjs02 (2016-03-01 02:06:55)

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#13 2016-03-01 21:40:33

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 6,462

Re: [SOLVED] Can't boot using systemd-boot after 8 months of no problems

rjs02 wrote:

This works because some firmware use this as the fallback application right?

Yes, see http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloader … ive-naming

rjs02 wrote:

Why would I suddenly need to start using this if it's been a-okay for this long?

Perhaps your NVRAM chip has failed or perhaps your firmware is just buggy.

My firmware "forgets" entries and recently cleared itself completely after many changes to the NVRAM entries, even the default entries disappeared yikes

Please add [SOLVED] to the thread title for the benefit of others.

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