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#1 2020-06-25 10:50:50

magistermo
Member
Registered: 2020-06-25
Posts: 4

Stuck during boot without any output

Hi everyone! First of all, I want to say a big thank you to the Arch community as there is a lot of reading material which has resolved nearly all of my issues in the past.

However, starting about two weeks ago, my Arch system is not able to boot up reliably anymore. After selecting the correct option in the boot manager (I use rEFInd), the display is basically stuck at following message:

rEFInd - Booting OS
Starting vmlinuz-linux
Using load options 'ro root=/dev/nvme0n1p6 initrd=\boot\initramfs-linux.img'

After that nothing happens. No additional output (especially no panic message) is provided and the laptop seems to be stuck, even if I let it sit for two hours. The machine is a ThinkPad E490 with an Intel CPU and is about 11 months old (so it still has some warranty left, if needed).
Here is some more information:

- I have a dual boot with Windows 10 and that OS works without problems.
- I ran the provided hardware diagnosis tools from the manufacturer and they all reported no problems, leading me to the thought that this might not be a hardware issue.
- The boot issue started suddenly one day without me installing an updates before that (neither on Linux nor on Windows). The were multiple reboots between a system update and the first boot problem.
- I am not able to get any additional output during booting. I tried the debug, ignore_loglevel and earlyprintk kernel parameters without any success.
- I cannot enter a rescue shell using any of those kernel parameters: emergency, rescue, systemd.debug_shell (the boot just gets stuck as before)
- I can get a minimal shell when using init=/bin/sh but I didn't find any information there. Running `journal -b` says that no logs are available. Running `journal -b -1` provides output from the last successful boot and not a boot which got stuck.

To make this situation weirder, I am able to reliably boot if I manually add the intel_iommu=off parameter inside the boot manager. I added this parameter to rEFInd's boot settings, so I would not have to type it in manually but this causes the boot to get stuck as before. This caused me to think that there is a timing issue which is fixed by the time that passes while I type the parameter in. However, adding manually any parameter other than intel_iommu=off during boot, does not help. So maybe it's the combination of a time delay and intel_iommu. I also tried to disable Intel VT-d in the BIOS without any success.

When I get the system to boot by entering intel_iommu=off manually, Arch works without any problems. I also did multiple system updates using `pacman -Syu` but they didn't improve the situation. I also tried to revert to an earlier kernel, when the system still worked flawlessly, but no changes appeared. Right now, I am running following kernel:

~ $ uname -a
Linux Marius-Tarch 5.7.4-arch1-1 #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu, 18 Jun 2020 16:01:07 +0000 x86_64 GNU/Linux

I would appreciate if anyone could provide an idea or direction to look into. I haven't found anyone reporting similar issues and the absence of log output leaves me with an empty trace.

Thank you in advance!

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#2 2020-06-25 11:00:50

hcjl
Member
From: berlin
Registered: 2007-06-29
Posts: 267

Re: Stuck during boot without any output

Sounds for me like this problem.

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#3 2020-06-25 12:55:51

magistermo
Member
Registered: 2020-06-25
Posts: 4

Re: Stuck during boot without any output

Thanks for the tip! I was using the correct kind of slashes for the initrd parameters but it seems to be related to Intel's Microcode. I had version 20200616-1 installed but tried to revert to 20200520-1 and alternatively uninstall it completely. In both cases, the system is able to boot in 50% of the attempts, so it's better but does not look to be fully resolved for me.

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#4 2020-06-25 13:26:41

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 9,956

Re: Stuck during boot without any output

Does the system continue if you randomly press keys during the alleged freeze? If so, does it get more stable in general if you add random.trust_cpu=on to the kernel parameters?

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#5 2020-06-29 08:41:17

magistermo
Member
Registered: 2020-06-25
Posts: 4

Re: Stuck during boot without any output

Thank, V1del! I tried pressing key during and before boot but that didn't seem to make any changes. Also, adding the random.trust_cpu=on parameter didn't have any effect. At this point, I think reinstalling Arch may be the best way to go.

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#6 2020-06-29 12:55:23

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 15,300

Re: Stuck during boot without any output

When I get the system to boot by entering intel_iommu=off manually, Arch works without any problems.

Reinstallation probably won't help.
I assume the refind config wasn't updated (did you check whether the parameter is in the kernel commandline afterwards?)
Also try "iommu=soft" and post a complete journal and ensure to disable windows fast boot (link in my signature)

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#7 2020-06-29 16:53:21

magistermo
Member
Registered: 2020-06-25
Posts: 4

Re: Stuck during boot without any output

That's an interesting idea, seth! Thank you! As you mentioned, a reinstallation didn't fix the problem (luckily, I made a backup of my root partition, so I could roll back to my old installation).

did you check whether the parameter is in the kernel commandline afterwards?

Yes, I did. The changes I made to the kernel parameter were present there.

ensure to disable windows fast boot

That could very well be the problem. I enabled hibernation in Windows a few weeks ago, which may be the time that Arch's boot broke. I just disabled hibernation and fast boot, and the results are looking promising for now. In a few days I will report back if that actually helped.

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