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#1 2020-12-03 18:34:55

BrianKopp
Member
Registered: 2020-08-17
Posts: 4

Arch suddenly stopped booting

Hi there, I've been running arch for about 6 months, and it has suddenly stopped booting. When I select the drive to boot from, the screen goes black, shows a cursor for a few seconds, then goes back to the motherboard. I've tried launching from an Arch USB, updated my grub config to now run linux with debug and earlyprintk=efi flags, but no luck (I made sure to recreate grub). journalctl doesn't have any logs for these boots, so I can't see if there's a kernel panic or anything. I did run pacman -Syu from the Arch USB to update the system, but again, no luck.

Does anyone have any ideas? I'd like to recover this install, but am prepared to reinstall if this is totally dead lol. Thanks!

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#2 2020-12-03 19:10:08

Xyne
Moderator/TU
Registered: 2008-08-03
Posts: 6,620
Website

Re: Arch suddenly stopped booting

Reboot with the Arch USB and check dmesg and the journal for hardware errors. Also check the disk with smartctl.
When you ran pacman -Syu from the Arch USB, did it actually upgrade any packages? I'm guessing that you ran it from within the arch chroot. You can also try re-installing "linux" and "base" via pacstrap from outside the chroot. Check that the kernel images are created on the boot partition.

Which bootloader are you using?
Do you remember what you may have done before the system stopped booting (system upgrade? installed or removed any packages? which ones (check /var/log/pacman.log)?)


My Arch Linux StuffForum EtiquetteCommunity Ethos - Arch is not for everyone

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#3 2020-12-03 19:26:59

BrianKopp
Member
Registered: 2020-08-17
Posts: 4

Re: Arch suddenly stopped booting

Sweet mother of all pacman, it's back!

I use grub on an EFI motherboard. when I booted with the Arch USB, journal had nothing for the boots, which made me suspect it was something wrong with the boot loader. I had added debug, ignore_loglevel, and rescue parameters to my grub config and rebuilt grub, but that failed. I realized then that I hadn't mounted my friggin boot partition when I launched from the Arch USB. My layout is:

- /dev/sdb1 boot partition 512MB
- /dev/sdb2 swap 64GB
- /dev/sdb3 / filesystem.

So, from the Arch USB, I had mounted /dev/sdb3 to /mnt and arch-chrooted into there, but hadn't mounted the required /dev/sdb1 to /mnt/boot/efi. So I think I screwed the grub bootloader. Rebooting the Arch USB, correctly mounting things, I ran a `pacstrap /mnt/ base linux linux-firmware` for good measure to reinstall the kernel, arch-chrooted into /mnt, and reconfigured grub. Reboot, and bam!

I suspect a couple things could have happened.

First, my motherboard has several boot drives since I run several OS's. While this was failing, my hard drive device that was showing up in the list in a different way. Now that it's working, it's actually showing up twice, which confirms to me that the grub boot loader had gotten misconfigured/screwed. I don't know if this is what ultimately precipitated the initial failure, but it certainly was something that prevented it from working while troubleshooting.

Second, I had been on vacation for a while, and hadn't pacman -Syu'd in probably a month. Maybe something got out of date in a bad way? Not sure.

In any case, the wonderful Arch Wiki for general troubleshooting provided a lot of tips that probably would have been helpful if I had actually mounted my stupid drives correctly in the ArchUSB. *sigh*. Ultimately the ArchUSB saved the day with a pacstrap reinstall and a refreshed grub-mkconfig command.

Thanks for your reply, hopefully this helps another arch noob like me.

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