Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Postby ljones0 » 2017-11-08 15:41

Hello!

First of all (and rather than type of lots of stuff which really isn't relevent) and although I wouldn't personally want/buy one of these devices myself I have recently just been given an unwanted device -- it's an intel compute stick STCK1A8LFC . That's one of the older devices with the awful bay/cherry trail; mine was a 1GB (RAM) unit complete with a working (but ancient) version of ubuntu. So naturally I decided to give debian a try.....( btw, I can confirm the stick is working as the older ubuntu was running ok).

Unfortunatly though the installation process never seems to complete. Although this devices' wifi chipset does not work with debian (from what I read it is a PITA anyway) I am able to use a usb hub and connect to the internet using a usb device.

Partitioning (which I do manually) seems to work, as does the software installation. But the problem hits when the installer tries to install grub. I get this error screen.

Code: Select all
"Executing grub-install dummy failed"


I then dropped out to a command line and tried to find out what was going on. this was the answer.

Code: Select all
blk_update_request: I/O error, dev mmcblk1rpmb, sector 0


That made me think that I had in some way killed the flash memory on the device. So I then downloaded - just to test - the latest ubuntu version (x86-64, 16.04-3). And apart from getting the EFI files in the wrong place (it put them in /efi/ubuntu; the stick expects /efi/boot) it did not have any problems with grub.

And then I found this which seems to be related. In particular this line from the post:

Code: Select all
kernel: blk_update_request: I/O error, dev mmcblk1rpmb, sector 0


From what I can gather - and this is just a guess(!) the debian installer is trying to install grub to the wrong place. It shouldn't be going to /dev/mmcblk1rpmb - it should really be going to /dev/mmcblk1 ! I did also try specifiying "systemd.gpt_auto=0" as per that post on that website though it didn't seem to make any difference.

Has anyone experienced or seen this problem before?

For now, I've created a workaround by pinching ubuntu's EFI grub files, putting them in /efi/boot (via the debian installer recovery option, and then to a command line) and then doing in the grub command line :

Listing of /dev/mmc* via debain installer command line:
Code: Select all
/dev/mmcblk1
/dev/mmcblk1boot0
/dev/mmcblk1boot1
/dev/mmcblk1p1
/dev/mmcblk1p2
/dev/mmcblk1rpmb


"rpmb" apparently stands for "Replay Protected Memory Block" according to this website. Don't think grub should be going there!

Code: Select all
ls
(my 'root' is hd0,gpt2)

set root=(hd0,gpt2)
linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.12.0-1-amd64 root=/dev/mmcblk1p2
initrd /boot/initrd.img-4.12.0.1-amd64
boot


That then boots. But why would grub get installed to the wrong place?

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Re: Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Postby Capitain_Jack » 2017-12-17 00:39

That device is most likely a UEFI boot device, and you're trying to install legacy boot Debian on it. Take a time to read how to setup a uefi boot: (the site is slow and sometimes do not load, just reload until it loads)
https://www.logilab.org/blogentry/6546148
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Re: Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-12-17 01:05

Capitain_Jack wrote:That device is most likely a UEFI boot device, and you're trying to install legacy boot Debian on it. Take a time to read how to setup a uefi boot: (the site is slow and sometimes do not load, just reload until it loads)
https://www.logilab.org/blogentry/6546148

^ This is nonsense (link included): Debian jessie ISO images already support automagical UEFI installation.

@OP: can we please see the full output of:
Code: Select all
# parted --list
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Re: Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Postby Capitain_Jack » 2017-12-17 01:18

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Debian jessie ISO images already support automagical UEFI installation.
Code: Select all
# parted --list


ljones0 wrote:Partitioning (which I do manually) seems to work, as does the software installation. But the problem hits when the installer tries to install grub.
Code: Select all
ls
(my 'root' is hd0,gpt2)

set root=(hd0,gpt2)
linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.12.0-1-amd64 root=/dev/mmcblk1p2
initrd /boot/initrd.img-4.12.0.1-amd64
boot



It is a UEFI setup, and I just had this same problem with a mixed legacy and UEFI boot mother board.

@ljones0 witch command you used to launch grub install?
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
Albert Einstein
"All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?"
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Re: Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-12-17 01:24

Capitain_Jack wrote:I just had this same problem with a mixed legacy and UEFI boot mother board

I suspect that your problem is PEBKAC in nature.

@both: how was the ISO image transferred to the installation medium?

Please post the exact command(s) used.
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Re: Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Postby Capitain_Jack » 2017-12-17 01:29

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
Capitain_Jack wrote:I just had this same problem with a mixed legacy and UEFI boot mother board

I suspect that your problem is PEBKAC in nature.

I don't think so, I just think Debian people did not faced this problem before, as I searched and found nothing similar about the same problem on Debian (https://wiki.debian.org/UEFI#Troubleshooting), take a look at this:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GR ... ooting_GPT
Intel BIOS not booting GPT
MBR

Some Intel BIOS's require at least one bootable MBR partition to be present at boot, causing GPT-partitioned boot setups to be unbootable.

This can be circumvented by using (for instance) fdisk to mark one of the GPT partitions (preferably the 1007 KiB partition you have created for GRUB already) bootable in the MBR. This can be achieved, using fdisk, by the following commands: Start fdisk against the disk you are installing, for instance fdisk /dev/sda, then press a and select the partition you wish to mark as bootable (probably #1) by pressing the corresponding number, finally press w to write the changes to the MBR.
Note: The bootable-marking must be done in fdisk or similar, not in GParted or others, as they will not set the bootable flag in the MBR.

With cfdisk, the steps are similar, just cfdisk /dev/sda, choose bootable (at the left) in the desired hard disk, and quit saving.

With recent version of parted, you can use disk_toggle pmbr_boot option. Afterwards verify that Disk Flags show pmbr_boot.

# parted /dev/sdx disk_toggle pmbr_boot
# parted /dev/sdx print
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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"All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?"
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Re: Grub install failure with intel compute stick

Postby Capitain_Jack » 2017-12-17 01:35

To be more short and really help, I did clean the other OS keys within BIOS (that disabled entirely the windows installation, but I'm good on showing people how better linux is, so he don't want that crap anymore, be aware that by doing this you are excluding your windows or OS license), enabled secure boot, than manually (by hitting f9 during bios boot on that MB) sellected UEFI boot on USB (even disabled, it showed the legacy on the list), did manual partitioning following the instructions on the link I provided, than normally launch installer, and than, that time, everything worked as a charm.
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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"All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?"
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