GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

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GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-18 19:41

Hi. I'm trying Debian for the first time (going from Ubuntu) but it won't boot correctly. It just boots in "blind mode". So please help.

I'm using a (new) HP Omen 15, these are the specifications:
Windows 10 Home 64
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
1 TB 7200 rpm SATA
16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)

I want to dual boot with Debian and Windows 10. I went to debian.org and downloaded "debian-8.7.1-amd64-netinst.iso" and mounted it on a USB stick. I used Windows to shrink C and proceeded to create partitions on the SSD for Debian and install it from the USB. GRUB wouldn't install automatically so I had to do it via the shell as in this thread: viewtopic.php?p=636996#p636996 (is that a cause for concern?) (The installer said something about firmware missing for WIFI or something and that I could install it myself but I ignored that. I tried both to let it and not let it install the unfree stuff when the installer asked me. It made no difference for the following problem)

Now when I start the computer some sort of GRUB command line opens. I followed the "Booting From grub>" instructions here: https://www.linux.com/learn/how-rescue- ... ub-2-linux. Then it said "No suitable video mode found. Booting in blind mode" and everything froze. (Sometimes the light on the caps lock key started blinkning at this step, I think.)

I tried to google the error but don't know if these solutions are applicable or I couldn't get them to work, but maybe someone else can find something useful there (I also think I read something somewhere about Nvidia maybe being the problem):
viewtopic.php?p=633033&sid=6ad7eea2841866e60caf5477b58e4991#p633033 (if the "proper values" are 1920x1080 it didn't help)
https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=216457
https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=173856 (how do I edit grub.cfg?)
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-7 ... f4#7672340
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GR ... d.22_error (how do I edit boot parameters?)
https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/842 (this doesn't seem like my problem and again I don't know how to modify the stuff it describes)
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=150085?db=5

I can still access Windows by pressing escape when starting the computer and using the "boot device options" in the start up menu there.

So what should I do to get it all working? If you need additional details then just say so, I don't know which steps are important.
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-03-18 19:55

I went to debian.org and downloaded "debian-8.7.1-amd64-netinst.iso" and mounted it on a USB stick

What exactly do you mean by "mounted it on a USB stick"?

Have you read https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/ch04s03.html.en#usb-copy-isohybrid?

The rest of that document should also be studied.
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-18 23:03

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
I went to debian.org and downloaded "debian-8.7.1-amd64-netinst.iso" and mounted it on a USB stick

What exactly do you mean by "mounted it on a USB stick"?

Have you read https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/ch04s03.html.en#usb-copy-isohybrid?

The rest of that document should also be studied.

I used Rufus: https://rufus.akeo.ie/. I don't remember the exact settings right now but if it's relevant I could probably figure out which ones they were. Do you think that could have been the problem?

I don't see anything in particular in that document that could help me but maybe I'm missing something.
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby bw123 » 2017-03-19 01:20

Now when I start the computer some sort of GRUB command line opens.
<snip>
I can still access Windows by pressing escape when starting the computer


Well, these two statements seem contradictory. Even though you've done a lot of research, I think you still have not installed grub correctly. There's a thing called 'bootinfoscript' that was really hot awhile ago,maybe you should try it?

If you post the info, maybe you will get more advice..

https://sourceforge.net/projects/bootinfoscript/
jessie/KDE4.14.2 plasma netbook, 3.16.39-1+deb8u2 (2017-03-07) x86_64 GNU/Linux
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-03-19 09:44

themannen wrote:I used Rufus: https://rufus.akeo.ie/. I don't remember the exact settings right now but if it's relevant I could probably figure out which ones they were. Do you think that could have been the problem?

Yes, Rufus will only work with Debian (and most other) ISO images if the "DD" [sic] mode is selected — did you do this?
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-19 12:03

bw123 wrote:
Now when I start the computer some sort of GRUB command line opens.
<snip>
I can still access Windows by pressing escape when starting the computer


Well, these two statements seem contradictory. Even though you've done a lot of research, I think you still have not installed grub correctly. There's a thing called 'bootinfoscript' that was really hot awhile ago,maybe you should try it?

If you post the info, maybe you will get more advice..

https://sourceforge.net/projects/bootinfoscript/

Yeah maybe. But it seems that's only for Linux, or...? I don't know how I'd run it if I can only boot into Windows, not Debian?

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
themannen wrote:I used Rufus: https://rufus.akeo.ie/. I don't remember the exact settings right now but if it's relevant I could probably figure out which ones they were. Do you think that could have been the problem?

Yes, Rufus will only work with Debian (and most other) ISO images if the "DD" [sic] mode is selected — did you do this?

Hm interesting, maybe not! I could try it again with DD mode and see if that works better. Let me know if there's anything in particular I should think about before doing that.
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-20 17:59

themannen wrote:
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
themannen wrote:I used Rufus: https://rufus.akeo.ie/. I don't remember the exact settings right now but if it's relevant I could probably figure out which ones they were. Do you think that could have been the problem?

Yes, Rufus will only work with Debian (and most other) ISO images if the "DD" [sic] mode is selected — did you do this?

Hm interesting, maybe not! I could try it again with DD mode and see if that works better. Let me know if there's anything in particular I should think about before doing that.

So I tried it again now after using DD mode on the USB stick but it made no difference. Same problem with installing GRUB automatically during the installation, same problem with booting into blind mode when it's installed.

Any new ideas from anyone?
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-03-20 20:46

I dislike that "wall of output" bootinfo script, I prefer the manual method.

Please post the output of these commands:
Code: Select all
# parted --list
# efibootmgr -v

Both commands must be run as root (hence the "#" symbol) and both commands should be run from a UEFI-capable live ISO image.

Unfortunately, the Debian jessie live images do not support UEFI, you can try one of our new BunsenLabs ISO images, they will boot in UEFI mode:

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=3423
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-26 18:56

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I dislike that "wall of output" bootinfo script, I prefer the manual method.

Please post the output of these commands:
Code: Select all
# parted --list
# efibootmgr -v

Both commands must be run as root (hence the "#" symbol) and both commands should be run from a UEFI-capable live ISO image.

Unfortunately, the Debian jessie live images do not support UEFI, you can try one of our new BunsenLabs ISO images, they will boot in UEFI mode:

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=3423

I (finally) used the live image you linked to (hoping it's trustworthy), started the live system, opened "X Terminal Emulator" and this is what I got:

Code: Select all
user@debian:~$ sudo efibootmgr -v
BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 0 seconds
BootOrder: 0001,3001,0002,2001,2002,2004
Boot0000* USB Hard Drive (UEFI) - SanDisk Cruzer Blade (SanDisk Cruzer Blade)   ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(14,0)USB(1,0)HD(1,31270,580,30ae20ef)RC
Boot0001* Windows Boot Manager   HD(1,800,82000,e56aec6b-900f-4e8a-b933-13044562b6fe)File(\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS.........x...B.C.D.O.B.J.E.C.T.=.{.9.d.e.a.8.6.2.c.-.5.c.d.d.-.4.e.7.0.-.a.c.c.1.-.f.3.2.b.3.4.4.d.4.7.9.5.}...H................
Boot0002* debian   HD(1,800,82000,e56aec6b-900f-4e8a-b933-13044562b6fe)File(\EFI\debian\grubx64.efi)
Boot2001* EFI USB Device   RC
Boot3001* Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk   RC


And:
Code: Select all
user@debian:~$ sudo parted --list
Model: ATA HGST HTS721010A9 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags:

Warning: failed to translate partition name
Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name                  Flags 
 1      1049kB  987GB   987GB   ntfs         Basic data partition  msftdata
 2      987GB   1000GB  13.3GB  ntfs                               hidden, msftdata


Warning: The driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2048 bytes, but
Linux says it is 512 bytes.
Ignore/Cancel?                                                           

(I didn't dare do anything after that)

How to proceed? :)
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby pylkko » 2017-03-26 20:05

can you show the output of:
Code: Select all
lsblk
?
Is there only one disk on that machine? It appears to have two NTFS (Windows) partitions that add up to the entire size of the disk (1 TB) and therefore to be in contradiction with what you said earlier (that is that you shrunk the partitions and created a new one for Debian). Also, where is your EFI system partition?

I think what you meant earlier with being able to boot Windows by pressing Esc that your firmware (The UEFI) allows displays you a menu from where you can boot the grub or the windows entry
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-27 07:00

pylkko wrote:can you show the output of:
Code: Select all
lsblk
?
Is there only one disk on that machine? It appears to have two NTFS (Windows) partitions that add up to the entire size of the disk (1 TB) and therefore to be in contradiction with what you said earlier (that is that you shrunk the partitions and created a new one for Debian). Also, where is your EFI system partition?

No, two disks, but the "parted --list" command only shows the HDD, not the SSD (which is where Windows and Debian are supposed to be) - maybe it would have shown the SSD if I chose "Ignore" at the warning. I don't know what my EFI system partition is but maybe this clears it up anyway:
Code: Select all
user@debian:~$ lsblk
NAME        MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda           8:0    0 931.5G  0 disk
├─sda1        8:1    0 919.2G  0 part
└─sda2        8:2    0  12.4G  0 part
sdb           8:16   0  29.8G  0 disk
├─sdb1        8:17   0   855M  0 part /lib/live/mount/medium
└─sdb2        8:18   0   704K  0 part
loop0         7:0    0 706.1M  1 loop /lib/live/mount/rootfs/filesystem.squashfs
nvme0n1     259:0    0 238.5G  0 disk
├─nvme0n1p1 259:1    0   260M  0 part
├─nvme0n1p2 259:2    0    16M  0 part
├─nvme0n1p3 259:3    0 127.2G  0 part
├─nvme0n1p4 259:4    0  94.1G  0 part
├─nvme0n1p5 259:5    0   980M  0 part
└─nvme0n1p6 259:6    0  15.9G  0 part


I think what you meant earlier with being able to boot Windows by pressing Esc that your firmware (The UEFI) allows displays you a menu from where you can boot the grub or the windows entry

Yes, I can choose Windows or "Debian" (that is the broken GRUB thing...) or USB and maybe something else.
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby pylkko » 2017-03-27 08:31

To me it appears that you probably managed to install the efi entry correctly and that your esp is on /dev/nvme0n1p1. You also managed to install the grub efi file on that partition and can boot it. However, for whatever reason apparently two things are happening: 1) some part of the boot chain is failing and you are being dropped into grub shell 2) you might either be missing some relevant graphics controlling non-free firmware or GRUB video mode is not being initialized. If GRUB video mode is not initialized, you will not get boot messages on the screen, but this should not prevent booting. However, if botht the booting fails and you have no video mode then your computer might just hang with a black screen and you are not able to see any warnings. You have a fairly new laptop and Debian 8 comes with a 3.16 kernel and old graphics drivers/firmware. Maybe you might have better luck installing Debian testing (the experimental testing version that will be released as Debian 9 in the summer or some time soon).

You said that you tried to manually boot grub following the instructions that you link to. Those instructions would not work in your case if you follow them literally, since they (for example) pass root = /dev/sda1 to the kernel whereas in your case root most certainly is not on /dev/sda at all (this is the 1 TB hdd). If your live disk has fdisk, then you can try
Code: Select all
sudo fdisk -l /dev/nvme0n1p?
to try and guess which partitions are whcih. Or alternatively
Code: Select all
parted --list /dev/nvme0n1
The first one is probably EFI system (esp) and the second small one is a microsoft recovery one, the reset are likely Debian and Windows partitions. Once you know the location of the root, you can try the manual grub boot again. If that works, you can then edit the grub conf file to make it automatically always boot that.
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-27 14:18

pylkko wrote:To me it appears that you probably managed to install the efi entry correctly and that your esp is on /dev/nvme0n1p1. You also managed to install the grub efi file on that partition and can boot it. However, for whatever reason apparently two things are happening: 1) some part of the boot chain is failing and you are being dropped into grub shell 2) you might either be missing some relevant graphics controlling non-free firmware or GRUB video mode is not being initialized. If GRUB video mode is not initialized, you will not get boot messages on the screen, but this should not prevent booting. However, if botht the booting fails and you have no video mode then your computer might just hang with a black screen and you are not able to see any warnings. You have a fairly new laptop and Debian 8 comes with a 3.16 kernel and old graphics drivers/firmware. Maybe you might have better luck installing Debian testing (the experimental testing version that will be released as Debian 9 in the summer or some time soon).

Okay thanks for the tip, I'll try the testing version then, unless someone else has another idea.

You said that you tried to manually boot grub following the instructions that you link to. Those instructions would not work in your case if you follow them literally, since they (for example) pass root = /dev/sda1 to the kernel whereas in your case root most certainly is not on /dev/sda at all (this is the 1 TB hdd). If your live disk has fdisk, then you can try
Code: Select all
sudo fdisk -l /dev/nvme0n1p?
to try and guess which partitions are whcih. Or alternatively
Code: Select all
parted --list /dev/nvme0n1
The first one is probably EFI system (esp) and the second small one is a microsoft recovery one, the reset are likely Debian and Windows partitions. Once you know the location of the root, you can try the manual grub boot again. If that works, you can then edit the grub conf file to make it automatically always boot that.

Actually this is what I typed when I followed those instructions, I think it's correct but feel free to point out any mistakes (the "ls" command seems to imply that hd1,gpt4 is Debian (which would mean sdb4 according to those instructions, right?), but I don't get why they have different names in the "lsblk" command):
Code: Select all
set root=(hd1,4)
linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.16.0-4-amd64 root=/dev/sdb4
initrd /boot/initrd.img-3.16.0-4-amd64
boot

(and this is where it enters "blind mode"...)
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby pylkko » 2017-03-27 18:31

That's where you messed up. There is no 4th partition on sdb (the USB stick), and you should not be passing it to the kernel. Even the guide you posted says that that will cause kernel panic. So your manual attempt to boot the kernel should have not worked. About whether or not you chrooted correctly or managed to install grub in the right place we cannot know until you post the output the was requested from you earlier
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Re: GRUB problems, "booting in blind mode"

Postby themannen » 2017-03-28 06:45

pylkko wrote:That's where you messed up. There is no 4th partition on sdb (the USB stick), and you should not be passing it to the kernel. Even the guide you posted says that that will cause kernel panic. So your manual attempt to boot the kernel should have not worked. About whether or not you chrooted correctly or managed to install grub in the right place we cannot know until you post the output the was requested from you earlier

Code: Select all
user@debian:~$ sudo fdisk -l /dev/nvme0n1p?

Disk /dev/nvme0n1p1: 260 MiB, 272629760 bytes, 532480 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x500a0dff

Device           Boot      Start        End    Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/nvme0n1p1p1 ?    1948285285 3650263507 1701978223 811.6G 6e unknown
/dev/nvme0n1p1p2 ?             0          0          0     0B 74 unknown
/dev/nvme0n1p1p4        28049408   28049848        441 220.5K  0 Empty

Partition table entries are not in disk order.
Disk /dev/nvme0n1p2: 16 MiB, 16777216 bytes, 32768 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk /dev/nvme0n1p3: 127.2 GiB, 136615821312 bytes, 266827776 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x73736572

Device           Boot      Start        End    Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/nvme0n1p3p1      1920221984 3736432267 1816210284   866G 72 unknown
/dev/nvme0n1p3p2 ?    1936028192 3889681299 1953653108 931.6G 6c unknown
/dev/nvme0n1p3p3 ?             0          0          0     0B  0 Empty
/dev/nvme0n1p3p4        27722122   27722568        447 223.5K  0 Empty

Partition table entries are not in disk order.
Disk /dev/nvme0n1p4: 94.1 GiB, 101061754880 bytes, 197386240 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk /dev/nvme0n1p5: 980 MiB, 1027604480 bytes, 2007040 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x73736572

Device           Boot      Start        End    Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/nvme0n1p5p1      1920221984 3736432267 1816210284   866G 72 unknown
/dev/nvme0n1p5p2 ?    1936028192 3889681299 1953653108 931.6G 6c unknown
/dev/nvme0n1p5p3 ?             0          0          0     0B  0 Empty
/dev/nvme0n1p5p4        27722122   27722568        447 223.5K  0 Empty

Partition table entries are not in disk order.
Disk /dev/nvme0n1p6: 15.9 GiB, 17059282944 bytes, 33318912 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Code: Select all
user@debian:~$ sudo parted --list /dev/nvme0n1
Model: ATA HGST HTS721010A9 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags:

Warning: failed to translate partition name
Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name                  Flags 
 1      1049kB  987GB   987GB   ntfs         Basic data partition  msftdata
 2      987GB   1000GB  13.3GB  ntfs                               hidden, msftdata


Warning: The driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2048 bytes, but
Linux says it is 512 bytes.
Ignore/Cancel?


When I, as in the Linux.com tutorial, use the "ls" command in GRUB (no USB stick inserted, as I only use it for the live image) it tells me:
Code: Select all
(hd0) (hd0,gpt2) (hd0,gpt1) (hd1) (hd1,gpt6) (hd1,gpt5) (hd1,gpt4) (hd1,gpt3) (hd1,gpt2) (hd1,gpt1)

"ls (hd1,gpt3)" tells me the filesystem is ntfs, label is "Windows" and total size 133 413 888 KiB. (When I boot Windows it tells me the Windows C partition is 127 GB/136 615 817 216 bytes)
"ls (hd1,gpt3)/" gives me:
Code: Select all
$AttrDef $BadClus $Bitmap $Boot $Extend/ $LogFile $MFT $MFTMirr $Recycle.Bin/ $Secure $UpCase $Volume BOOTNXT hiberfil.sys hp/ inetpub/ Intel/ pagefile.sys PerfLogs/ Program Files/ Program Files (x86)/ ProgramData/ Recovery/ swapfile.sys SWSetup/ System Volume Information/ SYSTEM.SAV/ Users/ Windows/

"ls (hd1,gpt4)" tells me the filesystem is ext* and total size 98 693 120 KiB.
"ls (hd1,gpt4)/" gives me:
Code: Select all
lost+found/ boot/ etc/ media/ vmlinuz var/ usr/ lib/ lib64/ bin/ sbin/ proc/ tmp/ dev/ home/ root/ sys/ run/ mnt/ srv/ opt/ initrd.img

So that's why I think "hd1,gpt4" is Debian. And following the "hd0,1 = /dev/sda1. hd1,1 = /dev/sdb1. hd3,2 = /dev/sdd2" part of the tutorial I assume "hd1,gpt4"="sdb4".
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