Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Grub Loading Error 21


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 ToDrag

ToDrag

  • Members
  • 53 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson
  • Local time:07:47 PM

Posted 19 September 2008 - 08:06 PM

Installed Ubuntu 7.04 on an external hard drive attached to USB on Acer laptop approximately 6 months ago. I have had to have the external HDD installed on the laptop to boot to either XP or Ubuntu. I have not had a problem with that and have just continued to use it. However, last night the system froze and I cannot reboot. I get a Grub Loading Error 21. I cannot do anything with F8, it does not provide access to advanced boot options. I have tried to reinstall my system disks, XP Pro/Media Center Edition. Went through the 2 hour process of reloading the system disks. The boot did the same thing, Error 21. I have tried other XS OS disks, Ubuntu 8.04.1, Ubuntu 7.10 Live CD and an Acer Post Formatter ISO Image File that was supposed to break through and reformat the laptop hard drive. I do not know if the external HDD had crashed, but I have put it on another laptop and it checks out fine and seems to be working fine. Of course, you cannot load Linux on another computer with the external HDD. I am no computer wizard at all. I am at my wits end and am looking at taking the laptop to a local shop and have them reformat the HDD. Any ideas as to what I can do? Thanks for any help you can be on this.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
to thee, these three: love, joy & the blues

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Alan-LB

Alan-LB

  • Members
  • 71 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Junee, NSW, Australia
  • Local time:01:47 PM

Posted 20 September 2008 - 03:09 AM

Try Google!! Search for "GRUB loader error 21"

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=16715

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/ub...rror-21-390503/

http://linux.derkeiler.com/Newsgroups/comp...1/msg00098.html

Hope these help. There are more entries

Alan

Edited by Alan-LB, 20 September 2008 - 03:11 AM.

There are 10 types of people - those who understand binary and those who don't!!

Today is the Beta version of Tomorrow!

#3 cryptodan

cryptodan

    Bleepin Madman


  • Members
  • 21,868 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Catonsville, Md
  • Local time:02:47 AM

Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:25 AM

Are your USB ports functioning properly? Do other USB devices work?

Edited by cryptodan, 20 September 2008 - 09:32 AM.


#4 ToDrag

ToDrag
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 53 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson
  • Local time:07:47 PM

Posted 20 September 2008 - 10:37 AM

Cryptodan - Good question.  USB ports are all fine.  Thanks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
to thee, these three: love, joy & the blues

#5 cryptodan

cryptodan

    Bleepin Madman


  • Members
  • 21,868 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Catonsville, Md
  • Local time:02:47 AM

Posted 20 September 2008 - 11:12 AM

Did you try other cables?

#6 ToDrag

ToDrag
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 53 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson
  • Local time:07:47 PM

Posted 20 September 2008 - 11:46 AM

Cryptodan,

I moved the USB Hard Drive to another computer, and was using the same cable.  It would read in Windows Computer Mangement/Disk Management and indicated the drive is fine.  On the labtop the drive was attached to for several months, I physically checked all its USB ports and they are working fine.  Thanks again!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
to thee, these three: love, joy & the blues

#7 raw

raw

    Bleeping Hacker


  • Members
  • 2,577 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Local time:09:47 PM

Posted 20 September 2008 - 10:34 PM

Need some more info, correct anything I have wrong.
Your laptop has XP on the internal drive.
Ubuntu is installed on the external drive.
The bootloader is on the external drive.
What happens if you boot with the external disconnected?
Does it boot from the CD with the external disconnected?
For now please do not try to format or reinstall anything.
Error 21 is a grub boot issue and has nothing to do with
Windows or Linux.
What is the model # of your Acer?

rawsig.png

 rawcreations.net          @raw_creations


Current systems: WHAT OS, BackTrack-raw, PCLinuxOS, Peppermint OS 6, Kali Linux

and a custom Linux From Scratch server hosting a bunch of top secret stuff.


#8 ToDrag

ToDrag
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 53 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson
  • Local time:07:47 PM

Posted 21 September 2008 - 01:47 PM

Thank you, raw, for your reply.

Correct: XP on laptop internal drive, Ubuntu on external USB hard drive. Someone from bleeping told me that when I loaded Ubuntu on the external, the boot loader has part of its info on the internal drive and part of the info on the external and that is why I could not boot without the external connected. I don't know if this is correct, but Ubuntu did set a small amount of info on my internal drive in a small partition.

It never would boot either OS without the external USB hard drive connected. It always would result in an Error 21 if the hard drive was disconnected or turned off.

My Acer is an Aspire 5100.

FYI, I seldom turned off my computer. I have numerous health problems and normally sleep (to a minor extent) in a recliner in my living room. I sleep intermittently. I do not work, I am disabled, so I sleep off and on during the day and night. I leave the laptop on continually because of my lifestyle, I use the laptop during the day or night.

Now I reveal how dumb I can be. I recently, accidentally, tossed a light blanket onto the tray table I have the laptop on and it was on the end the vent for the laptop exhausted. The blanket blocked the vent. The system became overheated and unstable. I turned it off for quite awhile and rebooted it. Since then it has frozen a couple of times. However, Friday night it froze and would not reboot, not get past the Grub Loader Error 21 no matter what I have done. I am concerned the laptop drive is damaged. Is that a possibility? I have a warranty and Acer will replace it if that is the case. I hate to lose all my stuff. I am really prepared to simply use Linux from now on. These last six months I have only been in Windows probably a total of 10 - 12 hours.

No, the laptop will not boot from a CD with the external hard drive disconnected or connected. Also, as I said, I cannot get anywhere because I cannot use F8 during the boot. I can only get to setup and/or the boot order so I can set it to boot from the CD Rom. However, the CD Rom only spins the disk for a few seconds and then it goes back to the Error 21. I realize what you are saying about the Grub Loader being the issue. All my programs and data are on both the laptop drive and the external drive. I just can't get to it. I don't want to reformat my drive(s), but I don't know what to do, I can't break past with anything I have tried, even the special Acer ISO Image file that is designed to reformat the hard drive regardless of the issue.

Thank you again. I really appreciate anything you can do. I will put my plans to have the laptop drive reformatted until I hear from you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
to thee, these three: love, joy & the blues

#9 raw

raw

    Bleeping Hacker


  • Members
  • 2,577 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Local time:09:47 PM

Posted 22 September 2008 - 06:45 PM

After reading many (literally hundreds) of posts here is what
I can offer.
I gather that you can access the Acer BIOS. (pressing F2 at boot)
You can set CD to be the first boot device, however the various CD's you
tried will not boot. (This has me baffled)
I am not familiar with the Acer BIOS, but from reading it seems there is
a USB setting in there. With the external drive plugged in and turned on
boot into the BIOS and try to determine if the USB ports are active or
recognized.
Now for the bad news. A lot of posts state that the USB ports are controlled
by the southbridge chip and that chip is prone to failure. Especially when the
PC overheats.
Before we throw in the towel, let's go back and start over. Patience is a virtue. (so i hear) :thumbsup:
Boot into the BIOS screen, verify that the CD drive is detected. Make sure it is set to be the first
boot device. Save and reboot using either the Windows or Ubuntu disk. I would avoid that Acer CD
for now. If the PC boots from either CD we can proceed.

Alternate approach:From reading it looks like you can change a
setting in the BIOS - "Enable Boot Menu" - Save and exit.
Insert the Ubuntu CD and boot the PC. As it boots press "F12" and you should be presented
with a boot menu where you can choose CD. I can not verify this method will work
because of the many BIOS differences. Yours may not offer a "Boot Menu" option.


I have tried to reinstall my system disks, XP Pro/Media Center Edition.
Went through the 2 hour process of reloading the system disks.

So it did boot from the CD after the lock-up and error 21?

rawsig.png

 rawcreations.net          @raw_creations


Current systems: WHAT OS, BackTrack-raw, PCLinuxOS, Peppermint OS 6, Kali Linux

and a custom Linux From Scratch server hosting a bunch of top secret stuff.


#10 ToDrag

ToDrag
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 53 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson
  • Local time:07:47 PM

Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:05 AM

raw,

Thanks again very much for the reply.  I am sorry I was not clear about booting from cd on my previous post(s).  First, yes, it did boot from the cd.  Now it will not.  It booted from the cd and I tried to use the system restore disks I made when I first got the Acer.  They work fine, I can say for sure, because I had to reload this laptop once before with the disks and they worked fine.

Now, to the present issue.  The ACER system restore disks ran the first time for about half of the restore process.  Then it gave me a blue screen, problem with the hard drive, and listed a corrupt dll file.  I ran the disks again and the process completed.  However, it just booted into the Error 21 again, as if I had not run the restore disks at all.  After that, it will not boot from the cd and it just goes into the Error 21.  If I set the boot sequence to boot from the cd, it results in a screen (that pops up very quickly before going into the Error 21) that says "For Realtek PCI Fast Ethernet Controller v2.13 (next line) media test failure - check cable (next line) Exiting PFE ROM".  If I just attempt a regular boot, it goes very quickly to the Error 21 screen.

I booted into the BIOS and tried to see how to test the USB ports.  I don't see how to do that.  However, I have a USB light and it comes on when the laptop first starts, in all the USB ports it comes on just fine.  I have a wired, optical mouse.  It, too, lights up when the system is started.  I hope that is a viable test.  If not, please remember, I am the dummy that put the blanket on the end of the computer tray table.  Sorry.

I have set the boot sequence in the BIOS to boot from the cd drive.  I have even set the boot sequence to boot from the USB hard drive.  I have also used F12 to set the boot to the cd drive (this is a once at a time setting).    All of this results in the same same Error 21.

There is no option that I can see for "Enable Boot Menu".  I have searched the BIOS thouroughly.  I can see no other settings that could possibly help.  

I thought at first the USB hard drive had crashed.  It is an internal WD, 20 gig drive that I put into a case that makes it an external.  The hard drive was given to me, but from my understanding, it was never used.  However, at this point, I believe this drive is just fine.  If I could only get a few bits of information off of it, I would be just fine.  I need data from a financial bookeeping program I used, a database for the 1,800 or so movies I have recorded on DVD, and I would love to get my email folders from my Linux Evolution mail client.  All of my work and computing since I started using Ubuntu has been in Ubuntu.  I had not even logged into Windows in probably 8 or 10 weeks.  Oh well, I should have been much better at backing up.  A lesson for the future.

I guess we have hit the end of the issues.  Thanks again, very much, for all your help.

Todd
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
to thee, these three: love, joy & the blues

#11 raw

raw

    Bleeping Hacker


  • Members
  • 2,577 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Local time:09:47 PM

Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:54 PM

Just want to touch on this one more time. What makes this
difficult is I can't see the BIOS options.
One thing I see that should not be is the PXE boot option.
This may or may not be listed in the boot order menu and is normally
disabled on home users machines.
I want you to find that option in the BIOS. Can't give you
an exact menu name, but it will resemble: Network Boot, PXE Boot
If it is in the boot device order just set it to be the last device.

When you are in the BIOS what are the choices for device order?
Some info I read says there are only three options, CD/DVD, HDD, Network. (which appears to be the default)
But I have seen others with USB-HDD, USB-CDROM options.
The thing that has me baffled is that when the CD is chosen as the first boot device
the CD should boot regardless of whether the USB drive is on or if there is even a
hard drive installed in the machine. The only problem here is if the CD drive itself is
not being detected in BIOS.

So for now please post the options for boot devices and your
current boot order.
And why I didn't think about this til now...your BIOS version. (probably Phoenix)

rawsig.png

 rawcreations.net          @raw_creations


Current systems: WHAT OS, BackTrack-raw, PCLinuxOS, Peppermint OS 6, Kali Linux

and a custom Linux From Scratch server hosting a bunch of top secret stuff.


#12 ToDrag

ToDrag
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 53 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson
  • Local time:07:47 PM

Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:09 AM

raw,

Thanks again for your reply.  I am very sorry, but I have put the laptop in a local shop to have the drive reformatted.  I thought we had reached the end of our rope.  I am going to be in need of the computer for a project I am involved with, and decided to just start over with it from scratch.  Never again will I put an OS on an external hard drive. I think I am only going to put Linux on it this time.  I was only occasionally using one Windows program, and can do without it.

FYI, the BIOS version is Phoenix and the PXE Boot did exist in the boot order.  I believe the boot order included 8 or 9 items, with options for the external hard drive, USB Jump (Flash) drive, PXE Boot, etc.  Acer is definately different.  I worked with the PXE Boot to what extent that I could, but probably did not understand it enough to be able to make any real use from it.

I really appreciate all you did to try to help me with this.  I hope that we all at least learned a bit of something from it.

Thanks to cryptodan and Alan-LB, too for their attempts to help.

Be well and at peace.

Todd
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
to thee, these three: love, joy & the blues

#13 raw

raw

    Bleeping Hacker


  • Members
  • 2,577 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Local time:09:47 PM

Posted 25 September 2008 - 10:32 PM

I worked with the PXE Boot to what extent that I could,
but probably did not understand it enough to be able to make any real use from it.

PXE is primarily used in a server environment. It's main function is to reload an OS on a
target machine.

PXE boots the client PC from the
network by transferring a "boot
image file" from a server. This file can
be the operating system for the client
PC or a pre-OS agent.


Sorry we couldn't get it going. If you need a recommendation for Linux
I suggest you look at PClinuxOS. I've been using it for a few years now.
Don't download the 2007 version. The updates alone are over 700MB and
the repos have been frozen due to the upcoming new release. If you just
want to give it a look and see if it is compatible with your machine get the
MiniMe version. It's stripped down to 200MB and comes with limited apps,
allowing you to install only what you need or want.
http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=04694

rawsig.png

 rawcreations.net          @raw_creations


Current systems: WHAT OS, BackTrack-raw, PCLinuxOS, Peppermint OS 6, Kali Linux

and a custom Linux From Scratch server hosting a bunch of top secret stuff.


#14 ToDrag

ToDrag
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 53 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson
  • Local time:07:47 PM

Posted 27 September 2008 - 12:49 AM

raw,

As it turned out, the problem is with the USB system afterall. I have the computer back from being reformatted. The shop who reformatted the laptop said that they believe something else is wrong with this Acer, and suspect the motherboard.

This evening, I ran the Acer restore disks and I have Windows XP/MCE back as with the original system that came with the computer. However, the USB system is not working. Checking the USB Host Controllers and Root Hubs via the Device Manager, everything is reporting fine. But, when a USB wired mouse is installed, a baloon window appears that the USB device is not recognized and a new one should be installed. If I install my USB Flash Drive, the system freezes and must be powered down and rebooted.

Consequently, I think the best thing to do is to send it back to Acer and have them replace the southbridge chip and/or motherboard or what is needed. I would rather have them do this at their expense than to try to fix it myself with some type of reload. However, if you have any curiosities that are itching and require a scratch, let me know and I will see if we can look at this thing some more over the next couple of days. I will plan on sending it back to Acer the first of the week.

I am at least hopeful that when I get it back I can reinstall Ubuntu and get my data off the USB hard drive. I then can proceed with my test of PClinuxOS MiniMe 2008, which I downloaded with my wife's laptop today. I would like to graduate to (and settle down with) a more meaty version of Linux, and PClinuxOS may just fit the bill. I would like to keep my Griffith DVD database program, or find one similar that will run in a new distro. Also, I had been using Evolution mail client and can change to something else. Once I am back into Evolution and have my stored emails available, I can forward them out and pick them up with a new mail client later on. I can also work something out with a bank record keeping program. Any basic program will do just fine. From the little that I have read so far, PClinuxOS is a Mandrake offshoot, or is similar to Mandrake. I am sure there are many software packages to choose from that will satisfy all my needs. One thing that is important, and that is being able to run my home network through Samba, or some other Linux system that will meet my needs for a small wireless network (one desktop, three laptops, VoIP Adapter and NAS Drive) and will be relatively uncomplicated. I am no computer wizard, and started my network in Windows with Network Magic in order to satisfy my limited understanding.

At any rate, I am glad at this point that the whole thing turned out to be a USB issue, and I should have that dealt with once I get the laptop back from Acer. You have been a great lot of help and I will continue to say thanks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
to thee, these three: love, joy & the blues

#15 raw

raw

    Bleeping Hacker


  • Members
  • 2,577 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Local time:09:47 PM

Posted 27 September 2008 - 02:24 AM

I have had no problems with PCLOS that I did not cause myself.
Just to touch on some of the software you mentioned.
Evolution - you can keep using this in PCLOS if you are comfortable
with it. Personally I use Kmail. You also have the option to use
ThunderBird. It's an excellent mail client.
Samba and networking can be setup relatively easy from the
PCLinuxOS Control Center (PCC).
For finances there is GnuCash and Kmymoney.
I have no clue on the DVD database, but I am sure you can find
something to fit the bill.

Yes PCLOS started from Mandrake. Back in the old days Tex
created packages of popular programs that could be installed
easily in Mandrake. Then he grabbed the source code for Mandrake 9.2
and used it to create PCLinuxOS. Since then PCLOS has broken away
from the Mandrake source and has become a great success.

rawsig.png

 rawcreations.net          @raw_creations


Current systems: WHAT OS, BackTrack-raw, PCLinuxOS, Peppermint OS 6, Kali Linux

and a custom Linux From Scratch server hosting a bunch of top secret stuff.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users