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Unable to boot any recent Linux distro


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#1 MrsWescott

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:49 PM

Alright. I'm at my wit's end.

This is my computer : https://www.zotac.com/product/mini_pcs/nen-steam-machine

I'm trying to boot on a Live USB install of whatever Linux distro because I need to recover data from a ZFS drive and move it to an exFAT drive. However, nothing I tried works.

I had an unknown anterior version of Ubuntu already installed on a USB drive that worked before on this computer, but when I tried it last night, it would boot to a black screen.

 
Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS and Mint 18.3

ACPI Error: [\_SB_.PCI0.XHC_.RHUB.HS11] Namespace lookup failure, AE_NOT_FOUND (20160930/dswload-210)
ACPI Exception : AE_NOT_FOUND, During name lookup/catalog (20160930/psobject-227)
ACPI Exception : AE_NOT_FOUND, (SSDT:xh_rvp10) while loading table (20160930/tbxfload-228)
ACPI Error: 1 table load failure, 7 successful (20160930/tbxfload-246)

Ubuntu 17.10

[Firmware Bug]:TSC_DEADLINE disabled due to Errata: please update microcode to version: 0xb2 (or later)
ACPI Error: [\_SB_.PCI0.XHC_.RHUB.HS11] Namespace lookup failure, AE_NOT_FOUND (20170531/dswload-210)
ACPI Exception : AE_NOT_FOUND, During name lookup/catalog (20170531/psobject-252)
ACPI Exception : AE_NOT_FOUND, (SSDT:xh_rvp10) while loading table (20170531/tbxfload-228)
ACPI Error: 1 table load failure, 7 successful (20160930/tbxfload-246)
Couldn't get size: 0.800000000000000e
MODSIGN: Couldn't get UEFI db list
Couldn't get size: 0.800000000000000e

Arch Linux 2017.12.01

ACPI Error: [\_SB_.PCI0.XHC_.RHUB.HS11] Namespace lookup failure, AE_NOT_FOUND (20170531/dswload-210)
ACPI Exception : AE_NOT_FOUND, During name lookup/catalog (20170531/psobject-252)
ACPI Exception : AE_NOT_FOUND, (SSDT:xh_rvp10) while loading table (20170531/tbxfload-228)
ACPI Error: 1 table load failure, 7 successful (20160930/tbxfload-246)
:: running early hook [udev]
starting version 235
:: running early hook [archiso_pxe_nbd]
:: running hook [udev]
:: Triggering uevents...

None of the above boots. I tried creating the drives using Universal USB Installer, Rufus, and UNetbootin to no avail. The BIOS is up to date.

Ubuntu 15.04 64bit : Boots successfully. However I was not able to install an exFAT package.

I already got the exFAT drive corrupted trying to connect it to a VirtualBox VM running Mint and I had to do data recovery from it. So I refuse to go the VM route.

What can I do?

I appreciate your help.


Edited by MrsWescott, 21 December 2017 - 04:56 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:25 PM

Boot Mint 18.3. When you see the countdown from 10 seconds press F6 then tab for boot options. Type acpi=off   <enter>  

 

Does that let you boot?



#3 MrsWescott

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:21 PM

Boot Mint 18.3. When you see the countdown from 10 seconds press F6 then tab for boot options. Type acpi=off   <enter>  

 

Does that let you boot?

The computer doesn't make it to that countdown. It gets stalled shortly after selecting the boot option in GRUB.

This is what I get when I try to boot in compatibility mode :

IMG_20171221_2030172.jpg?width=1623&heig


Edited by MrsWescott, 21 December 2017 - 08:33 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:49 PM

Unless somebody else has any ideas on the boot problem the only idea I have is to pull the drive and attach it to another computer using a USB adapter. Boot linux on that computer and mount the external drive. I'm not familiar with the computer so I can't say how difficult it would be to remove the HDD.



#5 MrsWescott

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:14 PM

Unless somebody else has any ideas on the boot problem the only idea I have is to pull the drive and attach it to another computer using a USB adapter. Boot linux on that computer and mount the external drive. I'm not familiar with the computer so I can't say how difficult it would be to remove the HDD.

The hard drive was in a NAS. I was already going to access it using a USB dock. But I still need to boot on Linux for that.



#6 cat1092

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:11 AM

MrsWescott,  :welcome: to the Linux Community of Bleeping Computer Forums! :)

 

We're glad that you chose us and as always, will do our best to assist you. 

 

Your issue could be your HDD, since it was in a NAS, I had a similar issue with one that was used in either that or RAID setup, Linux wouldn't boot until I cleared the MBR with MiniTool Partition Wizard. It could also be the brand of computer, looks to be a gaming box & may not have the correct firmware to run Linux, if forced to run, there's the risk of bricking the device. While I'm sure that someone around here knows more about the Zotac brand (other than their GPU's), their computers has a very low market share, first time ever seeing one period, let alone o=in the Linux section. Am not trying to discourage you in the least, would be great if anyone who owns the same or similar device of the same brand to stand up & speak out, if they're ran Linux in the box. :)

 

As it stands for now, it's either the HDD or proprietary firmware of the Zotac gaming box, would much rather for it to be the first option. You can test booting into a Linux USB stick in Live Mode after removal of the drive, if that fixes things, will be great. If that doesn't work, the issue is at the firmware level. 

 

Let's see if anyone else responds, and be sure to remove the HDD before booting into Live media, HDD or SSD's are now low in cost if a replacement is needed, still no guarantees that the Zotac box has custom firmware to keep Linux users away. 

 

Good Luck with project, hopefully you'll soon get some answers. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#7 MrsWescott

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:49 AM

MrsWescott,  :welcome: to the Linux Community of Bleeping Computer Forums! :)

 

We're glad that you chose us and as always, will do our best to assist you. 

 

Your issue could be your HDD, since it was in a NAS, I had a similar issue with one that was used in either that or RAID setup, Linux wouldn't boot until I cleared the MBR with MiniTool Partition Wizard. It could also be the brand of computer, looks to be a gaming box & may not have the correct firmware to run Linux, if forced to run, there's the risk of bricking the device. While I'm sure that someone around here knows more about the Zotac brand (other than their GPU's), their computers has a very low market share, first time ever seeing one period, let alone o=in the Linux section. Am not trying to discourage you in the least, would be great if anyone who owns the same or similar device of the same brand to stand up & speak out, if they're ran Linux in the box. :)

 

As it stands for now, it's either the HDD or proprietary firmware of the Zotac gaming box, would much rather for it to be the first option. You can test booting into a Linux USB stick in Live Mode after removal of the drive, if that fixes things, will be great. If that doesn't work, the issue is at the firmware level. 

 

Let's see if anyone else responds, and be sure to remove the HDD before booting into Live media, HDD or SSD's are now low in cost if a replacement is needed, still no guarantees that the Zotac box has custom firmware to keep Linux users away. 

 

Good Luck with project, hopefully you'll soon get some answers. :)

 

Cat

The hard drive is not implicated in any way in trying to boot Linux from a live USB install on this computer. It's not even connected to it yet. Right now I'm just trying to boot into Linux. The computer came with SteamOS pre-installed, so it is very much supposed to be able to run Linux and as I said in my first post, I successfully booted on a live USB install of Linux on this computer before. Even if I manage to recover the data from that drive using any other mean, I still want to be able to boot Linux on this computer because that's my go to tool when something goes wrong with Windows.


Edited by MrsWescott, 22 December 2017 - 09:23 AM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 11:13 AM

It would be an $11 dollar gamble but see if Parted Magic boots. You can email the developer and find out if he would give you a refund if it does not boot on the steam machine. Latest version has limited ZFS support.

 

https://partedmagic.com/



#9 Al1000

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

Hello,

Ubuntu 15.04 64bit : Boots successfully. However I was not able to install an exFAT package.


When support for distros ends, access to their software repositories are removed, which is why you can't install anything from them. Support for Ubuntu 15.04 ended in 2016, because it is not an LTS (Long Term Supported) version.

However, Ubuntu 14.04 is an LTS version, and supported until April 2019. Chances are your computer will be able to boot from it, because it booted from version 15.04.

http://releases.ubuntu.com/14.04/

ubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso

#10 cat1092

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 06:51 AM

Al has an excellent point above, LTS distros are supported longer & generally runs more stable than short term releases that's more 'bleeding edge', plus supported for only 9-10 months. :)

 

I'd say as new as the hardware is, go for Ubuntu 16.04, it's supported through April 2021, as opposed to 14.04, which falls out of support in just 16 months (April 2019). Just like (much) any OS, newer provides more features, some not seen at first, yet after digging around, will be seen. 

 

Hopefully the LTS distro will boot & run fine. :) 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#11 Al1000

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 07:43 AM

I'd say as new as the hardware is, go for Ubuntu 16.04, it's supported through April 2021, as opposed to 14.04, which falls out of support in just 16 months (April 2019)


MrsWescott has already tried Ubuntu 16.04, and reports that it will not boot this computer.

Going by the screenshot in post #3, the issue appears to be related to graphics. While I find that surprising given the relatively high spec of the computer, the screen says what it says.

No doubt there will be other distros that will also boot this computer, but Ubuntu 14.04 looks like a good bet not because it is an LTS version, but because it is:

1) Older than Ubuntu 15.04 (which the OP reports: boots ok)
2) Still supported.

Because in this instance, Linux is only required to perform a single task, 16 months should be plenty of time. :)

Edited by Al1000, 23 December 2017 - 07:49 AM.


#12 cat1092

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 05:30 AM

Al & Mrs Wescott, sorry I missed the part about Ubuntu 16.04 not booting, strange issue indeed. :(

 

Am sure that somehow this will become figured out for your need & hopefully will post the solution once you get there. In the meantime, this will serve as yet another lesson as to why I'll avoid Zotac products. Many of their graphics cards aren't highly rated, and I had no idea they were in the PC business until this Topic was started. Will for sure avoid the brand now & will talk anyone I can out of purchasing their cards, even if $100 less than any other big name model. That less upfront cash will eventually be paid anyway. 

 

Now I know (some of) why most of their models are priced well below the competition. It's also important to check for Linux compatibility before purchase, if by chance that was the intention all along. If not, then there's some makes/models that are less Linux friendly than others, one reason why to perform a Full drive image before installing a Linux distro or dual booting, although this shouldn't affect booting from a Live USB installer for testing. Based on your comments, pic & output snapshots above, may be best to avoid a Linux install on this computer, warranty won't cover damage caused by 3rd party OS installs & it's very expensive to repair a semi-bricked model, the UEFI will likely need reprogramming, a $300 (minimum) out of pocket cost, along with shipping both ways. Oddly, the tool used for the reprogramming is usually Linux based, this makes things seem really weird, that we (often) can't run Linux on these, yet it's 100% OK for the OEM to repair with tools based from one of these distros. 

 

As far as using the ZFS filesystem for NAS, here's a very interesting article that shows the further hidden costs of doing so, since you mentioned the two (ZFS in your OP, then NAS in #5). I believe that a couple of years back, got hold of a 500GB WD RE4 HDD (purchased as a 'new pull' from server with 0.1 hours of usage) that had been used in a similar type of environment & didn't play well with my Linux Mint 17.3 install with three HDD's & one NVMe SSD. Was continually getting some type of RAID error in the 'inxi -Fx' report, although OS wasn't installed on the drive, was just a spare installed for when the need came (I practice this across three PC's). Once the drive was removed & replace with another, error gone. Although the same HDD runs in a single drive system fine, so don't know what 'inxi -Fx' was whining about, especially w/out any Linux filesystem installed. :)

 

http://louwrentius.com/the-hidden-cost-of-using-zfs-for-your-home-nas.html

 

Good Luck with your project. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#13 MrsWescott

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 10:28 AM

Hello,
 

Ubuntu 15.04 64bit : Boots successfully. However I was not able to install an exFAT package.


When support for distros ends, access to their software repositories are removed, which is why you can't install anything from them. Support for Ubuntu 15.04 ended in 2016, because it is not an LTS (Long Term Supported) version.

However, Ubuntu 14.04 is an LTS version, and supported until April 2019. Chances are your computer will be able to boot from it, because it booted from version 15.04.

http://releases.ubuntu.com/14.04/

ubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso

 


That worked!! Thank you!

As it turns out, the file system on that drive was xfs rather than zfs so I really needed Linux for that. The drive has also been giving me troubles which I don't think I would have been able to diagnose or attempt to fix in Windows. I manually copied the corrupted files with dd, which as far as I know has is no equivalent on Windows.
All the data is safe now (I hope so at least!) and the drive is probably on its way to get recycled and the NAS that caused the double failure too.

Again, thank you!



#14 MrsWescott

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 10:45 AM

Al & Mrs Wescott, sorry I missed the part about Ubuntu 16.04 not booting, strange issue indeed. :(

 

Am sure that somehow this will become figured out for your need & hopefully will post the solution once you get there. In the meantime, this will serve as yet another lesson as to why I'll avoid Zotac products. Many of their graphics cards aren't highly rated, and I had no idea they were in the PC business until this Topic was started. Will for sure avoid the brand now & will talk anyone I can out of purchasing their cards, even if $100 less than any other big name model. That less upfront cash will eventually be paid anyway. 

 

Now I know (some of) why most of their models are priced well below the competition. It's also important to check for Linux compatibility before purchase, if by chance that was the intention all along. If not, then there's some makes/models that are less Linux friendly than others, one reason why to perform a Full drive image before installing a Linux distro or dual booting, although this shouldn't affect booting from a Live USB installer for testing. Based on your comments, pic & output snapshots above, may be best to avoid a Linux install on this computer, warranty won't cover damage caused by 3rd party OS installs & it's very expensive to repair a semi-bricked model, the UEFI will likely need reprogramming, a $300 (minimum) out of pocket cost, along with shipping both ways. Oddly, the tool used for the reprogramming is usually Linux based, this makes things seem really weird, that we (often) can't run Linux on these, yet it's 100% OK for the OEM to repair with tools based from one of these distros. 

 

As far as using the ZFS filesystem for NAS, here's a very interesting article that shows the further hidden costs of doing so, since you mentioned the two (ZFS in your OP, then NAS in #5). I believe that a couple of years back, got hold of a 500GB WD RE4 HDD (purchased as a 'new pull' from server with 0.1 hours of usage) that had been used in a similar type of environment & didn't play well with my Linux Mint 17.3 install with three HDD's & one NVMe SSD. Was continually getting some type of RAID error in the 'inxi -Fx' report, although OS wasn't installed on the drive, was just a spare installed for when the need came (I practice this across three PC's). Once the drive was removed & replace with another, error gone. Although the same HDD runs in a single drive system fine, so don't know what 'inxi -Fx' was whining about, especially w/out any Linux filesystem installed. :)

 

http://louwrentius.com/the-hidden-cost-of-using-zfs-for-your-home-nas.html

 

Good Luck with your project. :)

 

Cat

Actually, this computer has been very good in the soon 2 years that I've had it. This is the first time I have encountered an issue with it really and after much googling it's not an issue that's limited to Zotac products. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1584407

Otherwise it's been surprisingly problem-free considering it's basically laptop hardware that has been running 24/7 :

unknown.png.

(Many of those power ons were me trying to boot into Linux and failing)

Of course I paid the price for the small form factor and the silence so people would consider it overpriced if looking at the specs only. But I would definitely recommend it as a silent SFF gaming machine assuming they don't want to run Linux on it for now. The only thing it hasn't been able to run properly is Star Citizen.


Edited by MrsWescott, 26 December 2017 - 10:51 AM.


#15 MrsWescott

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 03:01 PM

Alright disregard what I said about Zotac.

This is their response to my email asking for a BIOS update.

 

Hi,

There's no updates made to this old product which had EOL for years.

The primary purpose of this SN970 is for running Steam OS (bundled / pre-installed)


Best regards,

Jon Villamor
ZOTAC Technical Support
Mon-Fri 9am-6pm PST

 

 

"for years"
This computer isn't even 2 years old.
And this computer also cannot run any recent version of Steam OS because they too use recent Linux kernels.


Edited by MrsWescott, 29 December 2017 - 03:01 PM.





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