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Hi, all! I've just began experiencing a really weird issue with my Debian server and hope someone can help me out. I'm using an IBM NetVista workstation with four IDE ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Sep 2010
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    Strange bootloader issue with Debian Lenny.


    Hi, all! I've just began experiencing a really weird issue with my Debian server and hope someone can help me out.

    I'm using an IBM NetVista workstation with four IDE hard drives (no CD-ROM) as a general Debian multi-purpose server (Files, DHCP, DNS, PXE preboot environment). All of the hard drives on the system, including the primary one, were used as bootable system disks on other systems but are now strictly for storage. Airflow to the drives seems pretty good, as temperatures didn't seem to be at dangerous levels last time I checked (between 29 and 41 deg C).

    I came home one day to find that my server's network connection went down, so I restarted it thinking nothing of it. Unfortunately, it stopped booting when it came back up. After hooking up a monitor to it, I noticed that it POSTs successfully, but will boot to a blinking cursor and nothing else. However, it DOES boot if I disconnect the second IDE channel from the motherboard and the slave drive on the primary channel and reconnect them all again. (It took about 3.5 hours, a replaced IDE cable , lots of mix and matching and buckets of anger and frustration to figure this out.)

    I tried a couple of things, all to no avail. I looked at
    Code:
    menu.lst
    to see if it was targeting anything other than (hd0,0), but it wasn't. I also removed quiet boot option while I was there.
    Code:
    fdisk -l
    and
    Code:
    gparted
    all identified (hd0,0) as the system volume (master device on IDE channel 0). I figured that the other boot drives might still be flagged as bootable (I got NTLDR missing from a disk that had Windows Server on it before), so I disabled all drives with that flag enabled.

    I'm pretty set that GRUB is setting another drive as (hd0,0) somewhere during boot or shutdown, but I have no evidence suggesting that this is the case. Has anyone seen this before?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie JosePF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    225
    Hi,
    have you tried?:
    sudo grub
    root (hd0,0)
    setup (hd0)
    quit

    Regards

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    the hills
    Posts
    1,134
    So, it will boot from the primary master drive if
    the others are disconnected? I would suspect
    the power supply. Or maybe one of the other
    drives is drawing too much power. With four
    drives, that is quite a surge of power at boot
    time spinning all of them up.

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