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Messing with bios and efi-boot, system broken.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:27 pm    Post subject: Messing with bios and efi-boot, system broken. Reply with quote

Hi,

I have this: http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/atom/x10/a1srm-ln7f-2758.cfm with 16gb RAM. It has been running Gentoo for years, but it has been booting UEFI into grub, and I was trying to get rid of the grub part.

I built a kernel (4.15.12) with what I thought would be the correct parameters per https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/EFI_stub_kernel and I installed it using 'make install' so it went into /boot. I then copied the kernel into EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.efi or whatever it is.

I reset and went into the BIOS to setup my EFI boot options, added the kernel and then saved and reset. I got it going apparently into the kernel I wanted, then reset again and deleted the old junk because my boot partition was getting full.

System won't boot. It goes into grub, which is good, and then goes into the kernel that's left, which is good, but finally it freezes there. No output. No apparent panic.

I reset again, and pushed 'del' to get into the bios. It says 'entering setup' but then goes straight into grub. I can't stop it.

I apparently have a bad kernel. I can't boot into system rescue cd, can't configure it to do so because I can't get into the bios.

Somebody have an idea which does not involve crossing jumpers on the motherboard?

Thanks.
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bammbamm808
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try a complete shutdown instead of a reboot. On my asus mainboard, rebooting often gets me right back to rEFInd instead of my efi firmware.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried it, no joy.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also reset the BMC and restarted the IPMI client.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's odd, the sensors through IPMI are all reading zero. The fan speed sensors are missing from the panel. Changing fan speed mode does nothing to the fans.

Not looking good.
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bammbamm808
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New CMOS battery?
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried the CMOS reset jumper yet? I had a nightmare of an EFI problem a while back (all bootloader config changes were silently failing), and that was the only thing that got it back into a sane state.
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bammbamm808
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This does sound as though it could be some UEFI firmware voodoo.
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krinn
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.supermicro.com/manuals/motherboard/Atom_on-chip/MNL-1617.pdf
Quote:
C-3
To Recover the Main BIOS Block Using a USB-
Attached Device
...

(actually it's in page C1)

ps: yep, you can download the needed bios image from their www
ps2: you said "no jumper", none involve there :)
ps3: the fact your del key is not entering the bios and your sensors weirdness suggest you've done "bad" with your bios
ps4: hey, even if you don't really do it, actually the ctrl+home key (you'll read that) will enter the bios in their "restore bios" mode, which is in the bios (so even if you don't need to flash it, you should be able to use ctrl+home instead of del to enter it).
ps5: (because i love to ps like mad): good luck
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Messing with bios and efi-boot, system broken. Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
It has been running Gentoo for years, but it has been booting UEFI into grub, and I was trying to get rid of the grub part.

Why?
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Messing with bios and efi-boot, system broken. Reply with quote

P.Kosunen wrote:
1clue wrote:
It has been running Gentoo for years, but it has been booting UEFI into grub, and I was trying to get rid of the grub part.

Why?


Because I can, more than anything else. This box isn't in production and I thought it would be good to figure this out.

@bammbamm808, I just checked the event log and there are warnings about the battery. I'll try that.

@Ant P, Trying to avoid the jumper but if it's a battery issue then my cmos is gone anyway. This box has a huge number of bios settings, it's such a drag to have to go through all that crap again.

@krinn, for a minute there I thought you were listing your game consoles. :D At any rate I have the manual both printed on paper and electronic, but thanks. Was trying to avoid the CMOS reset. I missed the ctrl+home bit, thanks.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is something to do with my boot disk.


  • If I unplug the drives, then I can boot into BIOS.
  • If I put in a system rescue cd with the drives unplugged I can boot to the cd or get BIOS.
  • Same as above for boot menu.
  • I plug in the drives and hit reset or cold boot, it goes straight to grub and then freezes on whatever kernel I select.
  • I have 4 kernels in the list, at least 3 of which worked perfectly before I started this crap.
  • I can disconnect the drives, plug in the sysrescuecd, boot to the grub menu on that, then plug in my drives and continue the boot, and I get drives.


So I did the chroot, I did grub-mkconfig and rebooted again. Nothing.
I did efibootmgr and it shows what I expected.
I reboot and it locks up on any kernel I select.

I took the drive out and did an fsck from another box. I checked file names and locations, everything seems to check out. Not so sure about grub config files, but grub is the only way this thing boots right now.

These lockups are a blank screen with:
Code:
Loading Linux 4.12.12-gentoo-k3 ...


The k3 is my suffix, if I recompile the kernel I'll bump the suffix.

So the thing is, there's nothing in the logs now for the system. There's no kernel panic, nothing after loading Linux .....

I've left it sit for the better part of an hour on the off chance it's just waiting on a timeout.
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bammbamm808
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure if this applies to AMD gpus, but sometimes nvidia graphics need "nomodeset" passed to kernel to boot.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bammbamm808 wrote:
Not sure if this applies to AMD gpus, but sometimes nvidia graphics need "nomodeset" passed to kernel to boot.


Mine is all intel, and no nvidia on the system at all. The video card is an ASPEED chip made specifically for headless servers, driver built into the kernel. And I have never had to pass anything to the kernel on this box.

I have kernels on this system which have been used for at least weeks at a time. They booted successfully before, but no longer.

Maybe I need to read more of the handbook surrounding the boot loaders.
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grumblebear
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, correctly configure the new kernel for booting efi stub. You mentioned, you have done that.
Then place the kernel in the correct location of the ESP partition. I assume you have your boot disk GPT partitioned.

What I think you missed, is to configure the boot priorities for UEFI in the BIOS. Also, if you get warnings about the CMOS battery, you will have to replace it anyway sooner or later, else you will have to reconfigure your entire BIOS more than once.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right at the moment my system is setup to boot either bios or efi, and it is somehow getting to grub. It's possible to get to grub either through BIOS boot or through efi boot, as that was my original efi setup to use grub.

My battery was changed out yesterday.

I've been fiddling with EFI boot priorities and have tried pretty much anything I can think of. It ALWAYS hits grub, and it ALWAYS launches one of the kernels (the latest mostly-untested or one of the older ones which have been successfully used for months before I started tinkering with what already worked) and then it ALWAYS prints that single line and stops. No panic, no other messages.
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Tony0945
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try seeting a longer timeout in grub.cfg or grub.conf, whichever one you have.
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mir3x
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

U said that u followed https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/EFI_stub_kernel .

But have u used GPT partition table ?
Did u created EFI partition ?

Check https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Disks
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bammbamm808
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An experience like this led me to rEFInd. I've used it for years, and once configured, works well and predictably.I've even got some customizations to.the look of my rEFInd menu screen. Setting it up to boot windows 8.1 was fairly easy as well.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mir3x wrote:
U said that u followed https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/EFI_stub_kernel .

But have u used GPT partition table ?
Did u created EFI partition ?

Check https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Disks


Yes, it's GPT partition table and I have an EFI partition. It has worked booting EFI-only for years before I tried to get it to boot without using grub. Partition types are correct, the filesystem is fat32, all that. My BIOS, when I can get to it, sees the files in my EFI partition because I can make entries for it in there.
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mir3x
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So maybe you forgot to add
GRUB_PLATFORMS="efi-64" to /etc/portage/make.conf ?
( and reemerge grub)
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1clue
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rechecked the entire handbook out to the reboot.

Remember that this has been an EFI-boot system for years now. Yes, /etc/portage/make.conf GRUB_PLATFORMS="efi-64" and I just got done rebuilding it.

I also did 'grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot' again too. My EFI partition is mounted directly to /boot, it's not a separate folder inside of /boot.
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mir3x
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So maybe add earlyprintk=vga to kernel params ? ( press o in grub menu to quick add AFAIR)
If it changes nothing then probably kernel is not loading at all ( try refind - it has nice feature to detect latest kernel, so you would never have to update config again)
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would delete the kernel you put into /EFI/BOOT. /EFI/BOOT is a fallback directory to use if all else fails. If the kernel that's there is broken, and things are failing before it gets to that point, you probably wont see any meaningful error message. It maybe falling back to that image and causing grief.
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Tony0945
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concur with skellr. Perhaps try use the kernel from sysrescuecd.
As mir3x said, with refind, refind will find all available kernels and boot the latest after your programmable timeout. With grub, it only takes a slight mis-typing to make your system unbootable.
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