MX Linux 19.1 GRUB Bootloader Unable to install on hard drive

Castle Robin

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MX Linux 19.1 is excellent. It works brilliantly via my USB stick, except for the GRUB Bootloader which, even though listed as Fixed after attempted repairs, is not fixed as it won't install MX Linux onto my hard drive despite repeated efforts with numerous rows of "ACPI Error" per sda and other Linux formats, plus "Device /dev/" followed by sda 1, sda 2, loop0 etc not initialized in udev database after waiting 1000000 microseconds.

I have also tried reinstalling GRUB and followed Youtube instruction guides, but still no luck.

In addition, I tried to install MX Linux over Windows 7. Windows is now completely wiped, but the GRUB technical fault has complicated things, as I have to reinstall most programs into MX Linux via my USB stick every time due to currently only being able to run MX via the stick.

Also, the distro is prone to the screen sleeping unexpectedly at random every minute or few minutes and my computer restarts automatically including very recently when a series of alternating vertical green/black bars appeared on my screen, thus freezing my computer requiring me to turn off my computer at the front button which lost all of the MX Live settings.

With or without Conky on display, I am noticing my E-Mail time is incorrect, but the digital clock on the top left of MX 19.1 is the correct hour, but 7 minutes earlier than my watch time. For instance, 5.15pm is incorrectly listed as 1.15pm on my e-mail account.

How do I successfully repair or install GRUB so that I can install MX Linux 19.1 onto my hard drive?

Do I need to reinstall MX Linux from scratch (this time via Linux only) onto a different USB stick, and which at least Linux orientated program for uploading an ISO image into do I need?

How do I turn off sleep and stop my computer from restarting automatically?
 
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Castle Robin

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Hi Poorguy

Thanks for welcoming me to the forum and your recommendations.

As I have MX 17 on a different USB stick (as far as I know, there are no errors on that version, but I've never tried to install it on my hard drive), if, as believed, MX 17 is error free, would it be worthwhile to temporarily and briefly install MX 17 onto my hard drive?

If it is, would there be a way for me to upgrade from MX 17 to MX 19.1 without having to download and install MX 18 in between?

If this is inadvisable, which is the simplest and quickest Linux orientated program that would enable me to use a new USB stick to recreate MX 19.1 from the beginning in conjunction with an ISO image from another program that would work in Linux?, as at least some are Windows only for ISO images.

Once I reach the stage of MX 19.1 being successfully installed on my hard drive, either directly from scratch or via MX 17 upgrading to MX 19.1 (which I'll install, like on Saturday, as a semi-automatic, non-partitioning method of installation, as I need to progress into learning more about partitioning), I'd like to create a separate Home folder, which is highly recommended by various sources online, but I can always sort out the Home folder at a later stage on this forum if required.
 
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D

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Hi Castle Robin,

I don't believe you can upgrade from MX 17 to MX 18 to MX 19 etc.

From this link.

4th frame down.
From any version of MX-18 to MX-19

Because of the change in the base from Debian 9 (Stretch) to Debian 10 (Buster), and the switch to the new Xfce 4.14, there is no upgrade option. You will need to make a clean install.

I've always found that a clean install from freshly created bootable media is the best from my experience.

I always use a DVD just because it's what I'm used to.

You should be able to create a bootable usb from a program on MX 17 called Live USB Maker.

I don't remember exactly what it's listed under in the menu bar.

It should list some options in the user manual.

https://mxmanuals.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/user_manual_mx19/mxum.pdf

Have a look in the manual in this section.

2.2.3 Create the LiveMedium

If you have any doubts about how to partition a drive I'd just let the MX 19 installer do it and then install it to the hard drive and once you understand how to partition the hdd than give it try and see how it goes.

Hope this helps.
 
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wizardfromoz

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just to add to what tom has said above

https://mxlinux.org/release-cycle/

explains a little.

mx-17 is also based on stretch, so installing it and running updates would see you with a satisfactory working system for now and the immediate future

wiz
 

Castle Robin

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Hi Castle Robin,

I don't believe you can upgrade from MX 17 to MX 18 to MX 19 etc.

From this link.

4th frame down.
From any version of MX-18 to MX-19

Because of the change in the base from Debian 9 (Stretch) to Debian 10 (Buster), and the switch to the new Xfce 4.14, there is no upgrade option. You will need to make a clean install.

I've always found that a clean install from freshly created bootable media is the best from my experience.

I always use a DVD just because it's what I'm used to.

You should be able to create a bootable usb from a program on MX 17 called Live USB Maker.

I don't remember exactly what it's listed under in the menu bar.

It should list some options in the user manual.

https://mxmanuals.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/user_manual_mx19/mxum.pdf

Have a look in the manual in this section.

2.2.3 Create the LiveMedium

If you have any doubts about how to partition a drive I'd just let the MX 19 installer do it and then install it to the hard drive and once you understand how to partition the hdd than give it try and see how it goes.

Hope this helps.
Hi Poorguy

Thanks for your update including links which are most invaluable.

The closest I could do is to install MX 17 onto the hard drive (which would very likely work, as I've not noticed any errors during start up when using this prior to MX 19.1 with the faulty GRUB bootloader), but this would be futile due to the reasons you've given, as I'd only get to upgrade to and be stalled at MX 18 and have to start from scratch with MX 19.1, which I agree is the best option.

What I'll do is, as soon as some new USB sticks arrive in the post today or tomorrow, I'll use one of them to reinstall MX 19.1, hopefully without any GRUB bootloader errors. I'm not exactly sure why GRUB failed during This installation (as I've not seen any GRUB errors in MX 17) on Saturday, but hopefully I was just unlucky and I will be fully successful in installing MX 19.1 with GRUB fully working second time around.

Although I first explored Linux (Mint) in 2016, soon will be my first time installing my now preferred chosen distro MX Linux onto my hard drive, which would have been last Saturday except for the GRUB bootloader faults allowing MX 19.1 to run fine via a USB stick but not install to my hard drive.

Due to being inexperienced in partitioning at this stage, I'd prefer to do the semi-automatic installation method, but will be very happy to keep in mind the equally useful partitioning options at a later date.

In the meantime, I believe that creating a separate Home partition can still be achieved after Linux is installed with the semi-automatic install option. I'll explore this option at a later date, but if I can get MX 19.1 installed onto my hard drive by the weekend, I will be able to save documents and programs, etc onto my literal drive and know they'll remain intact every time I shut down then start up the next time. :)
 

Castle Robin

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just to add to what tom has said above

https://mxlinux.org/release-cycle/

explains a little.

mx-17 is also based on stretch, so installing it and running updates would see you with a satisfactory working system for now and the immediate future

wiz
Hi Wizard from Oz

Thanks for your update and link.

I agree with both you and Tom. All excellent advice.

Following on from my initial reply to Tom, due to MX 17 only being upgradable to MX 18, after careful consideration, I've decided to do a fresh install as soon as my new USB sticks arrive in the post. However, your suggestion to use MX 17 temporarily is also useful.
 

Castle Robin

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I've since tried to reinstall MX Linux 19.1 via a new USB stick, firstly trying Balena Etcher (as it seemed simpler than the MX Live USB Creator) but didn't work, then I tried the MX Live USB Creator, and still nothing different.

I would use Gparted to partition my hard drive for MX Linux and PC Linux OS, just so I can see if at least one works, but the same problems as before still arise, and I'd need to be absolutely sure I know what I'm doing so as to not mess up my hard drive.
 
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sp331yi

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It may be something simple. Assuming sdb1 is the USB partiton on which MX is installed, is the partition flagged 'boot'?

Also, what file system is being used for the parition(s) onto which Linux is installed? Try ext2 and be sure sdb1 is flagged as boot, perhaps.
 

sp331yi

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Forgive me, I'm so Linux-oriented!
If your machine is Windows, a separate /boot partition formatted to FAT/vfat of small size (356-512MB) should be created as first partition and flagged 'boot.'

If solely Windows, suggest obtaining a utility such as System Rescue CD and burning its ISO to CD, booting to it on your machine and then doing the formatting of the USB stick to be used.

If confusing, take step-by-step. To burn ISO. Get gparted in SystemRescueCD.
Using Gparted with Linux
Using Gparted in Windows

Come back here if problems arise -- many geeks here to help. LOL!
 

Castle Robin

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It may be something simple. Assuming sdb1 is the USB partiton on which MX is installed, is the partition flagged 'boot'?

Also, what file system is being used for the parition(s) onto which Linux is installed? Try ext2 and be sure sdb1 is flagged as boot, perhaps.
I have sda1 (Boot) for the MX partition but sdb1 for the USB partition.

I have noticed that two partitions share ext4 and that some errors appear during Start Up, although MX Linux 17 is installed as a full automatic install on the main hard drive.

Amidst a small number of confirmed hardware issues including a fault with Processor 2 (highlighted during start up), I am trying to do a fresh install of MX Linux 19.1 from the MX Linux web site, but the 1.5 GB file after download ends up being listed as "0 bytes", and when I initially got the 1.5 GB file downloaded successfully, the erroneous attempted installation of MX Linux 19.1 (with GRUB bootloader errors that allowed me to only use 19.1 via a USB stick) came up (despite me doing a fresh download) for some reason, and the Torrents page as an alternative must be inundated with usage as it won't connect.
 

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Castle Robin

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Forgive me, I'm so Linux-oriented!
If your machine is Windows, a separate /boot partition formatted to FAT/vfat of small size (356-512MB) should be created as first partition and flagged 'boot.'

If solely Windows, suggest obtaining a utility such as System Rescue CD and burning its ISO to CD, booting to it on your machine and then doing the formatting of the USB stick to be used.

If confusing, take step-by-step. To burn ISO. Get gparted in SystemRescueCD.
Using Gparted with Linux
Using Gparted in Windows

Come back here if problems arise -- many geeks here to help. LOL!
Puzzling! A 1.6 GB file (previously 1.5 GB file from the same MX Mirrors site that ended up after download as "0 bytes") has appeared, so this ought to work, but this is what's happened prior to this:

Being Linux-oriented is a good thing.

I now only use Linux, but have the GRUB bootloader that represents both Windows and Linux as part of the MX Linux 17 installation.

I'll study the Gparted with Linux link, as I'd like to have a separate Home partition for whenever I can get MX Linux 19.1 to install on my computer without old traces of the attempted erroneous install that only worked on a USB stick. I formatted a different USB stick that is now blank, but for some reason, I can't get 19.1 onto it.

I've tried Balena Etcher and Unetbootin then MX Live USB Creator and also Xfburn which defaulted as "Open", all without success. Even when switching to "Save" some areas of Xfburn are greyed out, irrespective of the previous "0 bytes" situation and the now 1.6 GB ISO file. Not sure why any of this is happening, as I've followed the straightforward instructions, yet I keep getting these obstacles.

In MX's Live USB Creator an error message pops up preventing me proceeding any further.
 
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70 Tango Charlie

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Hi Robin,
When you formatted your different USB stick, did you format it to FAT-32?
I believe if you do that, then Etcher will be useable.
Old Geezer
Tango Charlie
 

Castle Robin

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No. I used the command lines in this link with ext4:


I've tried to reformat the now blank USB stick with FAT-32 to work with Etcher, but nothing is happening.

There is also Unetbootin, but they use a BIN file. No matter which web site I visit to figure out how to run a BIN file, I'm not getting anywhere, yet creating and installing MX Linux 17 onto my hard drive was a breeze.

None of the Linux compatible ISO image creators are working on my computer - MX Linux Live USB Creator, Balena Etcher, Unetbootin or Xfburn.

If there are any other Linux compatible ISO image creators, I'll try those. I'd be happy with any of the above or others, provided they install MX 19.1 onto my hard drive (to wipe over MX 17), which isn't happening, despite numerous efforts.
 
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wizardfromoz

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david, hi

1. have you tried dd from terminal, to burn? if not, do not use it until i get info from you to give you the exact command/s

2. no, on the boot flags in the above pics.

with the stick, just format it to FAT-32, using gparted in your existing install using the following steps:
- if the stick is not empty, delete anything on it and confirm
- go to Device in menu at top and choose create partition table, you may have choices which include MSDOS & GPT, choose MSDOS and confirm, it will run itself
- when that finishes, choose Partition -new or format to , and choose fat32 and apply changes
- that will leave you with a stick with one only partition, /dev/sdb1 as FAT-32, probably shows as about 59 GiB

CLOSE GPARTED, wait a few seconds until activity ceases, eject the stick, wait a few seconds and insert the stick.

if that does not automatically mount the stick, look in thunar file manager for the stick, and see it shows as empty with eg 60 GB spare.

confirm back here, and i'll rustle up the dd command for you

don't put any flags on anything

cheers

wiz
 

Castle Robin

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david, hi

1. have you tried dd from terminal, to burn? if not, do not use it until i get info from you to give you the exact command/s

2. no, on the boot flags in the above pics.

with the stick, just format it to FAT-32, using gparted in your existing install using the following steps:
- if the stick is not empty, delete anything on it and confirm
- go to Device in menu at top and choose create partition table, you may have choices which include MSDOS & GPT, choose MSDOS and confirm, it will run itself
- when that finishes, choose Partition -new or format to , and choose fat32 and apply changes
- that will leave you with a stick with one only partition, /dev/sdb1 as FAT-32, probably shows as about 59 GiB

CLOSE GPARTED, wait a few seconds until activity ceases, eject the stick, wait a few seconds and insert the stick.

if that does not automatically mount the stick, look in thunar file manager for the stick, and see it shows as empty with eg 60 GB spare.

confirm back here, and i'll rustle up the dd command for you

don't put any flags on anything

cheers

wiz
I very nearly typed this command in from this web site:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=4096 status=progress


However, now that I've seen your reply, I'll put that aside and try your instructions so I can get the USB drive converted to FAT 32 and hopefully be able to get MX Linux 19.1 up and running.

1. have you tried dd from terminal, to burn? - Very nearly.

2. no, on the boot flags in the above pics. - I don't follow. What are Flags?

At this time, the USB stick isn't being detected, yet was earlier.

I've tried another USB stick. Not detected either.

It's been one thing after another trying, endlessly, to install MX Linux 19.1. Firstly, I could use 19.1 on a USB stick but with a faulty GRUB Bootloader that resulted in me only being able to use 19.1 via the stick. Now, I can't get an ISO image to work with any programs including Unetbootin, Etcher or MX Linux's own Live USB Creator, probably due to the sticks not being detected "No removable device", which were detected earlier.

I've opened up Thunar, but no sign of either USB stick for some reason.

The MX Linux 19.1 download (1.6 GB) is in Downloads, but no way of uniting the ISO image with a compatible program as obstacles keep getting in the way.

After a faulty GRUB bootloader with 19.1, I tried to install 19.1 on a different USB stick. I then formatted both USB sticks which were detected earlier, but now nothing so I can't proceed until they become detected, but I don't know how, unless I order yet more new USB sticks and start from scratch.
 

Castle Robin

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Update: After about 10 attempts, I've, finally, managed to get the USB stick to be detected, but then this error appears when I go into Gparted:

"2 partitions are currently active on device /dev/sda

A new partition table cannot be created when there are active partitions. Active partitions are those that are in use, such as a mounted file system, or enabled swap space.
Use Partition menu options, such as unmount or swapoff, to deactivate all partitions on this device before creating a new partition table."

I unmounted the USB stick, but can't find the option "swapoff".

Although the USB drive isn't detected in Thunar (but was before), it was detected in Gparted, but upon following your instructions, for some reason the sdb partition has been deleted and replaced by "Unallocated 57.30 GiB".

When I then tried to use the Partition option, the attached images appeared.
 

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wizardfromoz

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#16 -

I don't follow. What are Flags?
revisit your #11, 2 pictures, look at right-hand side, Flags, eg boot, esp &c, if one says mfstdata, it's about windozey
:)

At this time, the USB stick isn't being detected, yet was earlier.
did you follow the steps i outlined in my #15

with the stick, just format it to FAT-32, using gparted in your existing install using the following steps:
- if the stick is not empty, delete anything on it and confirm
- go to Device in menu at top and choose create partition table, you may have choices which include MSDOS & GPT, choose MSDOS and confirm, it will run itself
- when that finishes, choose Partition -new or format to , and choose fat32 and apply changes
- that will leave you with a stick with one only partition, /dev/sdb1 as FAT-32, probably shows as about 59 GiB

CLOSE GPARTED, wait a few seconds until activity ceases, eject the stick, wait a few seconds and insert the stick.

if that does not automatically mount the stick, look in thunar file manager for the stick, and see it shows as empty with eg 60 GB spare.
??

on #17

I've, finally, managed to get the USB stick to be detected,
where? in file manager, or elsewhere, can you provide a screenshot - BTW, when attaching, choose full size, not thumbnail?

but can't find the option "swapoff".
you won't, it does not have swap on it

... ok, got where it was detected, good

with the 2 pix, they show it is fine, unallocated in the first, then creating a new partition in the 2nd

1. in the 2nd pic, that is this

davids-gparted-create-new.png


...(see what i mean about fullsize over thumbnail?)

change file system to FAT-32, then press add, and then the green tick (or similar) top of GParted to apply changes.

once that concludes, follow on where i instructed above.

you should have just the 1 partition, unflagged, likely /dev/sdb1

2. let us know where the 19.1 .iso is stored, eg /home/david/Downloads or other. also let us know the exact name of the .iso, eg

MX-19.1_x64.iso

report back, and i'll give you the exact syntax for the dd command.

3.
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=4096 status=progress
don't run that unless you are prepared to run an all-nighter (maybe longer) on a 64 GB stick - i'll explain after we get you sorted, remind me - after 5,000 years my memory is a little fuzzy

cheers

wiz
 

Castle Robin

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I've re-done the steps and missed something before, but this time correctly, but still the same outcome as before.

Thunar displayed the USB stick before, but it intermittently appears, as only an "Unallocated" reference in Gparted is currently seen fopr a 57.30 GB stick which will be the one as it's close to 59 GB.

Oddly, FAT32 initially showed up in Gparted but then became "Unallocated".

The 19.1 iso is stored in /home/david/Downloads/.

The exact name of the ISO is: MX-19.1_x64.iso.

Upon a refresh, sdb has vanished, while sdc has replaced it with the same outcome.

"No Removable Device" listed in the Unmount section.

sda 02-05-20.png


SCREENSHOT 1 - CASTLE ROBIN'S /DEV/SDA - 2 MAY


sdb 02-05-20.png


SCREENSHOT 2 - CASTLE ROBIN'S /DEV/SDB - 2 MAY



Thunar 02-05-20.png


SCREENSHOT 3 - CASTLE ROBIN'S THUNAR FILE MANAGER VIEW - 2 MAY


sdc 02-05-20.png


SCREENSHOT 4 - CASTLE ROBIN'S /DEV/SDC - 2 MAY
 
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wizardfromoz

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David hi, i've edited the above with carriage entries (enter 2 - 3 times) as it was hard to understand the picture was 4 pics, also labelled them. you could do that in future?

1. during my morning i will put together a short video on how to prepare the stick for use.

i'll likely use an 8 GB stick, and i'll have material on it first and then clean that off to prepare it

2. with screenshot 4 if that still applies, what shows if anything as being at /dev/sdb?

wiz
 


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