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Old 6th May 2008
kbeaucha kbeaucha is offline
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Default Dual-boot laptop won't boot OpenBSD after upgrade to 4.3

I've got an HP Pavillion ZV5000 laptop that was set up to dual-boot XP and OpenBSD 4.2 using the NTLDR option. I created the second partition with gparted and changed the partition type to A6 during the OpenBSD installation.

With OpenBSD 4.2, after doing the base install and rebooting to finish configuring the system the system would hang at "root on wd0a", but a power-cycle would bring it back and get me to a login prompt. This only happened during the installation.

Doing a fresh installation with 4.3, everything seemed to go smoothly in the first phase. I copied the boot record file over again the same way I had before:

Boot the 4.3 CD
Go to a shell
Mount a USB thumb drive as /mnt
cd to /mnt
dd if=/dev/wd0a of=openbsd.pbr bs=512 count=1
cd /, umount /mnt and reboot to MS Windows, copy the file off the thumbdrive, edit boot.ini

After that I tried booting OpenBSD, but the system would always stall at the same point; "root on wd0a swap on wd0b dump on wd0b". I booted Windows again to see if it was affected, but it started fine.

I did the full 4.3 installation again. The final messages I get are:

Installing boot block...
boot: /mnt/boot
proto: /usr/mdec/biosboot
device: /dev/rwd0c
/usr/mdec/biosboot: entry point 0
proto bootblock size 512
/mnt/boot is 3 blocks x 16384 bytes
fs block shift 2; part offset 81915435; inode block 24, offset 1960
using MBR partition 1: type 166 (0xa6) offset 81915435 (0x4e1ee3b)
done.

I attempted to boot again after that. The final messages were:

viasio0 at isa0 port 0x4e/2: VT1211 rev 0x02, HM not activated, WDG not activated
npx0 at isa0 port 0xf0/16: reported by CPUID; using exception 16
biomask ed7d netmask ed7d ttymask ffff
mtrr: Pentium Pro MTRR support
softraid0 at root
root on wd0a swap on wd0b dump on wd0b

I didn't save the earlier pbr that was working from 4.2, so I grabbed the 4.2 CD and reinstalled it on the OpenBSD partition, going through all the steps to set up the dual-boot as before, including copying the pbr over to root in the MS Windows partition. As before, the first boot failed at the same point with 4.2, but after a power-cycle the system came up normally.

I then went back and re-installed 4.3 over 4.2, and just left the 4.2 pbr in place on the MS Windows partition for NTLDR to use. The system would not boot at all, posting "ERR M" at boot and nothing else.

Since I still had copies of the last 4.3 pbr on the XP partition, I enabled it in NTLDR, and got the same "ERR M" message.

Going through the steps to pull a new pbr for 4.3 of the BSD partition and booting that gets me to the same point where it was hanging before.

I thought maybe it was something with my pbr file or Windows, so at one point I went in with fdisk and marked the OpenBSD partition bootable with:

flag 1

and rebooted directly to OpenBSD, but the system stopped at the same point as it did with the dual-boot/NTLDR setup.

Apart from what I've done and observed I don't have much information about why I'm having this problem with 4.3; I don't know if anything is being logged.

Hoping for suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

PS: I cross-posted this from bsdforums on the suggestion of another user; what's with the move?
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Old 6th May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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My guess is that GParted was used to shrink the Windows XP partition to free sufficient space for OpenBSD. Traffic on misc@ has indicated that using GParted has been problematic for several people. The general consensus is that using tools from several OS'es to carve up a disk is a bad idea. Stay with the tools designed for the OS used for everyone interprets/computes sector boundaries a little differently.

Do not recycle saved PBR files from one installation to another. Note that the purpose of the this file is to specify exactly where the kernel resides. Since there can some shifting from one installation to another, using old PBR files can send execution into the weeds. For more information, study Section 14.6 of the FAQ:

http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq14.html#Boot386

This will give you a discussion of causes for ERR M.

You probably haven't experienced any problems with Window XP yet because more than likely there isn't any applications or data saved at the partition boundary (nor is this desirable...). The possibility exists that this will never by a problem.

Many have claimed that Partition Magic has worked in resizing Windows partitions, but since you are beginning with a configuration which is questionable, I don't know if Partition Magic will fix the problem you are currently experiencing.

For the record, Vista has non-destructive partition resizing functionality. I have used it numerous times in a dual-boot configuration with OpenBSD, & I have never experienced any problems, however, I do not believe the same functionality is present in Windows XP.
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Old 7th May 2008
kbeaucha kbeaucha is offline
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If gparted was the problem, it may be that the hangs I experienced with the 4.2 install were a symptom of other issues but I was just lucky that 4.2 would boot.

I went with gparted because it was open source, reasonably easy to use and non-destructive; if I'm changing the partition table I don't really want to have to reinstall XP if I don't have to.

So, what options are available to repartition again?
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Old 7th May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeaucha View Post
So, what options are available to repartition again?
  • It may be worthwhile to verify that the latest BIOS version has been installed.
  • There are two Open Source partitioning tools: GParted & Partition Logic. I see stories on misc@ where people have been burned by both.
  • As mentioned earlier, using a commercial product such as Partition Magic might fix this situation, but the problem is you are starting with a suspect configuration which these tools may or may not resolve.
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Old 7th May 2008
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lvlamb lvlamb is offline
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Currently, the only people I trust for fdisk'ing are the guys from GRUB.
You can effectively partition a hard drive via GRUB.

As an other method, *always* use the OS implementation of fdisk to write it's *own* partition.

On any OS, the fdsik implementation will assume it hols the "real truth" and f*ck with master or volume boot records. (Fwiw, there is no such thing as a partition boot record, there are volume boot recors: a volume is not necessarely a partition).

Gparted (and the commercial versions) are brain dammaged. They speak windows and linux. That is all.

So, getting a f*cked-up "partition" to be able to boot is just the matter of having either a MBR or VBR at the right place.
On OpenBSD the needed files are under /usr/mdec
Dual booting Windows and OpenBSD can be done with the Windows NTloader
http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
will give you directions.

Anyway, I believe GRUB really is worth learning. There are versions to boot and install from floppy or CDROM. And once the tool is there and you know how to use it, you'll always be able to circumvent any OS f*ck-ups.
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Old 26th May 2008
kbeaucha kbeaucha is offline
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This is an update.

It doesn't look like my problem comes from having used gparted to create the partition for OpenBSD.

I took the laptop and booted the XP installation media, deleting both the XP and OpenBSD partitions and creating a new NTFS partion of the same size as I had before, but leaving the balance unformated.

I completed the XP install, then booted from the 4.3 install CD and used fdisk to create a partition for OpenBSD in the remaining space on the HD.

I went through the same steps to install the OS and set the laptop up for dual-booting (ntldr) as before, but I get the same result; if I select the OpenBSD option in the ntldr menu the system boots up to what looks like the point where it mounts /dev/wd0 and stalls.

I noticed a reply to my question on the old bsdforums site from one user who had gotten around his startup problems by disabling apci at the boot prompt; I tried that but it didn't make any difference. I also tried disabling softraid just for fun at the boot prompt but it didn't help either.

When I was setting up the disk I noticed that the disklabel information seemed to have persisted; which kind of surprised me. I went through the whole install process again but changed the sizes of the partitions slightly in the unlikely event that their sizes were somehow enabling some geometry-specific problem, but I got the same result.

I really suspect that some other features of OpenBSD has changed from 4.2 to 4.3 that my configuration doesn't like. Time permitting I may go through the changelog and try to spot anything likely to affect mounting my filesystems.
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Old 26th May 2008
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Since you are getting a "boot>" prompt, then you are communicating with the second stage boot loader. Your problems, whatever they may be, are not related to multibooting, but to something else.

Since you attempt to load a kernel, and it fails to load and run, then your problem is possibly related to hardware or hardware configuration.

One of the things you may find helps is to turn on "verbose" mode in the kernel -- this produces more output during hardware discovery (your dmesg output).

Boot to the User Kernel Configurator -- use "-c" as an option on the "boot>" prompt.

At the UKC> prompt, type:
UKC> verbose
UKC> quit
This might help.
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Old 26th May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeaucha View Post
I completed the XP install, then booted from the 4.3 install CD and used fdisk to create a partition for OpenBSD in the remaining space on the HD.
Three questions:
  • How old is this laptop?
  • How large is your Window XP partition?
  • Have you installed the latest BIOS version for your laptop?
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Old 27th May 2008
kbeaucha kbeaucha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
Three questions:
  • How old is this laptop?
It's about four years old; a hand-me-down from my daughter.

Quote:
  • How large is your Window XP partition?
Originally 40GB, now 40.5GB leaving ~18.5GB for OpenBSD

Quote:
  • Have you installed the latest BIOS version for your laptop?
I just did; no change.

I will try to get the verbose boot messages listing and post it here.

Last edited by kbeaucha; 27th May 2008 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 27th May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeaucha View Post
It's about four years old; a hand-me-down from my daughter.
I was curious as to whether you were somehow running into BIOS issues of yesteryear. Apparently not.
Quote:
Originally 40GB, now 40.5GB leaving ~18.5GB for OpenBSD
I assume your XP partition is now 20.5GB.

When you reinstalled, you didn't change the existing partitions?
Quote:
I will try to get the verbose boot messages listing and post it here.
At this point, this is the best direction to pursue.
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Old 27th May 2008
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Before going too far ....

ACPI is newer than APM, and unfortunately, it has been reported that every manufacturer's implementation of ACPI fails to follow the ACPI standard.

ACPI recently became the default power management tool within OpenBSD. One quick test to see if ACPI is the culprit (now) is to boot -c, as I described above, and use:
UKC> disable acpi
UKC> quit
If the kernel boots, then you know it is yet another non-standard ACPI implementation in your particular laptop.

(Obviously, since no ACPI implementation follows the standard, yours may be one of the non-standard ones which are not yet accounted for in OpenBSD's ACPI code.)
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Old 28th May 2008
kbeaucha kbeaucha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
One quick test to see if ACPI is the culprit (now) is to boot -c, as I described above, and use:
UKC> disable acpi
UKC> quit
If the kernel boots, then you know it is yet another
My "update" post describes my attempt to do just that, but it looks like I had misspelled the kernel option to disable!

I'll retry that.

I had thought that I might be able to disable this feature in the BIOS, but there really doesn't seem to be any control over ACPI in the BIOS.

Another minor glitch: I was going to redirect the console out a serial port to grab the boot messages, but this laptop is new enough that it doesn't have an internal serial port (but has a parallel port, which I don't need). Can I use a USB serial adapter as my console?
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Old 28th May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeaucha View Post
Can I use a USB serial adapter as my console?
Sure. See Section 7.7 of the FAQ:

http://openbsd.org/faq/faq7.html#SerCon
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Old 28th May 2008
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I'm not so sure, ocicat. kbeaucha was describing switching to a serial port from the second stage boot loader, not from a running OS. This would be BIOS dependent, I think, and perhaps not possible at all on many i386/amd64 systems.
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Old 29th May 2008
kbeaucha kbeaucha is offline
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The laptop is having trouble with acpi; disabling that feature lets the system start up properly.

This unit must just be old enough to have a broken implementation of the standard.

I'm looking for a way to disable acpi by default now. I was hoping it could be done in /etc/boot.conf but doing some other reading seems to indicate that this won't work, that these functions are not accessible at that level of the boot process.

Any suggestions on how I can disable acpi by default?

Thanks
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Old 29th May 2008
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Easy peasy.

Boot -c, as you have done before, and disable acpi, as you have done.

Then:
# config -euf /bsd
Your modified GENERIC kernel will be saved in /bsd for you.
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Old 29th May 2008
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Oops. Forgot you will get another UKC> prompt and will have to type "quit" again, but your prior change to disable acpi will be applied for you. You'll see an "applying history" message prior to the UKC> prompt.

See the man page to config(8) for more info.
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Old 30th May 2008
kbeaucha kbeaucha is offline
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Problem solved!

The "config" command looks pretty interesting; I think it merits a closer look.

Thanks for all your help ocicat, lvlamb, jggimi

Now I can go back to solving the issues I'm having with KDE on my Dell ;-)
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