[SOLVED] Severe boot problems

LorenDB

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I have openSUSE Tumbleweed installed on my work PC (and, for that matter, my personal laptop; but I'm talking about the work PC). The openSUSE installer created/used the existing (I forget which it was) EFI system boot partition. That partition filled up for some reason due to updates, and I never got around to cleaning it. Unfortunately, updates yesterday must have corrupted it, because now my PC won't boot. I have backed up the original boot partition in case I need it, so I don't mind wiping it to try a rebuild if necessary.

Anybody have any advice?

The machine is a Dell Optiplex 7040 if that helps.
 


LorenDB

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My current plan is to back up my system (BTRFS) partition as well and attempt to:

1. Do a clean install of Tumbleweed on my SSD.
2. Copy the current system partition/files (probably I'll copy just the files first, and if that doesn't work (which is likely), I'll just copy over the old partition) back to the SSD.
3. (if necessary) Boot into the openSUSE live media and do a system upgrade from there, which should repair my OS.

Hopefully this goes well and I'll be up and running before too long.
 

f33dm3bits

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You could just boot from live media, mount your file-systems and then chroot in or whatever rescue mode Tumbleweed provides. I'm guessing your boot partition looks like this?
Code:
/boot
/boot/EFI/efi
You could first try clearing out all your current efi files and then restoring your efi files from your backup, then see if your system boots. If it does not, chroot back into your system from live media or from rescue mode. Then remove the files under /boot/efi and then reinstall your grub efi files like this.
Code:
grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/EFI --bootloader-id=GRUB
Don't forgot to replace /boot/EFI with your efi directory location which you can find in your /etc/fstab.

Then update your grub configuration, then reboot. I find it strange how an efi parition ran out of space, what size was it and I don't get the idea out of your story that you are running a multiple multi-boot system. If it was just your /boot that ran out of space you could do also do as before. Boot from live media, mount your fileysystems and chroot into your system or boot into rescue. Then clear your out your /boot partition, so all the files having too do with your kernel such as initramfs, vmlinuz etc, then reinstall your kernel using your package manager, generate a new grub configuration and then reboot.
 
Last edited:

LorenDB

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Unfortunately, I can't do that. I'm afraid that the boot partition is corrupted beyond the point of mounting. (I could be wrong, but I'll have to wait till Monday to try mounting it again.)

At any rate, thanks for the detailed answer and suggestion. Really, I might have to try a chroot for some stuff.
 

f33dm3bits

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I don't find it likely that your boot partition is corrupted because of running out of space, more likely that your files on the boot partition may have been corrupted. That is why I said it's best to clear out out the files from your boot or efi partition or restore the backup you have, then reinstall your kernel and reinstall grub with efi.
 

LorenDB

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Let me elaborate (since now I'm on my laptop instead of my phone, and now can write a better description of what I'm getting at):

When I tried resizing my boot partition to a larger size, the KDE Partition Manager (what I was using because it comes on the openSUSE live media) would fail with an error about a corrupted partition (again, I'm not completely sure what the error was; I'll have to go refresh my memory Monday). I do figure that at least the files are corrupted because I did see a GRUB error about malformed security headers.

At this point, my modus operandi will probably be to make sure my boot partition backup has finished, then reformat the boot partition and try doing a system upgrade from the live media. At that point, hopefully the live system will reinstall the boot loader.

Another plan that I may try would be doing a chroot into my installation (from the live media), then installing Timeshift, backing the system up to an external drive, then just reinstalling openSUSE and restoring the Timeshift snapshot. In fact, the more I think about it, the more that sounds like a good idea if I can get it to work.
 

f33dm3bits

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Let me elaborate (since now I'm on my laptop instead of my phone, and now can write a better description of what I'm getting at):

When I tried resizing my boot partition to a larger size, the KDE Partition Manager (what I was using because it comes on the openSUSE live media) would fail with an error about a corrupted partition (again, I'm not completely sure what the error was; I'll have to go refresh my memory Monday). I do figure that at least the files are corrupted because I did see a GRUB error about malformed security headers.
Yes when resizing a partition it could get corrupted, I reacted with knowing that part but thanks for elaborating. It's still worth a try if you can recover you boot partition from rescue mode, reinstalling the kernel and generating a new grub. If not you can still do a reinstall but if you are able to recover your boot partition that way than you will have saved yourself from having to do a full reinstall ;)
 

f33dm3bits

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Glad you were able to fix it! How does that solution work for you, I thought you have an uefi install and not bios install?
 

LorenDB

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Well, I do have UEFI. I just ran the commands:

Code:
How to Chroot in Rescue Mode
Make sure /boot is mounted. (mount -a)
Run: grub2-install <ROOT_DISK>
/usr/sbin/grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
so I suppose that the tutorial works for UEFI as well.
 
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