Home > Cobbler, Linux > Problems with grub and (U)EFI

Problems with grub and (U)EFI

You keep this love, thing, child, toy
You keep this love, fist, scar, break
You keep this love
(Pantera – This love)

I really hate those unproductive hours (hopefully not days) when one needs to debug some strange problems whose solution won’t be reusable. All of us have some of those. Although IBM delivers some fine hardware, sometimes strange problems arise. So this was one of those days…

We use Cobbler + PXE for unattended CentOS installations, and didn’t have problems on many different machines. But the day arrived πŸ™‚ There were two kind of servers at our disposal: x3550 M4 1U and x3630M4 2U with attached DAS. First equipped with 2x900GB SAS drives and second with bunch of disks πŸ™‚ x3550M4 were set up in RAID0 (striping) configuration, and with stock BIOS settings PXE installation went like a charm. On the other hand, two of the system drives (another pair of 900GB SAS) on x3630M4 were set up as mirror, and installation went smoothly but grub refused to start. Only output we had was a blinking cursor on the top left corner of empty black screen. And it’s kinda hard to google for solution of that error πŸ˜‰

CentOS 6 uses old Grub 0.97, but that was not the issue. Booting livecd, manually forcing grub installs, installing on MBR of other block devices present on the system – nothing worked…. After two days of pain, solution finally came around the block… Two simple steps we’re needed to fix it forever:

  • enter bios
  • Load Default Settings
  • System Settings => Legacy support
  • disable BBS Boot
  • back to main menu (ESC)
  • Save Settings
  • Exit Setup

We’ve tried another dozens of combinations but final solution was to 1) load defaults and 2) disable BBS Boot. We haven’t tried booting from GPT partition table, so maybe that would work too. But why bother if virtual block device is 900GB – msdos partition table would sufice. So if anyone comes across of this kind of problem: grub not loading from msdos partition table on a system that also has GPT patition tables on another set of block devices, with or without EFI/UEFI setting in BIOS => hope this blog entry saves you some time by disabling Bunch of Bull Shit BIOS option.

As someone over at Pantera’s video wrote:

You know the world sucks when you search “This Love” and the results are maroon 5

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  1. November 25, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Update. Nov 2013.

    IBM xSeries 3500 M4

    installed CentOS 6.4 with BBS enabled….restarted and failed boot.
    config as follows:
    /boot/EFI 200M
    / (hdd size – 2G)/2
    /home (hdd size – 2G)/2
    2G

    opened the BIOS, disabled BBS….restarted the same installation, still failed boot. Same error, file not found.

    reinstalled CentOS 6.4 with ff config
    /boot 200M
    /boot/EFI 200M
    / (hdd size – 2G)/2
    /home (hdd size – 2G)/2
    2G

    reboot successful.

    been at this f**cker 3 days now.

    • December 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Hi David. If possible, could you tell me what is “ff config”

  2. November 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I’m glad that my post helped you πŸ™‚

  3. September 6, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    This is still relevant. Trying to install CentOS 7 on an x3650 M4. I reset the BIOS setting to defaults, and disabled BBS boot, and CentOS booted right up, first try. You Sir, are awesome! Thanks for posting this!

  1. October 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm

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