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Mint 19.3 install fail
#1
Good morning everyone. This is day 2 of my attempt to install Linux Mint 19.3 on a virgin 1TB hard drive. I booted from a live flash drive, clicked install from the desktop, and used the first choice to let Mint partition the HD. The installation stopped at a black screen with a initramfs prompt. I made a new live fd, and tried the install again. Now I can't even boot Mint from the flash drive. Puppy will boot into RAM, so I am guessing that there is a partition problem from the previous Mint attempt. I suppose the now screwed HD needs to be wiped clean, and another try at installing Linux made. The thing is, I have no idea how to remove whatever mint did. Apparently, mint does not wipe the HD clean as stated. I am also guessing that I should have made another partitioning choice rather than letting mint do it automatically. Again, I'm lost as to how to set a partition that mint can find.  I hope that my lack of knowledge of Linux does not deter anyone from helping. What's basic to you, is far ahead of where I am. Thanks, Howard
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#2
Ok, not a reply, but an update to the Mint 19.3 install saga. I reloaded the 19.3 iso, but this time I did not specify a persistence file area size. The live Mint started, and I made the first option to let Mint erase everything. All seemed to go well for about two thirds of the install. Then I got a message saying 'The GRUB-efi-amd64-signed' failed to install into /target/
                         Without GRUB bootloader the installed system will not boot

And so it did not. I started the live Mint again, and all seems to work properly from the flash drive. I'm reading that there has been a problem with GRUB, but, as before, I have no idea (Yet) how to move forward. There's an old saying saying, "I'm dancing (Reading, in my case) as fast as I can", and I now have a less mysterious problem to deal with, but I  still don't know how to fix this GRUB install failure. I feel closer to a working Mint system, but I'm not there yet, so ANY help will be appreciated. BTW, I did this Mint install attempt offline, as I read I should. Would being connected have allowed GRUB to install? Just asking, without much understanding. TNX, Howard.
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#3
I have Mint drop to initramfs on my laptop sometimes, I am wondering if it is because the machine is getting old as this signifies a failure to boot the system.
I tried scanning the HD for errors when this happens, as the FSCK command is available. In my case, my Mint installation is installed on the SDA2 partition.
I ran the command "fsck /dev/sda2" and it found errors. Every time this problem occurs, I find that FSCK finds errors.
If your Mint install is on a different partition, you should swap out SDA2 for the actual partition of your Mint install.
FSCK is a Linux command, similiar to CHKDSK in Windows.
When running this command, I would press A to tell it to fix all errors, then reboot after I get back to the command prompt.
This fixed the problem (on that occasion, as it seems to be recurring) , and allowed me to boot back into the system.
I am wondering if I need to swap out my hard drive for a new one.

EDIT: This was posted before your reply, so my advice may not relate to your issue after all... sorry.
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#4
Thanks Dav, and all. Here's the end of day recap. I have put Mint 19.3, 19.2, MATE, Puppy, and Ubuntu on the live FD, and all work fine from there. None will install, and run from my new, never contaminated by MS, windowless, 1TB HD. At least now I can play with Linux while I learn, but, eventually, I want some version to operate normally from the HD. Mint Cinnamon 19.3 once said something about GRUB didn't load, but I found a few sudo commands that somehow repaired that, but it still wouldn't load. I see initramfs a lot. Don't have a clue what that means, or how to fix it.
   Anyway, playing with Linux is fun/frustrating, but I need a system that works reliably, without constant tinkering. Not looking for a new, endless, learning curve to conquer, just a path leading far away from microsoft.  That's it for day 4. Howard
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#5
In my personal opinion you should run the memory tests available on the live cd before going any farther then do the hard drive test from the above post and also double check the cables running to your hard drive to be sure they are plugged in fully. (both ends)
I have never seen it recommended to install offline so I don't know where that came from, if the only problem seems to be that it did not install grub you can install it separately from the cd.
BTW what kind of computer is it ?
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#6
(02-04-2020, 04:16 PM)spudnuts Wrote: In my personal opinion you should run the memory tests available on the live cd before going any farther then do the hard drive test from the above post and also double check the cables running to your hard drive to be sure they are plugged in fully. (both ends)
I have never seen it recommended to install offline so I don't know where that came from, if the only problem seems to be that it did not install grub you can install it separately from the cd.
BTW what kind of computer is it ?

Thanks Spud. I'll answer your thoughts in order.
  I'll run those tests as soon as I figure out how. I'm as new as one can be, but I'm learning.
   There are no cables involved.
    The no wifi suggestion was in several of the many posts I came across. Didn't seem like it would be detrimental.
     I'll eventually learn how to install, and use GRUB. I am just beginning, and know/understand little.
      The computer is a Toshiba Satellite C55 B52
       The HD is (Was) a virgin, 1TB WD Blue. No OS ever, before trying to install Mint 19.3 with the automatic partitioning choice selected.

I suspect that, since all distros fail to install, in the same way, something in that first Mint Cinnamon 19.3 install attempt partitioning is the culprit, but I can't support that. I also wonder if the HD size is a problem, but, again, I don't know that. I'm learning a bit more every day, by reading, which is why I'm here. Thanks, Howard.
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#7
Ok, one last question before I set Linux aside, and unwind for a while.

When I try to run, or install , any of the Linux .iso s, on an empty 1tb hd. I wind up at the initramfs prompt.  Is this telling me to run a command of some sort to continue, or what? I feel like I don't even know what to ask you all. If anyone can make an understandable question out of this, and my other posts, and answer it, I will be more than grateful for your time, and expertise. Thanks, Howard
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#8
Howard.
This is most likely a stupid question on my part. When you download the .iso do you run it through a program like Etcher to flash it on your usb drive? That is how I load all my linux distros on my computer, currently playing with different distros on an older laptop. I have never had a problem installing Linux using this method. I use Linux Mint on my new laptop and I download and flash the usb drive on that one, it can be done on windows 10 as well. I know how frustrating Linux can be for a windows user, and I am not, most definitely not, a Linux power user. Good luck, brother.
Greg
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#9
(02-05-2020, 02:45 PM)TenMM Wrote: Howard.
This is most likely a stupid question on my part. When you download the .iso do you run it through a program like Etcher to flash it on your usb drive? That is how I load all my linux distros on my computer, currently playing with different distros on an older laptop. I have never had a problem installing Linux using this method. I use Linux Mint on my new laptop and I download and flash the usb drive on that one, it can be done on windows 10 as well. I know how frustrating Linux can be for a windows user, and I am not, most definitely not, a Linux power user. Good luck, brother.
Greg
Thanks  Greg. I have been using Multibootusb to put things on the FD. Not a personal choice, but because I saw it recommended somewhere. I'll certainly try Etcher. Don't believe your kind words are not valuable, they matter to me.  I have had many jobs, and hobbies, over the years, and in nearly every case, I have experienced the old ' I got mine, you go find your own,' attitude. You get a very few, kind, pay it forward types, as I have found here, and the rest never say a word. At one point I got into antique typewriters (The Linux machines of their day), and I asked a group for a bit of technical help. Got some, but the one that stuck with me, over the years, was "I could tell you, but it would take too long." Kindness is just as important as technical expertise, to me, anyway. So, thanks much for the idea. I'll try it.
  Still trying to figure out what the initramfs prompt is telling me to do. I think my problem is with GRUB, and that it can be fixed here, but I am clueless as to how to do it. Anyone know of a good book, or cheat sheet? Howard
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#10
Howard.
It might be worth asking at
https://forums.linuxmint.com/index.php
Cliff Coggin
Mint 19.2 Cinnamon
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