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  #1  
Old 28th July 2009, 03:51 AM
Mudhoney Offline
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Posts: 27
Won't boot past BIOS

Hello,

I've had FC11 x86_64 running for awhile based on an upgrade from FC10. I powered down one night then when I tried to boot the next day the system just sat at the BIOS prompt "Verifying DMI pool data...". I opened the case to check all cables - all fine. I've run a memtest, also fine. I then suspected a bad HDD so I ran the Seagate tools from the Ultimate Boot CD (fast test) and both HDDs came up fine. BIOS can see both disks fine, too. I stuffed around with fixmbr and fixboot and got one step further, with it sitting at "invalid operating system" or something like that. I was able to use Linux rescue mode to mount the old filesystems fine.

Today I've completely blown away all my old partitions and started from scratch. After successfully completing an install with custom disk layout (identical to old layout) it still just sits at "Verifying DMI pool data..". Do I have a bad sector in my boot block? Possible BIOS issue? Is there some tool to re-write the boot block?

Thanks,

Mud
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  #2  
Old 28th July 2009, 08:30 AM
tashirosgt Offline
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I think the "Verifying DMI pool data..." is not an operating system problem. It is a BIOS problem. It can happen when you hard drive goes bad and is no longer detected by BIOS. It can also happens when something causes the computers drives to be detected differently. I have some motherboards that give this error whenever the line power goes off and on, even if the computer is not turned on during this event. On these motherboards I can solve the problem by entering BIOS setup, changing nothing and then "exit and save". Sometimes it takes several attempts to get past the error. You could have a failing drive, see if all your drives show up in the BIOS setup screen. Don't turn off the line power by turning off a power strip after you shut the machine down.

I don't know if external drives can have any bearing on the problem - don't have any yet.
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  #3  
Old 28th July 2009, 02:06 PM
StaticShell Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10
Hello Mudhoney,

I also had the same issue with an old IBM thinkpad (A20P) model. I upgraded its BIOS using flash, and each time after it would freeze on the BIOS screen, hang on verifying pool data, or simply not even show BIOS screen!

The solution to my problem was to downgrade the BIOS to an older version, using diskett!, as I dont really appreciate the flashing of BIOS, and walla! it worked fine after that.

I understand from your post you had not tampered with the BIOS tho, and if not you should take a look at this site.

http://www.duxcw.com/faq/computer/dmi.html

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 29th July 2009, 09:03 AM
Mudhoney Offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 27
Ok so I've flashed in a new BIOS. The first boot after flash returned "Verifying DMI pool data... Update Success" but it still failed to boot. Every other attempt after that just failed on "Verifying DMI pool data...". I have two HDDs in with software RAID set up - /boot partition is RAID-1. I'm not sure how booting works, but I assume the BIOS looks for the first disk it recognises then looks at its boot block. Thinking maybe one HDD had a bad boot block, I swapped cables between the two HDDs so the alternate disk would be the preferred one. No change. I have also mucked around with the various settings regarding how the BIOS accesses the disks. eg. "LBA, Auto, Large". Setting to LBA returned "Geom error".

It still boots fine off CD drive.

I'm thinking I have a BIOS error, but I'm not completely sure. I don't really understand why anything would have suddenly changed after some time with the power off, unless the power down somehow glitched the BIOS, but wouldn't the BIOS flash have fixed that?

I think the next thing to try will be to try a single-disk install on each HDD and try to rule out issues with a particular drive.

edit: I should mention that once booted off CD, I can continue to access the disks via Linux Rescue, or if I reinstall linux, however further boot attempts from HDD always fail.

Last edited by Mudhoney; 29th July 2009 at 09:05 AM. Reason: see inline
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  #5  
Old 30th July 2009, 07:20 AM
Mudhoney Offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 27
windows_xp_2003firefox
this is now fixed. It turns out something went weird with GRUB. I fixed it using instructions in this very helpful thread: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...highlight=grub
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