Trisquel 9 seems to be gone after BIOS update

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Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

I had Trisquel 9 installed in dual boot alongside Windows, used it without problems for over 1 1/2 years. On May 27, after a Trisquel update, pictures did not download as usual, at log out it had a black screen, among other things it said something about imd… to type ‘help’ for topics, there were various, but I didn’t know what to pick or how to fix this, had to leave for work. Because it was set up in dual boot, and this is the only computer I currently use, thought to use Windows (not good, but convenient in this case), to try to get help to get Trisquel going again. With the Windows updates a hp BIOS update was offered. Didn’t think anything of letting that go ahead, but now Trisquel is not listed in the BIOS boot options anymore.

Has something like this happened to other people? How can I get the Trisquel 9 that was initially installed in dual boot back into the boot options so I can start it from there? Because my application for a Trisquel forum account took nearly 2 weeks to get activated, people from the FSF forum tried to help me, thank you to them all!

In the meantime I downloaded Trisquel 9 on to a bootable USB. In the instructions here it says it would have Ruben's key. Trying to verify my download, it said 'good signature', and then had the trust warning as mentioned to ignore. But it was not Ruben's key, it's someone else from Trisquel. Is it indeed always Ruben's key that is used, thus I should not use or install the USB I made?

Using the bootable USB, I see the Linux partition is still there in sda6, and when the bootable USB runs, clicking on Caja, it appears under 'Devices', where Windows is listed as well. When I mount and open the Linux listed under 'Devices' by clicking on it there, I can open my 'home' folder from the original installation, pictures and documents I downloaded are all there.

Because I'm not-good-with-tech, for the time being, I should still have Windows available on some device in case something goes quite wrong again. For the future I plan to always have a libre OS available on a bootable USB, and install libre OS on more than one device once I manage to get some older laptops going again, because when using the bootable USB there are no bookmarks, NoScript and uBlock Origin are not there, and for each time I boot it preferences in Abrowser settings need to be set up again.

Any help anyone here can give is greatly appreciated, thank you!

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

I would try to reinstall GRUB: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/Installing#Reinstalling_GRUB_2

I always use the "via ChRoot" method, but it needs not be as complicated as explained (because you certainly do not use bcache, RAID, a separate /boot partition, etc.):

  1. On a live system identify (for example using GParted) the root partition of Trisquel (it contains the directories "bin", "boot", "dev", "etc", "home", etc.), /dev/sdXY, where X is "a" if you have a single disk and Y is an integer;
  2. Execute in a terminal (still on the live system) the following commands, where X and Y are to be substituted:
    1. $ sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt
    2. $ for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys /run; do sudo mount -B $i /mnt/$i; done
    3. $ sudo chroot /mnt
    4. $ grub-install /dev/sdX
    5. $ update-grub
Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

Read at the link you suggested, tried the 5 commands you wrote, but it has not reappeared in the boot order yet. At one point it said 'grub install:error:cannot find EFI It ends with root@trisquel:/# how does one get out of that, simply close the terminal window? Thanks for your suggestions, Magic Banana! I'll have to keep trying.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

It ends with root@trisquel:/# how does one get out of that, simply close the terminal window?

That makes me notice that "#" (not "$") should have preceded the last two commands in my instructions above. It is called a prompt. It indicates that the command line interpreter is ready to interpret a new command; that it is over with the execution you previously asked for. "$" indicates you will execute a command as a simple user; "#" that you have all permissions (including to completely destroy the system). So, when you see a prompt, you can indeed close the terminal: whatever you executed in it so far is over. Well, unless you executed commands in the background, with "&", or suspended the running command with Ctrl+Z or... Nevertheless, none of that is relevant with the instructions I gave and with the vast majority of the instructions you would find: they are sequentially-executed commands.

grub install:error:cannot find EFI

Does your disk have a small partition with a FAT filesystem for EFI? GParted or other disk utility would show it. Mine is 511 MB large but only contains 3.5 MB of files.

Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

"Does your disk have a small partition with a FAT filesystem for EFI?" Running sudo fdisk -l in a terminal shows /dev/sda1/ ... 260 M EFI system, it doesn't say there whether it's FAT. I formatted the bootable USB in fat32, it is listed as /dev/sdb1

When I click on the Linux partition listed under 'Devices' in Caja, which mounts and opens it, I notice that 3 folders have 'x' beside it, and 4 have a downward pointing arrow:
'x': root, vmlinuz, vmlinuz.old
'↘': initrd.img, initrd.img.old, vmlinuz, vmlinuz.old
Not sure about those markings, whether that's normal.

Thank you for explaining things in a way so I can follow, Magic Banana! :-)

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

First of all, if you have not done it yet: backup the user files! As you have already noticed, you can access them all from a live system.

The "decorated icons" indicate the nature of the file and some permissions you (well, your user, the one with "$" as a prompt) have on it:

  • "↘" certainly means "symbolic link" aka "file shortcut" in Windows' terminology;
  • "x" certainly means you do not have the permission to read the file.

Running sudo fdisk -l in a terminal shows /dev/sda1/ ... 260 M EFI system

I guess it is the EFI System Partition I have too. It is necessary on recent system: without it, GRUB cannot be installed. We can check our partitions have the same content. In a terminal:

  1. $ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
  2. $ sudo ls /mnt

On my system, ls here lists one single directory, named "EFI". That directory contains one single directory named "debian" (yours may be named "trisquel"):
$ sudo ls /mnt/EFI
debian

If I deeper explore with sudo ls (sudo is necessary because regular users do not have the permission to read an EFI System Partition; a "x" on the icon Caja shows if you take a look at the content of /mnt), I reach six regular files:
$ sudo ls /mnt/EFI/debian
BOOTX64.CSV fbx64.efi grub.cfg grubx64.efi mmx64.efi shimx64.efi

Assuming /dev/sda1 is indeed a EFI System Partition, I guess you could reuse the instructions I initially gave you to reinstall GRUB, but:

  1. add the following step between step 3 and step 4 (to mount /dev/sda1 at /mnt, not the one of the live system but that of the root partition of the installed system, because we are after chroot):
    # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
  2. add option --efi-directory=/mnt (because the EFI System Partition was mounted in /mnt) to grub-install, in step 4:
    # grub-install --efi-directory=/mnt /dev/sda
Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

Thank you so much, Magic Banana, your precise instructions helped me get Trisquel back into the boot order!! At /mnt/EFI it listed only Boot HP Microsoft trisquel

However, after mentioning ACPI Error ... Namespace lookup failure
BusyBox v1.27.2 (Ubuntu 1:1.27.2 - Zubuntu3.4) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands
(initramfs)
the screen is still black, I don't know which one of the listed help options to choose.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Well, an investigation would be necessary. It is hard to do by proxy. Installing Trisquel 10 onto your Trisquel 9 is probably the fastest way for you to get a running (and upgraded) Trisquel system. You can use the "Something else" type of installation to reuse the existing partitions and specify that /home must *not* be formatted (but, for safety, backup the user files before anyway!) or to define the partitions differently (in particular to allocate more space to the root partition, say 40 GB: https://trisquel.info/forum/insufficient-space-upgrade is a very recent example of problem caused by an undersized root partition).

Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

Could I reinstall Trisquel 9.0.2 from the bootable USB into the existing partition? How do I specify that /home must *not* be formatted? To get Trisquel 10 I need to verify the download and get it onto a USB first. I had asked whether it is always signed with Ruben's key, because I got 'good signature' for the 9.0.2 download where it was signed by someone else from Trisquel, which didn't match Ruben's key. So far I've only done it in Windows using pendrivelinux. Not sure which described method to use if I do it with Linux, where I think then I'd be using two USBs at the same time, the live one and the one to download on to.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Could I reinstall Trisquel 9.0.2 from the bootable USB into the existing partition?

You could. Nevertheless, unless you have an excellent reason to stick to Trisquel 9, you would certainly prefer Trisquel 10 and its more recent software.

How do I specify that /home must *not* be formatted?

It is a box to uncheck during the partitioning step that you can only access if you choose the "Something else" type of installation: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XmFx4yo84P4/WL0cne_KykI/AAAAAAAAJNQ/j5AM_PPS7OkfcWMonF6N7ClDwwNdfEOMQCLcB/s1600/Screenshot%2Bat%2B2017-03-04%2B17%253A57%253A43.jpeg

So far I've only done it in Windows using pendrivelinux.

You can do that again.

Not sure which described method to use if I do it with Linux, where I think then I'd be using two USBs at the same time, the live one and the one to download on to.

Any method you want (including from a live system): https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/how-create-liveusb

Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

"Well, an investigation would be necessary." I still would like to get the already installed, and now back in the boot order, Trisquel 9 to work, then upgrade to Trisquel 10 some other time. Any advice how I can get this done?? Thanks!
[In the meantime I put Trisquel-mini on a bootable USB, but when trying without installing it can't connect to the internet even though the Ethernet cable is plugged in on a hp Compaq mini CQ10-400, so have not installed that on that device yet.]

amenex
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Iscritto: 01/03/2015

Magic Banana pointed to what ought to be the go-to place for instructions on making a live flash drive:
Any method you want (including from a live system): https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/how-create-liveusb
While the wiki isn't exactly up to date, I could easily navigate to "Startup Disk Creator" whose window is
labelled "Make Startup Disk"in my installation of Trisquel_10 (nabia).
Realizing that I had upgraded Trisquel_9 (etiona) by a roundabout method starting with a Trisquel_9 live USB
drive and that I had not yet downloaded any Trisquel_10 ISO image, I set about doing so from
https://trisquel.info/en/download, but on selecting Trisquel 2.7 GB Live DVD iso image, the download was
refused because of security risk. I made sure that the /etc/apt/sources.list is correctly configured with
sudo sed -i s/http/https/ /etc/apt/sources.list
cat /etc/apt/sources.list

# deb cdrom:[Trisquel 9.0 _etiona_ - Release amd64 (20201018)]/ etiona main
# Trisquel repositories for supported software and updates
deb https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ nabia main
deb-src https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ nabia main
deb https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ nabia-security main
deb-src https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ nabia-security main
deb https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ nabia-updates main
deb-src https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ nabia-updates main
# deb https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ etiona-backports main
# deb-src https://archive.trisquel.info/trisquel/ etiona-backports main

but the download is still refused.

Followup: Success was immediate after I changed the Trisquel mirror.
Upon applying the Trisquel_10 (nabia) Live USB flash drive a dire warning regarding the
nonexistent in my T420) EFI System partition popped up. It would be helpful to list the
'puters that do/do not have this feature to allay our fears ... I safely ignored it.

Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

Regarding my problem, I may try to do what you describe in your reply #1 on this thread
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/back-zero-revert-unadulterated-901-trisquel-etiona
I'd want to reinstall Trisquel 9, which I have on a bootable USB, into the partition where it still is, just doesn't boot though it's in the boot order.
Question: under 5. you write "also mark it as root (/) by clicking on the "change" menu item right below the listings of all the partitions. I had a lot of trouble with this step in the past because it's not at all obvious to the uninitiated. Once you've successfully reached this step, you'll find that clicking inside the open area will bring up a list of selections; among them is the absolutely necessary "/" designation."
Why is it important to mark it as root?

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Because the installer needs to know what part of the file hierarchy is to be written on the partition. One of those partitions must host the root of that hierarchy, "/".

Having more partitions is optional. Letting aside swap partitions (a different story), such an optional partition hosts a sub-hierarchy of the file hierarchy. For instance, if you give the installer another partition to be mounted at /home, then the root partition (i.e., the partition mounted at /) will only contain an empty /home directory. Its content is actually in the other partition, mounted at /home when the system starts.

Lappi
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Iscritto: 05/28/2022

On the FSF forum someone had suggested to type 'e', for edit, behind the Trisquel line after having chosen it from the bootorder, and change the linux line.
Changed the linux line from …ro quiet … to …ro quiet acpi=strict with nothing else behind it, after pressing F10 showed a few extra lines before the 'BusyBox… (initramfs):
/dev/sda6 contains a file system with errors, check forced.
Inodes that were part of a corrupted orphan linked list found.
/dev/sda6: UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; RUN fsck MANUALLY. (i.e., without -a or -p options)
fsck exited with status code 4
The root filesystem on /dev/sda6 requires a manual fsck

I searched and read about Ubuntu on another device, tried to follow along what it said there.

SUCCESS!!! I did the manual fsck, pressed a lot of times ‘y’ for yes, connected to ‘lost and found’, kept pressing ‘y’ a lot. When it was done, closed terminal, logged out from the bootable USB, rebooted, chose Trisquel from the boot order, and it BOOTED!! My desktop is as it was, my (named) home folder is as it was, pictures and all. Thank you to everybody who helped me achieve this, also to get it back into the boot order!! :hugs: