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EBIOS read error


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#1
bugjah

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Hi all

I've been using my dell mini 10v OsX install happily with the normal quirks, but fine. Then one day, spinning beachball of death. Cold shut down. And now it won't start.

After the Dell screen but before the OsX startup it goes into blinking cursor on Black screen, and then eventually an endlessly repeating EBIOS error message.

(I was running 10.6.7 with the NBI 20100616212351)

Strangely, I cannot get it to boot to my install USB drive either (same EBIOS error; and yes I enabled USB legacy support).

But I CAN boot to my Ubuntu USB stick. Yay Ubuntu!!

So I was able to mount my hard drive in Ubuntu, but some of the files are either unaccessible or corrupted, mainly -it seems- files I had recently been working on, which is a bummer since those are exactly the ones that I hadn't backed up yet.

So...what I would like to do is be able to somehow repair what appears to be a hooped bootloader so that I can access my hard drive, get everything off, reformat and reinstall - maybe with ##### next time.

I ran gparted and I can see all of my partitions. I put a screenshot of what gparted sees at this link:

http://www.stanford....lem/gparted.jpg

The options I can think of in gparted are:

1) running "check" on the first partition (the boot)
2) "manage flags" on the OsX partition (sda2)

...but I don't know what exactly I would do - i.e. if there is an appropriate flag to add, etc.

Or maybe there are other terminal commands I could try?

...or...?

Any suggestions would be most appreciated

Thanks
bug

#2
Gringo Vermelho

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Boot from an OS X installation DVD (a hacked distro is fine) so that you can run Disk Utility and repair the filesystem.

With a little luck you'll then be able to boot it with a Chameleon boot CD like for example nawcom's modcd. Try several different ones, use a CD-RW so you don't have to throw CDs away :angel:

#3
bugjah

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Thanks Red Gringo

On my Dell Mini there is no DVD drive, so I only use thumb drives (which may be even more reusable than DVD-RW's :star_sunglasses: )

So way back when, I made a bootable thumb drive with a disk image of my Snow Leopard DVD in order to do the OSX installs and to run disk utility when needed, etc.

But as I wrote in my post above, when I try to boot to that thumb drive I also get the EBIOS error ...

...which is weird because it boots fine with my Ubuntu thumb drive.

Or maybe not so weird?

#4
Gringo Vermelho

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Yeah that shouldn't be happening...I thought the EBIOS error only showed up when booting from optical media.
I don't suppose there is a way to do a CMOS reset on your laptop? Try to find out.
Is there a way that you can rebuild that thumb drive, maybe on a friend's Mac or hackintosh?

I don't know what else to say, last time I had to deal with that error was when playing around with distros years ago, before I learned how to install retail.

#5
bugjah

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thanks, I will look into your CMOS suggestion...and now that you mention it...I believe I only tried booting my OsX thumb drive from one of the three USB ports on my machine...I'll try the other two and report back.

yes, I can try building a new thumb drive. I've been wanting to do that anyway, given the fact that Meklort appears no to be updating his NBI's any more(it was quite a run though!).

So I was thinking about using a totally different installer build...but i haven'ty really examined the latest options yet that would work with the mini 10v.

#6
bugjah

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update: my original observation stands -- booting off the OsX Install USB stick definitively leads to the EBIOS error.

On to the potential CMOS solution! stay tuned...

#7
bugjah

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hmmm...I did some searching and I see all kinds of warnings about resetting CMOS. Like it may make my current situation even worse (I saw one site that says, in effect: "try these steps. if it works, great! if not, you have a nice doorstop.")

gulp.

Also, I see some indication that if I reset the CMOS, I may be asked to enter a supervisor password; I don't know that password. the only password I know is my OsX admin password. I am assuming that this supervisor pw is something at a higher hierarchical level than that.

So...should I follow the steps to kill CMOS and risk the above or not?

e.g.
http://www.mydellmin...clear-cmos.html

#8
Gringo Vermelho

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That is a bullshit thread. Just like the last poster says, clearing CMOS has nothing to do with Windows, or with any other installed OS for that matter. It hard-resets the BIOS to factory defaults by clearing out the memory where all the settings are stored, including the ones that don't get reset when doing a "load setup defaults" from within the BIOS configuration menu.

Read these:
http://en.wikipedia....ile_BIOS_memory
http://en.wikipedia....figuration_Data

If your BIOS had a "supervisor password" it would be reset as well (ie removed, because there is no password by default) along with everything else, once you do a CMOS reset.

#9
bugjah

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thanks Red, I will give that a try...but first, I decided to make a new OsX install USB disk and give that a try. If not, I'll follow the steps for resetting CMOS.

But maybe I should try the "load setup defaults" option first?

#10
Gringo Vermelho

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You can try it but I believe that if this has anything to do with your BIOS at all, then loading setup defaults will not fix it because it does not go deep enough.

If you have changed anything in there, remember to note down your BIOS settings first or take a photo.

A couple of years ago when I first started out installing OS X on my new P5Q-E motherboard I had a weird issue where it would always halt during boot after a certain type of crash. I don't remember the details anymore but I do remember that the only way to cure it was doing a CMOS reset. Then it worked fine again.
I was using a P4 CPU back then, the issue disappeared once I got my Core 2 Duo and could use the Vanilla kernel.

Show me the posts you found about CMOS resetting that are scaring you out of doing it.

#11
bugjah

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ok, this was the one that raised the spectre of my beloved machine as a doorstop:

http://www.mydellmin...es-windows.html

(by the way, I just made a brand new install SL OSX thumb drive using 0.8.5pre this time, and I tried it on my problematic dell, and the same EBIOS freeze. So it is definitively not a problem with my thumb drive.)

...I just tried "load setup defaults" and it didn't help...so...on to CMOS reset!

but wait...I will apparently need to set up another USB stick formatted on a windows machine. That may take me a couple of days, as I don't have a windows machine.

#12
bugjah

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update: I found these instructions for making the kill cmos dos bootable disk here:

http://www.mydellmin...ges-bios-2.html

(see the post by piratesmack)

The OsX instructions went fine except for the fact that he had a typo on the mac osx command

.....it should say

dd if=balder10_killcmos.iso of=/dev/disk1 bs=8192

not

dd if=image.iso of=/dev/disk1 bs=8192

...in any case, that worked, and was able to boot to the DOS disk on my sick machine. At DOS I typed the KILLCMOS command, and it worked just as described.

But when I restarted I still had the exact same EBIOS error

:(

#13
Gringo Vermelho

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So much for that theory, I'm sorry to hear that it didn't pan out.
It's a true mystery how you can suddenly get this error on a freshly made flash drive as well.

ok, this was the one that raised the spectre of my beloved machine as a doorstop: http://www.mydellmin...es-windows.html

I know it's irrelevant now but - upgrading your BIOS and a CMOS reset are two different things. That thread doesn't even mention CMOS reset, it's a how-to about upgrading the BIOS from a bootable flash drive.

#14
bugjah

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WOW!!! I got it to work!

Your last post made me realize that the problem must be that it is still trying to boot off the hard disk even though I have the USB listed first in the boot order.

So I went into the Dell settings and *disabled* (rather than simply demoting in the order) booting from the hard drive, and then restarted and it worked!

I am now starting up in OSX from my USB disk and will attempt to repair the hard disk...I will report back

[UPDATE]

....Disk Utility is finding massive numbers of permissions errors ("open error 5: input/output errors") to fix -- it is estimating 18 hours (!!) to fix the permissions !

#15
Chatlink

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I don't know if the standard bios setting is still ide, but if it is and you do a bios reset, which results in a reset from ahci to ide. Your drive will certainly get corrupted on the change. It is atleast with windows.

Somebody, correct me if i'm wrong.Edit: good you have it almost working. Could gringo aswer my uncertainties? ;)

#16
bugjah

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so after letting fixing permissions go for about 3 hours with no budging in the time expected for it to finish, I found this thread:

https://discussions....tart=0&tstart=0

so I took the advice there, stopped the fixing permissions process, and instead tried to repair the disk.

It failed with this error message:

"invalid sibling link...the volume Afriq could not be repaired"

then it suggests I back up my files and reinstall.

But here's the problem-- I can get some of my files off using terminal, but some of the files on my hard disk (unfortunately the ones I worked on most recently and are not backed up) are unavailable. copying or listing those files in terminal doesn't work. I can't see them. Weird.

I thought about running NetBookInstaller, but it won't let me select my target disk (Afriq). It gives me no options at all.

I have a feeling I am coming to the end of this road, but wanted to see if anyone had any other advice before I do a clean install and give up on recovering my lost data...

thanks!





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