Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

General support questions including new installations

Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

Postby crushdev » 2011/03/18 19:16:33

Hey,
I have been having tons of problems getting a server up and running. Originally the server had CentOS 5.5 on it and everything was working properly. A few weeks ago I changed out the HD and installed a fresh version of 5.5 on it from a USB LiveCD with netinstall. Everything installs just find but once I ran yum update and rebooted it just boots to a block screen with a flashing white cursor. I can't type anything. I checked the bios and I am booting to the right disk. It's like the updated version of GRUB doesn't work now for some reason.

To test further I installed fedora14 to make sure it wasn't a hardware issue and f14 works fine? aside from the bugs that are inherit with f14. So last night I installed centos5.5 again and updated it and same problem. Any thoughts?
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Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

Postby pschaff » 2011/03/18 21:04:31

Welcome to the CentOS fora. Reading FAQ & Readme First is recommended for new users.

Have you read the CentOS 5.5 Release Notes Section 4? Tried booting in runlevel 1 or 3 and running system-config-display? Searched the forum for blank screen or black screen?

If none of that helps, then please see How to provide information about your system.
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Re: Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

Postby crushdev » 2011/03/18 22:12:59

Hey,
Thanks for your reply. I've actually been searching these forums and google for about two weeks trying to troubleshoot this. I've definitely read everything that you suggested. I can't even get to GRUB after updating so I can't really boot to a different runlevel or request the system info.

Let me ask a more straight forward question. If I boot up and get the bios info (supermicro logo) and then it just goes to a black screen with a white flashing cursor in the left top corner. What would that be an indication of. Does it sound like it's failing to load grub or maybe failing to find it?

Thanks again!
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Re: Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

Postby deajan » 2011/03/18 22:31:10

There are indeed a couple of factors that can produce this:

1/ Go into bios and check whether disk controllers are set to SATA / AHCI or RAID. Try all three (only needed if you played with it or changed bios by loading defaults and or flash)
2/ Do you have any mass storage connected to the box ? USB stick, external HDD, even printers with card readers can be seen as bootable devices that can make normal boot process fail
3/ Disconnect every wire from your box except of power, screen & keyboard and try again
4/ Is your boot partition set to active ? Check with a live CD and fdisk (for instance System Rescue CD is nice)
5/ Have you tried reinstalling grub ?
6/ Go and see a voodoo wizard. Well, actually, report back if a live cd can see your HDD with all partitions, and check if /boot partition contains a kernel and init image.

Do you have the same partition layout between CentOS and Fedora, meaning separate or not /boot partition as ext3 (no ext4 under CentOS as it would probably produce the effect you are experiencing).
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Re: Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

Postby crushdev » 2011/03/22 07:23:22

Thanks for your reply.

I was able to use the recovery feature to reinstall grub and that got me up and running. There were other issues after that though.

I ended up just burning the DVD versions and buying an external USB DVD drive and plugging it into the server. Everything installed perfectly with it. I think the net install probably doesn't do everything that the DVD install does. I always get perfect installs from DVD and messed up installs from USB with netinstall.

I also realized that I have a much higher success rate if I don't customize anything. Every time I try to remove unnecessary packages I get burned by it.
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Re: Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

Postby deajan » 2011/03/22 08:27:25

Well i actually got messed too when customizing the installation process.
I use to make standard installs and then add what's necessary.

But netinstalls work great usually (unless you have an unstable net connection).
Anyway, DVD's are the quickest way to get what you want.
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Re: Install Problem - Black Screen after Update

Postby pschaff » 2011/03/22 10:36:49

crushdev wrote:
I was able to use the recovery feature to reinstall grub and that got me up and running. There were other issues after that though.

I ended up just burning the DVD versions and buying an external USB DVD drive and plugging it into the server. Everything installed perfectly with it. I think the net install probably doesn't do everything that the DVD install does. I always get perfect installs from DVD and messed up installs from USB with netinstall.

I use netinstalls only on the LAN. Have never had much luck doing them over the Internet. That is only recommended if you have a perfect broadband connection.

I also realized that I have a much higher success rate if I don't customize anything. Every time I try to remove unnecessary packages I get burned by it.

Agreed - it is much more reliable to add things than to selectively remove them, but if you want a minimal install to start with, then unselect everything including "base". That should allow for a very minimal system (although some think it still too fat) that packages can be added to with yum as needed. This absolute minimal system should require only CD#1.

By the way - sorry for misinterpreting your original issue. Fortunately our great new team player deajan came into the game. :-)
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