cannot make ubuntu 64-bit v12.04 install work

Posted by honestann on Ask Ubuntu See other posts from Ask Ubuntu or by honestann
Published on 2012-05-31T16:37:46Z Indexed on 2012/06/02 22:49 UTC
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I decided it was time to update my ubuntu (single boot) computer from 64-bit v10.04 to 64-bit v12.04. Unfortunately, for some reason (or reasons) I just can't make it work.

Note that I am attempting a fresh install of 64-bit v12.04 onto a new 3TB hard disk, not an upgrade of the 1TB hard disk that contains my working 64-bit v10.04 installation. To perform the attempted install of v12.04 I unplug the SATA cable from the 1TB drive and plug it into the 3TB drive (to avoid risking damage to my working v10.04 installation).

I downloaded the ubuntu 64-bit v12.04 install DVD ISO file (~1.6 GB) from the ubuntu releases webpage and burned it onto a DVD. I have downloaded the DVD ISO file 3 times and burned 3 of these installation DVDs (twice with v10.04 and once with my winxp64 system), but none of them work. I run the "check disk" on the DVDs at the beginning of the installation process to assure the DVD is valid.

When installation completes and the system boots the 3TB drive, it reports "unknown filesystem". After installation on the 250GB drives, the system boots up fine.

During every install I plug the same SATA cable (sda) into only one disk drive (the 3TB or one of the 250GB drives) and leave the other disk drives unconnected (for simplicity).

It is my understanding that 64-bit ubuntu (and 64-bit linux in general) has no problem with 3TB disk drives. In the BIOS I have tried having EFI set to "enabled" and "auto" with no apparent difference (no success). I never bothered setting the BIOS to "non-EFI".

I have tried partitioning the drive in a few ways to see if that makes a difference, but so far it has not mattered. Typically I manually create partitions something like this:

8GB  /boot  ext4
8GB  swap
3TB  /      ext4

But I've also tried the following, just in case it matters:

  8GB  boot   efi
  8GB  swap
  8GB  /boot  ext4
  3TB  /      ext4

Note: In the partition dialog I specify bootup on the same drive I am partitioning and installing ubuntu v12.04 onto. It is a VERY DANGEROUS FACT that the default for this always comes up with the wrong drive (some other drive, generally the external drive). Unless I'm stupid or misunderstanding something, this is very wrong and very dangerous default behavior.

Note: If I connect the SATA cable to the 1TB drive that has been my ubuntu 64-bit v10.04 system drive for the past 2 years, it boots up and runs fine.

I guess there must be a log file somewhere, and maybe it gives some hints as to what the problem is. I should be able to boot off the 1TB drive with the 3TB drive connected as a secondary (non-boot) drive and get the log file, assuming there is one and someone tells me the name (and where to find it if the name is very generic).

After installation on the 3TB drive completes and the system reboots, the following prints out on a black screen:

Loading Operating System ...
Boot from CD/DVD :
Boot from CD/DVD :
error: unknown filesystem
grub rescue>

Note: I have two DVD burners in the system, hence the duplicate line above.

Note: I install and boot 64-bit ubuntu v12.04 on both of my 250GB in this same system, but still cannot make the 3TB drive boot.

Sigh. Any ideas?


motherboard == gigabyte 990FXA-UD7
CPU == AMD FX-8150 8-core bulldozer @ 3.6 GHz
RAM == 8GB of DDR3 in 2 sticks (matched pair)
HDD == seagate 3TB SATA3 @ 7200 rpm (new install 64-bit v12.04 FAILS)
HDD == seagate 1TB SATA3 @ 7200 rpm (64-bit v10.04 WORKS for two years)
HDD == seagate 250GB SATA2 @ 7200 rpm (new install 64-bit v12.04 WORKS)
HDD == seagate 250GB SATA2 @ 7200 rpm (new install 64-bit v12.04 WORKS)
GPU == nvidia GTX-285
??? == no overclocking or other funky business
USB == external seagate 2TB HDD for making backups
DVD == one bluray burner (SATA)
DVD == one DVD burner (SATA)

64-bit ubuntu v10.04 has booted and run fine on the seagate 1TB drive for 2 years.

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