Comment 16 for bug 88633

EdwinOlson (ebolson) wrote :

I have a machine that was working well, but after a kernel update, failed at boot with grub error 24. At the time, I suspected file system corruption and installed to a new disk. Note that this system was Ubuntu 8.10 (x86/64) with a 1TB disk. I used autopart and there was no separate /boot partition.

Today, on a completely different machine (albeit with similar hardware), I've had the exact same symptoms again. I got a new kernel update and upon reboot, I cannot boot the new kernel (I get grub error 24), but I can boot old kernels. Fsck is happy with my drive, and this machine has a 1.5TB disk... again, no separate /boot partition. I'll add that I've inspected my grub menu.lst and there's nothing unusual here.

My best explanation of these two independent failures is that the kernel image has been written to some part of the disk that confuses grub, triggering grub to fail at boot. It appears to be a "time bomb" in the sense that the system works perfectly normally for an extended period of time (months in the case of my system today), until a kernel update "tickles" the problem. Note that these are modern machines (Intel Core2Duo), and so the problem does not appear to be limited to old machines or the ancient 32GB barrier.

I am happy to try to find some identifying characteristic of this machine that might explain which machines will have trouble. (i.e., a particular motherboard, bios setting?) Please let me know what information would be helpful to you.)