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Re: Boot from 4TB USB jhard drive

From: Emilio Lazo Zaia
Subject: Re: Boot from 4TB USB jhard drive
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2016 01:33:05 -0430
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:44.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/44.0

Ok; I'll do all these steps, but before I have a comment:

If I let start the PC with my hard disk (GRUB2) I can insmod lvm, set root device to the /boot logical volume on 4KB-sector disk and load the GRUB config file. Linux kernel runs and the system on this 4TB USB disk starts... But if I set root to this disk (hd1) and chainload the boot sector (+1) again it hangs the same way as booting directly to this 4TB drive.

On 20/03/16 00:35, Andrei Borzenkov wrote:
20.03.2016 07:55, Emilio Lazo Zaia пишет:
Hello Andrei.

Yes to all your questions!

I'm using this 4TB disk on my desktop PC and even on the laptop but booting
with another media. Both are BIOS.
OK, so to make sure we have common ground.

Fetch 2.02~beta3 from

Compile it using


Make sure you have mtools and xorriso (could be part of libburnia-tools
or similar) installed
Create rescue image that can be used to boot off CD/USB

pkgdatadir=$PWD ./grub-mkrescue -d grub-core -o /tmp/grub.iso

This creates ISO image suitable for both CD and HDD boot. If using USB
stick, just dd this image on full stick. When booting from it, you will
end in GRUB command prompt.

Check what

ls -l

in GRUB CLI says. What sector size GRUB detects for your disk? Does GRUB
see partitions on your disk? Do they look reasonable (size, offset)? If
yes, try

insmod lvm
ls -l

again. Does GRUB detect LVs?

Do you have serial port (RS-2323) on your system and another system that
can be used to connect to serial port? This would make capturing output
much easier.

El mar 20, 2016 12:05 a.m., "Andrei Borzenkov" <address@hidden>

20.03.2016 02:18, Emilio Lazo Zaia пишет:

I'm trying to boot off an WD MyBook 4TB disk (WDC WD40EZRX-00SPEB0) with
GRUB2. The disk has the following partition schema:

GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.1

Partition table scan:
   MBR: protective
   BSD: not present
   APM: not present
   GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.

Command (? for help): p
Disk /dev/sdf: 976746240 sectors, 3.6 TiB
Logical sector size: 4096 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 117CB10C-C241-460D-AC03-A4F084CFA317
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 6, last usable sector is 976746234
Partitions will be aligned on 8-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2 sectors (8.0 KiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code Name
    1               8             255   992.0 KiB   EF02 BIOS boot
    2             256       976746234   3.6 TiB     8E00 Linux LVM

/boot partition is a logical volume within gpt2 partition. Partition 1
has "legacy boot" flag. Except the 4KB sector size there is nothing

After grub-install the disk boots under kvm with

$ kvm -snapshot -hda /dev/sdf

But in a non virtualized environment it hangs after selecting boot
device from BIOS boot menu on the laptop (Acer AO722). There is no text,
only the text cursor.

I've installed lilo and it hangs after "L" and extlinux shows "Multiple
active partitions" but there is no active partitions on the protective
MBR and only GPT partition 1 is "legacy boot bootable".

The problem is related to the physical sector size?

That is quite possible. So far I have not heard of BIOS capable of
booting from 4Kn disks and even simply accessing such disks (when
booting from other media) did not work in cases known to me.

Are you willing to help in debugging it? Do you have possibility to boot
from other, more traditional, media, like CD/DVD or USB stick? Can you
compile GRUB with additional debug print enabled?

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