Zorin 15 system stops booting

I have been running Zorin 15 since its inception on a dell laptop as a single boot system. Recently the computer fails to boot 90% of the time, just ends up with a blank screen after the Zorin startup screen. Only thing that responds to the blank screen is cntl-alt-del which reboots but only to same situation.

Welcome! :smile:

As you're booting, do you see the Grub menu? If so, use the down arrow key to select 'Advanced options for Zorin', then select the next kernel version below the first one - first entry is default boot, do not select the (recovery mode) one. The newest kernel / kernel update might have some things that your machine doesn't like, or the kernel doesn't fully support. If the previous kernel works, might have to set that as the default kernel for now until a later time, maybe after a few updates.

Try the previous kernel though, that may work.. but as for now you don't have boot at all, right?

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when I boot I see the Dell startup options.. F2 setup or f12 boot options.
don't know what GRUB is. After that the ZORIN logo appears and after 20 seconds or so the screen goes grey. This happens 9 out of ten times. The other 10% will give me a log in option and I can log in and everything is fine. I just use this computer as a media server and normally leave it on all the time. I noticed a couple weeks ago it was turning off by itself then what I have described started happening.

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Press Esc when booting, like the old school Street Fighter button mashing lol If that doesn't bring it up, you may be on BIOS or Legacy boot - that would be Shift.

That should bring up the boot menu.. If not, have to figure out what's goin' on :thinking:

From the description of that, though - kind of sounds like some hardware giving out, possibly the HDD/SSD, maybe RAM.. What type of drive are you using in the laptop? And if the RAM is removable, try taking the modules out, use some canned air or compressed air and give the slots a few shots of air; for the RAM module pins themselves - I use a clean pencil eraser and remove any gunk or grime off the sticks, then pop them back in. For HDD/SSD, you might want to do a disk health check sometime - you can do that with the Live installer within the 'Try Zorin' desktop. That will tell you if your disk is okay or not, ooor if it needs some backing up and replacing.. Hopefully not - but needs to be ran without the disk mounted, i.e. logged in / using.

Grub is your bootloader though, it points to the kernel to load, then the kernel initializes the rest of the OS - in this case ZorinOS. But is also interact-able as in you can load different kernels and other command based operations, outside of the "OS", but doesn't interact with the OS.

Thanks for all your help, late last night I did run a system check which was an option after I hit F2 or F12, can't remember now, anyway the result after a long diagnostic period was the HDD didn't pass muster. There was an option to engage with DELL to do further testing or whatever but I would rather just change out the hard drive. So I guess I need to do a backup when I can get it booted up again. I was able to boot up after the diagnostic run so it is not out of the question. I have changed out RAM and HDDs in that past on other computers.. just been awhile. When I moved from Zorin 12 or 13 to 15 I did a full backup and it turned out to be unreadable after I loaded Zorin 15. So now I have don't have alot of files on the machine as I mainly use it as a media server and keep all those files on an external 1Tb drive. I do want to install the lastest Zorin version when I get things squared away.

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No worries!

.. that's disappointing though! Not fun info to receive..

If you want - may be easier.. You could take the HDD out, if it's SATA - use a USB to SATA adapter, boot into the Live installer 'Try Zorin' - then open Disks and create an image of the disk - or - just browse the drive and copy / paste the info you need from it to temp storage and transfer when the new one arrives. There are some options - not sure if they're viable to you or not. I got my USB (3.0) to SATA adapter from Amazon for like, 8 bucks? Something cheap; works.

You may need to take ownership of the drive to view the files. But, Live users are most normally root so you may not have an issue. The whole disk image though - if the drive fails while you're creating, that wouldn't be good - or, if it discovers bad blocks as it's going along and errors out.. wouldn't think that far into yet though, heh.. Or, if you have another machine with an extra SATA port open, you could pop it into another machine and do the copying; though, Windows won't be able to see the drive without some software to see the ext4 / Linux partitions.

I think End-of-Life for Zorin 15 was this past July 2023. Upgrading to the 16 series might solve all your woes. Big maybe for sure, but given 15 is not supported, that is what I would do.

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I would have suggested a hardware problem. Which turns out to be true :cry:.
The last time I tried to "backup" something, I used dd. Not very effective, but it was my only possibility as the hard disk wanted to run about the last time and I only had the console.

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Thanks for this. I am not a user that does things via the Terminal although out of necessity I have muddled my way through issues in the past. I watched the Codepunker video and think I could possibly handle this.
I am curious why you say it was not very effective?

I was able to restart my computer and did a full backup to my external HDD. I say full as the option Zorin gave me I used witch I think was the HOME folder, I didn't deselect anything. I also have a WD Blue 500gb SDD on the way and have downloaded Zorin 16 onto a USB.
So my plan is to change out the HD with the SDD then boot the computer with the Zorin 16 USB. Does this sound like the proper sequence or is there anything additional I should do? Assuming all goes well when I restore the backup files will my desktop and other files be in the same locations?

This sounds pretty standard.

Yes, that is how that should work. If you have any trouble, feel free to ask.
You likely can connect the previous HDD and just move home files over if needed, as well.

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I swapped out my SDD (had one to start with) and booted the computer with the usb loaded with Zorin 16. All was going fine until it stopped at the Installation Type page. Try to advance past that I get No Root File System is defined. Why doesn't it get created by the new OS? Anyway I don't know how to correct this from the partitioning menu as I am prompted to do. Here are a couple pics, hopefully it makes sense to you all

Choose the partition you want to be the "root" of the drive (/dev/sda3 is already formatted to ext4 which is what you want). When you click on it, you must define the mount point, which is "/".

Use the "+" to create a partition for the grub menu out of the 3GB (3123MB) free space. Make it 500MB and format it as FAT32.

At the bottom, click on the sandisk and change it to the newly created 500MB partition.

This will clear up your installation issue and complete the install.

In the end I just let the program partition the drive like it wanted

I understand why you would do such a thing, but you don't know how the system decided to partition. Did you remove the ext4 partition prior to this action? I ask, because you may have unused space that is available to Zorin, as well as the 3GB of free space that your screenshot shows.

You may want to take a look, and possibly modify the partitions (as much as possible) in order to gain more drive space. As daunting as it sounds, it isn't that difficult, it only takes some basic understanding of what is going on. Try reading Partitioning Demistified.

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I read your article and looked at my drive and have included a picture from Gparted. I had to download Gparted since my last install yesterday but could have sworn it was in my utilities menu after the first installation. I noticed it says that I have sda2 (extended) and an sda5 (ext4) drives. Looks like there is very little unallocated space remaining

Extended partitions are usually created with auto-installers. Had that with another machine and another Ubuntu derivative.

Not really affecting how it works, just kind of messy - to me. If you want, you can try re-partitioning and installing but, you'll have to know what was done in the install to copy the results. There was a Legacy partitioning guide I posted in another thread - pretty much carbon copy of what I do with other Legacy boot machines. The key is having the /boot/efi partition squared away - after that, whatever other partitions you need / want. Then the rest, usable space (ext4).

The ext4 partition has 440gb unused. This can be reduced in size, by resizing the partition to have less. You could use, say 40gb from that partition for the swap. The drive must be unmounted to make these changes.... use the live image to modify the partition.

You resize the main partition, giving you the unallocated space. Use gparted to create a swap partition out of it.

Add an entry to the /etc/fstab to indicate the swap for the system (fstab mounts partitions for use by the system and yourself).

This will still allow you 400gb for Zorin.

I do not agree with how they portray the extended partition. It is not more space allocated, only a label for your understanding of how the partition is set up. This is why I don't like the alongside method, but it is what it is.

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