Hard disk not there? but it is there!

OK, I have had a lovely computer several years - not the most powerful. Its an All-In-One Acer from about 2012. Not my main machine anymore, but I use it to test different Linux distros on, I usually get a magazine with a DVD and recently Suse was featured. I have a problem & it happens everytime, so its not just Suse - it is any distro and its been happening for several months now.

Basically, I can run the distro as a live linux, from the DVD and when I do I can see the hard disc is present and available - I can even copy files to it from a memory stick etc. Obviously running it this way is not ideal, its slow. So I try to install Suse on the H.Disk and it seems to work - I go through all the steps. (I never mess with partions, I just accept the defaults - I’m not that smart at a systems level).

However, when I remove the DVD and reboot - I just get a grey screen “no H. disk to boot from” (or words to that effect). It is so annoying, because I know its installed, for example if I then try another linux distro and install that, it tells me do I want to install it alongside Suse or erase the disk and install it on a fresh disk!!!

Can anyone help me?


P.S. I will always still keep the machine as it has a HDMI input so I use the screen for my PS4 - but I would still love to solve the issue. One thing that might be a clue - even when I ran Windows on it, when it was my main machine - if I needed to ‘reset’ the computer I had to turn it off/turn it on again - resetting just caused it to ‘hang’.

@nic Hi and welcome to the Forum :slight_smile:
Maybe the disk boot flag is not set, can you boot the system via dvd and show the output from;

fdisk -l /dev/sda

Thanks for the welcome message and also a response to my question, I wasn’t sure if it would be hours or days, I didn’t know how busy this place was!

The trouble is, I don’t know that much - I have a couple of computers and I install Linux from DVDs that I get with Linux Format magazine because, I find it better than windows, especially on older hardware - I like Suse and also one called Bodhi, but I never mess with the partitions and I don’t understand much of what you typed! Sorry to be a pain, but can you explain it in more depth?

@nic Hi, so if you boot the system from the DVD as you indicated. Then open a terminal session and then switch to root user and type the following commands in;

su -
{it will ask for the root user password}
lsblk <enter>
fdisk -l /dev/sda <enter>

Then copy the text output back here of the two commands :smile:

Hello, I did that and took a picture on my phone. here it is, does this mean anything to you?

@nic Hi, looks like the partition setup is all wrong. As root user can you post/take photo from the output of;

cat /run/media/linux/e18.../etc/fstab

The e18... needs to be the full string as can’t see from you photo what it is, if you enter the first part e18 and press the tab key it should auto complete the full string :wink:

Well I had turned the problem machine off and when I rebooted it and ran those instructions to get the e18 thing up, well the screens changed!

@nic Hi, well that looks better :smile:

So if you can mount that first partition and check files;

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
ls /mnt
umount /mnt

It could also be your hardware not liking the big disk…

Did you replaced CMOS/BIOS/RTC battery?
If an old computer show strange behavior, this is the first step to fix the issues. Lithium batteries has a life time of 5 or more years.
You should use bootable USB sticks instead of DVD’s.

Rebooting can sometimes work in this case.