Computer boots on second startup,, Hard drive starting to die? Boot sector virus?

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Brian White
Computer boots on second startup,, Hard drive starting to die? Boot sector virus?

Im the last week my computer just gets stuck on the start menu, (doesnt get to grub) and no keyboard button works to make it do anything. So I knock it off at the powerbar, and restart and it goes to grub and works fine. 

What is up? 

I doubt than shutting it down at the power bar is a good idea but it is the only thing that works right now.

It is about 5 years old and was a refurbished buy to start with.

Thanks Brian.


Are you saying it won't boot to safe mode aokay every time? If it does book to SM ok, then something might be corrupted or something. It's always something.


I have never heard of that glitch before. How about backing up your data, then re-installing grub? Plus, do you know if it is on your MBR or in your root partition?

Whatever distro you are using, I'd go to their forum and ask. There is certain to be some geek there who can point you in the right direction. 

Also, you could try going into setup and checking out the boot sequence. Might it be trying to boot from one of your disk drives and hanging up on that? Or try another keyboard.

Plus if it has been five years you might want to do a full re-install anyway, if you haven't been doing that regularly.

As for the drive, I don't know, but if it isn't making funny noises I wouldn't suspect a hardware problem first. Though I suppose your hard drive or any other drive could cause it to hang up if they were starting to go wonky.


Have you run virus and malware scanners? Very odd that it loads fine after unplugging and plugging in the power.

Worst-case scenario is that the hard-drive is failing after 5 years. Maybe it takes a second reboot to warm up the mechanism enough to function properly.

Like 6079_Smith_W suggests, I recommend backing up all your valuable documents and doing a clean reformat. If that doesn't change anything, the hard drive is probably in need of replacement.


6079_Smith_W wrote:

I have never heard of that glitch before. How about backing up your data, then re-installing grub?

Wait a minute WAIT a MINUTE! What's this grub youz speak of? Is it like a wet slimey thing slithering around inside the puter? What?


It is the first thing that boots if you have a computer partitioned with more than one operating system. You use it to choose which system you want to boot.

Often it is installed anyway if you have one operating system, but it does not appear on the screen.


Brian White

Just a note that the glitch went away on its own. Grub does get updated occasionally so maybe it got a bad one that was reversed a week or 2 later with a newer update.  Lots of posibilities but it is good for now. Thanks. Brian

Sean in Ottawa

Perhaps the order that it loads drivers and services? If so then you my have a conflict... Try minimizing what loads on start-up and see if the problem goes away. Start with essential services and work your way up till the problem reappears and you will have one half of the conflict then load that by itself and then add others till you have the other half...


Grub is for Linux. I dont think Grub works with Windows. What programs start up when you log on? Do you have enough memory? Are you getting any messages when it does not load up?


A great place for help goto



@ nussy

Actually I think Brian does run linux, and his problem fixed itself when his system updated to a new version of grub..

But in any case, you can run it with windows because it runs outside the operating system. It is commonly used by people who run two or more operating systems, and sometimes that means having a windows partition. 

But even when there is only one partition and one linux system, Grub is usually still there/


Brian White

Yes. grub and lilo (I havn't used lilo in years) work in 2 and more boot systems. I have xp, and 2 versions of ubuntu on my computer,  all bootable from grub. I have also had it work with dsl, (damn small linux), knoppix on the hard drive, and mandrake. Knoppix put debian on the hard drive which was great unil I did something wrong (deleted kde or something stupid like that)  and got a command prompt on boot up. I just am not a command prompt kinda guy. Reason for 2 versions of ubuntu is that record my desktop works superbly in the old version and records .ogg video (compatable with youtube) while in the new version it does .ogv video which youtube does not understand. (and sound is broken in the new version too).  Linux can be a pain in the butt sometimes  but I think it gives computers a couple of years of extra life compared with windows only systems.  Windows gets slower and slower and slower over time as it builds up crud in the regestry. (I have saved a few "dead" laptops just by installing linux). Anyway, my puter must be about 5 now and it still works not too bad.


radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Hey Brian I might be wrong on this but if I understand correctly, the ".ogv" file extension is just a naming convention for Ogg Theora video that the Xiph Foundation is recommending that people use.  The recommendation is that ".ogg" be used just for audio files.

I guess Youtube is still doing things using the old file extension naming convention and so I'm thinking that if you just rename the files you're uploading to Youtube as ".ogg" instead of ".ogv" it might work???

Anyway, I'm typing this on a Dell Mini running Ubuntu (Intel Atom Processor).   It's lightweight and does what I want it to do.

My newest desktop is an old AMD3200 box running Ubuntu Studio Edition.   It needs a better video one but I never seem to get around to installing it LOL!!!  

For the most part, GNU/Linux keeps your system running until the hardware craps out.   That's how it should be.

Brian White

Hi,  radiorahim I have a athlon 64 processor 3400+ with 369 MiB  memory. It is refurbished and I bought it about 5 years ago.  It has ubuntu 9 (produces .ogv from record my desktop) and ubuntu 8 that does .ogg video in record my desktop.  The 8 works far better wioth video.   I think I tried to change the ending ages ago as you suggested and it remained unusable by youtube.  By the way, google pays me a little for my videos now. (They put adverts in etc.) I have/had a training VCD on making rock walls for sale on cafe press. I get more from the adverts than I ever did from sales of that VCD!

I make some of the videos on the winxp partition with vegas 6 from sony. (Thats the main reason I keep xp on it) And I have a camcorder with firewire that I am unwilling to give up. It works so why "upgrade" to a new computer and os  with no firewire support? Actually I had xp quarantined from the net for about 4 years). Last time I updated xp was about 6 months ago (in the hope of getting ogg support in xp) and it nearly  destroyed the thing. I had the go back feature in xp to save me. So it is in quarentine till it dies now!

Anyway, if any of you can do compelling videos for youtube, vimeo, etc, it might be worthwhile 1 , 2 or 5 years down the road. Nobody knows what will touch a nerve with people.  My experience is that the stuff that people like is not necessarly the stuff I like.  My best stuff hardly ever gets looked at (in my opinion).   So, what is the point of this ramble?  ?   I think if you have a passion about something, just give it a go. Don't wait until you get everything perfect.  Much of the learning we do comes from trying and failing.  So, keep trying even if you have a crappy old computer or half decade old camcorder.