Stuck on grey penguin at boot (macbook pro 8,1, refind 0.7.4, Mountain Lion with File Vault 2, 2 Ubuntu 12.04

  • berlingozzo

    berlingozzo - 2013-09-26

    I have a triple-boot macbook pro 8,1 with mountain lion, and 2 ubuntu 12.04 32 bit (with different customized installations)
    Here is what I have done to come to my setup, and the description of the problem:
    Starting point: 1 hfs+ partition
    1) installed Mountain Lion
    2) resized the hfs partition and created other 2 fat32 partitions
    3) activated filevault 2 on the first partition
    4) installed refind 0.7.4 (manual installation on the esp, changed name to BOOT/boot_x64.efi to solve the 25seconds issue)
    5) installed the first ubuntu on /dev/sda4 with grub installed on /dev/sda4, both with ext4 partitions

    So far, so good. Then:
    6) installed the second ubuntu on /dev/sda5
    7) got two penguins on refind, none of them working
    8) zeroed (with dd) the first 446 bytes of /dev/sda5 to remove grub and the second penguin
    9) got one penguin (non working)
    10) went to gptsync (complaining about one partition being "unknown" and then clicked on the penguin. this worked!!

    so first strange issue: if I click on the penguin, it freezes on a grey penguin. If I first click on gpt tool, and then on the penguin, it proceeds to grub

    Other issue: I have done apparently something else (which I don't remember) and lost grub (blinnking cursor). I have then:
    11) reinstalled grub with a live cd, on /dev/sda4
    12) insalled a patched gptsycn from
    13) ran the new gpt sync from refind boot and correctly synced the partitions.

    Still, if I click on the penguin, it stays frozen. If I first go into the gpt sync tool, and then click on the penguin, it proceeds to grub.

    Do you know what on earth is happening (or did I do) here?

    thank you very much in advance for your appreciated help. I can post the result of whatever command, if you give me instructions :)


    Last edit: berlingozzo 2013-09-26
  • berlingozzo

    berlingozzo - 2013-10-02


  • berlingozzo

    berlingozzo - 2013-10-02

    ok, I ran Boot Info Script 0.61 from linux, and this is the result:

    waiting for your help :)

  • Roderick W. Smith

    I recommend you read the following page:

    You won't need to follow that whole procedure, but the page should give you an idea of a better way to get your triple-boot configuration working. Once you've read that page, install the EFI driver for ext4fs that comes with rEFInd. This will enable rEFInd to launch both of your Ubuntus directly, without involving GRUB. If this works, you should remove the ugly and dangerous hybrid MBR that you've got now.

  • berlingozzo

    berlingozzo - 2013-10-04

    Thank you very much Rod.
    However, there are too many important caveats in your page that prevent me from even trying to go for that kind of solution. I rely on suspend and resume, as I move from desk to meeting rooms 10-20 times a day and it will be impossible to do that with the computer open.
    Moreover, I have ati graphics, and there is no mention in your guide on whether this would work smoothly or not. I rely on the proprietary graphic drivers, that make the fans run slow. With poor graphics support, they spin at their maximum, constantly.
    Moreover, I have a 64bit machine, on which I'm installing two different 32bit ubuntus.
    There are too many variables for this to run smoothly at the first attempt, and, unfortunately, my time for trying / fixing / reinstalling, etc is limited. I don't hide you the fact that I'm tempted to try, though.

    All in all, I'd better try to fix my issue, first by understanding what could be possible wrong with my installation that doesn't work properly.

    Btw, I have come to that configuration following your guides, thanks for the work!


  • berlingozzo

    berlingozzo - 2013-10-04

    Btw, you mentioned "removing" the hybrid MBR. How do I do that?

  • Roderick W. Smith

    You can remove the hybrid MBR by creating a regular protective MBR. There are several ways to do this. For instance, you can use the n option on the gdisk experts' menu; or you can make just about any change (even a trivial one) to the partition table with parted or GParted.


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