I installed Linux Mint 18.2 on a partition of my MacBook Pro this week. Things were running superbly, until this morning when I plugged the laptop into the wall -- but forgot to turn on the outlet. The laptop died in the middle of running some code, and I haven't been able to successfully load Mint since.

Some diagnostic steps/info:

  • If I press power from an off state, the display will blink on twice before showing the Linux Mint splash (closest to this) -- IIRC in a proper boot-up, the four lights will illuminate in progression. Here, none of the lights do so, and the screen goes black after a few seconds. The machine appears to be still on at this point, but unresponsive (e.g., caps lock light doesn't toggle, but I can hear the fans operate for a short time). Resetting to off state requires depressing the power switch for ~10 seconds.
  • If I hold Option and power on (the usual approach to do so), the boot screen pops up that lets me log into MacOS. Things seem fine there.
  • Following instructions here, I got the grub terminal to run, but didn't manage to discover anything useful (ls showed the expected disk partitions).
  • By plugging in a bootable USB and using the Alt+power approach, I could boot into the USB. From here, I:

    • Ran fsck -fy /dev/sda* to try and run a basic disk check. I could include the output of that but I don't have it handy at the moment; anyway, rebooting after this made no noticeable change.
    • After sudo mount /dev/sda4 mnt/, attempted to edit /etc/default/grub to give some extra diagnostics on startup (specifically, I toggled GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET to false and set GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT to ""). But running sudo update-grub gave some arcane error (Failed to get canonical path of `aufs'), and I didn't quite get the solution here, and am wondering whether it's even necessary, if I'm too far down in the rabbit hole.

At this point, my next step would be to just backup what little files I've managed to accumulate by now and then to nuke the partition and install all over. But I wanted to check first if there are some other last-ditch efforts I may try/stones I may try to turn.

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