System freezing, used Timeshift, can't boot anymore

I installed the 2024-01-13 update, and since then my system has frozen 3 or 4 times – completely unresponsive, REISUB did nothing, I held the power button to turn it off.

Today I used timeshift --restore (for the first time). As part of the process, it asked “Re-install GRUB2 bootloader?” and I chose yes (the default option). Then it deleted files and created a bunch of files as expected, and rebooted. But it rebooted to a low-resolution black screen saying only:

error: no server is specified.
error: no suitable video mode found.

I believe this is a GRUB error, but I’m unfamiliar with GRUB. There’s no commandline or any way for me to type in GRUB commands. I couldn’t get it to respond to any keys so I shut it down.

Then I booted from my original manjaro installation ISO (a USB stick), chose “boot with proprietary drivers” in the GRUB menu, then loaded into Plasma. I clicked the “forums” button in the welcome screen, and the system froze again. I rebooted and used del/F2 to open my ASUS BIOS and looked around for a bit, before that froze. I rebooted again using the USB stick, but this time it froze while printing a bunch of text on black background, before ever reaching Plasma:

[  OK  ] Started Time & Date Services.
[  OK  ] Finished LiveMedia Pacman mirror ranking script.
[  OK  ] Finished LiveMedia Config Script.
[  *** ] (1 of 2) A start job is running for LiveMedia MHWD Script (52s / no limit)

It’s frozen here – the “52s” timer is not counting up anymore.

Some other thoughts:

  • Roughly every 2nd time I try to boot I get no response at all, not even an error. My computer tower turns on and the fans spin but the screen doesn’t seem to recieve any signal at all.

  • For the last few days, the system seems to take longer before freezing if I let it spend more time powered completely off, but I don’t know if this is a real correlation or just me imagining it. The longest it’s spent awake after the freezing originally began was the time I changed to a TTY (ctrl-alt-f3) and used that for a while, making a data backup and trying to figure out what was wrong with my system.

  • My system is about 11 years old (cpu, motherboard, power supply, graphics card) although some parts are newer (RAM, some hard drives)

  • I can’t reach a terminal to get inxi output right now, but I expect it’s similar to the last time I posted: Libva issues (vlc, obs-studio crashing)

  • I used to dual boot manjaro+windows, but at some point (Nov '23) the grub menu stopped showing up on boot and now I don’t know how to boot into windows. I have no idea what changed. (I don’t really miss it, it took a month or two to even notice it was gone)

My questions:

  1. How can I fix GRUB (or something else?) and get my system bootable again?
  2. How can I diagnose the root cause of the freezes? I could replace everything (hardware + OS) but I’d like to get better at diagnosing and understanding my system. I started by thinking this was an issue with a software update but the more it freezes the more I suspect it’s a hardware failure of some sort.

This sounds like a Hardware issue to me, since your system freezes even in Bios.

Did you change anything around the last few days? Connected a new device or cleaned your PC Case?

Check your CPU Temp in Bios.

Look in your case if there is everything okay. Maybe someone was cleaning the room and touched/hit the tower by mistake, maybe a PCIe Card or a cable no longer sits right in place…

Remove all other unneccessary devices, specially USB stuff.

You can also maybe,
Reset CPU Overclocking, if you had changes like this.

Reset Bios to default.

Only use 1x Ram Module.

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