Gentoo Archives: gentoo-user

From: Alan McKinnon <alan@××××××××××××××××.za>
To: gentoo-user@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-user] Boot situation
Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2007 17:18:17
In Reply to: [gentoo-user] Boot situation by Colleen Beamer
1 On Sunday 09 September 2007, Colleen Beamer wrote:
2 > Hi all,
3 >
4 > Please read this carefully. Don't take offense, I'm not insinuating
5 > that you wouldn't. It's just that I don't want to get myself into
6 > more of a pickle than I'm in! ;-(
8 Nah, hit the right buttons in the right order at the right time and you
9 can fix anything :-)
12 I'll give you a verbose reply in the hopes that we can get to the root
13 of the problem right away
15 > This morning as I was getting my son off to work, he got me upset
16 > about something and I walked over to my laptop and instead of hitting
17 > the 'On' button, I accidentally hit the 'Media Direct' button. (I'm
18 > explaining the why so you won't thing that I'm a total airhead!).
19 > The laptop is a Dell XPS M1710. The Dell Media Direct Splash screen
20 > display, but of course, did nothing else 'cause there is only Linux
21 > on the laptop.
23 I'm not familiar with that 'Media Direct' thing, no Dell I've ever
24 worked on has such a thing. Can you fill me in on what it does, so we
25 can try figure out what dastardly thing it did to your system?
28 > Anyway, this corrupted my boot partition, but I was able to fix that.
29 > I just deleted the partition that hitting the 'Media Direct' button
30 > made. It put this at the end of the hard drive, but it was made the
31 > bootable partition and had a DOS/Windows partition type.
33 bootable partition markers are ignored under Linux, they make no real
34 sense with a real boot loader like grub.
36 The Media Direct making a partition and you deleting it should not
37 affect anything. It's a lot like creating a file - it doesn;t affect
38 the existing files. Unless of course the Media Direct trashed an
39 existing partition, which no sane software should ever do.
41 > I deleted the partition that hitting the 'Media Direct' button had
42 > made, then recreated a new Linux partition with an ext2 file system
43 > and made this bootable where the original boot partition had been.
45 OK. That's the long way round but it seems like you got it fixed anyway.
46 I find it to be a good idea to keep a spare copy of the files in /boot
47 for cases like this - saves having to recompile the kernel
49 > Then, I followed the Gentoo Handbook, doing all the relevant steps
50 > except for downloading software that was already there. I chroot'd
51 > into my environment to install grub - I did all the relevant steps
52 > including chrooting into my own environment. In my chroot'd
53 > environment, I can do an 'ls' and it reads the drives. I can also
54 > edit files like grub.conf and fstab, so there isn't a problem with my
55 > remaining partitions after reconfiguring the boot partition.
56 >
57 > I reinstalled grub, created grub.conf and ran grub-install and that
58 > was successful.
59 >
60 > However, when I reboot, I get a garbled screen, but I *can* make out
61 > the text, although barely.
63 Thats tells me the grub install did not in fact go right. But no matter,
64 it seems to work so once we get the OS running, we can fix the grub
65 later. Meanwhile just remember that you have to navigate grub blind
66 when booting
68 > It goes through the boot process and gets to the point where
69 > 'Activating mdev' is displayed
70 >
71 > Then, the following is displayed:
72 > Determining root device
73 > Block dev sda3 is not a valid root device
74 > The root block device is unspecified or not detected.
76 That is the root of your problem and is one of two things:
78 /dev/sda3 is corrupt, or
79 /dev/sda3 is nto the partition you boot from and grub.conf is corrupt
81 > Of note and I'm not sure if this is where the problem is, is that
82 > when I was mounting my partitions prior to chroot'ing into my own
83 > environment, I got a message about maximal mount count and it told me
84 > I should run e2fsck. I tried this and got an error message.
85 > However, my hard drive is not ext2, it is ext3.
87 That's normal. ext2 does a file system check every 20 or so mounts as a
88 safety feature, and this time just happened to be your turn. e2fsck
89 willnormally do it's thing as exit without having to do anything. This
90 is good, as you don't expect the filesystem to be damaged normally, and
91 it's good to see that they are in fact intact.
93 That you use ext3 is also not relevant - ext3 is a new! improved! ext2
94 with one awesomely useful extra feature. Any tool necessary on ext2
95 still works on ext3.
97 > I apologize for the length of this, but I wanted to try to explain
98 > everything. I'm having fits here - I'm writing from my old 686
99 > computer which did have all my files on it. However, I ftp'd them to
100 > my webspace and then back down to the laptop. When I did that, I
101 > deleted most of them off the 686 and as luck would have it I didn't
102 > do a recent backup from the laptop. I do have an older backup, but
103 > would lose some recent files if I can't get my laptop up and running
104 > without a reinstall.
106 I'd need some info at this point to help you further. You will likely
107 need to boot off a LiveCD or rescue disk to get to this, then mount the
108 root partition and chroot into it. Do you know the procedure for that?
110 What was your partition layout before this mistake happened? If you can
111 remember how many partitions you had, their size, the order they were
112 in and where they were mounted, that info would be useful.
114 The contents of your /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/grub.conf
116 The output of 'fdisk -l /dev/sda'
118 The output of e2fsck, run on each of your filesystems
120 alan
123 >
124 > Thanks in advance for your help.
125 >
126 > Regards,
127 >
128 > Colleen
129 > --
130 >
131 > Registered Linux User #411143 with the Linux Counter,
132 >
136 --
137 Optimists say the glass is half full,
138 Pessimists say the glass is half empty,
139 Developers say wtf is the glass twice as big as it needs to be?
141 Alan McKinnon
142 alan at linuxholdings dot co dot za
143 +27 82, double three seven, one nine three five
144 --
145 gentoo-user@g.o mailing list


Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-user] Boot situation Colleen Beamer <colleen.beamer@×××××.com>