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HELP PLS! MDK 9.1 doesn't boot any more!

#1 User is offline   PeterPanic 

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Post icon  Posted 01 November 2003 - 03:58 AM

Hi all!
(I posted this on 31 Oct already, but my posting vanished.... Deleted by mods or fallen through holes in the new board... Never mind...)
As I described in my first posting, after rebooting and a suggested FS check ("Press Y within 5 secs to check the FS on "/"... or so...) the checking process destroyed some of my files. When trying to boot again, I got messages such as
"(etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit: line 44: 21 segmentation fault (...)grep (...) "
So I thought my /bin/grep was damaged. I booted in rescue mode and compared the /bin/grep (in the rescue ramdisc) wirh my /mnt/bin/grep (which is my "normal" grep as it's mounted by the rescue mode) and the "normal" grep was 20kB larger. So I replaced it with the one from the rescue disc (which has the same size as the one on my other MDK 9.1 PC) and booted again. This time I had no errors any more, but the system hangs when booting at the message (One of the first):
"Please wait while booting..." (If my memory is right)
Nothing happens after that (Neither in the "Linux" LILO Option nor in the "Failsafe" {Whatever that is})
I can go to the next runlevel with ctrl+c, but then the devices are still in R/O and I can't really go on booting. So I shut everything down with the "Tiny Elephants" Key combinations... That's all...

Who can help? How do I find out which files are damaged? Why are they damaged? I had the same problem on other Linux PCs... I'm re-installing Linux almost as often as Windows... I thought Linux stands for stability ?! How come that the fsck or whatever - or a simple power failure or system hangup can destroy important files without a chance of recovery? What can I do? :-) OK, next time I'll backup my whole "/", but that can't be it in the end. Can I somehow install the most important system files "over" the existing ones without having to reinstall all of my Linux with all RPMs?

Thanks.

PeterPanic
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#2 User is offline   pmpatrick 

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 05:29 AM

The file system may be hopelessly corrupted at this point, usually caused by some hard shutdowns and using ext2 or ext3. In theory these filesystems are reparable but in practice I never seemed to have any luck. Could be a hard drive starting to go south too.
For me, these problems vanished after I switched to the reiserfs; I found it to be much more resiliant to hard shutdowns than either ext2 or ext3. Try reinstalling but this time format all your linux partitions with reiserfs.
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#3 User is offline   mtweidmann 

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 12:06 PM

If your partition is corrupted trying to write over coulf cause you all sorts of problems. I'd go a long with the start from scratch advice although I prefer ext3 to ReiserFS personnally. Its worth checking whether your /home partition is still ok, as if yu can save it at least all your documents+settings will be in tact.
To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
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#4 User is offline   bvc 

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 02:26 PM

I lost a few installs with ext2 because repairs failed. From there, I went to reiserfs, never looked back and never lost even a file. It's been 1.5 years now, or longer. Go reiserfs, IMO.
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#5 User is offline   PeterPanic 

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Post icon  Posted 01 November 2003 - 02:58 PM

pmpatrick, on Nov 1 2003, 06:29 AM, said:

The file system may be hopelessly corrupted at this point, usually caused by some hard shutdowns and using ext2 or ext3. In theory these filesystems are reparable but in practice I never seemed to have any luck. Could be a hard drive starting to go south too.
For me, these problems vanished after I switched to the reiserfs; I found it to be much more resiliant to hard shutdowns than either ext2 or ext3. Try reinstalling but this time format all your linux partitions with reiserfs.

But I didn't "DO" anything :D/> Just a few shutdowns...

Until today I had the opinion that Linux is "much more stable" than Windows. But I never had such problems in Windows, but always in Linux. I've got quite stupid customers which don't know that there's a "Start - Shutdown" in their Windows. They always simply switch off the PC with Programs running and stuff. Usually Scandisc fixes that all, from time to time it reports which files are corrupted and you reinstall these.

In the worst case you simply install Win "over" your installed Win and is somehow works... Without installing all packets from scratch and losing e.g. your settings of the programs.

There has to be such a way, even with ext2... Why doesn't some checking software tell me which programs are corrupted and how to reinstall them? OK, it's all open and free and I can't demand anything, but if lots of universities, governments and large companies use ext2, how do they manage all the damage ? I think, they can't just reinstall every week.

So if Reiser is the only usable FS, why doesn't anyone warn you when installing Linux? I could have lost all of my company data if I just relied to the stability of Linux... And now I lost a lot of time again...

But on the other hand - it doesn't seem as if the FS itself was broken. And the HDs are OK since a year on all of my Win/Lin machines - so why should they be faulty in Linux? I use standard parameters. Is there for example a hdparm or so that could be responsible for these errors? Because I thought the shutdowns couldn't corrupt e.g. grep, as in linux a command is read and then executed from ram, isn't it? So why should grep be corrupted when there hasn't been any write access on it?
HMMM.... I don't understand that all...

So all - Do you all think, Reiser is the best FS? What are the DISadvantages of reiser?
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#6 User is offline   Michel 

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 03:19 PM

Reiserfs uses lots of cpu-cycles.... (but cvan work welll woth smaller files) don't know about the new reiser4 though...

Xfs is also good..use it myself....
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#7 User is offline   Ixthusdan 

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 03:27 PM

I have used xfs2, xfs3, and reisrfs. I like to use xfs3 for my root partition, and reiserfs for everything else. I play alot, and most of my problems are self inflicted wounds! ;)/>

Don't even start with the windex/linux stuff! You obviously have never had windex find a corupt partition table on a reinstall, tell you it needs correcting, and proceed to break the drive up into many little partitions as part of its brilliant recovery system. :D/> When the partition table is corrupted, or key areas of the harddrive are wearing out, any system will have humorous and enjoyable challenges.
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion. Edmund Burke, 1784
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#8 User is offline   PeterPanic 

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Post icon  Posted 01 November 2003 - 04:33 PM

Quote

You obviously have never had windex find a corupt partition table on a reinstall, tell you it needs correcting, (...)


Yes wall - I really never had a corrupt partition table in all my years and about 80 Win PCs I installed caused by shutdowns or anything like that - Only by viruses and HDs that were physically damaged.

Hmmm.....

Ciao,
PeterPanic
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#9 User is offline   DragonMage 

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 05:40 PM

Let me tell you the horrible truth.. scandisk actually does squat in recovering the missing chains.. All it does is save them to a file so you can either delete them or let them stay there wasting space. I found this out the hard way after an electrical blackout that screwed up my windows partition, requires not only a reinstall, but a re-fdisk and re-format.

Now maybe windows run after running scandisk, but some important files can get corrupted. So if an application ask for those files, it can hangs your entire windows. Ever since the birth of disk-cache and virtual memory, turning off computer just like that is NOT the right way to do it. That's why windows 95 and above have the shutdown option in the menu in order to sync the virtual memory and flush all the cache into HD.

Now a journaling filesystem is another layer of safety to prevent bad shutdown from corrupting your data in the hard drive, but by no mean a cure-all. There was a journaling filesystem article in newsforge or something that explains journaling filesystems even better than I can. The fact is that I like reiserfs the most because it seems to be the most stable in my experience. I have a few ext3 partitions got corrupted with bad shutdown (a hanging computer or something), but reiser just keep chugging along. Of course, there are maybe better alternatives for you. Now that I live in a nation with frequent blackouts, a journaling filesystem is a must for me, in addition to a UPS.
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#10 User is offline   PeterPanic 

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Post icon  Posted 01 November 2003 - 09:58 PM

So there's no "cure" ? No way to repair my corrupted files? I really have to delete all of my Linux and re-install? OOfff.... Hard thing again...
OK, I can access all of my partitions, so I'll (once more) TAR the homes to my Windows Partition and start with reiser from scratch. How do big companies do that? Do all of them use Reiser? Or will they just stop working for a day whenever there's a power problem? :angry:/>
I guess I'll write a newbie installation guide for MDK so that newbies know from the start that they mustn't use ext2... One point in this guide, along with many, many others that made me work for months before I just found out how it works. From time to time Linux reminds me of a riddle that's hard to solve - if you don't know the solution - and which is a childs play if you do know it.
Can any of you explain to me what exactly "fsck" does?

Thanks all...

PeterPanic
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#11 User is offline   Pzatch 

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 05:16 AM

I've never really had a problem with corrupted files.
But I have had corrupted files and a totaled mbr before from bat shutdowns.
I've never lost any real data though. Just reinstalled Mandrake and it found the old partitons so I used them. Since I have just about everything separated onto different partition I still had all my old data and all my old system settings.
I always use separate usr,var,and home partitions on top of the normall / and swap.

Though now that I said all this I'm sure my system will cr*p out tomorrow loosing everything.
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#12 User is offline   bvc 

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 06:47 AM

When you go reiserfs....DO NOT allow fsck to check reiserfs. Use reiserfsck. Copy and paste man reiserfsck to a text editor and print it. I've only NEEDED it once, but they say it's a good idea to do it every now and then, so I use to. Haven't for almost a year now. :P/>
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#13 User is offline   AussieJohn 

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 08:21 AM

Hi PeterPanic.

Have you tried the "pretend" upgrade procedure ?? I find that this method cures most of a lot of problems I occassionaly have caused by my continuous experimenting with MANDRAKE. All my troubles are caused by me and NOT BY MANDRAKE.

Put in your CD #1 of your Mandrake install CDs. When it reaches the stage where it asks whether to install or upgrade, select upgrade and follow on from there. This also gives you the opportunity to change from LILO to GRUB for your bootloader and many other things as well. I find this sorts out all my problems 95% of the time.

Regarding your comments about governments using LINUX.
NO GOVERNMENT OR BUSINESS WOULD BE STUPID ENOUGH TO RUN A COMPUTER SYSTEM WITHOUT AN " Uninterrupted Power Supply ".

I bought one the SAME DAY that I bought my first computer and have never been without one since (3yrs). Problems caused by Power failures are YOUR problems and not the fault of Mandrake or any other OS (including Win......s)

Do yourself a favour and get one as soon as possible. If you can't afford one then really you can't afford a computer either. Do not confuse Surge Busters with UPSs however. UPSs have surge busting capabilities built in but their primary purpose is to maintain power long enough for you to do SAVE and then an orderly shutdown.

I repeat, I have NEVER had a problem of anykind as a result of a Power failure or accidently disconnecting the Mains lead.

Anyhow try the "upgrade" method and see how you go.
Best of luck and cheers. John (69yrs young)
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#14 User is offline   Sarissi 

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 12:53 PM

Even a momentary outage (lights blink off then back on quick) is enough to screw things up royally. We had a time of these momentary outages where I live, and this is what convinced me to get a good UPS. I got an Internet Office which has Overvoltage (surge, spike, and Lightning), Undervoltage (brownout), and outage. It has saved me lots of headaches.

Governments and businesses are fine for protecting the Servers, but, NOT the desktops. Don't they realize that Servers are useless when they have nothing to serve TO??
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#15 User is offline   PeterPanic 

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Post icon  Posted 12 February 2004 - 01:11 PM

Hi all!

Well, the power supply/UPS thing never was my problem at all. Usually my Linux trashes, when something hangs and I use the SysReq (Raising tiny elephants...) to sync and term and kill and shutdown. Next time I boot, the fsck (Press "Y"...) appears. If I don't fsck, usually everything goes OK, if I do fsck, it messes up some read-only system files and Linux won't boot any more. If I refuse to do fsck, the "automatic" check will start after xxx (100?) bootings or after yyy days. And THEN everything goes down again...
So what I have to do is
1) Only use Reiser
2) disable forced checks
3) say "N" to the check questions
4) use reiserchk from time to time

Hmmm... OK. And I'll search the forum for how to backup my complete system. :-)

Bye,

PeterPanic
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