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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] AAARRRGGGHHHH! (Translation: Linux got hosed)
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Re: [vox-tech] AAARRRGGGHHHH! (Translation: Linux got hosed)



begin: Mark K. Kim <mkkim@ucdavis.edu> quote
> On Wed, 9 May 2001, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> 
> > whoa.  wait a minute.  don't reinstall linux just yet.
> >
> > what happened?
> >
> > what makes you think the root partition is hosed?

(snip)

> So I rebooted, hoping the second boot re-recognize the partition modified
> by fsck.  Didn't work.  Didn't boot at all, actually -- kernel panic.
 
it's just plain worse-case-scenario.  linux got hosed despite all the odds.
usually when linux fails so spectacularly, it's because a PEBKAC.  sounds
like this was just sheer bad luck.   :(

bleah.  that was depressing to read.

> So I tried to access the partition via Explore2fs under Windows (a program
> that lets you access Linux partitions from Windows.)  It won't let me
> access that partition at all -- error.  Other partitions are perfectly
> browseable.
> 
> I think the partition is hosed.  I don't mind reinstalling the root
> partition -- just root files (plus some configuration in /etc, but... oh
> well.)
 
mark, why don't you reboot using a rescue disk -- the linuxcare cd or the
debian boot disk would be perfect for this.  they come with their own root
fs.  then you can fsck /dev/hda1 or wherever your root partition is.

in a best case scenario, your superblock got hosed.  however, superblocks are
redundant under ext2fs; we have multiple copies on the hard driver.  perhaps
fsck can replace the bad one with one of the copies.

you never know.  it's easier than reinstalling.

> > depends.  the rpm database, i believe, goes under /var.  perhaps
> > /var/lib/rpm.
> 
> Darn.  /var is hosed, too (on the same partition.)
 
debian convential wisdom says to keep /var on a separate partition anyhow so
that logs which don't rotate for some reason don't bring the system to a halt.

> > nothing.  if you *install* linux, rpm shouldn't check any database which may
> > exist.  installing linux and populating an rpm database is MUCH different
> > than doing rpm -U a billion times.
> 
> so overwrite the existing files?
> 
> > ps- you never heard people talk about it, but i always back up /etc.
> 
> Exactly what I thought I should do as soon as I realized the root got
> hosed.

heh.  i learned that one in my first year of linux, after i hosed redhat with
an ultra-stupid mistake.   :(  i worked HARD on some of those dang config
files!

pete


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