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Re: Help: Hosed FS on HP nx8420?

Tim Wood wrote:
> I have an HP nx 8420 Core2 Duo T7400, 2GB RAM, SATA 100GB 7400rpm HDD, 
> ATI X1600 graphic card, bought mid February.


> I had great difficulty persuading it to repartition the drive. I 
> installed the network edition of Edgy, bare system, then upgraded to Sid.

Stop!  Edgy is an Ubuntu release.  Sid is a Debian unstable track.  I
would not expect an moving from Edgy to Sid would be reasonable.  I
would expect various problems in that case.

Instead install the Debian stable release Etch and then upgrade to Sid
if you desire to run the latest unstable.  However I can't recommend
Sid for newbies.  Sid has various issues and one should be fluent with
Debian before using it.

> The partitions:
> sda1 19.75GB NTFS, sda2 52MB FAT, <sda5 ext3 (now ext2) 15.45GB as /, 
> sda6 15.45GB ext3 /home, sda7 14.71GB Fat32, 16.9GB free, sda8 1.98GB 
> swap> sda4 6.66GB Fat - WinXP installation files.
> When I bought it I did not appreciate that it had an embedded security 
> chip, which I now think the source of my problems.

What problems are you having?

> On a reboot into WinXP a couple of days ago, it wanted to do some 
> updates, so I let it. One of them was for the access to the security 
> chip. I don't clearly remember now but I think I disabled the chip  on 
> the original installation. The update seems to have turned it back on.

What does the security chip do?

> When I installed Linux I used Grub in the MBR and it worked well, 
> handing control to the NT loader, when booting WinXP.

Sounds good.

> On rebooting back to Linux after the above update, I was met with Error 
> 13, from Grub, though initially I did not recognise it as coming from Grub.
> I won't try to go through the saga of the following 2 days. I booted 
> Knoppix 5.1 and tried to chroot into sda5 but it came up with errors no 
> matter what I tried.

What were the errors?

> I had amd64 kernels from 2.6.18/20/21/22 and the 2.6.22-1-686. I got to 
> the point were several would start to boot but all end up with the sequence:
> =========================================================
> Begin: Running /scripts/init
> Done:
> Done:
> Begin: Running /scrips/init-bottom
> Done:
> run-init /sbin/init No such file or directory
> kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init
> ==========================================================

That usually means that the initrd failed to provide the driver for
the filesystem and as such the root filesystem was not mounted.

> An fsck came up with heaps of errors, cross linked files etc.
> My /Home partition shows no errors.
> The basic root partition appears intact with /var/lib/pkgstates and 
> dpkg/status.

Were you eventually able to get a clean fsck check of the filesystem
or is it still reporting errors?

> If I could find a way to get it running I could re-install the packages 
> (there's 1.5GB of debs in the archive). An alternative, if I could find 
> a way to extract a list of installed packages, would be to re-install 
> from scratch.

If KNOPPIX can't chroot into the system then I don't have hope that
the system would be able to boot.  I would drive on it from KNOPPIX
and try to get the filesystems into a clean state, or at least into a
good enough state to be able to extract information from it.

I am really worried that your cross-update from Ubuntu to Debian will
be a continuing source of problems.


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