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Re: rescuing a system with broken X [was: Debian-based system not booting on Dell Inspiron laptop]

Dotan Cohen wrote:
>> there is no point in trying runlevel 5 unless you explicitly changed the
>> system to start gdm in runlevel 5 only, instead of the default of 2.
> Thanks, I see that was pointless now.
>>>> Check the error message in the log files
>> as you are being dropped to tty1 it sounds like the xorg.conf might be
>> messed up, /var/log/Xorg.0.log or similar will likely contain useful
>> information.
> Thanks. Tell me, short of taking a photograph of the screen, how can I
> save the output? Can I mount a USB stick?

i guess the things i would do were:

- reading the log of the X server. Lines having EE in them are errors
worth investigating.

- booting the live cd, mounting your root filesystem readonly and
compare the livecd xorg.conf and the one on your box.

- copying the original xorg.conf somewhere safe and running
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

- transferring any files can be done in many different ways, a usb stick
or scp/ftp to another computer would be what i'd try first.

-- actual steps

if the system is still in runlevel S it would be no wonder if the root
filessystem ist mounted readonly and nothing else is mounted. to find
out about the current runlevel, issuing
who -r or
will tell.

mount -o remount,rw / will enable writing on the root filesystem.

for testing, i would disable gdm by renaming /etc/rc2.d/SXXgdm to

init 2 will then bring the system into multiuser mode with network

all other partitions should be mounted then.

on a different vty (ie alt-f2) i'd log in as a normal user and
try if i could use startx to start X. if that fails, the log file(s)
will tell.

trying the autogenerated xorg.conf from the livecd can make sense, i
would however diff them first.



btw, i'm on the list, no need to send me mails directly.

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