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Re: Debian testing system won't boot

On Thu, Apr 17, 2003 at 03:47:21PM -0700, Sean Abrahams wrote:
> Thanks for the suggestion, I loaded Morphix and can access the drive.
> I ran fsck on the drive and it reported a meager 11060 errors, but
> when I attempted a fsck --fix-fixable /dev/hda1 it would just output
> the fsck version and do nothing.
> Now that I can access the drive from Morphix, does anyone have any
> suggestions on how to clean it up? I need actual commands as I'm by no
> means a Linux expert, just a relatively inexperienced user.

Well, I'm a tad inexperienced myself, since I have yet to totally hose a 
filesystem in a long time, so my advice is based on a bit of guesswork.

That disclaimer being said, here's what I'd do.

First break down the problem:

You can't load linux from the disk, but you can boot with a linux-cd 
image.  If you boot from a cd image, a fsck fails on /dev/hda1.

So, either fsck is broken, or the disk is broken.  (or both!)

I don't remember you stating what file system you are using, but I 
believe you were using a reiserfs kernel, so I'm going to assume that 
you are using reiserfs.

Now, either way, lets just check the disk's surface first to make sure 
nothing is screwed up there.  'man badblocks' seems to give us a hint, 
and if I were you, I'd doublecheck the flags on your version, but under 
debian woody the command:

	badblocks -c 1024 -n -s /dev/hda2

Will do a non-destructive read-write test (-n) on /dev/hda2, checking 
1024 blocks at a time (-c 1024), and show the progress of the scan so 
we know that nothing has froze (-s).  The disk being scanned should 
not be mounted.

If that passes, then we know that the hard drive is okay, if it fails, 
I'll await your next message - "file recovery on a bad hard drive".  I 
don't believe that a bad hard drive is the cause of your troubles with 
fsck, but it could be the reason why your hard drive is corrupted, so 
don't skip this step.

Now, the problem with fsck might be that you are trying to fsck a 
reiserfs partition, or else that it doesn't understand what your 
partition type is.  If you are running an ext2/3 partition, try 
"fsck -t ext2 /dev/hda2"  (Just to see if it scans, of course).  If 
its a reiserfs partition, I do not believe that fsck can understand it
(at least in my version of debian woody, the fsck manpage does not 
mention reiserfs), however, there is at least one reiserfs program 
out there to check a disk under woody - "apt-cache show reiserfsprogs"  
It mentions a program to check a reiserfs partition - googling at 
http://groups.google.com for "check reiserfs partition" should get 
you the name of the command.  (I don't use reiserfs, so I don't know 
the command)  Anyways, try doing a scan first, then writing back and 
telling us what happens.

And remember, patience is your friend.

        ...crying "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!"... ~ HPL
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