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Re: upgrade of etch from beta2 net install to current level

On Thu, Dec 21, 2006 at 10:17:15PM -0600, Gayle Lee Fairless wrote:
> >
> >The normal login won't show a password 
> > 
> >
> >>>prompt to let me get in.
> >>   
> >>
> >
> >what does it do then? 
> > 
> >
> It skips the password prompt and goes immediately to the login prompt.  
> Every 5th time it tells me that I've tried 5 times.

umm... the login prompt is what its supposed to show you first. you
enter a login name and *then* it will prompt you for the password. the
login name would be either root or the user name you chose during
install. follow up with the appropriate password.

okay, I just re-read that. you mean you are entering a login name and
its skipping the password prompt at *that* point? yikes. if that is
the case, you've got something else going on that I don't
understand. some of what I said below may not really apply then. so
first, see if you can get winxp booted using the advice below. If you
can't then you're gonna end up mostly trashing things re-installing it
anyway... if you can get winxp booted, or if you decide to skip that
part, then you need to get into a root prompt somehow (obviously you're
doing it based on what you've said below). then we've got to figure
out what meta-packages we can install to get the thing patched up. You
may be in a very rare situation -- needing to reinstall debian...

> >>> Also, the graphics system is not displaying.  
> >>   
> >
> >one thing at a time...
> >
> The repeated upgrades might fix that, too.  The basic system is running 
> fine in spite of having the running 2.6.12 'shot out' from under me!
> As I said, I have been choosing the 2.6.18  ...  686 recovery mode 
> kernel since that would appear to match my system.  I don't know that I 
> need the vserver and xen flavors.  Do I?  (It might be interesting to 
> keep them for later, perhaps.)

I suggest you leave it alone for now, you can clean up later.

> /dev/hda1 is Windows XP Professional.   /dev/hda6 is the Debian partition.
> I was able to use cfdisk to reveal the partition table.  I am going to 
> set /dev/hda1 to ntfs (because that is what it is supposed to be).

what does cfdisk call it at this point?

> suspect that it still won't boot.  Before I do that, I shall save off 
> the data files to my Jaz drive and to my ordinary account in the Linux 
> partition.  Then I would have the data files in two locations.  
> Everything else can be re-installed, if necessary.  (That'll take 2 or 3 
> pots of coffee!)

good idea.

> I think I did a grub-install into hd0,1 and trashed the Windows 
> partition.  Fortunately, the partition is mountable from Linux and so is 
> my Jaz drive.  I suspect that I'll have to retrieve the data files, do a 
> Quick Format on /dev/hda1 with the Windows installation CDROM's and 
> re-install.

hmmm... I think you should try a few other things first. since winxp
is located at /dev/hda1, then configure grub, just like the example I
gave you but change the root to (hd0,0). At the very end of your
/boot/grub/menu.lst file insert the following (if its not already

title           Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition
root            (hd0,0)
chainloader     +1

then reboot and try it out. *If* you actually installed grub to
(hd0,1) you may still be fine, because that refers to /dev/hda2 which
is *not* your winxp partition.

> >
>    I suspected that I would have to update and upgrade several times.  
> However, I think I'm in a loop, or I'm just seeing various packages use 
> the same common packages such as python2.3.  Before I let aptitude 
> remove the 2.6.12 kernel, it would only show a red highlight with BB for 
> the Broken Broken flags or purple highlight with Bd for the Broken and 
> delete flags.  It had already killed the initrd-tools package on which 
> the 2.6.12 kernel package depended.

well, you need to stop updating/upgrading for a minute and sort some
other things out first. yes, many packages use many other packages
over and over again, so that's normal. the breakage is something that
happens, but can be sorted out. we'll get to that soon, I promise. the
good news you have a booting system. that means that everything else
can be fixed.

>       I shall try the init 2 command from the prompt in maintenance 
> mode this weekend.  Should I do it from the root prompt (#) or the user 
> prompt ($)?

okay. ummm... maintenance mode is the root prompt in single-user
mode. I believe, if you are booting into single-user mode from grub
that you are at init 1. does it prompt you with something like "enter
administrator password of press ctrl-d to continue" ? 

if you are seeing that prompt, that is *maintenance mode*. If you
enter the root password, you will get a bash prompt in single-user
mode. when you `exit` from that shell, it will finish booting up to
init 2, or run-level 2, which is debian's default multi-user

if you are seeing that prompt and hitting ctrl-d instead of entering
root password, than you are skipping maintenance mode and completing
the boot into run-level 2.

>       I did try startx from the root prompt.  No joy.

like I said. one thing at a time. lets find out for sure what level
you are booting into before we start playing with X. 

>       Thank you for your comments.  I appreciate the insight because I 
> sometimes get lost in the details!

happy to help, but please, please, keep it to one thing at a time. If
you go changing things all over the place, we won't be able to figure
out what's going on. 

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