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Thread: Can I re-install over broken system?

  1. #1

    Default Can I re-install over broken system?

    I'm fairly new to linux, and just managed to seriously mess things up for the first time.

    I was trying to resize a partition used as a shared folder by a Windows XP virtual machine. Somewhere in the process of deleting the FAT partition, resizing the ext3 partition, and creating a new FAT partition my system broke. I had to run the system repair funstion from the installation media, which worked well enough to get me back online, obviously.

    OpenSuse had been installed into a fresh hard drive. The 2 hard drives from my old machine were then added to the machine. One of those hard drives had been formatted as ext3 then resized to allow the Fat partition. The last hard drive had been left as NTFS for the time being.

    My Fat partition refuses to mount. The NTFS drive I did nothing to refuses to mount. VirtualBox says it needs to be reinstalled. Maybe other programs are messed up...I've only had time to try a few.

    So my question is, can I just do a fresh install of OpenSuse into it's original swap and root partitions, and solve all my problems? I gather I'll have to force the ntfs drive to mount then, and I assume I may have to reinstall some programs.

    My main concern here is preserving the user settings I have set up for Mozilla, Vuze, Filezilla and etc...99.5% of my data is safe on my main partition on the new drive, and just a tiny amount is left on the NTFS.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    Sure you can, but if you have made a separate /home partition for all your data (which you didn't say if you have made one or not) then reinstalling and keeping all your custom settings in /home is a lot easier than having one big partition for the root where also your /home is as you'll have to restore every setting from backups, so if you aren't using a separate /home partition, you should do so upon reinstalling. I recommend this setting

    / --------> 10-20 GB
    swap ---> 1-5 GB (depending on your needs)
    /home -> The rest of the disk space (it's where all your user files will be, including settings)

    Also, I am wondering how did you manage to resize an ext3 partition while trying to resize a shared folder partition used under VBox? This is very weird, unless I'm not getting what you did

    As for FAT/NTFS not mounting, when you try to mount them from terminal, what massages do you get? Also check in /etc/fstab to see if you have entries for these partitions

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    That's great news, thanks. I went with all the defaults when I first installed, so I have a 2GB swap and 20GB root on a 1TB drive, and the rest is /home.

    I probably should have gone to bed instead of messing with those partitions last night, but I think the sequence went something like this:
    1. Shrink ext3 partition to make room for bigger fat.
    2. Tried to resize fat, found out I couldn't, then deleted it.
    3. Resize ext3.
    4. Create fat.
    5. Try to mount both.

    I was using the YaST partitioner and the terminal at the same time, and checking Nautilus to see if my changes had any effect. At some point I found that I could no longer launch the system monitor, YaST, or the terminal, and after rebooting I no longer had a desktop.

    damascus@linux:~> su root
    Password:

    linux:/home/damascus # mount /dev/sdc2
    mount: can't find /dev/sdc2 in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab

    linux:/home/damascus # mount /dev/sdb1
    mount: can't find /dev/sdb1 in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab

    linux:/home/damascus # modprobe fuse
    FATAL: Could not load /lib/modules/2.6.27.7-9-default/modules.dep: No such file or directory

    sdc2 is the fat partition. It shows up in Nautilus as 53.8GB Media and when I try to select it I get an error saying that it uses vfat which is not supported by my system. sdb1 is the NTFS drive. When I try to select it in Nautilus I get an error about not having fuse in NTFS-3G.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    Download Parted Magic Downloads - Parted Magic
    Boot with it and use the roxterm to get us the output of
    Code:
    fdisk -l
    You could open the partitioner too and take a screen of it. Upload the screen to a hosting site and paste the link here.

    Managing you partitions from Parted Magic would be a better choice IMO.
    Tumbleweed_KDE
    My Articles Was I any help? If yes: Click the star below

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?





    Is this what you are looking for? I can run Parted Magic tomorrow. Perhaps I haven't messed things up as badly as they seem, although I tend to be obsessive about having my operating systems "perfect".

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    I need Parted Magic info
    Unless you can get fdisk -l from your current running sys?
    Tumbleweed_KDE
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    damascus@linux:~> su root
    Password:
    linux:/home/damascus # fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00025f46

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 262 2104483+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda2 * 263 2873 20972857+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sda3 2874 121601 953682660 83 Linux

    Disk /dev/sdb: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x16141614

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 * 1 19456 156280288+ 7 HPFS/NTFS

    WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sdc'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.


    Disk /dev/sdc: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x2d8412ab

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdc1 1 32376 260052186+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sdc2 * 32376 38914 52519003 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sdc4 1 1 0+ ee GPT

    Partition table entries are not in disk order
    linux:/home/damascus #

    Parted Magic tomorrow. Thank you for all the help. I also have no audio.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    Some explanation would help us. Include disk type, internal/external and so forth........
    Tumbleweed_KDE
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    I installed OpenSuse on a new Western Digital 1TB drive with 2GB swap (sda1), 20GB root (sda2), and the rest a single partition (sda3).

    The NTFS drive is a 160GB Seagate with a single partition, sdb1.

    The last drive is a 320GB Seagate with approx. 50GB fat partition (sdc2) and the rest ext3 (ext1).

    I now am also unable to burn media, but got a copy of Parted Magic burned on another machine and can boot into it later. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can I re-install over broken system?

    you need to add yourself to the cdrom and disk groups if you want to burn something. This is a known problem

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