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Thread: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

  1. #1
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    Default Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    First time posting, long time reader. 2 days ago I installed opensuse 12.2 (completely new install) using GRUB 2 and btrfs file system. All has been running beautifully until last night. Power in my neighborhood went out, and of course my UPS batteries were at the end of their life (which I should have known better).

    When power finally came back on, my machine will only boot to a prompt asking for the root password. I attempted to run fsck, but it stated all was ok with the drive. After that tried startx (as root still), KDE does start, but then I get a bug dialog stating that the window manager crashed, so I get nothing but a black screen.

    I remember several versions back (opensuse), you could put the boot cd back in the drive, select the repair tool (as an option, rather than install or upgrade), and it gave a graphical repair tool that would run several tests on your system, find problems and offer to fix them for you. unfortunately the past several versions have not had this option, if you select the repair system, it simply dumps you back to the root login, and I am lost at that point.

    I do not have enough experience to diagnose the system at the prompt to know what is wrong nor how to fix it.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I could just reinstall the system, but if I do that, then I learn nothing. I am at work now, so I am not sitting in front of the system in question, but will attempt to answer any questions in the meantime.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    dd@home.dk NNTP User

    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    On 09/12/2012 04:16 PM, almcneill wrote:
    > btrfs file system. ... I attempted to run fsck, but it stated
    > all was ok with the drive.


    as far as i know the disaster recovery tools for btrfs are not quite
    fully baked yet (but, i could be wrong)....

    i do not know how much you can learn from others here about how to fix
    your broken btrfs--but, i know from me you can learn _zero_...so, i'll
    tell you what i would do:

    considering at most you can loose only two days of stuff (you do still
    have that good backup data you made before installing 12.2, right?) i'd
    format and reinstall 12.2 using ext4..

    and while i was doing that i'd also recharge/replace and TEST the USP
    batteries..

    ymmv

    --
    dd http://goo.gl/PUjnL


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    I do not use btrfs myself, so I cannot help much, but did you have a
    look at their FAQ https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Problem_FAQ
    which contains a bit trouble shooting information?

    --
    PC: oS 12.2 x86_64 | i7-2600@3.40GHz | 16GB | KDE 4.8.4 | GeForce GT 420
    ThinkPad E320: oS 12.2 x86_64 | i3@2.30GHz | 8GB | KDE 4.8.4 | HD 3000
    eCAFE 800: oS 12.1 i586 | AMD Geode LX 800@500MHz | 512MB | KDE 3.5.10

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    dd@home.dk

    I understand, I thought I would give the btrfs a try as the info that I read about it, seems as though it is a fairly good/fast file system. And you are correct, I have been a fire alarm technician for over 20 years, and any time I work on a fire panel, the first thing I do is test the battery backup system. Guess it's just one of those things, an electrician neglects his own electrical needs at home, a plumber neglects plumbing, and so on... no excuse though. As for the backup, most definitely, if there is one thing a certain other operating system taught me along time ago, always backup my data. That is why I stated doing a re-install would not be a big deal, I was just hoping to learn something new with this problem.

    Thanks for the help.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    Martin,

    Read through the FAQ, did not see anything that might pertain to me directly, will have to go through it thoroughly later when I have time. Strange though, when I ran fsck on the drives, it stated that the file systems were intact. I think there maybe some other issue involved here, not sure. I think I might just redo the system tonight with ext4, has been reliable for me for quite some time, and I will only lose 2 days worth of test driving the new system, acceptable loss. Although I will keep checking for other posts to this thread in the meantime, and as time permits, will keep searching the internet for clues.

    If by some remote chance I stumble across a solution, I will definitely post here.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    The btrfs file system check does exactly nothing, it is a stub. There
    was another tool (I forgot which) which you can use to repair something
    - its been some time ago I played with btrfs, it was not very mature at
    that time. I forced it to be corrupt by repeatedly brute force plug off
    while performing large write processes to see if it can be repaired back
    then.
    The tools should be better now. Give me a little bit time, maybe I
    remember what they introduced in the meantime which can help you.

    --
    PC: oS 12.2 x86_64 | i7-2600@3.40GHz | 16GB | KDE 4.8.4 | GeForce GT 420
    ThinkPad E320: oS 12.2 x86_64 | i3@2.30GHz | 8GB | KDE 4.8.4 | HD 3000
    eCAFE 800: oS 12.1 i586 | AMD Geode LX 800@500MHz | 512MB | KDE 3.5.10

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    Look at "btrfsck --repair" if your btrfsprogs are new enough or
    btrfs-zero-log (this second one is the one which also sometimes worked
    in the past to get the filesystem up again after a power failure before
    the repair option in btrfsck was implemented).
    You can read short explanations here
    http://www.funtoo.org/wiki/BTRFS_Fun
    scroll down to the paragraphs about the btrfsck and btrfs-zero-log.
    Disclaimer: I do not use that file system (I use lvm2 + ext4) so this
    almost a blind shot.

    --
    PC: oS 12.2 x86_64 | i7-2600@3.40GHz | 16GB | KDE 4.8.4 | GeForce GT 420
    ThinkPad E320: oS 12.2 x86_64 | i3@2.30GHz | 8GB | KDE 4.8.4 | HD 3000
    eCAFE 800: oS 12.1 i586 | AMD Geode LX 800@500MHz | 512MB | KDE 3.5.10

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    Martin,

    Thanks for this info, will try when I get home from work (about 4 hours). Hopefully will be able to post reply to this from my working desktop.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    Well no joy. Followed several methods listed in howto's and the web pages listed here. After about 3 hours, got frustrated and gave up. Re-installed with ext4 file system. I will not give up though, I am now determined and will be building a machine this weekend to install btrfs and "play" with it.

    Interesting side note about this whole experience:

    Prior to re-installing, the first two attempts at a new install failed, as opensuse could not format nor mount the btrfs partitions that were previously set (by itself). I finally had to resort to using my seagate utility CD to delete the partitions, afterwards opensuse was then able to create/format and mount the partitions.

  10. #10
    dd@home.dk NNTP User

    Default Re: Power failure - booting only to "rescue" prompt

    On 09/13/2012 03:36 PM, almcneill wrote:
    > opensuse could not format nor mount the btrfs partitions that were
    > previously set (by itself)


    as i wrote: "tools for btrfs are not quite fully baked" . . .

    --
    dd http://goo.gl/PUjnL

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