2 problems

Hi i am new to Linux and have 2 probably simple problems.
I recently decided to install suse 11.1 on 2 computers one a old dell dimension PC and the other an acer laptop which is duel booting with suse 11.1 ubuntu 8.10 and windows vista.

The dell PC installed suse with only a minor partitioning error which i solved by manually partitioning my disk however the machine will now not boot up and malfunctions before the OS choices menu (ctrl+alt+Del still works)and requires a hard boot every time,i believe that this may have something to do with the fact that the boot loader among other things is broken and cannot be repaired in yast.

the acer laptop has installed without problems
however i need to reinstall as my software partition is being silly and cannot make up its mind wether there is sufficient space or not, and i have ruined gnome (all my desktop launchers,links and files are all unreadable text files no mater how many times i destroy and recopy them).
Obviously all these problems are wearing very thin indeed, so i checked my boot disk for errors and it is fine.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Hello thatbrat, welcome to the Forums. I hope that your perseverance can hold up.

Regarding this one:

however i need to reinstall as my software partition is being silly and cannot make up its mind wether there is sufficient space or not, and i have ruined gnome (all my desktop launchers,links and files are all unreadable text files no mater how many times i destroy and recopy them).
I don’t see a question there. Can u be more specific?

Regarding this one:

…the machine will now not boot up and malfunctions before the OS choices menu (ctrl+alt+Del still works)and requires a hard boot every time,i believe that this may have something to do with the fact that the boot loader among other things is broken and cannot be repaired in yast.
There are two things you could clarify please:

1: When you switch the machine on/power it on, what exactly happens regarding the bootloader? Do you see a green boot menu screen? And if you do, what happens when you select to boot to openSUSE?

2: Please describe in some detail what you did in Yast to repair the bootloader and what happened as a result?

Thanks for the quick reply .
in regards to 1)no i just see a black screen with a flashing courser which never goes away i left it for 6 hours once it never gets as far as the boot menu, also if it is any help i also tried to install ubuntu on it a wile ago and that froze after i chose to boot it, but suse never gets that far.
2) i started the system repair from the boot disk and when it detected the broken boot loader i pressed repair then tried every possible setting combination to no avail as it just says repaired then immediately says it is broken again.

And what i meant about the acer was is there any way short of uninstalling suse then reinstalling it again to fix the problem where
a) all my desktop icons turned into some silly non existing text file that does nothing at all, in fact i cannot view launch delete move anything i place on the desktop.and
b)is it possible to expand the suse partition if so what one and how i tried using EASUS but i cannot resize any suse partition.

once again thanks for any help

a) I would reinstall on the Acer because I wouldn’t have a clue what was happening – I’ve never heard of that situation. .Maybe someone else will respond.
b) If you reinstall openSUSE, first clean off any partitions occupied by openSUSE (I suppose with rasus) Then install openSUSE again. You will come to the installer’s “Suggested Partitioning” page. If you like the suggestion click next. If you nearly like the suggestion then click Edit and alter sizes to suit. If you rally hate the suggestion click Create → Custom and design the sizes yourself.

Maybe the system repair did some damage – maybe not. See if you can reinstall Grub to the Master Boot record and link it to the Grub selection menu on the SuSE partition. If not then we’ll try something else. Follow the excerpt below from this tutorial: HowTo Boot into openSUSE when it won’t Boot from the Grub Code on the Hard Drive

If you have a Linux Live CD, boot from it and log in. Then open a console window and enter su and you will be at the command prompt with rootly powers and ready to proceed.

If on the other hand you have the openSUSE install DVD, boot from it and on the first menu of options select the Rescue System option. That will start an elementary Linux Live operating system and bring you to the login prompt. Enter the username root and you will be at the command prompt with rootly powers and ready to proceed.

Whichever way you started (the openSUSE install DVD or a Linux Live CD) when you are at the root command prompt, first you find the partition containing openSUSE’s bootloader. Then you reinstall Grub with a pointer to that partition.

First find the openSUSE installation:

You enter this ---------------- grub
Computer returns like this ---- grub>
You enter this ---------------- find /boot/grub/menu.lst
Computer returns like this ---- (hd1,6)

Here, (hd1,6) is Grub’s pointer to my openSUSE installation on drive number 2, partition number 7. Your pointer will be different from my example (hd1,6). Substitute your correct values for my example (hd1,6). Now that you have your pointer, proceed like this:

You enter this ---------------- root (hd1,6)
Computer returns like this ---- Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
You enter this ---------------- setup (hd0)
You see 4-5 lines like this --- Checking if /boot/grub/stage1 exists ... yes
Computer finally returns this-- Succeeded.......Done
You enter this ---------------- quit
You enter this ---------------- reboot

The computer should reboot and present you with the Grub boot menu, from which you can boot into openSUSE.

Thank you VERY VERY much!
My laptop is now fixed.
The desktop is functioning when put on failsafe mode which should be acceptable those commands appear to have worked and suse has sped up that old PC massively

Great to hear

I just couldn’t let this one pass:

Duel boot: two operating systems starting simultaniously, then trying to kill eachother untill one survives…

hi again, i have been a twit. for some reson i decided to partition my hard drive in vista on my laptop however the system had to restart to process the action and i neglected to boot to vista and instead i booted the defult, suse when i realised i restarted the compter and booted to vista the partition actioin passed with incidend and restarted the computer and once again broke the boot loader, i used the commands above which have restored suse only, i was ment to have a 'windows 1’option in my system selection menue containing vista and ubuntu,this has disapeared is it possible to recover those so i can boot up vista mainly as i have a lot of neccacary data saved on that system or should i just recover what i can and destroy the windows partitions and reinstall vista (this would be dissapointing).
thanks for any help.

Looks like you need a brand new Grub menu in openSUSE. So try out the section called: “APPENDIX: Installing a brand new bootloader once you’ve booted into openSUSE” in this tutorial:
HowTo Boot into openSUSE when it won’t Boot from the Grub Code on the Hard Drive

hi,thanks again for the help.
i tried that tutorial and the multiboot section and i now have a similar boot menu to what i had before however when i select ‘windows 1’ all i get is ‘rootnoverify (hd0,1)
chain loader (hd0,1)+1’ then it loops back to the boot screen again. This is my boot menu.lst file

Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Thu Apr 16 09:47:44 BST 2009

default 0
timeout 8
##YaST - generic_mbr
gfxmenu (hd0,5)/boot/message
##YaST - activate

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title openSUSE 11.1
root (hd0,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9120822AS_5LZ32YM3-part6 repair=1 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9120822AS_5LZ32YM3-part5 splash=silent showopts
initrd /boot/initrd

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows 1###
title windows 1
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
chainloader (hd0,1)+1

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows 2###
title windows 2
rootnoverify (hd0,2)
chainloader +1

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe – openSUSE 11.1
root (hd0,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9120822AS_5LZ32YM3-part6 showopts ide=nodma apm=off noresume nosmp maxcpus=0 edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off processor.max_cstate=1 x11failsafe
initrd /boot/initrd

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title Kernel-2.6.27.7-9-pae
root (hd0,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27.7-9-pae root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9120822AS_5LZ32YM3-part6 repair=1 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9120822AS_5LZ32YM3-part5 splash=silent showopts
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.27.7-9-pae
have i misconfigured something in here, or have i currupted my c:\ and D:\ in my partitioning effort(my D:\ drive was the subject of the partitioning effort)?

sorry for the doubble post, i have just noticed that when i tried to acces the drive D:\ in the partitioner it produces the error message ‘Partition /dev/sda3 cannot be resized
because the filesystem seems to be inconsistent’ could this have something to do with the problem? as when i got the computer it was partitioned with a C and D drive so would whatever happened to D crash the entire vista boot?

I can’t visualise your hard drive setup. Can you post the return from this command in a console window in Suse:

sudo /sbin/fdisk -l

i ran the command and this was the return

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1274 10233373+ 27 Unknown
/dev/sda2 1275 7951 53633002+ 6 FAT16
/dev/sda3 7952 11688 30017452+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 * 12589 14593 16105162+ f W95 Ext’d (LBA)
/dev/sda5 12589 12850 2104483+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6 12851 13622 6201058+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 13623 14593 7799526 83 Linux

sda2 is the C drive and sda3 is the D

The Grub code is correct for booting windows if windows bootloader files are on sda2 – perhaps windows is broken. It’s ominous that Yast’s partitioner is telling you for sda3 that “…the filesystem seems to be inconsistent”

These questions should clarify the situation:

  • Usually windows C is the first partition on the drive. Do you know why for you it’s the second partition.
  • What is sda1
  • What model is the Acer laptop
  • Where is Ubuntu
  • Can you see into sda2 by mounting it? Does it contain a directory called /boot and a file called bootmgr?
    If it’s not mounted you can mount it temporarily by making a directory /windows/C and then opening a console, entering su to become root and then this command: ntfs-3g /dev/sda2 /windows/C.
  • you must not resize a vista partition with Yast’s partitioner; use vista’s partitioner. Which partitioner did you use?

ok 1,2)i have some sort of ‘PQSERVICE’ on sda1 i had vista preinstalled on the computer so i am not sure wht it is not in the first partition.
3) the computer is an acer ‘aspire 5630’

  1. i installed ubuntu inside windows to the D drive and it is still all there.

5)i went to the filesystem directory and clicked on windows and both C and D were mounted odly D contained what it should and C was entirely empty however the partition occupies 51.15 gigs and of that 536.3 megs are free which is about what it was before i messed the whole thing up.

  1. i used ‘EASUS’ which was installed on vista and has worked before only this time when i misbooted then rebooted to vista it only whent 10% before restarting this was where the problem started.

This line: /dev/sda2 1275 7951 53633002+ 6 FAT16
which I missed before, is very ominous. FAT16 is wrong for vista. The fileystem needs to be repaired and I don’t know how to do that. Try the vista installation disk and use the automatic repair facility.

But first I’ be trying to get all the data off the drive onto a backup storage. If this was me I’d be mentally preparing myself for possiblly deleting and re-creating sda2 & sda3, or maybe the whole drive.

do you know how i would vew the files on C as they are all invisable and i need to get at least some of the files of

Sadly I don’t because Suse thinks the NTFS is FAT16. You could try unmounting it and remounting it by opening a console. Then enter su. Then these:

  • umount /dev/sda2
  • mount -t ntfs-3g -o force /dev/sda2 /windows/C

Then there’s this sort of search

And as a last resort before formatting, Yast has an editor for changing the filesystem descriptor from fat16 to ntfs. It’s at Yast → system → partitioner → edit sda2 → Do not format partition.

Leave it at do not format partition, but change the filesystem type from fat to ntfs. Might work.