Deleted boot folder

Hello All
I know I’m going to hear the dangers of being logged on as root, but please excuse my elementary mistake.
I was presented with an early suse version on a laptop running some software which is now required on a desktop machine, I thought it would be a good idea to copy the folders to a CD and then do a fresh install of suse 10 on the desktop then just paste in the required files/folders to run the programs. Yes I deleted the boot folder by mistake.
Please help.
• I need to repair the laptop os, no longer boots
• Install and identify the executables so the program autoruns on the desktop
• Eat lots of humble pie

Hello and welcome to the Forums

Do you have the Suse 10 install media?

yes suse10 live cd and 9.3 cd’s


Boot off the install media and select to install → go past langauage, licence, to the page “Installation Mode” and select other → boot installed syatem.

That should get you up again.

Then goto Yast → software management → searcjh on keyword grub and untick it and uninstall it then do it again and reinstall it.
Then goto Yast → system → bootloader → other → propose new configuration → wait → then select boot loader installation TAB and put the dot in Master Boot Record → finish → reboot → cross fingers and legs and hold breath.

@swerdna -

Isn’t OP missing the kernel and initrd?

Uh oh… splat! That’s like not noticing that the house is on fire.
So how do you get that back (or is reinstall necessary)?

Reinstall the kernel. Off the top of my head . . .

  1. Boot from Live-CD or DVD Rescue Mode
  2. Mount the root partition, for example, to /mnt
  3. chroot to the mounted root (“chroot /mnt”)
  4. Use zypper (or ncurses YaST) to reinstall kernel: “zypper in -f kernel-default”. That will also build a new initrd. IIRC will also pull in menu file “message”.
  5. Then “zypper in -f grub”.
  6. Now create new and menu.lst. I’ve never used the ncurses version of YaST Boot Loader, I guess that could be tried. Or just do it by hand. Actually, if you know the grub commands, can make an empty menu.lst which will cause grub to fail at reboot, edit the boot entry there on-the-fly, once booted in, run YaST Boot Loader. The DVD Repair could be used, but not sure OP has that option.

Thanks guys but your running and I’m still learning to walk here.

I have booted off the suse version 9 cd via swerdna’s instructions
The root partition appears to be mounted?

is there a repair /upgrade option that will leave the personal files intact?

could you please step through the process/my options i need in newbie type instructions.

sorry to be a pain.

I’m pretty much out of my depth now. But it’s interesting that you were able to boot into Suse 9. That says to me that maybe /boot isn’t gone now and perhals there’s a kernel and initrd in /boot. So look and see before we proceed:

  • Is there a directory /boot
  • Does it contain files like these: initrd…, vmlinuz…

Hi again
Yes I’m afraid the boot folder has gone…

Any suggestions would be really welcome


At this stage I see two choices:

  • try reinstalling the kernel as suggested by mingus725
  • reinstall Suse

OK thanks, where do i find the really old versions of suse this one has Novell and the “N” at the start prompt, maybe 1998 ish

You may be able to find pre-10.0 software somewhere on server archives, use the rpm search engines. You can find old installation media and updates on the mirrors. For example, at the directories go back to 10.0. Note that going back that far, the software package management will be different; zypper wasn’t used then. But if you can boot from a Live-CD (any will do), mount the root partition and chroot into that environment, you should then be able to run YaST in ncurses mode within a terminal window to add the repository url for wherever you found the kernel you want, and install that kernel. Depending on your hardware, if the kernel is newer than what you deleted, there could be problems. In particular, at one point (between the kernels in 10.2 to 10.3, IIRC) the libata disk controller driver became the common sata/ide driver and the partition naming changed from hd<x> to sd<x>; if your /etc/fstab file uses this naming convention then it must be changed.

It is important to know the version. You said you have the Suse 9.3 and the Suse 10 CDs. Is it not one of those?
If you don’t know the version number, it should be on the laptop in a text file called “SuSE-release” in the directory /etc.

Absolutely. @It55, if I understood your post above correctly, you have one of the 10 releases installed - which is it? There is a kernel on the 9.3 CD’s, but it is risky to install the kernel from that. And the “suse10 live-CD” you have (are you sure that it is not a DVD?), what specific release of 10 is it? - and when you boot from it, is there an option to also install from it?

What will be safest is to find the kernel .rpm from the Updates directory that matches the release version you have installed to disk. That probably means from one of the mirrors.

Thanks again

I’ve been booting the laptop from the 9.3 cd using instructions from here. I’ve looked at “SuSE-release” which says version 9, but I’m not sure if that’s because I used the version 9 cd to boot from.
The os looks older and says novell desktop linux.
The other cd I have turns out to be the latest live cd ver. 11, which I presume to be too modern.
I’ve had a look in the mirrors for versions older than 10 with no luck, searched novell site also.

I’m thinking of abandoning trying to reinstall the boot folder on the laptop and concentrating on the final goal of installing a version of suse on a desktop machine, connecting the laptops hd via usb and copying all personal files/programs over, then try to get program running as it does on the laptop.

All of your help in achieving this would be really brilliant I have new time constraints forcing the issue.

Again I can’t thank you all enough.

Any suggestions would be more than welcome.

Suggestion: Attach a USB hard drive to the laptop and boot the laptop either with the live cd or with the assistance of the 9.3 install cd. Then copy the files you want to rescue across to the usb drive. Install Suse on the desktop machine. Attach the USB drive to the desktop machine and copy the rescued files across to the desktop machine.

Afterthought: you can get a cheep usb 4Gb thumb drive to act as the USB drive if you don’t have a spare usb drive or can’t borrow one.