I have two hard disks, one 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 SSD, and one 1 TB Samsung 7200 rpm spinning HDD.
On the 120 GB disk I installed openSUSE 13.1 successfully, using LVM and encryption at login.
This 120 GB drive is internally recognised as /dev/sdb.
Next, I formatted the 1 TB disk into three partitions, using the fdisk command.
sda1 is a legacy partition formatted in ntfs and I left untouched (file type 07).
sda2 became 600 GB in size and was formatted in 83 LINUX.
sda3 become 205 GB in size and was formatted in 83 LINUX.
Next, I chose to format both sda2 and sda3 in ext3, so I would have future compatibility with OpenBSD or Mac OS X. I completed the formatting successfully using mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda3.
Next, I created two directories in the /mnt directory, called P2 and P3.
Next, I made corresponding entries in the /etc/fstab file, using the vi editor. My two entries look like this
/dev/sda2 /mnt/P2 ext3 defaults 1 1
/dev/sda3 /mnt/P3 ext3 defaults 1 1
Next, I installed truecrypt on the desktop and encrypted the sda3 partition, using the truecrypt installation wizard. In this installation dialogue, truecrypt asks specifically, whether this partition will have to be accessible by other operating systems. My answer was “No”, to ensure that truecrypt would not change my format to FAT32 or NTFS, without my control. I made sure the format would remain ext3 to retain future compatibility with other UNIX-like operating systems.
Next, I copied some 70 GB of data into the truecrypt partition without any problems, and I shut down my computer.
Now my trouble begins:
At the next restart, openSUSE 13.1 boots successfully until it gets to the password prompt for the encrypted LVM filesystem on the 120 GB (sdb) disk. It accepts my correct password, then apparently tries to mount P2 and P3, but fails, as it throws the computer into an endless loop, toggling every few seconds between trying to start the X Window System environment with the login prompt, and switching back to console mode and sending endlessly this message to the screen:
186.133206] EXT4-fs (sda3): VFS: Can’t find ext4 filesystem
Clearly, it is looking for an ext4 filesystem, but only finds ext3. This should not be an issue for a Linux operating system, but let’s think results oriented first: I physically remove the 1 TB disk causing the trouble, which is easy to do as I am using an ICY DOCK MB994SP-4S (which is fantastic, BTW), then reboot the system. Removing the disk causes openSUSE to not even make it to the encryption password prompt, it crashes before it gets there.
I insert my boot DVD, and enter Rescue Mode. In Rescue mode, I do not make it to the encryption password prompt either, it throws out messages to me such as:
systemd-fsck: fsck: fsck.ntfs: not found
systemd-fsck: fsck: error 2 while executing fsck.ntfs
[OK] Found device /dev/system/home.
[OK] Started Activation of LVM2 logical volumes.
[OK] Activated swap /dev/system/swap.
[FAILED] Failed to mount /mnt/P2.
See ‘systemctl status mnt-P2.mount’ for details.
Further down, I also get
[FAILED] Failed to start Recreate Volatile Files and Directories.
When I get to the rescue system prompt, using the root login (no password required), try to mount sdb, but fail:
Rescue:/etc# mount /dev/sdb /mnt
mount.bin: /dev/sdb is write-protected, mounting read-only
mount.bin: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdb,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error
In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try “dmesg | tail” or so.
At this point, two solutions come to my mind:
(1) In Regular Mode, I need to try to stop the startup program from mounting sda3. How?
(2) In Rescue Mode, I would like to change the /etc/fstab entry, but cannot mount it unless I get an encryption password prompt first. How?
Any useful hints greatly appreciated.