On 30 August 2017 I installed openSUSE Leap 42.3 on a new SAMSUNG 850 EVO 500 GB SSD on my Laptop. During the installation it was mentioned that the boot loader would not be written to the MBR, only to the root partition and possibly another partition (cannot remember). My partitions are:
/dev/sda1 4 GB swap
/dev/sda2 40 GB btrfs / (I tried to select EXT4 but it would only accept 10 GB, which I had on my previous Leap 42.1 and which was too small)
/dev/sda3 420 GB EXT4 /home
On the next day, after the installation was complete and after I had rebooted successfully a couple of times, a message came that 8 security updates were required - which I accepted. I noticed that the last update was a kernel update - I was not able to catch which version kernel that was. Soon after that I had another problem, which is relevant here. I had saved my 12 GB user data in /home of my previous system on a 500 GB USB backup disk with tar gzip. I had successfully restored other users, whose tgz files were much smaller, with tar -xvzf xxx.tgz. When I did the same with the tgz file for the 12 GB user the system froze after extracting about 40%. Nothing moved on the screen, keyboard and mouse had no effect - I could not start tty2 or shutdown the system in any of the known ways, except by holding down the power button for 10 seconds.
When rebooting after turning the power back on, the boot screen output about 20 lines and then came up with the following message:
…] Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)
On booting there were 2 kernels to choose from 4.4.79-19-default and an earlier one 4.4.76-1-default. Choosing either kernel gave the same kernel panic above. After much head scratching I successfully used the following workaround to boot the system.
- Boot the Leap 42.3 installation DVD and select “Boot Linux System” - accept all prompts - this boots OS on /dev/sda2.
I had the system back but still had to recover the 12 GB of user data to /home. Two more attempts with tar -xvzf caused the system to freeze after 10% and 30% of the transfer, with workaround boots in between.
Now I successfully used a second workaround to restore the data:
- Boot the Leap 42.3 installation DVD and select “Rescue system”. I was able to mount /dev/sda2 on /mnt and my home /dev/sda3 on /mnt/home. I was also able to mount the 500 GB USB backup disk on /media/floppy . With this setup and using tar -xzf xxx.tgz (left out -v option, which I had not tried earlier) the 12 GB of user data was successfully extracted in 7 minutes using the Rescue System. I still have to boot the system with the first workaround. But I could now finish some urgent work.
Before the first workaround tried to do a grub-install I had found on the net (using another computer) but it made no difference.
My urgent question is: How do I restore GRUB or the installed system so it will boot normally?
PS: I will try the tar -xzf (without -v) on the system and report what happens. Maybe the excessive amount of stdout output because of -v made the system freeze ??
PPS: Here is my system information:
openSUSE Leap 42.3
KDE Plasma Version 5.8.7
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.32.0
Qt Version: 5.6.2
Kernel Version: 4.4.79-19-default
OS Type: 64 bit
Processors: 2 x Intel Pentium CPU B940 @ 2.00GHz
Memory: 3.7 GiB of RAM
SAMSUNG 850 EVO 500 GB SSD
I would also appreciate any tips or links to tips about running Linux on an SSD