Some things in the repair tools are brain dead

Been reading this thread
Installed SATA disk, then OpenSuSE won’t boot - Page 3 - openSUSE Forums

I have been having much the same problems but from a different cause. I have been using the DVD system repair tool a lot after crashes caused by testing unstable software for HDTV.

Last major incident was caused by the repair tool messing up raid1. dmraid was working, but the file system repair tool doesn’t detect that and wants to repair a “damaged” filesystem. I let it because I have seen lots of corruption fixed before. I changed the raid to linux raid thinking it would be more compatible with the repair tool. The repair tool was unable to discover and get rid of a stray gpt partition causing device mapper to try to load a non-existent raid1 even though there was no fstab entry. Boot falls over.
MORAL: Don’t let YaST2 do anything to a raid drive.

Fixed the stray partition problem with ‘parted’. But still not able to boot. Repair tool boot loader repairer seems to have some strange logic - always seems to detect some error after a crash. if I let it automatically repair, it has to do it twice, since the first repair still reports as broken. I can’t figure out the logic, since I don’t think it has ever resulted in a bootable system for me, having tried autopilot and lots of manual tweaks, made all the more frustrating because a complete file system check is mandatory if using anything but the “expert” option. Not being a Linux expert, I have been deferring the the friendly but apparently brain dead YaST2 repair tool. Presently, my system fails to boot from repair “expert>boot from installed system” with “no root filesystem found”. Boot from hard drive hangs with no message. Boot loader repair happily assigns the right drive. Automatic system repair is almost completely happy except for the boot setup, which it keeps trying to fix but never succeeding. DVD repair YaST2 partitioner has lost mount points for both partitions, and will not permit them to be changed in expert mode. They look visible and intact from a shell. fstab seems to have correct entries for mount points. Supergrub can’t fix my problem either.
MORAL: Don’t trust YaST2 boot loader repair.

YaST2 package testing reports 4 packages as “not what were installed” (cups and three others) even on a brand new cleanly installed system straight from a good verifiable openSUSE 11.1 DVD. If a new install can’t verify correctly, something is broken.

openSUSE live CD falls over perhaps because it can’t detect my eVGA Nvidia card? (Ubuntu Live CD has no problems on my system - I was using it earlier when having trouble installing the graphics card, but not for the duration of the present saga which started with reformatted drives and complete reinstall a few days ago).

I am presently doing an update install hoping that will fix it, since it worked for another poster.

Is there another way to fix broken mount points when YaST2 partitioner is stuck???

A DVD update install didn’t fix it even though it claims to check everything.

Still unable to boot using repair tool “expert>boot from installed system” with message “no Linux root filesystem found”. BTW, after trying this the partitions are captured and unable to be repaired by the “repair filesystem” tool.

Still working on a fix…

So it looks like YAST and RAID were broken (?just for intel) and fixed in update - so the DVD and live CD don’t contain the patch.

This blog could help with chroot:

Finally managed to get the bugs out. FWIW, the major issues appear to be:

  1. BIOS “auto” setting for hard drives works fine on live DVD/CD but not the installed system. Changing it to SATA helped fix the boot hanging problem.

  2. Multiple GUI and command line tools for disk/raid setup and partitioning are unaware of each other and it’s unclear which is safest to use.

  3. openSUSE’s fail safe system of being able to repair all sorts of damage and corruption in boot loader and partition tables seems not entirely reliable. Subsequent manual repairs need to happen in probably more than one place. If someone can point us to the documentation, that would be lovely. A “nuke it all and start over from what devices are present” repair tool would be good.

3a. GUI Boot loader repair tool repeatedly reported error in (have to click help button to see error message) when as far as I could tell it looked fine. Even after manually using grub (legacy) to rewrite, the repair tool seemed to have another copy hiding somewhere and still reported errors. Not sure what fixed it eventually - having tried grub2 (which is not quite ready for prime time yet) and Ubuntu install before being able to use grub command line (grub-install; grub>root (hdx,x); grub>setup (hdx,x)) to rebuild bootloader.

3b. Repairing RAID, Yast partitioner also got confused. fdisk says there were GPT partitions on the drives and to use parted. But the drives had some information/partitions belonging to fdisk that parted couldn’t see or fix. In the end I nuked the raid1 array and still had to get rid of the stray partitions using fdisk before Yast partitioner was happy again with the drives and could make a new raid array. mdadm couldn’t help fix the problematic raid1 array. Needed to manually delete the fstab line for the raid1 device (/dev/mdx) to make it go away.

I think at last count, DVD Expert Repair>Boot from installed system still couldn’t find any valid Linux systems, but the system actually boots fine.

No doubt these issues will be fixed in time. In the meantime, I suggest not trusting automatic repair of bootloader or partitions on raid arrays. Manually hunting down the bugs in a broken boot is probably more productive.

Bugzilla (at least I can see clearly now…):
Yast2-repair report broken fstab after clean installation

Repair Installed System unable to boot into existing Linux

Still Broken: Bug 445602 - Yast Installer Boot Loader Fails to Create Proper Entry for Existing RAID Array

Grub installation fails to install it-self on MBR when repairing system

grub hangs in SATA mode AHCI RAID

Latest 11.1 updates will not activate ICH9R RAID 1

Partitioner not not remount a partition after changing fstab entries

yast2-partitioner: if swapfile is used, applying changes fails

Truly really repair is brain dead - beware:

Bug 547959 - Yast repairer unable to repair boot configuration - error is still broken