Linux glitches

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WebPilot
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Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:09 am

For the record, I like Linux. I am running Hardy Heron aka Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. There is a lot of online support for it.

However, I did a software update recently which required a system reboot and the unthinkable happened - my system would not reboot. I got a Grub error 17.

I could neither boot to the recent kernel update nor 1 version earlier.

I couldn't boot to µSoft Vista either (I use it for only 1 thing; to watch Fox programs using their Move player which has no unix support).
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tufty
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by tufty » Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:32 pm

http://members.iinet.net.au/~herman546/p15.html#17

Boot from CD or USB stick, fsck, and see what happens.

I'd actually be tempted to boot from cd / usb stick, ddrescue the drive off to an external *just in case*, and then try fscking it.
Vista ... watch Fox programs
sounds like (yet another) good reason to steer clear of Vista :)

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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:42 pm

I did repair it by booting with a Live CD. I'll explain later.
tufty wrote:
webpilot wrote:Vista ... watch Fox programs
sounds like (yet another) good reason to steer clear of Vista :)
Sounds to me like you never watched an episode of 24 or the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

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Unfortunately, last I read, SCC itself is being terminated. Pity.
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:03 am

I did a system/download upgrade and when I went to reboot ... I got a grub error 17 message.

STEP 1

From some light reading on the internet, I found somehow my partitions parameters are somehow screwed up for the grub loader.

I wanted to keep it simple, so since I no longer had a boot menu and I could not find a menu.lst file, I followed this thread.

How to restore Grub from a live Ubuntu cd.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224351

Code: Select all

sudo grub
find /boot/grub/stage1
root (hd?,?)
setup (hd0)
quit
I followed instructions and input hd(0,2), quit, and the machine will now boot to Vista.

I downloaded a new version of Fox's Move player (I watched a little of Bones) and updated AVG's database - it's been a while. I rebooted to Vista and everything's ok there.

However, Linux will not boot. Grub cannot find the kernel, etc. ?
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:30 pm

STEP 2

from a casual perusal of

http://www.troubleshooters.com/linux/grub/grub.htm

Checking again using ...

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l


Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda3 15520 26755 90253170 83 Linux



I found the problem in the following 2nd line of my /boot/grub/menu.lst

Code: Select all

title		Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS, kernel 2.6.24-24-generic
root		(hd0,3)
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-24-generic root=UUID=48ffbdc1-15fa-4d75-be16-979b63c16948 ro quiet splash
initrd		/boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-24-generic
quiet
For some reason, menu.lst had root (hd0,3 instead of (hd0,2

After changing the file's (that is, menu.lst) permissions using chmod, I changed the entries for the vmlinuz and memtest86+ entries.

Here goes!

It works again! Yeh!
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:24 pm

This problem isn't a glitch per se, but someone sent me a big .avi file and I needed to decrease it in size and turn it into an animated .gif file. It was relatively simple to do with the PSP software I had on my former µSoft box. How do I do it now?
  • mplayer at the command prompt to disassemble into jpeg's
  • the Gimp to reduce the size, add ID, and reassemble into an animated gif.
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by vturbine » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:40 am

It's been awhile since I've run Ubuntu regularly, I switched to Puppy Linux. But as I remember it, there was an additional step besides changing grub's menu.lst to make changes permanent after an upgrade. This may have been the problem you ran into originally, and unless you took this step again, the same problem may spring up next upgrade. Possibly in the kopt line. Sorry to be vague, but you seem adept at finding what is needed, so I'm sure youve already done this, or will locate it easily.

EDIT: problem may be related to this bug..... https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... +bug/62195
No problem is too small or trivial if we can really do something about it.

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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:18 pm

Yes, I, too, suspect/fear something may go awry again next major update requiring a reboot; but I won't know until the next time.

What I did get from all of this is that I now know how to reboot a 'dead' system and effect a repair. I used to be able to do this with just a floppy boot - but the newer machines have only a CD or this one looks like I can boot from a usb device. Then again, a floppy boot didn't put me on the Internet. Progress ...

Thanks for the reply, vermont turbine.
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by vturbine » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:18 am

You're welcome webpilot.

Mention of USB boot reminds me that you can put all of Puppy Linux on a 250 meg thumb drive -- if you can still find one that small. Actually, you could fit two of them on there since it's 100 megs.

I mention that size, since I once got one 250 meg drive, free, bundled with a pack of blank CDs.

Even a "bloated" version would fit in a gig thumbdrive. I once wrote a version of Puppy Linux called MediaPup, which includes all kinds of video, audio, and DVD editing and authoring software, as well as WINE, plus all the usual Puppy apps and some Windows graphic apps in WINE. It fit in 350 megs. The whole thing ran in memory at high speed in even an old machine if it had 500 megs RAM.

Anyway, glad you are squared away and can now restore if needed.

Always important to "own" your OS, whatever the flavor!
No problem is too small or trivial if we can really do something about it.

Richard Feynman

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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:30 am

I haven't booted from a usb thumb drive, yet, but I can see my doing it soon.

I repaired an old PII class laptop earlier this Spring by booting to Dos with a floppy and giving it usb support at the same time. I couldn't find a driver that would work with the CD drive. I had all of Win 98 SE on a thumb drive and copied it to one of two partitions on the hard drive. After some 'tweaking' I got it to boot into µSoft, got onto the Internet and found all of the original system software and drivers. The CD drive turned out to be a DVD drive.

It works fine now and I have Ubuntu on the 2nd partition.
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by vturbine » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:26 pm

Nice work! Especially the dos usb driver part. I've looked into that myself in the past.

Don't know your lappy, but I hacked a Thinkpad 600E PentII up to a PentIII 850 mhz with a 108 mhz fsb, and 512 megs ram -- a lot more than the original specs. If you happen to have that laptop model and it interests you I can give you a forum url with all of the hardware mod info, and the small bios tweak required.

Anyway, nice work. I appreciate that kind of reuse of "obsolete" gear.
No problem is too small or trivial if we can really do something about it.

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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:13 pm

Thanks, me too.

It's a Micron. I found it well built and of a modular design. The major components have access covers and simply unplug.

It's much easier to work on than say a Toshiba Satellite.
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Re: Linux glitches

Post by vturbine » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:46 pm

You may have come across these Linux apps, but if not here are a few I've found particularly handy -- and a little off the beaten path:

Remastersys: For Ubuntu, to basically create your own version for sharing between computers -- and also a backup install, with all your programs pre-installed. In other words create WebPilotbuntu.

Unison: For most Linux flavors, and Windows, too (I created the .pet for Puppy Linux, because I liked it so much on Ubuntu) for synchronizing files on any two computers. This one comes close to the cross-platform replication abilities of Lotus Notes.

CustomizeGoogle: (non-OS-denominational -- browser add-on) To allow Firefox or Seamonkey to control Google's errr uhhh desire to get a bit too up close and friendly with your browsing habits. Also allows you to cut out ads, go direct to image lookup sites, instead of using Google's frame, plus a lot of other nice features. In the same vein, Scroogle is an alternate search engine site that is rabidly anti-google -- a bit tiresome, but nevertheless appealing to me sometimes. Definitely depends on your point of view.

ddrescue : While it sounds like you're comfortable with dd from the command line, I found this script particularly good for data recovery. It Images the disk and then gradually refines the recovery data in successive passes, focusing on bad patches, and maintaining a log. You can stop it at any time and re-start it, and it knows where it left off. It just keeps splitting up the bad sections into finer and finer pieces, so you recover more bytes over time. It really saved a couple of drives worth of family photos etc. for me. A great program.
No problem is too small or trivial if we can really do something about it.

Richard Feynman

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Re: Linux glitches

Post by tufty » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:57 pm

vturbine wrote:ddrescue : While it sounds like you're comfortable with dd from the command line, I found this script particularly good for data recovery. It Images the disk and then gradually refines the recovery data in successive passes, focusing on bad patches, and maintaining a log. You can stop it at any time and re-start it, and it knows where it left off. It just keeps splitting up the bad sections into finer and finer pieces, so you recover more bytes over time. It really saved a couple of drives worth of family photos etc. for me. A great program.
ddrescue is the best. Really, *nothing* comes close. I recovered all but 2k of an 80GB disk belonging to a friend, it was massively damaged and would either shut itself down or start sending irrecoverable errors at seemingly random intervals ; some of this was down to surface damage, and some was down to the electronics going wiffly. It took 3 weeks of power cycling the drive and rerunning ddrescue, but it imaged, as I said, all but *4* sectors of the drive.

It's not just better than dd, it pisses on dd from a great altitude.

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Re: Linux glitches

Post by WebPilot » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:28 pm

Thanks for the pertinent replies to my thread. Perhaps this thread may turn into something actually useful someday.

I have a glitch with ubuntu's Evince.

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For the most part, it works fine. I've had trouble though with tif's and now I find I am having trouble with several pdf 1.4 documents. It's not displaying the entire page at 100% view settings.

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My workaround has been to supplement my system with two other pdf viewers; each of which display the troublesome pdf file properly.
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