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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 07-29-2007, 04:13 PM   #1
southsibling
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Lightning zap=stupid boot-up behavior


My computer got zapped a few hours ago by a sudden power shut off:

a) it's far from the first shut-off I've experienced, so this is not a new 'pressure' on my box.
b) YES, I have a surge suppressor that everything hooks into
c) no, I do not have a rescue disk (apart from the Mandrake Linux CD set)

Here's the specs: I've got a home-built box with an Abit NF7-s mobo, AMD Athlon 2600+ processor, NVidia card, and other stuff.

I dual boot Mandrakelinux 10.1 (default) and Windows XP Home (not-my-fault), using LILO.

Now (meaning after this electric shutdown-which was sudden and quick), my computer will always, quickly, easily, effortlessly, boot into Windows (using my LILO boot loader). Booting into Linux is iffy. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won't. (Mostly, won't; when it does boot into Linux, it's random chance, not anything special or consistent that I do.) Here's what happens:

-will hang up on SOME USB issue; sometimes after 'Loading USB printer OK' (once the cursor drops to the next line); sometimes after 'Checking for new hardware' (will pause on that line). Sometimes it will pause for quite a while, then suddenly move on. Sometimes, cobwebs form while I'm waiting. A coupla times (after 'Checking for new hardware') the message 'Disabling IRQ #7' appeared. Once it moved on and completed installation after that notice. The other time, it did not. With that message in mind, I completely disconnected my USB (Epson C88) printer (because the USB is associated with IRQ #7 as I understand it). Made no difference. BTW, both of my printers (one connected to 25-pin parallel and the other the Epson C88) will-right now-work correctly, whether in Windows or in Linux (when I can get there-I'm in Linux right now; once I'm in Linux, everything works just fine!).

On a few occasions I have tried booting into and out of Windows and then right into Linux, thinking that if Windows had no problem with the hardware issue, it was making SOMETHING right, and Linux would boot without complaint. Didn't happen. I have tried booting into (using LILO) linux, linux-nonfb, and failsafe. There is no better record of success in any one over another.

I have tried using the rescue utilities from Disc #1 of my Mandrakelinux installation set. Didn't seem to make a difference.

What's going on? Obviously there is not a crippling issue, or Linux would NEVER install. I cannot seem to reproduce any series of events that consistently work or fail. Linux just seems to complete its' installation quite randomly, on maybe one out of 6 or seven tries.
 
Old 07-29-2007, 07:08 PM   #2
kilgoretrout
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What filesystem are you using on your linux install? xfs is terrible when dealing with hard shutdowns with a very high chance of irreparable filesystem corruption. ext3 is somewhat prone to filesystem corruption on hard shutdowns but you can usually repair the damage and boot. The best filesystem for dealing with hard shutdowns in my experience is reiserfs. If you are gong to reinstall, you might want to try using reiserfs.
 
Old 07-29-2007, 09:34 PM   #3
southsibling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilgoretrout
What filesystem are you using...? ext3 is somewhat prone...usually repair the damage and boot. The best filesystem...is reiserfs. If you are gong to reinstall, you might want to try using reiserfs.
I am using ext3, because it is the filesystem that was put in place for me when I installed (a coupla years ago). I have an accumulation of 'things' now, with this system that I have used for two years now, but done very little to dig deeply into. Reinstalling is not a palatable idea to me. I did an install just this morning on another old box I have, using the same Mandrakelinux 10.1 discs, and don't recall the term 'reiserfs' ever coming up on the screen. I just did a stock install. (Ergo, I have knowledge of this Mandrake install that is not 24 hours old.)

Were I to reinstall, how would I preserve all the work I have accumulated, and the editing in many files, far and wide, and too numerous to remember? Altered and forgotten. Just what do I do?
 
Old 07-29-2007, 10:31 PM   #4
syg00
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Have you done a filesystem check ???. Try "shutdown -Fr now".
 
Old 07-29-2007, 11:08 PM   #5
southsibling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00
Have you done a filesystem check ???. Try "shutdown -Fr now".
Nope. And...any further progress is gonna hafta wait until the weekend. I leave in a very few hours to go to work MANY miles from here (I live away from home during the week), so my computer is way out of my reach until then. So, I've got to ignore all of this for now and gear up for the week ahead.

I'll come back to this issue on Saturday, but in the meantime, thanks to everyone for the comments and help.
 
Old 08-19-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
southsibling
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Self-healing???

My OS now (i.e., as of this weekend) boots almost normally. Every appearance is that my system actually repaired itself. (I did the reboot thingy probably 25 times +\-, with the fsck options), and it sure looks to me as though a self-cleansing has occured over these coupla weeks that I've been 'afflicted'. Possible? Is that what happened?
 
  


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