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Old 08-11-2015, 06:25 PM   #1
AntOne
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Dead desktop


Copied from my introduction, with latest update news - but still looking for help...


Hello all,

I believe there's an old Chinese curse, something about living in interesting times...

Last week, su mode, my finger slipped and I moved /var to the wastebasket. I couldn't move it back, computer say no room!

My email - Pine - had lost my Inbox. So I shut it all down and next day it would only open a text console, ctrl-fn7 etc did nothing and /var had removed itself! Two or three other files were still there awaiting oblivion.

Since then I've been unable to use a SysRescue(?) disc nor a live distro - I've not used those before so it may be me.

Backing up has been very tardy, I've still not got round the ntfs format problem... I have many important files on there, copying them one by one is going to be hell but doable.

The next thing to try is removing the hard drive and putting it in a caddy of some sort, we shall see. I shall still have to reformat from ntfs though...

I'm not a total newcomer, just that I'm no expert either. I'm happy with the command line and a good crib-sheet, what I need is non-slippery finger-tips but I think they come with age. The other thing that comes with age - I can't think where I put the previous back-up disks!

Insofar as it matters now the desktop was a 9-year old Debian.

All bright ideas very gratefully received!

...............................................................

Tonight I found the old drive, in a caddy, worked ok so retrieving my files is no longer a worry.

I have fitted a new, unformatted, drive but it keeps telling me that there's no boot manager when I try a live install from an LXF dvd. I can fetch it out and format it from the laptop with Gparted, presumably, but I don't recall seeing a boot manager go by!

Regards Ant
 
Old 08-11-2015, 11:00 PM   #2
syg00
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So, what question are you (now) asking ?.
Reformatting a drive doesn't usually removed the initial boot code. Hence the message you are getting. If you can't get the box to recognise the DVD first for boot, you'll need to erase that code in the disk MBR.

Just re-read that last bit. Where does the message come from (during POST ?) - and what is the exact message.

Last edited by syg00; 08-11-2015 at 11:02 PM. Reason: last bit
 
Old 08-12-2015, 03:33 PM   #3
ondoho
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deleted.

missed the last paragraph.

Last edited by ondoho; 08-12-2015 at 03:34 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2015, 04:45 PM   #4
AntOne
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Hello ondoho, syg00,

My error I'm sure - this is a repost.


I'm now happy with the back-up arrangements.

I had changed the boot device order and can see and hear the disk trying to work, I've tried three DVDs from "Linux Format".

The thing is, I think, that this is a clean slate, a blank canvas which doesn't know where to start. Presumably it might help to get a caddy and use Gparted off a laptop to format the new Hard drive but will this also supply the missing part? At present it tries to play the DVD then says "BOOTMGR is missing Press Ctl+Alt+Del.

My question is: How do I put Boot Manager back as required? So far, looking around, it seems I need either a way to boot a live distro or, more usually, a co-installation of Windows.

The new hard drive is from the local computer shop, it's totally unformatted and like everyone else round here he only knows or deals with Windows stuff, as far as he's concerned the Windows disc attends to stuff like disk formatting etc.

It occurs to me just now that I could format, from a caddy connected to a laptop, then copy off entirely an earlier backup - Clonezilla? - which should include the missing bits. I can then install something much more up-to-date.

I doubt that it has much bearing on the matter but I think the back-up battery, a coin-cell, is getting on rather; apart from an occasional holiday it's not had to work very much and I shall change it shortly.

As regards the age, it was set up by a son who's now too busy to help; it did all I wanted of it and as a well-informed fellow paranoiac he'd made it as secure as may be. Having accidentally lost the /var file I could no longer do anything at all with it.

Regards Ant
 
Old 08-12-2015, 07:10 PM   #5
rokytnji
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Quote:
My question is: How do I put Boot Manager back as required?
Since I see you posting from a Mac. I warn you that what I am posting is not for Mac.

http://www.supergrubdisk.org/rescatux/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/boot-repair-cd/

Another disk on my cd rack is

http://redobackup.org/

along with a partedmagic cd and gparted live isos that are as current as possible. But I keep a old gparted cd also for low spec gear that has no ram like modern gear or cpu is pentium 2 or so.

Edit: PS. Any live cd can reinstalll grub to mbr. But is not as automated as the links I posted.
http://howtoubuntu.org/how-to-repair...ubuntu-live-cd
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubunt...-wipes-it-out/

Last edited by rokytnji; 08-12-2015 at 07:17 PM.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 09:22 AM   #6
AntOne
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Hello rokytnji,

Thankyou for the links, I shall investigate.

Yes, I'm using an Ipad here, daughter got it for us to keep in touch with the new grandson! It's more convenient than the laptop with its dying battery... Presumably you can tell from the header - what's the giveaway?

Regards Ant
 
Old 08-14-2015, 11:45 AM   #7
polaris96
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I want to help you but I can't figure out what you're trying to do. Am I correct is surmising you wish to do one of the following:?

1. Restore your original system to it's "pre-erased /var" state.

2. Recover the data from your original disk. Reformat the disk and install a new OS

3. Remove the original HDD. Replace it. Install a fresh system.


Any of these may still be possible.

Don't feel bad about tanking /var. At least you did it accidentally. When I was undergrad, some well meaning idiot told me I could recover HDD space by wiping /var during shutdown. I (probably) did much worse damage than you have.

Dragging /var into the trash didn't delete it unless you "emptied the bin" Assuming you said, "ah Crap!" and DIDN'T click [empty trash], your entire /var partition should reside in a .Trash* folder, probably in your desktop dir.

If you hunt it down, you can reattached it to its proper mount point (as root, of course)

If you emtpeid the bin (amongst other things) the data is gone

Last edited by polaris96; 08-14-2015 at 11:46 AM. Reason: spelling
 
Old 08-17-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
AntOne
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Hello all,

As someone once said "Oh Frabjous day!" All - well, nearly all - is coming together now. My very grateful thanks to all who've offered advice and help. I took the new, totally blank, hard-drive out and used a caddy with the laptop where Gparted from an LXF DVD with "Rescatux" formatted it and also installed Grub.

The mouse buttons I shall smear with hot glue to provide more friction - as I've got older my fingers have lost their non-slip surface, usually it's crockery that suffers...

The major loss is all my emails, Inbox and Sent, that really hurts!

To polaris96 - /var deleted its own contents from the wastebasket overnight, I left the computer on. One or two other files were still in there, untouched.

Many thanks again - Ant

Last edited by AntOne; 08-17-2015 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Last paragraph added.
 
  


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