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So someone did a bad fsck and deleted the os (mint).
Using a live USB i'm trying to replace the os with mint 13 but first i need to recover their info from the mounted partition.
Error mounting: mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda3, missing codepage or helper program, or other error
In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try dmesg | tail or so
DISCLAIMER: i havn't needed to do much with linux this last year or so, and i've forgotten alot. sheesh.
Anywho, with dmesg | tail i get
[ 118.046961] EXT4-fs (sda3): no journal found
[ 151.960336] mmc0: card e624 removed
[ 153.659935] mmc0: new hogh speed SDHC card at address e624
[ 153.660690] mmcblk0: mmc0:e624 SU32G 29.7 GiB
[ 153.660690] mmcblk0: p1
[ 171.414018] EXT4-fs (sda3): no journal found
[ 847.122585] EXT4-fs (sda3): no journal found
[ 847.278121] EXT4-fs (sda3): no journal found
[ 2824.912138] composite sync not supported
[ 3716.220138] composite sync not supported
i take it you are booting from a LiveCD/DVD/USB device of some sort and are trying to get data off of the HDDs that contain the OLD OS you are trying to replace with Mint 13. Is that correct?
unless the HDDs themselves are going bad, in that case you would not want to install a new OS, the LiveOS should be able to auto-detect and automagically mount the drives to at least give you read only permissions. both Gnome and KDE desktop should handle this without issue.
If you have to perform this manually you will first need to look at the mounted partitions created by the LiveOS... type: df -Th to get that info.
after you know that, you can create a mount point and manually mount the HDDs you require data from.
also is the current OS dead? if not, then you might consider backing the data up to an other computer, or some type of external storage.
if you used LVM or separate partitions for / and /home, or were ever you have your data stored, then you could just install the new OS over the old and not touch the partition/LVM with the data.
The journal file, as noted, has been deleted. So, you need to use tune2fs to revert the file system to the base ext2 format, and then try to mount it. If that works, all you've lost is any uncommitted stuff in the journal file, which, on a lightly loaded system, is usually nothing. (Well, almost always, but who really knows.)
If that works, you should be able to move forward.
frankbell: thanks for that link, i'm going to use it as my last resort and first try the other suggestions.
lleb: yes, i'm trying to install mint 13 on the hard drive. i've run tests and it looks like the drives are not going bad (surprising for how long i've kept this old laptop going). however i need to get some info off before reformatting and installing 13. this leads me to my stupid question:
(thanks PTrenholme for the suggestion of tune2fs)
if i'm mounted on a drive, how to i unmount it to change it to ext2 while i'm using it? yes, stupid question i know.
if you mounted it, you can unmount it basically the same way:
# mount -t ext3 /dev/sdX# /mount/point
# umount /mount/point
it should just be a standard umount as long as you are NOT running off of that partition. so from a liveOS again as mentioned use the df -Th command to locate the partition that is fubar and umount the mount point, then you can tune2fs the device (/dev/sda1 or something like that)