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Old 07-03-2010, 03:17 PM   #1
LinuxNewbMartyr
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Unhappy Power went out and can't mount Hard Drive on Ubuntu?


Hello to whoever may help me with my quest.

Recently (about 2 weeks ago) the power went out randomly in my household while my computer was running. Upon restarting, GRUB, (which I am still unsure what exactly that is) seems to fail to mount my hard drive. I've been searching for answers since this has occurred and I came to the realization that I am a complete newbie and I dived into the deep end of a pool without learning to swim first.

Initially, I managed to figure out how to wipe my hard drive and install Ubuntu 9.04 and everything was great until this happened. It was a learning process for me and I spent much time collecting info on the basics of Linux. So I know how to use the terminal (for the most part) and I can do a few other things. The good things is: I am excellent at following directions. So that's a start.

Here's what's happened and what I've done so far:
Upon turning computer on GRUB tries to load my HD and fails. It gives me a list of strange codes and errors (I can write it all down and post if it will help otherwise it'll take me a decent amount of time) and starts something called "BusyBox". From here I have no idea. So searched a bit online and found that with my installation disk I can boot Ubuntu on some sort of "Live" mode. This allows me to access the terminal but my HD is not mounted (so I think) due to the OS running from the Disc. With a bit more searching I found something called "fdisk" and "fsck" which I entered in the format given from the forumn I was reading. It gave me an output that I did not understand which is where I left off. It didn't seem to help and I can also post the details from that as well if it helps.

At this point, I'd just like some Linux Guru to give me a good idea on what I should do (perhaps a step-by-step process on the information he/she may require and after doing that another step-by-step process on solving the problem) I understand the amount of time this may take and I am willing to put forth any amount of effort to get my baby running again because like most PC users, I have important information on my HD that I'd simply like to not lose.

So please, if anyone who reads this feels like taking the time to help, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm extremely patient and understanding as long as there are understandable directions for a sad newbie like me.

Thanks! I'll be checking back periodically.

-Actias
 
Old 07-03-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
H_TeXMeX_H
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It would be nice if you posted at least the last few lines or lines with 'error' in them during boot, this will help.

I would first try to find if the HDD has not failed. I know it's a scary thought, but I'm thinking: A power outage (maybe spike as well), you boot right after and the HDD is not found ... it's possible. Is the HDD found, does it list it as a device ? or does it just fail to mount, but exists as a device ?

A live CD is usually a great tool in these times, and any live CD should be able to detect and even mount the HDD.

If it just won't mount the HDD, then run 'fsck' on the partition, this will clear up any errors and allow you to boot properly. Again more info on the exact nature of the problem is going to help.

Oh, and welcome to LQ.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-03-2010, 06:08 PM   #3
tredegar
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Quote:
I came to the realization that I am a complete newbie and I dived into the deep end of a pool without learning to swim first.
We all did that at some time. It's how everyone starts. You'll soon learn to swim. In fact, I think you already have done.

Quote:
So I know how to use the terminal (for the most part) and I can do a few other things.
Good start. Well done

Quote:
I can boot Ubuntu on some sort of "Live" mode. This allows me to access the terminal but my HD is not mounted (so I think) due to the OS running from the Disc... [SNIP]..
At this point, I'd just like some Linux Guru to give me a good idea on what I should do..
There are plenty of gurus here on LQ, and although I appear to be listed as one, please consider me as a "Newbie Guru", because sometimes I still get completely lost. Members of LQ are mostly very polite (as you have been), and you'll find LQ is not like some "other" forums: Sufficient information (as you have given), politeness, respect where due, and no "txt spk" abbreviations are always appreciated.

Meanwhile, we need to know a bit more about how your HDD is set up. Then probably we can help you fix it.

Please boot from the "Live CD", open a terminal, and tell us what the output of the command
Code:
fdisk -l
is (that's a "minus ell" not "minus one").

That will tell us what partitions you have, what they are called, and how they are partitioned.

Then perhaps we can offer you some specific advice about how to diagnose your problem further, and hopefully fix it to recover everything.

linux systems are generally very resilient. If you've had a power failure, and something is messed up, it can usually be recovered if you don't do anything rash - "I reinstalled, and now all my emails and documents are gone!".

Aside: grub is the GRand Unified Bootloader. It's an awesome piece of software that will boot many different Operating Systems, but if it can't find what it is looking for to do its work, it'll fail with an error message. If you told us what that message was, we'd probably be able to help you faster.

I realise that if grub fails and drops you into "busybox" shell, you'll be stuck. I would be. If this happens, it's OK to press and hold the power button until your PC powers off. Nothing bad will happen that hasn't already happened.

I have powered-down busybox shells multiple times and nothing bad has ever happened to me. Perhaps I am too frequently getting into trouble, and then having to rescue my system. But I like to play with linux, so I often get into trouble.

Quote:
I'll be checking back periodically.
You don't have to: LQ will email you when something is added to this thread. Then just read the link you are posted by LQ.

If this doesn't happen (I think it is the default), it's easily fixable.

And as you already seem to be good at finding things out for yourself you might like to visit http://google.com/linux which is a search engine specially designed for those who seek answers to linux related problems.

And a warm welcome to LQ
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-03-2010, 07:37 PM   #4
Kenny_Strawn
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To the OP: Did the power go out at a time when an operation was in progress on the drive, such as a copy or move of files to it or a format/erase of it? If so, that may be your problem, as power outages typically disrupt such operations, corrupting the FS on your drive.

On a side note: What is your drive formatted in?
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-06-2010, 05:21 AM   #5
LinuxNewbMartyr
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Thumbs up What a great start!

Hello all again! I must say I'm absolutely shocked at all the helpful comments so far. Honestly I wasn't expecting a reply for some time! This is great! I'm not sure how to qoute phrases like I've noticed so I'll answer each of you with manual qoutes.

From Kenny_Strawn: "To the OP: Did the power go out at a time when an operation was in progress on the drive, such as a copy or move of files to it or a format/erase of it? If so, that may be your problem, as power outages typically disrupt such operations, corrupting the FS on your drive."

"On a side note: What is your drive formatted in?"

Reply:

I am quite certain the HDD was not in any kind of file transfer or having anything important done to the File system. When my power went out the screensaver was on and the type of Screensaver I run is called "ElectricSheep" (Which is quite neat if anyone wants to look into it). Unless there was something going on behind the scenes I am unaware of, I don't think a screensaver does too much.

As far as the format of my filesystem, well, I'm not sure how to acquire that info. Or maybe I'm just overanalyzing your question. Is there a command I can throw in that will tell me?

From Tredegar: "We all did that at some time. It's how everyone starts. You'll soon learn to swim. In fact, I think you already have done."

Reply: This is wonderful seeing as how I'm not very fond of drowning in electronic goop, lol! Thanks!

From Tredegar: "Good start. Well done"

Reply: Thanks again! It took me a bit to understand the purpose of the terminal and how I could use it to my advantage. I got many of my accessories running with it, very helpful indeed!

From Tredegar: "There are plenty of gurus here on LQ, and although I appear to be listed as one, please consider me as a "Newbie Guru", because sometimes I still get completely lost. Members of LQ are mostly very polite (as you have been), and you'll find LQ is not like some "other" forums: Sufficient information (as you have given), politeness, respect where due, and no "txt spk" abbreviations are always appreciated."

"Meanwhile, we need to know a bit more about how your HDD is set up. Then probably we can help you fix it."

"Please boot from the "Live CD", open a terminal, and tell us what the output of the command fdisk -l"

Reply: It's really good to know there are so many helpful people here especially when it comes to taking matters into your own hands. I say politeness and clarity should come hand in hand with the request of help from people who know what they're doing. This is probably due to the fact that all of you gurus went through the same things I've encountered with my time with linux thus far and deserve a generous amount of respect.

As far as the command goes that you gave me here is the output:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000b7789

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 30028 241199878+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 30029 30401 2996122+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 30029 30401 2996091 82 Linux swap / Solaris

The HDD seems to be recognizable by running this command right? I had to add in "sudo" before the command. The other partitions as I think they are (sda2, sda5, solaris?) I'm unsure of. I don't even know how they got there.

From Tredegar: "Aside: grub is the GRand Unified Bootloader. It's an awesome piece of software that will boot many different Operating Systems, but if it can't find what it is looking for to do its work, it'll fail with an error message. If you told us what that message was, we'd probably be able to help you faster."

Reply: I always wondered that that stood for, thank you for that. I will be restarting my system back to the original errors that are listed when GRUB tries to boot my HDD. it will be in a seperate post because I have to write it down. Should of before this post but, oh well.

From Tredegar: "And as you already seem to be good at finding things out for yourself you might like to visit http://google.com/linux which is a search engine specially designed for those who seek answers to linux related problems."

Thanks for the compliment, it means a lot coming from a Guru! I have been using that site among other ones to discover many of the commands I've been using. I came to the conclusion that it would be logical to join a forum and share my findings. Looks like I found the right one! Again, thank you for the welcome, I'm thrilled to be here!

From H_TeXMeX_H: "It would be nice if you posted at least the last few lines or lines with 'error' in them during boot, this will help."

"I would first try to find if the HDD has not failed. I know it's a scary thought, but I'm thinking: A power outage (maybe spike as well), you boot right after and the HDD is not found ... it's possible. Is the HDD found, does it list it as a device ? or does it just fail to mount, but exists as a device ?"

"A live CD is usually a great tool in these times, and any live CD should be able to detect and even mount the HDD."

"If it just won't mount the HDD, then run 'fsck' on the partition, this will clear up any errors and allow you to boot properly. Again more info on the exact nature of the problem is going to help."

"Oh, and welcome to LQ."

Reply: I will be posting those errors lines immediately after this reply. If my HDD has failed, well, that's okay at least I know it's unsolvable and I can just move on, haha. According to the output of the command "fdisk -l" The HDD is listed as a device but fails to mount.

When you tell me to run "fsck" on my partition I found a similar command: "fsck -y /dev/sda1" is this what you mean? If so, here is the output:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fsck -y /dev/sda1
fsck 1.41.4 (27-Jan-2009)
e2fsck 1.41.4 (27-Jan-2009)
/dev/sda1: recovering journal
/dev/sda1: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while reading block 30122305

JBD: Failed to read block at offset 7990
fsck.ext3: Input/output error while recovering ext3 journal of /dev/sda1
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$

And that, well, I just plain don't understand. My filesystem writes a journal? Boy, it must of had an emotional breakdown, haha. Something failed, so I imagine, that's not good.

Thank you again for the warm welcomes!!


I'm using the Live ubuntu CD as I type this which is extremely helpful. I'm confident, with all of your help, I'll be able to get to the bottom of this dilemma. If worse comes to worse, I'll just format and re-install or just use another HDD if this one has failed. Sorry for the GIANT post, I wanted to reply to everyone.

I'll be posting the errors from booting my HDD next. Thank you all so very much!!

-Actias
 
Old 07-06-2010, 05:45 AM   #6
LinuxNewbMartyr
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Okay...Well...

For some reason, my HDD booted fine and everything is working great after posting that giant reply. I went to check the errors from GRUB as it usually occurs when I boot from the HDD. I went into the other room to wait and upon returning I was prompted to enter my User name and Pass like nothing ever happened. THIS IS GREAT! The only question is, How?

Did my HDD decide it's grudges were over? Do you think inputting "fdisk -l" or "fsck -y /dev/sda1", when I did, helped? This has flabbergasted me. For the past 2 weeks I've been attempting to boot my HDD with the same errors every time and today it boots right up with no sign of a real issue.

*intense look of confusion*

Again, this is absolutely wonderful as everything is in order but I'm afris that if I restart perhaps it will occur again? Maybe there is damage that I am unaware of? Any way I can check this?

On a side note: I've been getting this error message when my desktop loads up (has nothing to do with the HDD I believe):

"Apt Authentication issue

Problem during package list update. The package list update failed with a authentication failure. This usually happens behind a network proxy server. Please try to click on the "Run this action now" button to correct the problem or update the list manually by running Update Manager and clicking on "Check"."

Upon clicking "run this action now" I get:

W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net jaunty Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 53BABE78DF90C47A
W: A error occurred during the signature verification. The repository is not updated and the previous index files will be used.GPG error: http://apt.dolphinaura.studenthotspot.net jaunty Release: The following signatures were invalid: NODATA 1 NODATA 2

W: Failed to fetch http://apt.dolphinaura.studenthotspo...jaunty/Release

W: Failed to fetch http://ppa.launchpad.net/flam3/ppa/u...-i386/Packages 404 Not Found

W: Failed to fetch http://ppa.launchpad.net/flam3/ppa/u...source/Sources 404 Not Found

W: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

When I first installed Ubuntu I had to get some APT codes to access repositories for updates. I'm not sure which one stopped working or even if I really know what I'm talking about, haha. Perhaps there is a quick fix for this? It seems like the place my updates were coming from have stopped providing updates?

Well, I'll be awaiting replies from you all! In the meantime, I'm going to catch up on listening to Pink Floyd and enjoying the fact that I have my computer back, for now.

Again, I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and help me with my issues! Perhaps, with the knowledge I acquire here I can actually help someone else with similar problems!

Take care!
-Actias
 
Old 07-06-2010, 07:41 AM   #7
tredegar
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Looks like your HDD is running again. Probably the fsck fixed the problem with the filesystem, but
Code:
JBD: Failed to read block at offset 7990
 fsck.ext3: Input/output error while recovering ext3 journal of /dev/sda1
does not sound good.

No harm in running it again:
sudo touch /forcefsck
then reboot. fsck will be run as the machine comes up.

Your apt errors could be because 9.04 is old now, and support may have finished.

10.04 is the latest release, and is a "Long Term Support" release, so I think it is good for another 3-5 years.

I suggest you backup your important files ( I make an external backup of ALL of /home to a linux-formatted external HDD, having previously "Exported" everything from evolution (my email client), and firefox's bookmarks, so these are ready to import into the new installation) and do a clean install of 10.04, as using "upgrade" is likely to fail.

Then move your important files back from the backup you took.

10.04 has many improvments, but is using grub2 as the bootloader. This is quite different from "grub legacy".

To be able to use quotes, and put blocks of code inside CODE tags etc., Click "Go Advanced" below the quick reply box. Select the text, click on the desired formatting button, then "Preview Post"

Have fun.
 
  


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