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OK, it worked. I had everything backed up on the W2K box. I was setting up a script to handle this automatically, so I could do it all at one shot (user directories, and /etc).
So, I switched directories over to /mnt/halbackup/etc (I made sure I was in the backup location on the W2K box), and did and rm, a big one. I figured I would clear it out, and then re-run the script, recopying /etc back to the W2K box, and all the backups run over there would have my /etc nice and cozy on their global backup.
And then it happened. I tried to cd to /etc, and there was no such directory. I tried to su, and there was no root user.
I think that little -dereference flag to the cpio command somehow got me back to nuking the original /etc directory on my linux box!
Can somebody help me? My machine is still alive, but I'm afraid to touch it, can't reboot it, can't login......help!!!!!
Thanks for your reply. I think I've got a bit of a chicken and egg problem. I don't have the permissions to copy into /etc (or create /etc), because there is no /etc/passwd.
Is it possible to boot from the system CD, recover a vanilla /etc, and setup a new root? I don't want to touch the rest of the disk, just get /etc back, with a root that will help me clean up the mess I've made.
Mounting /proc filesystem
Creating block devices
Creating root device
Mounting root filesystem
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
Freeing unused kernel memory: 212k freed
INIT: version 2.84 booting
INIT: No inittab file found
INIT: can't open (/etc/ioctl.save, O_WRONLY): No such file or director
I think you need to boot with a system that can work on it's own eg Knoppix, or any other live distribution. There are some for floppys to. Check if they have support for your filesystems otherwise there's no much use of 'em
welp, i don't know, but i think i'm takin a stab in the dark, but --
do you happen to have a linux cd that's bootable?
or the recovery floppy that you can make during install??
I actually have a recovery cd that i got somewhere that has helped me out before... but usually if i hose my installation, i just blow the thing away and start over.. then copy all my other junk on there.... lol
hmm.. the more i think about it tho, i think that both of those just "boot" the machine and then turn it over to the hard drive..
damn -- i'll check into that when i get to the house..
I would really appreciate any help. I brought the wounded machine home with me to my home network, where I have another working Linux machine (6.2), that I can hook it up to if that will help. I also have the boot CDs for 8.0 that the machine was originally built with.
I just don't know how I'm going to get at the drive when there's no passwd file to validate permissions, etc.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a bunch of really important stuff on this drive, that at a minimum, I need to find some way to get off of there. If I have to rebuild the box after that, well, that's the price of blowing your foot off.
I need to get that other data off of there though.
AFAIK, when you log in as root from a recovery disk, you completely blow by Linux's security measures. You can do anything you want to the box. At least, I can mount my Debian partitions and do whatever the hell I want to them from Slack. And vice versa - I switched my entire /tmp and /var partitions around in Slack from Debian. Dealing with /etc or /home should be no more difficult.