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bigeeguy 04-16-2004 01:23 PM

Complete Reinstall of Debian
I have been doing a good job of mucking up my first linux system. I cannot boot my new kernel with anything. I can only boot an older version with a floopy. I have jumped from LILO to GRUB to LILO without success. I am sufficiently frustrated with the whole mess and want to start anew, but I dont want to totally blow away the programs I installed and the config files that go with them. I do not have a burner on the system so its not easy for me to transfer stuff off. So, is there a way to format hda1 (my primary boot partition), and reload only the original kernal and supporting files from my Debian CD's. I dont even know what is required on my hda1 in order for it to work right again. I dont have any other OS on my system either which I would hope makes things easier.

If I must kill everything, do I have to initialize each partition over again when I reload Debain from my CD's.

Thanks, from a broken shell of a man

TigerOC 04-16-2004 03:31 PM

Can you explain what has gone wrong with the new kernel that is preventing you booting and why you don't want to use the old kernel?

bigeeguy 04-19-2004 09:24 AM

Well, I dont think the problem is with the kernel, rather, it is with my boot loader. I messed something up with the boot loader and have not been able to make it boot with out the floppy. I described the initial problem here:

I then got frustrated with LILO and tried to move to GRUB. I found a howto on converting from LILO to GRUB and followed it word for word. When I rebooted with GRUB, I got "Error 13: Invalid or unsupported executable format". I tried every kernel on the list, my old one 2.2.18 and my new one 2.4.25 with the same result. Then I got even more frustrated with GRUB and tried to convert back to LILO. I removed GRUB with apt-get. I was then able to merge the 2 problems into one. The system currently boots to the grub screen, but then restarts itself after 5 seconds or so. I have sufficently wrapped myself around the axial to a point where I think it will be easier to start fresh. So this is the scoop. Any assistance you could lend would be a great help. Thanks

Marc A 04-19-2004 02:26 PM

I think that if you installed Home on a differnet parition, you should be able to install everything anew without loosing your data.
So start the install and take care not to format your Home partition (it's not needed)

Good luck, Marc A

Qucho 04-19-2004 11:47 PM


in my /usr/src, I have

in /boot, there are the files
You never installed your new custom compiled kernel.

~$ cd /usr/src
~# dpkg -i kernel-image-2.4.25_MyKernel2.4.25.deb

Then you should see in /boot


with all the other files you already had there.

Grub is WAY easier to update with new kerneles.
after you install a new kernel you just need to do:
~# update-grub
and you are done, but this is usually done automaticaly after you install your custom kernel image.

bigeeguy 04-20-2004 08:33 AM

No, I definitly did that and created the, config-2.4.25, and vmlinuz-2.4.25 files. Thats what is so confusing. I think I did everything as outlined in tho howto (well apparently I didnt).

It doesnt make any difference anyway. I reformatted last night and killed everything. Now, I have new problems to fix.

Thanks for everyones thoughts.

jolly1701 04-20-2004 08:45 AM

insert the install disc hold the shift key while booting it should bring up a menu
choose restore
this restores the boot loader to its defaults
let it do its stuff then restart after removing the disc

if u set your system up like this
boot = mbr
x? amount of ram = /swap
5GB= /
rest of hdd = /home
but the set up will require a full reinstall, but u will only have to do this the once.

this way any reinstall of the os goes to root but your home directory is safe and u will be able to use all the info on as if it had never happened

also if playing with upgrades from different repositries ie sarge, sid check out
apt pinning

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