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Old 04-16-2004, 12:23 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Debian
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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
Old 04-16-2004, 02:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Devon, UK
Distribution: Debian Etc/kernel 2.6.18-4K7
Posts: 2,380

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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?
Old 04-19-2004, 08:24 AM   #3
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Distribution: Debian
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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
Old 04-19-2004, 01:26 PM   #4
Marc A
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Bxl Europe
Distribution: Debian/Ubuntu
Posts: 84

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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
Old 04-19-2004, 10:47 PM   #5
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Colorado, US
Distribution: Debian "Sarge"
Posts: 228

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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.
Old 04-20-2004, 07:33 AM   #6
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Distribution: Debian
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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.
Old 04-20-2004, 07:45 AM   #7
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: England, UK.
Distribution: SuSE 10
Posts: 126

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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

Last edited by jolly1701; 04-20-2004 at 07:48 AM.


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