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Old 04-29-2004, 08:59 PM   #1
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Question Mandrake 8.0 Kernel Startup/RedHat 9.0 Install Filesystem Issues

I have a Mandrake installation on my system from when I first tried to work with Linux, but it began to exhibit some problems. Specifically, during startup, the following lines would crop up in the scroll...

hda5: bad access: block=2, count=2
end_request: I/O Error, dev 03:05 (hda), sector 2
EXT2-fs: unable to read superblock
Kernel Panic: VFS: unable to mount root FS on 03:05

And then the thing just stares at me. It doesn't reboot into Windows, either.

Thinking that the problem might be with Mandrake's version of the Kernel (call it a shot in the dark from someone who doesn't really know all that better, I s'pose), I figured that putting another installation of Linux -- in this case, RH9.0, from some CD's I got with a book shortly before I learned of the existence of Fedora (*grumble*). When Anaconda gets to the partitioning stage, it tells me that it's having some problems with hda or hda4 (no, I wasn't smart enough to write that end down). It tells me that the error may result from incorrect BIOS geometry, but it doesn't think that's "the case" with this. It also tells me that the drive needs to be reinitialized, which will shoot every last ounce of data on it (not a direct quote).

Now, to start, I'm worried that I'll end up losing Windows with this. I've tried all kinds of backup stuff, but this CD burner isn't going to present me a backup anytime soon for some odd reason (tried it a few times quite a while ago), and floppy archival will probably leave me here until I'm 35 (with luck).

That said, is there some way that I can go about verifying that whatever it wants to do its work with will end up only dropping the Mandrake partition that I'd originally set up, and will (hopefully) leave the Windows partition alone? And just what exactly is it complaining about?

Old 04-29-2004, 09:04 PM   #2
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Location: Slovenia
Distribution: Slackware 10.1, SLAX to the MAX :)
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try linux rescue

boot with a fedora or RH CD and at boot type linux rescue

That should boot you into text mode from where you will see if you can save your data from windows, at least to make backup CDs
Old 04-29-2004, 09:49 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1 and Redhat 9
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Yeah, i had a similar problem after a bad shutdown--the kernel went into panic and would freez up. You can use either the mandy or redhat rescue disk (usually disk 1: at the kernel boot line, type 'rescue' enter usually). The rescue disk will boot from the Cdrom kernel and mount your root filesystem under /mnt/ usually. You have limited functions like the versions of fsck and fdisk, and if you want to you can change the root (chroot) of your filesystem tree to / . You might also want to consider "upgrading" using the main disks as well--i'm not sure what elements are fixed (the bootloader is usually fixed, not sure about the filesystem/kernel).
Old 05-06-2004, 08:50 PM   #4
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Well, I tried linux rescue, and that didn't do a whole lot. I tried changing the root directory... that didn't get a favorable response, either. I tried typing linux lba at startup, and that didn't help, either -- this from a suggestion given by Anaconda's error message. Same error, no matter which way you slice the haggis.

I didn't try fsck or fdisk, just because I was nervous about extent of their effects. Would they work on only the original linux partition, or would they take out the whole enchilada? (Even if I would lose that, I'm not worried -- I can back up the Windows stuff without much problem from Windows. That's working well enough -- it's Linux that's been vomiting.)

I remember reading a description of Knoppix that mentioned using a CD with it to diagnose and treat HD problems, and so I thought I could try that before I do something drastic to the drive. One bittorrent later, here's a CD.

Uh, problem. I don't know the commands to use to put Knoppix through its paces. Yes, yes, I know. Newbie. Yep. 'Fraid so.

So what could I do with this disk that might get this thing back on its feet, or, barring that, confirm that I need to nuke the sucker? Are there distros out there that I could install that would salvage what's still there?


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