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Old 10-01-2007, 01:14 PM   #1
rafkid
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Unhappy my shiny FC7 install is dead


I was busy cleaning up my FC7 install - getting rid of XEN etc which I had inadvertently installed and I rebooted into the last known kernel via GRUB on my dual boot system - lo and behold my darling distro (so lovingly installed and tweaked to perfection) no longer boots beyond the login screen. It just hangs with a blank screen - me being the n00b I am have no idea how to find out what is wrong let alone shift it from the hang. The XEN comment above is a complete red herring btw as it could have been that or any other damn thing I blithely did yesterday afternoon that killed it. Any ideas of how to boot to a command line and what Q's to ask when I get there for diagnostic purposes? Or should I just sob quietly to myself and bog off to reinstall land?

Help............help........help...........please?

Last edited by rafkid; 10-01-2007 at 01:16 PM. Reason: typos and spell checker etc
 
Old 10-01-2007, 01:33 PM   #2
StargateSteve
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Sounds like you removed your kernel. Here's what I would do:

1. Breathe in, breathe out. Don't do something too quickly.
2. Grab a fedora repair disk, and try to use that.
3. If that doesn't work, try to boot into a knoppix disk, and look at the /boot/ directory on your main HD.
4. If you see a kernel in there, edit your /boot/grub/menu.1st file to boot using this kernel.
5. If you don't see a kernel, then pull apart a Fedora RPM with a kernel in it. The RPM should be named something like: kernel-2.6.17.rpm, linux-2.6.17.rpm, or something similar. copy the kernel into the /boot/ directory, and follow the instructions in step 4.

hope this helps
 
Old 10-01-2007, 02:45 PM   #3
rafkid
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by StargateSteve View Post
Sounds like you removed your kernel. Here's what I would do:

1. Breathe in, breathe out. Don't do something too quickly.
2. Grab a fedora repair disk, and try to use that.
3. If that doesn't work, try to boot into a knoppix disk, and look at the /boot/ directory on your main HD.
Is not Linux amazing? This is a dual boot system so I went hunting for SLAX via the Windows XP partition and lo I found it - and downloaded the iso and burnt it and now here I am replying having looked at the said HD. Sorry I did not use Knoppix and I hope my choice of SLAX does not throw you. I have had a good hunt around and have found a HD called HDB1 which has the only recognisable linux series of files on it - I found one called vmlinuz-2.6.22.7-85.fc7 - which looks supiciously like my kernel. Interestingly I think FC7 must have installed some sort of array for itself as the other files available appear to be instructions about starting bits and pieces with initrd*.* and System.map*.* being a favourite flavour of name. I think I have trashed something important to FC7.................I really don't want to reinstall but it does not look good to me. Is there any simple command line instruction that throws up a simple xserver session from which I might try and fix the installed OS? That sounded like I know something about what I am trying to do - I can assure you I don't however - it was from the SLAX boot screen.......thank you for your response so far, I especially liked the dont do anything rash bit and the take deep breaths bit - sounds just like my quack when I told her I was having anxiety attacks in the supermarket - boy did she laugh!
 
Old 10-02-2007, 02:59 AM   #4
TigerOC
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If I understand your post correctly you installed FC7 with XEN and then used the system with XEN. You then un-installed XEN and now when you boot you only have a text screen with a login prompt.
The base operating system seems to be there as you have confirmed. Did you install an X server and Window manager like Gnome or KDE? When you get the login what do you do? I am assuming you login and enter a command.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 10:00 AM   #5
rafkid
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerOC View Post
If I understand your post correctly you installe
Ooops - I have been using gnome and or KDE for some time with this - not a command line/console.

Hello TigerOC - actually I installed XEN sometime back by accident rather than design - I didnt know what it was and still don't - I assumed I needed it. BUT that is a red herring and I wish I had not mentioned it now. My system has been fine for a fair few weeks as I slowly learnt it - using the correct kernel and not XEN's kernel. I uninstalled XEN whilst also tidying up other cack I had installed at various times. Normally if I do anything like this I do it one bit at a time with a reboot in between so that I can roll back etc Stupidly I did not do that this time, FC7 had been behaving itself and I have had a small amount of success with the command line so I promoted myself from n00b to not so n00b. STUPID mistake.

Anyway the system boots all the way to the login screen with me observing it via details.............it stalls at initialising system bus for some reason - if I leave it alone for ten minutes it makes it to the login screen but then simply hangs when I do logon as a user. I never get to the desktop. I am going to find the FC7 install disk and try the rescue option. If that does not work it will be the reinstall path fro me - I dont really have the time to try and fix this at the moment - business beckons and linux is a luxury toy for me. Even if I want to jump ship from MS XP I can't until I have a stable system that I cannot break whilst simply maintaining it - which is what happened here of course. Sorry for the lengthy post reply and ty for the interest.

Last edited by rafkid; 10-02-2007 at 10:03 AM.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 10:11 AM   #6
rickh
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Quote:
Even if I want to jump ship from MS XP I can't until I have a stable system that I cannot break whilst simply maintaining it - which is what happened here of course.
lol. That's pretty funny. Simply maintaining your system will not break it. Fooling around with things you don't understand will. Not really a big deal. If you're really going to learn Linux, you'll probably do it a few more times. I'm pretty sure that when I first started using Linux I reinstalled a half dozen times in the first few months.

Don't be discouraged, the learning curve is very steep, but fortunately, quite short.
 
Old 10-03-2007, 02:05 AM   #7
TigerOC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafkid View Post
Anyway the system boots all the way to the login screen with me observing it via details.............it stalls at initialising system bus for some reason - if I leave it alone for ten minutes it makes it to the login screen but then simply hangs when I do logon as a user. I never get to the desktop.
This sounds like a kernel issue. If you have a Linux based boot disk (eg Knoppix) mount the system and have a look at /var/log/syslog or dmesg. There are probably errors reported. Can you post these for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rikh
I'm pretty sure that when I first started using Linux I reinstalled a half dozen times in the first few months.
Only half a dozen times in a few months?; I think I installed Debian that many times on my first day. You are absolutely correct though. The more you are exposed to the internals of the system the more you learn.

rafkid I suggest using your file manager and explore the file system. One of the great advantages of Linux is the use of log files where everything is recorded. If you pickup a problem go straight to syslog because there is bound to be something there that will give a clue as to what happened. I run a small webserver and about an hour a day is spent going through the log files to see what has happened over the last 24 hours - just checking security and what others are trying to do to the system.
 
Old 10-03-2007, 11:09 AM   #8
rafkid
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Smile thank you one and all for your help - much appreciated

[QUOTE=TigerOC;2911445]rafkid I suggest using your file manager and explore the file system. One of the great advantages of Linux is the use of log files where QUOTE]

Many thanks for this advice. I tried it from a CD boot via SLAX and also from ane EXT2FS reading program within Windows XP - no joy - it appears FC7 installed some sort of LVM (raid???) or at least a very modern file system. There is hardly anything there that is recognisable. Stupidly you can watch the whole boot procedure via clicking the "detail" button - but no matter what tricks I have tried with my limited knowledge I cannot get the system to actually boot into a GUI - any of them not GNOME, not KDE and not XCFE(?) - and even if I were to get to a command line it would be tortuous as I am such a simpleton. My only regret is few email's that were captured in the linux environment only - normally I leave them all on the pop3 server until it complains. I guess it is just another failed linux install for me - time to try again.

which one will it be this time he say's as he exits stage right with a gleam in his eye....................distrowatch here I come. I quite liked FC7 as well. Still there must be a reason it deliberately killed itself for.
 
Old 10-03-2007, 11:57 PM   #9
Acelduma
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LVM = Logical Volume Management

rafkis said, "it appears FC7 installed some sort of LVM (raid???) "

LVM = Logical Volume Management, a great system that is very powerful.
Among many things you can do with it you can later add a second hard drive and make part or all of it within a directory on the first hard drive.
To understand LVM better search for the thread:
LXer: Are You Ready for Logical Volume Management?
Then follow the Read More link.
As this is my first post I can't put links in this message, sorry.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 01:16 AM   #10
Kahless
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If you edit the file /etc/initab

find the line that says somthing like:

id:5:initdefault:

and change it to:

id:3:initdefault:


you will change your systems behavior form booting to a broken gui, to booting to a (hopefully working) command line.

From here, you should be able to use the command line versions of your distros software managment tools to reverse the damage that you have done to the system.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 09:09 AM   #11
rafkid
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Talking it is good bye from me - and it is good bye from him

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahless View Post
From here, you should be able to use the command line versions of your distros software managment tools to reverse the damage that you have done to the system.
Interestingly (to me anyway) I agree "I" damaged the system and basically "I" broke it - bearing in mind that I was simply removing some extraneous unnecessarily installed software - should I have been able to - "break it" - I mean? Why is linux so flaky that removing a few unwanted programs via the little click buttony things kills it stone dead? For all the effort I have carefully put into about ten separate distros over the last year in an effort to escape a Bill Gates dependency I cannot yet get a linux install to stand up for more than a few days before "I break it" - and yet I can assure peeps I am doing nothing more than make the thing fit for purpose. As in fit for the purpose of providing me with a tool to run my business. It's all pants - I have a fair bit of experience with the MS world and much as I detest the OS's produced there, they do at least stand up to everyday use without allowing the user to kill them off. You simply cannot uninstall a bit of the OS that keeps it all working - end of. Even if you are about to break it a MS Gates OS will politely tell you, before you do so.

And before hordes come raining down on my neck for daring to criticise - think it thru please - all I am saying is that Linux is breakable with ease - and I do not think it should be. It may well be robust from an in use POV - but from the enduser "I will just change this" POV it is very flaky indeed.

Anyway be that as it may - I would like to thank all those that have contributed their help and advice - it really has been appreciated.

Is this the end of the linux road for rafkid? I doubt it - I managed to hit the DL button on the Ubuntu website - Xubuntu.iso is here already to burn to disk......................

Last edited by rafkid; 10-04-2007 at 09:10 AM. Reason: ooops - typo fixing
 
Old 10-04-2007, 10:28 PM   #12
Kahless
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Sorry about that, I didnt mean to offend or blame you... I probally reinstalled slackware 6 times the first week I used it.



I was hoping that you would be able to use the CLI version of YUM or rpm to simply reinstall the packages you removed that killed you.



As a regular user, it is VERY hard to break a system. as root, it can be one bad command that kills everything. Windows is far from bulletproof in this area either.


What is it that you are trying to accomplish by removing packages after you install? If you are trying to have a lean down install, I would suggest that you take the opposite approach. Instead of installing everything and trying to figure out what you dont need, install only a very BARE system, and use apt-get or some similar tool to add in ONLY what you need. The debian netinstall disk is a very good place to start, or as you said, Xbuntu would also be a great starting point with its minimalistic setup.


At any rate, i wish you the best of luck. I suggest before removing packages, writing down what they were (so if this happens again, you know what to reinstall) and before editing config files, backing them up. Have fun with xbuntu
 
Old 10-05-2007, 03:12 AM   #13
TigerOC
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I think we all experience similar things when we first start with 'nix based systems and that is why you see most of the older members running the less "commercial" systems like Debian and Slack. I started with Mandrake. The install was really easy but I had no idea what was installed. The whole thing was very bulky, slow and unwieldy and I went Debian. I have what I want with the best packaging system (apt) ever. It is a heavy learning curve but a lot easier now than when I went down the road.
 
Old 10-07-2007, 04:56 PM   #14
rafkid
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerOC View Post
and unwieldy and I went Debian. I have what I want with the best packaging system (apt) ever. It is a heavy learning curve but a lot easier now than when I went down the road.
Righto m8 it's ur fault I done it............I downloaded and installed Debian today, he said coyly. I must have learnt something over the last six months because the text install routine via the net worked and did not have me throwing the disk against the wall this time. Anyway I am writing this from a shiny new Debian install and Tiger must take the credit.

So get this I decide to turn on the nvidia card (Geforce 6600 256mb) - only to find I need a line in sources.list in /etc/apt/.........so innocently I trot off to the file and insert the line and go to save the file..........I am not the owner of the file, it is read only and I cannot do that.

I bloody ask you.......Yosarian in Catch 22 has nothing on trying to learn Linux - this must be the most promising, infuriating piece of **** ever written. I presume I have to be root to modify this file? I am certain that any of the text editors one can fire up via a root session could do this in a blink - but guess what? I don't know how to become root and run a GUI at the same time in Debian..............can you believe it? This is sufficently different to Ubuntu or FC7 or Suse or PCLinux or Mandriva, that I cannot get my 3D card to work without learning something new.

Flip, flip, flip flip.............and buggeration.

I shall do a few more hours on Google tomorrow then.

Ho hum such fun it is to install a Linux distro.
 
Old 10-08-2007, 03:04 AM   #15
TigerOC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafkid View Post
So get this I decide to turn on the nvidia card (Geforce 6600 256mb) - only to find I need a line in sources.list in /etc/apt/.........so innocently I trot off to the file and insert the line and go to save the file..........I am not the owner of the file, it is read only and I cannot do that.
You have discovered the first golden rule of 'nix systems -file ownership and permissions. This is what sets them apart from MS products. You must be the super user to alter the state of the operational system. This is why Linux is immune to malware under most circumstances.

In order to do anything to the base operational system you must be the super user (root). If you want to edit this file use the file manager in super user mode ( kde the command line instruction is kdesu). If you edit it using vim or vi from the command line enter the command su and the super user password. This applies to anything involving apt. You don't say which desktop you have (kde, gnome, ?).

Since you are going to be using the command line a fair amount I suggest learning to use vi or vim to edit files, and learn some basic command line commands. The online bible of command line commands can be found here;

http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz

You can also find the basic syntax on the command line by entering the command;

man <name_of_application>

In your own /home you are the user and own and have permission to do anything to the files located there.

The best Nvidia install instructions I have come across are here;

http://tinyplanet.ca/~lsorense/debia...-dri-howto.txt

Debian will allow you to grow and learn Linux and be able to manage most situations. Be patient, think about what you are being told because most of the time the comments you receive are very intuitive.
 
  


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