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Old 03-01-2007, 07:28 PM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2007
Distribution: CentOS, MEPIS
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General system problems since moving root

N.B. I may have put this in the wrong section... Feel free to move it if you wish .

Hi guys,

I've been up and down with my MEPIS system, lots of problems everywhere, but I've usually been able to fix them either by myself or with the help of some friendly experts.

This one however, I can't seem to fix.

Let me show you some of my disks:

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hdc1 5.0G 3.1G 1.7G 66% /
/dev/hdc5 16G 8.7G 6.0G 60% /extra

As you can see, my root partition is quite small, and I've been having problems with a few things as a result.

So I decided to make a copy of my root partition and paste it into /extra (/dev/hdc5), then edit the /boot files (both on / and /extra) and the fstab files to make it boot to hdc5.

I had a limited success with this, resulting in me being able to fix another problem with /dev/hdc5 mounted as my root. Now I don't need it as my root anymore (although it would be desirable), and I'm having some more issues...

I've moved my root files back and forth between partitions, and I have a feeling I've lost permissions somewhere in between there. I usually use cp -RfPpv, but I may have forgotten at some point =/. I think it's a permission error anyway...

If I try to use su or sudo, I get a setuid or setguid error. I have problems accessing applications sometimes, and I had to reconfigure my network manually.

Lots of things are simply not working, and it's only happened since I moved my filesystem back and forth. I did a chmod -Rf 1777 / out of deseperation (don't worry, I still have my backup on hdc5 :P), and rebooted, it doesn't seem to have done any good =/.

Please help, this problem is pretty urgent. I'm unable to use my system properly until it's fixed, and I'm well behind on some work for a client (I'm a professional web coder).

Thanks guys!


Doh! Should have given some sysinfo, eh?

Running SimplyMEPIS 6.0. I have the livecd here (which boots fine), but I am unable to burn any other cds at this time (my burner had a heart attack a little while ago :<)

Intel P4 3GHZ, 512MB ram, 2MB cache.

"Spare" HD (sda) is ntfs partitioned, with WinXP on it (which I can't boot), 120GB - 105GB used. I can't resize/repartition/mount it with ntfs-3g or writable in any way because of a "bad ntfs log file" which I'm unable to remove.

"Main" HD (hdc) has many partitions...

hdc1 - ext3 - 5GB (root)
hdc3 - ext3 - 9GB (home)
hdc4 - swap - 500MB (swap)
hdc2 - extended - 22GB (apparently - it's from my old WinXP install on this HD, and QTparted won't let me delete it as it's apparently mounted...)
hdc5 - ext2 (extended) - 15GB (extra)
hdc6 - ext2 (extended) - 1GB (was using it as /tmp for a while to fix another problem)
free space - 6GB (extended)

Help please!


Last edited by WhiteyDude; 03-01-2007 at 07:34 PM.
Old 03-01-2007, 08:16 PM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
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Did you move your / in the correct way? I mean, not just by cutting and pasting the files or by using the cp command?

These methods work only partially because they tend to skip certain crucial data.

If you need to move any partition, you should always use cp -ax. I recently moved my /var, /tmp and /home partitions that way and I had only one little issue (easy to solve - eventually ). Also you should do it from within single-user mode so that there aren't any services running that may have some impact on the copying.

Last edited by jay73; 03-01-2007 at 08:18 PM.
Old 03-01-2007, 11:16 PM   #3
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Registered: Feb 2007
Distribution: CentOS, MEPIS
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That makes sense, however it doesn't help me now :P. Good future tip though.

Any suggestions on what I can do now?

I've fixed sudoing - had to chmod /etc/sudoers to 0440 :P.

Old 03-01-2007, 11:53 PM   #4
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Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
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So is the original / still on your first partition or has that been modified in the meantime as well? If you need more space for /, the best and safest option would be to grow its partition and shrink the second one. GParted can grow Ext3, but not shrink it - you would have to make a substitute home first, copy over you files, format second partition to swap (which does allow for resizing/moving), then reformat to Ext3 so you can restore home to your second partition.

Gparted can usually run from within an operating system, but I doubt whether it's a good idea to make changes to the active OS (I always run it from another Linux on my box). You could donwload and burn the Gparted iso but I understand that's out of the question. If you're lucky, you may be able to launch it from the LiveCD (only I don't know whether it's included with this specific LiveCD, which I believe is KDE based).

As for the extended partition, you should be able to resize /delete that any time provided your first umount each and every single partition that is in it. You can even move an extended partition up or down your disk by simply pulling it to the right/left, providing there is some unallocated space at the beginning (which could then be added to a primary partition).

You could go on repairing the copied / partition, but I'm afraid that a good many permissions and softlinks were lost or unset so it could take ages to get it fully functional again.

Last edited by jay73; 03-01-2007 at 11:56 PM.


chmod, mepis, move, partition, root, setuid

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