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Old 05-07-2012, 09:54 PM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

Hi,
I have an urgent request. I have installed xubuntu 11.10 on y wife's
system. However, something hs corrupted it in such a way that I couldn't
start it any more. Disk is healthy (tested with disk utility that shows
SMART give 200 % OK). Memory checked also completely clean. However, all
kind of read errors occurred. I tried to upgrade to 12.04 and during
that process the system hung (> 45').
Of course I have /home on a separate partition but I would like to know
hoe to reinstall 11.10 (and later upgrade to 12.04) from the USB-stick
that holds the OS. It runs perfectly from the stick but I can choose to
install it completely anew ( with repartition) or next to the current OS
or customised where I choose the partition where to install.
/dev/sdb1 (where originally / was mounted) is already renamed to ubuntu
12.04 LTS by the upgrade process, /dev/sdb5 (first logical partition) is
the /home partition/ /dev/sdb6 is /var partition and the other
partitions I am not sure.

System: AMD64; 1GB Mem; 1 TB disk (other disks are not relevant here).
Can anybody tell me what the safest way is to reinstall 11.10?
Joep

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:01 PM
William Scott Lockwood III
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On May 7, 2012 4:54 PM, "Joep L. Blom" <jlblom@neuroweave.nl> wrote:

>

>* Memory checked also completely clean. However, all kind of read errors occurred.


When you get a read error, do you retry? Does the retry work?


W. Scott Lockwood III

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:18 PM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On 08-05-12 00:01, William Scott Lockwood III wrote:

On May 7, 2012 4:54 PM, "Joep L. Blom" <jlblom@neuroweave.nl
<mailto:jlblom@neuroweave.nl>> wrote:
>
> Memory checked also completely clean. However, all kind of read
errors occurred.

When you get a read error, do you retry? Does the retry work?

W. Scott Lockwood III


S. Scott,
Thanks for your quick reply. I erroneously mixed to things that were
unrelated.
The memory tests didn't give any read errors. The read errors were when
things during running of the corrupted xubuntu 11.10 went haywire.

Sorry for the confusing information.
Joep



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Old 05-08-2012, 12:42 AM
Basil Chupin
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On 08/05/12 08:18, Joep L. Blom wrote:

On 08-05-12 00:01, William Scott Lockwood III wrote:

On May 7, 2012 4:54 PM, "Joep L. Blom" <jlblom@neuroweave.nl
<mailto:jlblom@neuroweave.nl>> wrote:
>
> Memory checked also completely clean. However, all kind of read
errors occurred.

When you get a read error, do you retry? Does the retry work?

W. Scott Lockwood III


S. Scott,
Thanks for your quick reply. I erroneously mixed to things that were
unrelated.
The memory tests didn't give any read errors. The read errors were
when things during running of the corrupted xubuntu 11.10 went haywire.

Sorry for the confusing information.
Joep



What I suggest is that perhaps the file system is corrupted - nothing
wrong with the HDD but the file system is stuffed. I assume that you are
using ext4 or ext3 as your file system?


The thing I would do is to boot into level 1 (init 1 at the grub menu
when booting) and doing the e2fsck check on the partition where your
system is installed. Seeing as how you also have a separate partition
for your home then do same for it.


But first read up on how to do this e2fsck check - you cannot do it on a
partition which is mounted (unless you are prepared to possibly end up
with even a bigger mess :-( .)


BC

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Old 05-08-2012, 06:06 AM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On 08-05-12 02:42, Basil Chupin wrote:

On 08/05/12 08:18, Joep L. Blom wrote:

On 08-05-12 00:01, William Scott Lockwood III wrote:

On May 7, 2012 4:54 PM, "Joep L. Blom" <jlblom@neuroweave.nl
<mailto:jlblom@neuroweave.nl>> wrote:
>
> Memory checked also completely clean. However, all kind of read






What I suggest is that perhaps the file system is corrupted - nothing
wrong with the HDD but the file system is stuffed. I assume that you are
using ext4 or ext3 as your file system?

The thing I would do is to boot into level 1 (init 1 at the grub menu
when booting) and doing the e2fsck check on the partition where your
system is installed. Seeing as how you also have a separate partition
for your home then do same for it.

But first read up on how to do this e2fsck check - you cannot do it on a
partition which is mounted (unless you are prepared to possibly end up
with even a bigger mess :-( .)

BC


Basil,
Thanks for you answer. I think you're right. I had run fsck several
times and every time it repaired the corrupt inodes. However, after I
restarted the system it ran for some time and then the same problems
occurred again. I had thought to repair it by upgrading to 12.04 but
during that process the installation hung and I have a half installed
12.04 so I think I have to install a completely new system. However, I
haven't found out how to install the new system and keep my home
partition. If you can give me some help with that I would be very
grateful. I think also that I won't install 11.10 but 12.04 after I have
used Unetbootin for storing it on an USB-stick.

Joep


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Old 05-08-2012, 06:29 AM
Basil Chupin
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On 08/05/12 16:06, Joep L. Blom wrote:

On 08-05-12 02:42, Basil Chupin wrote:

On 08/05/12 08:18, Joep L. Blom wrote:

On 08-05-12 00:01, William Scott Lockwood III wrote:

On May 7, 2012 4:54 PM, "Joep L. Blom" <jlblom@neuroweave.nl
<mailto:jlblom@neuroweave.nl>> wrote:
>
> Memory checked also completely clean. However, all kind of read






What I suggest is that perhaps the file system is corrupted - nothing
wrong with the HDD but the file system is stuffed. I assume that you are
using ext4 or ext3 as your file system?

The thing I would do is to boot into level 1 (init 1 at the grub menu
when booting) and doing the e2fsck check on the partition where your
system is installed. Seeing as how you also have a separate partition
for your home then do same for it.

But first read up on how to do this e2fsck check - you cannot do it on a
partition which is mounted (unless you are prepared to possibly end up
with even a bigger mess :-( .)

BC


Basil,
Thanks for you answer. I think you're right. I had run fsck several
times and every time it repaired the corrupt inodes. However, after I
restarted the system it ran for some time and then the same problems
occurred again. I had thought to repair it by upgrading to 12.04 but
during that process the installation hung and I have a half installed
12.04 so I think I have to install a completely new system. However, I
haven't found out how to install the new system and keep my home
partition. If you can give me some help with that I would be very
grateful. I think also that I won't install 11.10 but 12.04 after I
have used Unetbootin for storing it on an USB-stick.

Joep


The only way I know of retaining the /home directory is to use the
manual - ie, NOT allow the installation process to determine what has
to be done - option when it gets to the point about which partitions you
want to install the new system to. Use the manual approach and select
the old "/" to be formatted so that the new system will get installed
into this but do NOT allow the existing /home partition to be formatted.
All this usually can be done by using the option in this part of the
installation process (the selection of the partitions) by Importing the
current partition table and then editing it - as per what I just wrote:
format the "/" partition and mount it as "/" but do *not* format the
"/home" partition but leave it as mountable as "/home". Oh, and leave
"swap" alone as well.


Of course, it would be most prudent to backup whatever important data
you have in your /home (I always backup, daily in fact) the /.mozilla
and the /.thunderbird directories which I certainly don't want to lose,
and backup any files in Documents and Downloads etc which are special
(like family pictures etc) - the rest are not important as they can be
replaced by downloading them from the 'net.


(If you don't already have an external HDD then get one so that you can
do these backups in the future. If you don't have such destination then
burn what you don't want to lose to a CD/DVD - which in your current
case you probably won't be able to do [I don't know if you could this if
you had a System Rescue CD - perhaps somebody could advise on this
one?]. If you a USB memory stick(s) use these to backup as much as you can.)


BC



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Old 05-08-2012, 06:46 AM
Nils Kassube
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

Joep L. Blom wrote:
> I had run fsck several
> times and every time it repaired the corrupt inodes. However, after I
> restarted the system it ran for some time and then the same problems
> occurred again.

That looks like a failing harddisk to me, on a healthy disk this should
not happen. Have a look at /var/log/syslog and find out if there are
read errors or other failures reported for your disk.

> I had thought to repair it by upgrading to 12.04 but
> during that process the installation hung and I have a half installed
> 12.04 so I think I have to install a completely new system. However,
> I haven't found out how to install the new system and keep my home
> partition.

At the point where you can select wether the new system should be
installed besides the existing one or use the entire disk, there is also
an option for manual partitioning. Select that option and tell the
installer which partition to use for "/" and which for "/home". Be very
careful and double check that it set to NOT format your existing /home
partition.

However, if there really is a failing harddisk, I would suggest to get a
new harddisk first and install to that new disk.


Nils

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Old 05-08-2012, 06:47 AM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On 08-05-12 08:29, Basil Chupin wrote:

On 08/05/12 16:06, Joep L. Blom wrote:


The only way I know of retaining the /home directory is to use the
manual - ie, NOT allow the installation process to determine what has to
be done - option when it gets to the point about which partitions you
want to install the new system to. Use the manual approach and select
the old "/" to be formatted so that the new system will get installed
into this but do NOT allow the existing /home partition to be formatted.
All this usually can be done by using the option in this part of the
installation process (the selection of the partitions) by Importing the
current partition table and then editing it - as per what I just wrote:
format the "/" partition and mount it as "/" but do *not* format the
"/home" partition but leave it as mountable as "/home". Oh, and leave
"swap" alone as well.

Of course, it would be most prudent to backup whatever important data
you have in your /home (I always backup, daily in fact) the /.mozilla
and the /.thunderbird directories which I certainly don't want to lose,
and backup any files in Documents and Downloads etc which are special
(like family pictures etc) - the rest are not important as they can be
replaced by downloading them from the 'net.

(If you don't already have an external HDD then get one so that you can
do these backups in the future. If you don't have such destination then
burn what you don't want to lose to a CD/DVD - which in your current
case you probably won't be able to do [I don't know if you could this if
you had a System Rescue CD - perhaps somebody could advise on this
one?]. If you a USB memory stick(s) use these to backup as much as you
can.)

BC

Basil, Thanks,
I normally backup all my systems daily (using BackupPC) but this system
- as it is the replacement of an old Windows system - hadn't been
backed-up yet (stupid!) as it has the same name as the old one but a
completely different directory set-up. Of course that will be the first
thing I will do after restoration!.
Yes, I think I'll follow your advice and hope it will function again as
expected.In the old days I have had once a comparable problem with an
old SuSe installation but that was > 10 years ago.

Joep





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Old 05-08-2012, 07:32 AM
Basil Chupin
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On 08/05/12 16:46, Nils Kassube wrote:

Joep L. Blom wrote:

I had run fsck several
times and every time it repaired the corrupt inodes. However, after I
restarted the system it ran for some time and then the same problems
occurred again.

That looks like a failing harddisk to me, on a healthy disk this should
not happen.


According to Joep in his OP, SMART is showing that there are no problems
with the HDD. The problem is not, therefore, in the 'health' of the hard
disc.


[..........]

BC


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Old 05-08-2012, 07:59 AM
Basil Chupin
 
Default reinstall ubuntu urgent

On 08/05/12 16:47, Joep L. Blom wrote:

On 08-05-12 08:29, Basil Chupin wrote:

On 08/05/12 16:06, Joep L. Blom wrote:


The only way I know of retaining the /home directory is to use the
manual - ie, NOT allow the installation process to determine what has to
be done - option when it gets to the point about which partitions you
want to install the new system to. Use the manual approach and select
the old "/" to be formatted so that the new system will get installed
into this but do NOT allow the existing /home partition to be formatted.


[.......]


Basil, Thanks,
I normally backup all my systems daily (using BackupPC) but this
system - as it is the replacement of an old Windows system - hadn't
been backed-up yet (stupid!) as it has the same name as the old one
but a completely different directory set-up.



Ummmm, you are introducing something which doesn't sound "kosher" :-) .

What's this with the, "...it has the same name as the old one but a
completely different directory set-up."? :-)


No need to answer, but I was only responding to your request for help on
the understanding that it was a sole Ubuntu system which had gone wrong.
If there is something to do which has Windows involved then "the bets
are off" - so to speak.


But it does sound that you have totally thrown out anything Windows and
replaced it with Ubuntu. In which case what has been said already is OK.


Unless, of course, you are dual-booting with Windows - and with Ubuntu
using Grub 2 as the default then things may be subject to reconsideration.


[...........]

BC


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