Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Unusual Ubuntu 9.10 failure and my fixes

Expand Messages
  • thad_floryan
    Unusual Ubuntu 9.10 failure and my fixes The folks at my best friend s home have a bunch of computers including one Ubuntu 9.10 system on an HP Pavilion DV6000
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 3, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Unusual Ubuntu 9.10 failure and my fixes

      The folks at my best friend's home have a bunch of computers
      including one Ubuntu 9.10 system on an HP Pavilion DV6000
      laptop:

      <http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/product?cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&product=1842155>

      which "all of a sudden" ceased to boot into Ubuntu. I was at
      their home Sunday for a New Year's dinner and brought the bad
      laptop home with me so I could fix it for them.

      Following is an edited [names removed to protect the guilty]
      version of the email I sent to them Monday afternoon after I
      fixed the system. There's something here for everyone to
      learn:

      This was an "interesting" problem: all references to the
      hard drive were gone, so the system boot program, grub,
      could not find the hard drive from which to boot; these
      items were all missing on the Ubuntu 9.10 hard drive:

      /dev/disk/by-id/*
      /dev/disk/by-path/*
      /dev/disk/by-uuid/*
      /dev/sda1
      /dev/sda2
      /dev/sda5

      That was apparent by the error message when booting into the
      recovery mode from the grub menu:

      " ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/9054ed5f-fb26-453e-aa37-f3c38ac823c4
      " does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

      I first thought of using a Ubuntu 9.10 "Live CD" to be able
      to mount the hard drive and manually fix it. #%$%@^ Ubuntu
      9.10 Live CD wouldn't let me mount the drive, so I rebooted
      a Lubuntu 10.10 "Live CD" which I had kicking-around here and
      I could mount the internal drive OK and fix it per (as root):

      mount /dev/sda1 mnt # using /dev/sda1 on the Live CD
      cd /mnt/dev
      MAKEDEV sda
      mkdir disk/by-uuid
      cd disk/by-uuid
      ln -s ../../sda1 9054ed5f-fb26-453e-aa37-f3c38ac823c4
      cd
      umount /mnt

      Eject the Lubuntu CD, then hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and the system
      rebooted into Ubuntu 9.10 on the hard drive, autoran a fsck
      which apparently created the missing /dev/disk/by-id/* and
      /dev/disk/by-path/* entries and deleted the unnecessary
      /dev/sda* entries, and the system come up fine into user
      "frosty" (autologin? BAD, BAD, BAD) and then a window popped
      up stating "This system is no longer supported [by Ubuntu]"
      which is true since the EOL of 9.10 was 30-APRIL-2011 per:

      <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases>

      Additional Googling revealed the ONLY two possible causes of
      the disk device info being totally wiped out like this are:

      1. removing a USB thumb drive abruptly (i.e., without
      safely unmounting it), or

      2. some auto update(s) from Canonical/Ubuntu.

      Item (1) seems the most likely since the system went belly-up
      circa December 16-17, 2011, per the "find / -mtime -21 -ls" I
      ran on the drive from the Lubuntu Live CD.

      I also seem to remember someone saying some file(s) were moved
      from the Ubuntu system to another OS at about that same time
      because "the editor was no good". I'm guessing "editor" means
      Open Office Writer and I'm assuming the file(s) were moved using
      a USB thumb drive because there's no network connection between
      the other systems at your home other than that to/from Wifi.
    • Scott
      ... I m just wondering--you say that all the /dev/sdX references were also missing . What I ve seen from time to time in Fedora, but completely randomly, so
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 3, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        On Tue, Jan 03, 2012 at 10:26:40AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
        > Unusual Ubuntu 9.10 failure and my fixes
        >
        > The folks at my best friend's home have a bunch of computers
        > including one Ubuntu 9.10 system on an HP Pavilion DV6000
        > laptop:
        >
        > This was an "interesting" problem: all references to the
        > hard drive were gone, so the system boot program, grub,
        > could not find the hard drive from which to boot; these
        > items were all missing on the Ubuntu 9.10 hard drive:
        >
        > /dev/disk/by-id/*
        > /dev/disk/by-path/*
        > /dev/disk/by-uuid/*
        > /dev/sda1
        > /dev/sda2
        > /dev/sda5
        >
        > That was apparent by the error message when booting into the
        > recovery mode from the grub menu:
        >
        > " ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/9054ed5f-fb26-453e-aa37-f3c38ac823c4
        > " does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

        I'm just wondering--you say that all the /dev/sdX references were also
        missing . What I've seen from time to time in Fedora, but completely
        randomly, so I've never filed a bug, as the only thing I could say is
        sometimes, after an update, I've had....


        It would be unable to find the disk by uuid. However, it could find it
        if I replaced uuid with /dev/sdWhatever.

        While we're on this (fixing friends' computers), though it's Windows
        oriented, as always, cracked.com has a good article on it.

        http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-guy-whos-fixing-your-computer-hates-you/

        I think many of us will identify with it.


        --
        Scott Robbins
        PGP keyID EB3467D6
        ( 1B48 077D 66F6 9DB0 FDC2 A409 FA54 EB34 67D6 )
        gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys EB3467D6

        Buffy: Look, I know this new guy's a dork,
        but... Well, I have nothing to follow that. He's
        pretty much just a dork.
      • thad_floryan
        ... Correct, and exactly as described above. Something evil in 9.10 deliberately and maliciously deleted all the symlinks and /dev/disk/* and /dev/sd* when
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 3, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, Scott <scottro@...> wrote:
          > On Tue, Jan 03, 2012 at 10:26:40AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
          > > [...]
          > > could not find the hard drive from which to boot; these
          > > items were all missing on the Ubuntu 9.10 hard drive:
          > >
          > > /dev/disk/by-id/*
          > > /dev/disk/by-path/*
          > > /dev/disk/by-uuid/*
          > > /dev/sda1
          > > /dev/sda2
          > > /dev/sda5
          > >
          > > That was apparent by the error message when booting into the
          > > recovery mode from the grub menu:
          > >
          > > " ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/9054ed5f-fb26-453e-aa37-f3c38ac823c4
          > > " does not exist. Dropping to a shell!
          > > [...]
          >
          > I'm just wondering--you say that all the /dev/sdX references were
          > also missing .

          Correct, and exactly as described above. "Something" evil in 9.10
          deliberately and maliciously deleted all the symlinks and /dev/disk/*
          and /dev/sd* when a USB thumb drive was pulled without unmounting.

          Googling found the fact 9.10 will do just those deletes when someone
          removes a USB thumb drive without unmounting it. In fact, specific
          instructions exist [*ONLY*] for 9.10 and USB thumb drives:

          <https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mount/USB>

          about 60 lines down that page per:

          " Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)
          "
          " In Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Removable Drives and Media is no
          " longer in the Preferences menu but you can still do this as
          " follows.
          "
          " This user configurable action for specific media types can be
          " configured in the Nautilus (file manager) window. From the Edit
          " menu in Nautilus select Preferences and then select the Media
          " tab. There you can select what happens when media is
          " inserted. For example we need to turnoff audio CD auto play. CD
          " audio "can do nothing" or "ask what to do" or "open folder".
          "
          " For more complex scenarios, see UsbDriveDoSomethingHowto.
          "
          " Unmounting/Ejecting
          "
          " Before you disconnect the device, don't forget to unmount
          " it. This can be done by right clicking the desktop icon and
          " selecting "Unmount" (or in some cases, "Eject"). In Ubuntu 9.10
          " (Karmic Koala), in the file manager window you can also click on
          " an "eject" button against the name of the mounted volume.

          No other Ubuntu release is singled-out like that on that page, so
          maybe Poettering somehow put his grubby hands on it? :-)

          > [...]
          > It would be unable to find the disk by uuid. However, it could
          > find it if I replaced uuid with /dev/sdWhatever.

          Except the /dev/sd* device files were also deleted. Since it's easy
          to recreate them, that's the best solution without having to also muck
          with the grub config file(s). As I wrote, after running MAKEDEV, the
          sda* device files reappeared, so I recreated the UUID symlink and then
          rebooted which caused fsck to recreate the remaining missing symlinks
          and delete unnecessary sda* files.

          I'm a firm believer of the KISS tenet: Keep It Simple, Stupid. :-)

          That's why clients would pay me 3-figures/hour with a 4-hour minimum;
          I always could fix/solve a problem faster than anyone else and with
          minimum disruption; even if a fix took only 15 minutes (common), I
          still was paid for 4 hours and they gladly paid.

          > While we're on this (fixing friends' computers), though it's Windows
          > oriented, as always, cracked.com has a good article on it.
          >
          > http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-guy-whos-fixing-your-computer-hates-you/
          >
          > I think many of us will identify with it.

          Yep! :-)
        • thad_floryan
          ... For those who ve never worked as a contractor/consultant, the reason for a minimum billing time is to cover expenses (phone call(s), gas, wear/tear on car,
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 3, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "thad_floryan" <thad@...> wrote:
            > [...]
            > That's why clients would pay me 3-figures/hour with a 4-hour minimum;
            > I always could fix/solve a problem faster than anyone else and with
            > minimum disruption; even if a fix took only 15 minutes (common), I
            > still was paid for 4 hours and they gladly paid.
            > [...]

            For those who've never worked as a contractor/consultant, the reason
            for a minimum billing time is to cover expenses (phone call(s), gas,
            wear/tear on car, consumables, home office expenses, etc.), travel
            time, and time to prepare an invoice with a detailed description of the
            problem and solution in addition to being available on-call 24/7/365.
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.