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Re: [SLUG] odd system loss

Geoffrey Cowling <geoffrey.cowling@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

> This is mostly a 'wot hoppen?' and 'wot's going on' -- but advice what to do
> about it would be very welcome.
> I was using a bash script with convert (from ImageMagick) to convert a lot
> of big tiff files, I mistyped a / for a x ... everything froze, and when I
> goto ut (it rebooted) there was only a Error 15: File not found.  This was
> Ubuntu 8.04

Well, the freeze may not be easy to confirm, but my guess is that you ran out
of memory handling one of the uncompressed images; ImageMagick is pretty
bloaty in that regard.[1]

The reboot may have corrupted the disk content, possibly just enough to
convince Grub that it can't find the appropriate kernel.

> I was able to swap to the second disk, and, editing root, was able to boot
> Debian AMD 64.
> The first disk (actually sdb) seems OK, I checked with fsck, BIOS recognises
> it, and I mounted /home partition and backed up -- for what was not already
> backed up.  fsck has a problem with /dev/sdb3, which might be the swap ...
> I would like to get the OS back -- the 64 is for experimenting and does not
> have programs I use (and keyboard is eccentric); can I ?  reinstall
> something? check something else?

Well, the first place to start would be to check the filesystems on the disk
that isn't working and see what state they are in.

The easiest way to do that is going to be boot from something working; either
the other disk you mention, or from a LiveCD.

Then, run fsck on the filesystems and post the output here — if you can't
follow it yourself, and just finishing that doesn't resolve things.

> most of all though, what could have happened?  I guess I know just enough to
> screw up.

I don't know, but any unclean reboot /can/ cause nasty problems with the
filesystem.  Most of the time it should recover OK, but...


[1]  It may be you were thrashing, and that enough patience would have either
     the OOM killer kill the offending process, or the process complete.

✣ Daniel Pittman            ✉ daniel@xxxxxxxxxxxx            ☎ +61 401 155 707
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