Speaker for the Diodes - August 24th, 2007

Aug. 24th, 2007

02:50 am - Partition Puzzle

I'm behind on replies yet again -- sorry -- but I've been banging my head against a puzzle that's grown frustrating.

Several years ago I set up a 40G drive in a file server, making one 'normal' partition and one extended partition, then subdividing the extended partition into a bunch of logical partitions. I don't remember all the details, but I know that much. I don't remember whether anything looked funny about it at the time. After a while, that computer died and I transplanted the drive, but the box I moved it into wouldn't boot from it so I made it a secondary drive, booted from a smaller disk, and just started all the services that ran on that service from a chrooted environment -- in the interest of getting up and running quickly, with the least tinkering.

Recently it stopped being able to access /home. When I rebooted and tried to fsck things, other partitions started acting up. So I put the drive into yet another machine to tinker ... and it seems that the root partition can't be accessed. Now it's in a machine with no OS installed, that boots a Linux "live CD" (I've got two that I've been playing with -- I'd still like to see whether tomsrtbt does anything different but at the moment I'm in front of a box with no floppy and I haven't been able to make a bootable CD of that, so I'm playing with EmercencyCD (based on Red Hat) and Debian). So here's what's odd:

Most odd is the fact that on my old file server, the one that was working until last weekend, every partition on that disk was on /dev/hdb (second IDE drive), but /home for some reason appeared as /dev/hdc instead of /dev/hdb5. There was no third disk in that box. Really.

At the moment, the drive looks fine viewed from a machine booted from CD, every partition fsck's clean, but the copy of /home in /dev/hdb5 (yeah, it's still showing as hdb, probably because it's jumpered as slave or something) only shows files older than sometime in 2002, while the other file systems look up to date as of last weekend.

And I still can't boot from it -- the two computers I've tried to boot from this drive each issue a panic about not being able to mount the root filesystem at 3:9 (/dev/hdb9) even though that partition, like the others, looks just fine if booted from a CD.

Also, some partitioning tools show the existence of partition 2 (the extended partition that got subdivided) and others don't, but all show partitions 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 (11 is swap; 3 and 4 were never created). The boot message about a partition check that flies past indicates the existence of /dev/hdb2 with an arrow pointing to the rest except for /dev/hdb1, suggesting that the bootstrap stuff can understand the partition table the same way fdisk does.

I'm confused. How do I make I get to whatever other version of the filesystem is on there that remembers where my since-2002 files are? What the heck did I do five years ago? (I may have taken notes. But if I don't remember where I put them, that doesn't matter ...)

Does any party of this problem sound familiar to any of y'all?

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05:28 am - QotD

"I guess this is what we get for expecting a man who was a self-confessed C student in college to learn from history." -- [info] thatcrazycajun, referring to Bush's recent 'explanation' of the situation in Iraq comparing it to Vietnam, 2007-08-23

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04:28 pm - Goddamn Glebe Again


Thanks to [info] skreidle for the tip about getting directions from Google SMS (I already use that for addresses but hadn't known how to get it to give directions until this afternoon), but in the end the three or so hours in a hot car wearing a coat and tie (getting massive sweat stains on my tie) with my wrist throbbing worse and worse, turned out to be for naught. By the time I found the funeral home, the service was over and everyone on their way to the cemetery; by the time I figured out where the cemetery was (a couple miles beyond the south edge of the map book in the car) everything was long over. Goodbye, Uncle Ray. I tried to get there. I even got as far as finding wheels for the afternoon and getting dressed up in boyclothes (pants yet!), but MapQuest left out one rather important step: turn right from South Glebe onto WestFuckingGlebe instead of continuing on South Glebe. I reread the directions when I got back to [info] anniemal's house and compared them to the map.

One of those Glebe, Glebe, and Glebe intersections. Gah. Bane of my attempts to navigate NoVa.

So I'm frustrated and exhausted and dripping, and wonder whether I'm going to get tsk'd at some day in the future for "not bothering" to show up after my little multi-hour frustration today. (I don't have the address folks were going to gather at afterward, and couldn't have stayed for that anyhow because I have to get set for tonight's gig.) I even heard that a cousin I haven't seen in years and years was going to be there today.

Frustrated, I am. Frustrated and tired and achy and very, very cranky.

Got a cold pack on my wrist. Sitting in [info] anniemal's air conditioning. Will try for a short nap before getting back in the car to go to Greenbelt.

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