*big sigh* Linux is usually very stable, please don't miss-understand me. Ubuntu is a pretty easy distribution to work with and the KDE shell system is close enough to what I was used to before that I figured it out right away. But when Linux does go wrong, it's the very devil to fix!
Monday night I downloaded a podcast and had an SD card plugged into my reader. I opened Dolphin, (a graphic app that lets you work with files), to copy the podcast onto the SD card so I could listen to it on my cell. I got a pop-up telling me that the system couldn't find Dolphin's prefs file. I tried again; same result. The system had already recognized the SD, I had to dismount it somehow before removing it. But every other app I tried had the same problem; the system couldn't find any prefs files. I crossed my fingers and shut down the computer, removed the SD, (it was okay), and tried to reboot. The loader couldn't find the system's init file. It tried init=bootarg, (whatever that means), then scanned the system for another boot disk, didn't find one and hung. And just about then I had to go take care of those family problems that have been limiting my 'Net time.
Tuesday I booted with a LiveCD. (Canonical, the company that distributes Ubuntu, makes these so that you can try Ubuntu before you commit to it. You can download a CD image and burn it to a disk yourself, then boot from the CD. They can also be used to repair broken systems.) I used my install disk of Kubuntu 10.04 LTS, (Ubuntu Linux using KDE instead of Gnome, the Debian-stable version.) I had to look up the Linux disk repair command, (fsck), then figure out which options to use with it because you can only run it from a terminal shell. I needed help from friends, (thanks again, Shiver and Kratsminsch), to figure out how fsck wants me to describe the HD to be repaired. When I had the command typed correctly, (I used "sudo fsck /dev/sda") it kept telling me the drive was in use by another program! I also tried running fsck from another terminal. (Ubuntu and most Linux distributions open several command line terminals. You can switch between them by <ctrl><alt>Fx. It usually open a graphic user interface at <ctrl><alt>F7.) Same result. I shut that down and tried again using an Ubuntu (with Gnome) V10.10 disk; I got the same result from fsck, but at least Gnome had disk tools that gave me useful information. This took all of my computer time on Tuesday.
Yesterday I booted into another another LiveCD, this one loaded with Xubuntu 9.10, (an older version of Linux using a different GUI shell that uses much less memory than Gnome or KDE.) fsck run from a terminal shell told me yet again that some program was using sda. I tried terminal 5, (<ctrl><alt>F5), and tried the command there. But this time, on a hunch, I gave it "sudo fsck /dev/sda1" to have it look directly at the boot partition. GLORY HALLELUJAH! fsck found several orphans and a bunch of wrong counts and fixed them all. I tried booting from my HD again and it worked. (And just in time to have to shut down and deal with family problems again.)
Since then I've been backing up my boot partition to my second HD along with any other folders I can think of that might need to be saved. Tomorrow, I intend to reformat my system drive and re-load Kubuntu 10.04 LTS, just in case. (Or maybe I'll switch to Ubuntu; after working with Gnome, I find that I like it.) Most of my documents and music and stuff are on my second drive anyway.
So if anybody else out there runs Linux and can advise me on what else I should save to my second drive, I'd be grateful. I've already saved my Thunderbird address book and Firefox bookmarks. Suggestions?
TL:DR Just a heads-up. I've been away this week trying to make my computer work again. I'll be away a bit longer making it stable. And I'm still not online as long as I'd like because of family issues.
6 years, 10 months ago
02 Feb 2012 23:09 CET