Boot problem on old Linux-distribution

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Boot problem on old Linux-distribution

Postby synux » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:44

Hi.
I'd like to have your help on a problem which is not concerning Sabayon, but a very old Linux distribution (Suse). This is why I put my topic on "off topic" section: it is not Sabayon.

It is a very strange problem!

The boot hangs with message "no inittab found".

Booting a Live Distribution (knoppix) I can give a look at the disk. Three partitions: sda1=/ , sda2=/var , sda3=swap

Mounting sda1 I can found inside:
Code: Select all
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 bin
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 boot
drwxr-xr-x 28 root root     61440 Jan  8 12:01 dev
?---------  ? ?    ?            ?            ? etc
drwxr-xr-x  8 root root      4096 Dec 10  2008 home
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 lib
drwx------  2 root root     16384 Mar 27  2007 lost+found
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root      4096 Oct 21  2002 media
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root      4096 Mar  7  2012 mnt
drwxr-xr-x  6 root root      4096 Jul 25  2008 opt
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 proc
drwx------  6 root root      4096 Jul 16  2012 root
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 sbin
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 srv
-rw-r--r--  1 root root         0 Jan 10 07:56 success
drwxrwxrwt  6 root root      4096 Jan  8 12:00 tmp
drwxr-xr-x 12 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 usr
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root      4096 Mar 27  2007 var

as you can see, etc is very strange. The operating system can see something called "etc", but it doesn't know if it is a file, a directory, or something else. Maybe inode corruption!

Is there any way to recover the /etc dir in this particular case? I have no backup! (since filesystem is ext3, I do not understand why it didn't recover by itself).

Thanks in advance.
synux
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Re: Boot problem on old Linux-distribution

Postby Johnny Who » Thu Jan 17, 2013 16:52

probably copy it on itself? Or do sth with touch. But i am not sure...
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Re: Boot problem on old Linux-distribution

Postby synux » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:21

Johnny Who wrote:probably copy it on itself? Or do sth with touch. But i am not sure...

Thanks Johnny, but I think is not so easy! touch works just on files, not directories.

I'm starting to assume I have no chance to recover my etc. This what I tryed:
I started knoppix and...
Code: Select all
knoppix:# mkdir /mnt/sda2
knoppix:# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/sda2
knoppix:# mount -o remount,rw /mnt/sda2
knoppix:# mkdir /mnt/sda2/wip         (stands for work_in_progress)
knoppix:# chmod 777 /mnt/sda2/wip
      then I started debugfs in catastrophic mode and tryed to rdump:
knoppix:# debugfs -c /dev/sda1
debugfs: rdump etc /mnt/sda2/wip

but... no data were dumped. Any other directory different than etc I try to dump... it works. For etc, I am not so lucky!

Does someone know a more powerfull tool than debugfs?
What is, in simple words, an inode?

Thanks!
synux
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Posts: 68
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Location: Roma Sud

Re: Boot problem on old Linux-distribution

Postby synux » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:37

OK, I've understood! Thanks anyway!
synux
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 18:19
Location: Roma Sud


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