Catastrophic failure!!!

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Catastrophic failure!!!

Postby sigshane on Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:51 am

So I don't really know if this problem fits into any of the major categories, so I will post here.

I currently run - err, ran! - a Windows 7 laptop, dual booted with LMDE. The thing has a small Windows recovery partition, a ~250GB ntfs Windows partition, and an extended partition, where lives a ~64GB ext4 Linux partition, 8GB swap space, and a ~350GB ntfs storage space (D:).

I wanted to try out another Linux version, so, using Windows' diskmgmt.msc, I shortened the D: drive a little, and created another ext4 partition for "other_Linux_version", about 16GB.

With the "other_Linux_version" liveUSB, I booted and installed it on the newly created partition, using the same swap space for both "Linux'es". All was well.

Rebooted the computer, and noticed that Windows loader was not present. Hmm... Went in and ran update-grub, to see if 30_os-prober was seeing the Windows loader partition at all, and it was not. (It did, however, see the Windows recovery one.) Same for both Linux installs - no Windows loader at grub.

Anyway, I rebooted the computer, this time with the LMDE liveUSB, and SPLAT. Lots of garbled text running past on the screen, finally stopping at kernel panic, out of memory and no killable processes, and kernel panic, returning to text console, or text, whatever - was very un-cool.

Now, every possible boot attempt - Linux USB, Windows 7 repair disc, HDD boot, even recovery media from "pc_manufacturer" - ends in failure.

With the Linux liveUSB's, I get to kernel panic every time. With any Windows boot disc, whether the repair disc or the recovery media, I get to the Windows 7 splash screen, then nothing, just occasional HDD access lights blinking for a period. Nothing past that.

I have also gotten a message (I don't quite remember exactly what message - I am at work) talking about overheat, and CPU being clocked down. Then stall forever.

Is my laptop dead? I was able to boot into memtest86+, and the test passed for that, so I am reasonably sure the RAM's okay. Yippee - the cheapest part is not fried :-|

Thanks in advance.

Trying not to cry big fat man-tears,
Shane
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Re: Catastrophic failure!!!

Postby jsalpha2 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:36 am

and created another ext4 partition for "other_Linux_version", about 16GB.

You already had the max of four partitions. Recovery, Windows, extended, and storage. I would have used GParted instead of using Windows' diskmgmt.msc to shortened the storage partition. Then expand the extended partition and place the new ext4 partition inside. Using the same swap space for both linux installs is fine. If both linux distros use grub 2 and updating grub does not see the windows partition it may have been overwritten.
I have also gotten a message (I don't quite remember exactly what message - I am at work) talking about overheat, and CPU being clocked down.
This is the scary part. When you get home we need the exact error message if possible.

I was able to boot into memtest86+ (from USB ?) no heat problem when it ran? Vents clean and fans working? Do the Live USBs work properly on another computer? Let us know what happens next.
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Re: Catastrophic failure!!!

Postby sigshane on Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:55 am

Thanks for the reply and support!

I may have not explained the hard drive partitioning correctly. The Windows "drives" (C: and recovery) were on the "primary" partition, and the others (ext4, ext4, swap, and ntfs "storage") were on the "extended" partition. Not sure if that helps, but there it is.

The USB drives work fine on another laptop. The gparted USB I made with the Universal USB Installer tool on the working Windows computer, and the only thing that worked on that was the memtest option. Everything else - gparted, boot from local hard drive - failed as before.

Will try to get the exact verbiage of those errors this evening. And just for good measure, I will blow out/clean the fan, although I thought it looked pretty okay last night.

Quick question: is this looking like a booger-ed hard drive issue? I borrowed a USB cradle from our electrical engineer that will allow me to slot in and access the hdd as an external USB drive, so I can try to diagnose the drive from other laptop if it might be worthwhile? At a minimum, I can try to recover the stuff out of the "storage" part, and reformat the drive.
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Re: Catastrophic failure!!!

Postby kurotsugi on Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:20 pm

I wanted to try out another Linux version, so, using Windows' diskmgmt.msc, I shortened the D: drive a little, and created another ext4 partition for "other_Linux_version", about 16GB.
for a good reason we should not shrink any used partition. the right step is delete the old partition then split it into two new partition. you might need to delete both D drive and the new ext4 partition then create new partition on top of it. for the data, I believe there is a tool which can convert your HDD into external HD which can be connected via usb slot. you can back up your data before delete the partition.
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Re: Catastrophic failure!!!

Postby DrHu on Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:36 pm

Usually the manufacture's recovery partition is a separate one, otherwise it would not have the D:\ partition letter applied
--if it was on the c:\ partition, it would be a subset of windows OS or a separate logical drive letter

And as was indicated you probably maxed out the 4 primary (physical) partitions that a hard drive can use (historical effect from Dos )
    --a logical partition is contained within a primary (physical) partition and so counts as 1 of the 4 that are available to any partition manager (windows or Linux or otherwise)

Additionally if you ever use a vendor's recovery partition, it will pay to read their documentation before the attempt..

Hard drive partioning, always worth a read to refresh memory..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning
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Re: Catastrophic failure!!!

Postby sigshane on Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:21 pm

okay, update with happy ending. I took out the hard drive, and connected it as an external drive to my other laptop, booted a live instance of lmde, and Gparted found the drive (after about twenty minutes).

so i created the partitions I wanted in gparted, rebooted with the recovery discs, and am on my way to getting back to normal. lost all the stuff in the "storage", but for the most part it was my iPod music and books, and ithink ican get that back on the computer from the iPod.

thanks for all the suggestions, you guys rock.

admin, this thread can be closed.
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