Learning through folly!

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read this

Learning through folly!

Postby T J Tulley on Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:30 pm

Apologies for a long post - it may be of interest to other Newbies. It isn't really a "Question".

I have just (on Friday last) wrecked an installation of Elyssa by opening the root partition simultaneously in two places - one by opening my /user folder (which is /theo) and then going backwards via /home to /, and the other by opening Filesystem in "Computer" - I'm not quite sure what my disastrous action was, but the end result was that opening /home showed /Lost & Found and /theo (my user folder) and then opening /theo showed empty - at first in only one of those places, then in both!

Since then, that installation ("Elyssa4" in my setup) has refused to boot - recovery mode made a few repairs, but with no improvement. Currently I am using "Elyssa3" but this system hardly ever boots (goes to BusyBox) and I had almost abandoned it. Great surprise & relief when it booted this morning!

In the meantime I've learned a lot. Some time ago in an exchange of posts about other matters someone (I think it was Fred) recommended Puppy Linux, and I downloaded that and made an installation disk, but had never tried it. Yesterday, with no other access to my machine, I decided to try - it is really useful, if a bit difficult to understand at first. No rival to Mint, but very rapid to install and get going.

I found that I could access my partitions and transfer files, so first I examined /home of Elyssa4, found it readable, then copied the 4 key files for backup - .mozilla (for Firefox settings) and .mozilla-thunderbird for mail archives, profile and address book, also Tomboy and Tomboy.log. I created a folder for them in one of my Backup partitions, and also copied them to another location - belt & braces! All the rest of my data are on other disks, separate from the working system.

Today, as soon as my old Elyssa3 booted, I parked its 4 key files and copied/pasted in the versions of them saved via Puppy from the defunct Elyssa4. Now it's up to date. The backup process will have to be repeated before it is closed - it may never boot again!

Of course I am anxious to install a fresh system - first attempt produced an error - the disk has been used about 6 or 7 times - so I decided to do a fresh download on my laptop under W-XP-Pro - that ultimately turned out to have an incorrect md5sum after wasting a lot of time. I couldn't see how to check it under Windows or Puppy. There was a copy of my original download in the laptop, by way of backup, and I was going to use that until I got this successful boot giving access to my PC discs.

Now however I have cleaned the lenses of my CD-ROM and DVD-RW drives and burned a fresh installation disc from my original download of the LinuxMint-5-r1.iso file, having checked its md5sum - still correct. I hope for a successful installation of what will be Elyssa5 - with 104 updates to go, as well as various items of software to add. I note however that Firefox extensions get transferred forward by copying .mozilla.

One interesting fact is that all the files in my /theo folder in Elyssa4 were visible using Puppy Linux, but it again shows as empty using Elyssa3. I had to mount it by command - it didn't even appear in "Computer". I shall not overwrite it for the time being - I still have spare partitions. For interest, I shall investigate whether it still appears under Puppy.
Yours hopefully -

Theo Tulley.
Using a PC with 2GB RAM, 3 hdds and a 1.7 GHz Celeron cpu.
User avatar
T J Tulley
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 581
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:18 am
Location: Hull, England

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Learning through folly!

Postby msuggs on Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:15 pm

In reading your recent posts regarding your partition, labeling and booting problems my advice would be to backup your data and redesign your system to be as simple as possible. A clean install and less partitions with potential for problems will give you a much happier and productive experience with Mint :)
msuggs
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 882
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:25 am
Location: non-local

Re: Learning through folly!

Postby T J Tulley on Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:44 pm

Thanks, omns, but my problems don't come from my multiple partitions.

I do backups fairly frequently, but organizing the processes will be subject of another topic. Fred has designed a nice tool but I have some questions about using it.

I'm pleased to say that my latest install has completed - apart from updates which are being installed as I write. I have already imported into it the Firefox and Thunderbird folders directly from the previous installation - I didn't need to use the backups I created just before closing it. There are still various applications to install. Some of them are already downloaded into my main data partition (and its backup).
Yours hopefully -

Theo Tulley.
Using a PC with 2GB RAM, 3 hdds and a 1.7 GHz Celeron cpu.
User avatar
T J Tulley
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 581
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:18 am
Location: Hull, England


Return to Newbie Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: HippoMan and 33 guests