PANIC - partitions corrupted!

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PANIC - partitions corrupted!

Postby arjay » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:01 pm

Hi - I am using Mint KDE on a single HDD Maxtor 320 Gb. My partitions should look something like this:

/dev/sda1 (/ i.e. root 20 Gb)
/dev/sda2 (swap 2 Gb)
/dev/sda3 (/home rest of disk).

Last night Firefox hung on me and nothing would respond. I had to do a full reboot with the PCs reboot button.

After that my partitions came up as:

Code: Select all

sudo fdisk /dev/sda

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 127580.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
   (e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sda: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
100 heads, 49 sectors/track, 127580 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 4900 * 512 = 2508800 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x69205244

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1       34419    84326525+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3           34420       34420           0   65  Novell Netware 386
/dev/sda4          549580      549591       25817+   0  Empty
Partition 4 does not end on cylinder boundary.

Needless to say, mint won't boot. I have used testdisk/photorescue to back up some files but now I am stuck. I know enough to leave well alone until I get some expert advice. Basically, I just need to recover my home directory then am happy to re-install.

Could anyone help me with a strategy to do this?

Many thanks


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Re: PANIC - partitions corrupted!

Postby lagagnon » Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:40 pm

Firefox hanging will NOT alter your partition table. The absolute worst it will do is perhaps a slight filesystem damage which would be corrected on the next reboot. So something else much more major has occurred, such as a failed attempt to load another operating system.

If I were you I would use a Live Linux CD (Mint is fine), try to find the old /home partition and save it to an external disk. Show us the output from "sudo fdisk -l" when you have the Live CD loaded and running.

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Re: PANIC - partitions corrupted!

Postby Fred » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:16 pm


What lagagnon said above is correct, follow his instructions. There is another factor to consider however. You should avoid pressing the reset button or turning the power off to reboot. There is always at least a small risk of corrupting your file system or loosing data, depending on the file system you are using.

If you are using ext4 with a kernel version less than 2.6.30, the risk of data loss and/or corruption is fairly high. If you are using ext3 in the default ordered mode the risk is fairly low, but still there.

To reboot when nothing else works and you are ready to pull the plug.

1. Hold down the Alt and SysRq (Print Screen) keys.

2. While holding those down, type the following in order. Nothing
appears to happen until the last letter is pressed: REISUB

3. Watch your computer reboot magically.

Use the above instead of the reset or power off button. It is much safer.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.

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Re: PANIC - partitions corrupted!

Postby arjay » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:01 am

Thanks for the replies guys.
Show us the output from "sudo fdisk -l" when you have the Live CD loaded and running.

The output of this is shown in my first post. As you can see, it is well-corrupted (should be the standard sda1 for root, sda2 for swap and sda3 for home.. I respect what you say but I can assure you, I have only one O/S installed, on one HDD, and that is mint kde. I had to shutdown and reboot after firefox crashed and the PC locked up. When it rebooted, it went straight to a grub prompt. I restarted with Kubuntu 9.04. live CD to give you the output shown above and to run testdisk.

As to the advice for a safer way to reboot - I'll use that from now on, though I had used the Restart icon before that from Kubuntu. BTW - the root and home partitions were ext3 before the crash. No idea what I have now!

I am trying to recover folders and copy them to an external drive at the moment. I'll report back when that is done (if possible). I have not backed up for several weeks (ain't that always the way?) so need to try and recover recent stuff.


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