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Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:23 am
by Neilz
Hi guys. I have a PC which I dual boot into either Mint or Win8.1. One day I shut down, then when I restarted both my Linux and Win users were screwed, I couldn't get either to work properly. With Windows, I eventually managed to fix the issue by creating a new user and transferring all my user data over, and now eventually everything is running back to normal. But with Linux, it's really screwed, and I have no idea how to go about fixing it. Here's what happens:

When I boot, first I get this message:

"Press F to attempt to fix the erros, I to ignore, S to skip mounting, or M for manual recovery"

At this point I generally press I to ignore, as none of the other options seem to achieve anything.

Next I either get to the Mint login screen, and when I login, I get this:

"MDM could not write to your authorisation file. This could mean that you are out of disk space or that your home directory could not be opened for writing"

or this (or a combination of both):

"Could not start the X server (your graphical environment) due to some internal error"

If I reboot, this goes round in circles, but on rare occasions I have actually been able to login successfully. That seems to be getting rarer though, today I can't get in at all.


Please, any suggestions on what's gone wrong or how I can fix this would be really appreciated!


Edit: the other message I see regurlarly on the console is: "Error in locking authority filee /home/neilz/.Xauthority"

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:31 am
by Lysander666
You need to tell us exactly what you did beforehand [i.e. which file(s) you messed with] in order for this error to occur. Do not say "I didn't do anything" because these errors are symptomatic of someone changing something within important system-level files.

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:45 am
by Neilz
The honest truth is I have no idea. Turned off one night, then turned on the next day. Only thing I can think of is, I may have turned off the power before the system had shut down properly, but it's just a guess.

I'm suspecting my hard drive might have issues, and considering a whole new build.

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:22 am
by Lysander666
Neilz wrote: Only thing I can think of is, I may have turned off the power before the system had shut down properly, but it's just a guess.
You would have likely received a different message if that had caused a problem.
Neilz wrote:I'm suspecting my hard drive might have issues, and considering a whole new build.
I don't think that's necessary at this stage [not unless SMART comes up with a tonne of reallocated sectors]. I would recommend Googling the error message

Error in locking authority file /home/neilz/.Xauthority

Permissions for X have changed and need be reverted.

Try

https://askubuntu.com/questions/165921/ ... -04/166115
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=73552
https://unix.stackexchange.com/question ... ty-file-ho

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:23 am
by Termy
Sounds like the permissions are messed up, for some reason. Did you run a chmod command recently? Well, looks like someone beat me to it. :P

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:25 pm
by WharfRat
Neilz,

The message "Press F to attempt to fix the erros, I to ignore, S to skip mounting, or M for manual recovery" will occur when a partition cannot be mounted

Since you also get "MDM could not write to your authorisation file. This could mean that you are out of disk space or that your home directory could not be opened for writing" is it possible that you setup a separate /home partition :?:

Boot to the live media and paste back the results of sudo blkid

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:20 am
by Lysander666
Neilz wrote:I may have turned off the power before the system had shut down properly.
Considering that systemd shuts the OS down in a matter of seconds, I don't see how this is possible.

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:02 am
by prestonR
It's worth checking if your linux partition is out of space. This may have happened due to some error that has caused some log files to drastically increase in size.

- boot a Mint LiveUSB
- run Gparted and have a look at the linux partition

Re: Help, something has really screwed up!

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:40 am
by Mute Ant
"At this point I generally press I to ignore." Linux has detected Something Horrible (TM) in the file system and can't fix it without your help... your approval to delete the damaged parts really. If you are all backed up, you can try F and just say 'Yes' to any questions it asks. If there's something you need to rescue, a Live Session is the friendly Point-&-Click method if there's no encryption involved.

The "xauthority" and "xserver" errors are a symptom of ignoring the warning from Linux, which has mounted the root file system as Read-Only. It won't risk writes until the Something Horrible is fixed. With a read-only /home folder and a read-only /tmp folder it just can't start Xorg.