SUSE Linux partition error

By gbhall
Oct 12, 2010
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  1. We had a Novell suse linux open enterprise server running happily some months, but an attempt to use a new Acronis image package to create a server image failed, leaving us with a server that will not properly boot.

    It seems that during the boot process, whenever it tries to write anything, a message is generated saying 'no more space on drive'. This is not correct, of course, and after starting the server recovery process and using the expert partitioning tool, it seems that all the partition information is correct except that the columns 'mount point' and 'mount by' are empty - apart from the linux swap partition.

    The expert partitioner does not seem to allow these two values (mount point, mount by) to be edited.

    Is there any way to recover this server where all the system and data is almost certainly intact, but inaccessible because of a simple partition table corruption?

    Acronis Backup & Recovery™ 10 Advanced Server
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    Can you not just boot into recovery mode using your CD/DVD, log in as root and then manually edit your fstab file again?

    Or as root re-setup your bootup manager, as thats likely your issue.

    I've had quite a few issues setting LiLo from my MBR due to having Seagate Disc Wizard (Acronis true image) installed on my main PC. It would seem Acronis' recovery console that is installed when you install the software conflicts, or in some way affects the operation of LiLo's bootloader. I'm not entirely sure why to be honest.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,295   +44

    what can you advise?

    Ok, back again. Unfortunately on my own for at least two days - that's me, who had nothing whatever to do with installing this system !!

    First let me encourage you to believe that you might be able to work this one out, because we ARE talking about OES-linux - that is

    Now the problem must be entirely confined to the SUSE linux booting process, and I am confident you can feel at home there !

    I can boot from the install CD and then do various things to try to determine the problem, like starting a rescue system, or dropping to a bash shell and so on.

    SUSE linux Enterprise server 10 SP3 Kernel 2.6.16.60-0.54.5-smp
    partition 1 is ext2
    partition 2 is LVM
    partition 3 is a Novell NSS-formatted volume

    Right now, I have booted the recovery system, chosen Install, other, and am looking at the Yast screen which offers (1) automatic repair (2) customised repair and (3) expert tools.

    I have chosen option 3, which offers
    Install new boot loader
    Start partitioning tool
    Repair file system
    Recover lost partitions
    and a couple of irrelevant options.

    Looking at the partitions first
    /dev/sda1 70.5Mb Linux native (no mount point or mount by)
    /dev/sda2 14.9Gb Linux LVM (no mount point or mount by)
    /dev/sda3 665.5Gb Novell netware
    /dev/system 14.9Gb LVM2 system (no mount point or mount by, and no start or end either)
    /dev/system/root 10.0Gb LV (no mount point or mount by, and no start or end either)
    /devsystem/swap 2.0Gb LV (no mount point or mount by, and no start or end either)

    I am reluctant to make ANY changes to the system without knowing what I am doing....your advice will be extremely valuable.

    The problem seems to be that a volume may be full, or fstab file corrupt, or MBR bootloader over-written.

    What can I do to help you detect which it is ?
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,042   +225

    how did you get this info?

    I'm on Fedora Core-2, so the 'visable parts' may be different, but the inards of linux are the same. I boot into command-line mode and then run startx when I want the gui.

    from the console (or within a Terminal window) just enter
    mount​
    you will get a list like

    /dev/hda9 on /aaaa type ....
    the first column is the device it self (is also a partition) and
    /aaaa is the mount point.

    if you issue cat /etc/fstab you get basically the same kind of information.
    starting in the third column of fstab are the options to the mount.

    fyi: MOUNT can run w/o fstab by supplying everthing on the command line,
    but typically we might issue mount /aaaa and everything related to that in the
    fstab file is imported.
    If the fourth column contains auto then that line will be used at Linux boot time to
    mount that device for you.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,295   +44

    How I got to the partition information is running the 'expert partitioning tool' as described in post#3

    also starting a liveCd, dropping to a command prompt, I have tried...

    mount /dev/sda1 /mnt that worked
    cd /mnt worked
    ls -l says
    It will be tommorow before I can do that over again, and execute the cat command for you.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,295   +44

    mounted /dev/sda1 as /mnt and found file /grub/menu.lst this is what it says (omitting comments)

    mounted /dev/sda1 as /mnt and found file /etc/fstab this is what it says
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,042   +225

    get to a terminal window and try stat -f X
    where X is any device OR a mount point eg stat -f /

    the results will be 4 lines and the last two report
    Blocks: total xxx free yyy available zzz size 1024
    Inodes: total xxx free yyy

    the partition is "FULL" if free is very very low, eg 10,20

    notice FULL can be the data space; aka blocks or the inodes which contain the meta data like Name, Date, link count, permissions

    btw: you can test everything in /etc/fstab with this shell script (ie copy and paste)
    Code:
    stat -f `cat /etc/fstab | awk '{print $1}' | egrep \#`
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,295   +44

    can't give that a go until Monday, but recently, I burned and booted from an openSuse Linux GNU liveCd and found I could actually see the structure of the server, including able to completely access the two drives
    /dev/sda1 (the linux ext2 boot system drive?) at 74Mb
    and /dev/sda2 (the linux lvm2 drive?) at 11Gb

    Neither drive appears to be full
    On the lvm2 drive, I can see the mount point which are the novell drive, although the details cannot be seen (this is NSS formatted)
    here is the content of a file called nrmdfinfo which is certainly what should be on this server
    On the face of it, there is no apparent reason for the failure to boot with 'drive is full' messages. I can access pretty much what you might want to see.


    Below I post a screenshot of the server as seen by GNU

    http://www.jagspares.co.uk/image/screenshot.png

    I can also see, on the lvm2 partition, clear signs of a partial archive backup In the media folder, there is clear evidence of an incomplete backup created by the offending Acronis backup software. It was supposed to be writing to a plugged-in USB drive.

    It is 2Gb. It might fill the volume. All I need to do might be to find out how to delete it when using the livecd. At first sight, it is denied to the user.

    One other strangish thing - the /dev/sda2 volume looks just fine, and displays the size and file allocation total just fine. On the other hand, the lvm2 partition on /dev/sda2 says total size 0, occupied 0, yet shows a file total after adding them all up, and can show me file contents etc.

    Now that might just be an artifact of using a different distro on the real system, or it might be an indication of file system corrupted. If this was Windows, i'd be looking to running chkdsk /r !!!

    Do you have a view on this?
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,042   +225

    lvm2 is a Logical Volume; aka windows dynamic disk - - usually two or more drives treated as one but NOT a raid-x; unless you consider it JBOD
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,295   +44

    Just for your education, Jobeard. The solution has been found.

    1st use a similar Linux Live CD distro - in this case openSuse Linux 11.3. With the server booted from that, the weird extended partition shown as /dev/evms/lvm2/system/root can actually be mounted as SU, and the offending file deleted. At 2Gb it was indeed filling the volume (a Faulted Acronis backup incorrectly written to the main server volume).

    The server will then boot normally, but failed to mount the volumes on /dev/evms/DATAPOOL. It was also learned the the rescue system Suse also does not automatically mount the evms volumes either, but they can be mounted manually. That was why so many weird things were shown in the server recovery process - pretty poor.

    Using a remote IE connection to Novell iManager the whole server can be seen, and it is observed that the extended evms volumes are 'not active','not mounted'. They can be mounted and made active in iManager, and apparently the change is persistent. Thereafter, the server fully booted normally.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,042   +225

    super - - thanks for the feedback :)


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