[sclug] Help! (with a big 'H')

Will Dickson wrd at glaurung.demon.co.uk
Sat Apr 26 13:16:04 UTC 2008

n.a.haughton at bigfoot.com wrote:
> Firstly, it has 'lost' a partition with all my data on it. I had a symlink
> called 'data' in my /home/me folder pointing to /media/hda10, where I had
> /dev/hda5 (reiser fs) mounted,

Apart from the naming scheme (which seems bit odd to me, but hey) I do 
something a bit similar: I have a separate "/fs" partition, into which 
/home, /opt, /srv and /packages are symlinks. (/packages is my own 
invention - I use it to store downloaded apps / drivers / patches etc. 
which I don't want to have to download again.) Eccentric perhaps, but it 
works well for me.
> The arrangement worked fine for 6.04, 6.10, 7.04, 7.10. Unfortunately now
> /dev/hda5 has vanished - that is, there are no hd? devices to be found in
> /dev. 

At this point, I'd probably start cursing udev. However, Alex's 
suggestion about libata may well be more effective :-)

Not only that, I can't make head nor tail of the 'new' /etc/fstab. It
> looks totally alien to me (something to do with using UUIDs or something). I
> was quite familiar with the 'classic' fstab arrangement but this new UUID
> thing has thrown me.

FWIW, this ident-by-UUID gag came in with Feisty or earlier - I guess 
that if you've been doing rolling upgrades, the upgrade left your old 
fstab alone until now. However, in Feisty at least, the installer shows 
the equivalent /dev/xxx devices as comments. Also, if you want to, you 
can throw away the UUID dev IDs and go back to the old way. (Well, for 
everything except /, anyway - I'd be inclined to leave that one well alone.)

> .thunderbird folder which has also vanished), and Firefox has lost almost
> all of the installed themes and extensions because they are not compatible
> with the 'new' 3.0b5 that comes with 8.04 (if I had known that a beta
> browser was to replace the previous one I might have thought twice about the
> upgrade). 

WTF? This is an LTS release, and they bundled a FF *beta*? Wieee-erd. 
Are you sure there isn't an option to revert to FF 2?

> All in all not a happy story, and I'm not best pleased with Ubuntu, but
> that's another story - but can anyone help me get my old data partition
> back? It's not something I want to just write off.

Deep breath:	** First, Do No Harm. **

Your data is almost certainly still there. Try an older liveCD or 
Knoppix, mount the partition by hand and verify it's still there. Then 
you can work out what's wrong with the new install.

When the smoke clears, LART yourself for not having a backup of all this 
stuff (if you had one, you wouldn't be talking about having to write the 
thing off, am I right?) and decide how you're going to fix *that*. (NB. 
USB external hard drives are cheap, and work pretty well.)

While you're on the subject, you might want to revisit the decision to 
use ReiserFS, especially if the verdict goes against Hans Reiser (the 
jury is still out, but is expected to reach a verdict soon).

> Any sysadmin type person out there who can guide me out if this fix will be
> much appreciated. My /etc/fstab file is attached, in case that offers any
> clues, and the /var/log/messages extract for the period of the upgrade
> process.

I think you forgot to attach 'em.


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