[conspire] Re: RHL 9 Install problems

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Jul 10 13:09:14 PDT 2003

Quoting Greg Dougherty (rhl at molecularsoftware.com):

> Ok, I ran e2fsck on my 26 gig partition.  It took about 20 hours.  It
> did the non-destructive read-write test, reported "vdone", and has now
> appeared to hang.
> What do I do now?

Hmm, definitely not good -- though I have no idea what "vdone" is
supposed to mean.  It should terminate and take you back to a command
prompt, of course.

Let's get back to that question in a minute, after I address your
slightly earlier post:

> Ok, so I was probably running into the bug that someone on
> linux.redhat.install mentioned, where Disk Druid sometimes reads past
> the end of the area it's supposed to be formatting, and reports
> spurious bad blocks.

I was never a big fan of Disk Druid, but will just make the general
comment that it's comforting to know that you're using a known-good 
version of a well-tested, basic utility.  The e2fsck (fsck.ext2) in
LNX-BBC 2.1 is definitely one such.

>> Well, this certainly leaves open the possibility that your CD drive
>> is having a problem reading the disks (even if the disks themselves
>> are fine).

> Yep. :-(
> Is there anything I can do about it if it is?

Well, lots'a people have spare CD-ROM drives sitting around that can be
borrowed for the occasion, including me.  (Of course, you could do a
network install, instead, but borrowing a CD drive is less convoluted --
except on laptop machines.)

Anyhow, to recap:  You have a whopping big hard drive.  RH9 has problems
installing onto it.  You think it has an ext2 partition on it, but
running _even_ the LNX-BBC 2.1's fsck.ext2 on it brings up a bogus (?)
complaint of the partition being mounted.  

Somehow (exactly how is a bit unclear from your posts), you got past
that, and ran a 20-hour fsck.ext2 _with_ badblocks check on it (but
running the non-destructive mode), again using the utility from the
LNX-BBC.  But it didn't terminate correctly, but rather put out an
incomprehensible notice saying "vdone", and hanged.

You also mentioned downloading the pseudo-low-level formatting utility
and/or drive-diagnostic utility for your model hard drive, just in case
the drive has problems.  You didn't clarify whether you ran it.

Man, what a mess.

I think we can _reasonably_ safely assume that the LNX-BBC disk you used
is OK.  Therefore, the fsck.ext2 you're using is OK, ditto.  (Your CD
drive could still have problems, but instances of subtly defective read
operations from _two_ CDs would be an awfully big coincidence.  It would
have been slightly nicer to have not used that CD drive, e.g., by using
the Tom's Root-Boot floppy instead, but never mind.)

Since you have the LNX-BBC handy, you might want to use _it_ to see if
it can make fresh, from-scratch filesystems on your hard drive, blowing
away whatever RH9 created there.  If that works, and ext2.fsck likes
them[1], then you can do a fresh installation of RH9, and be happy.  
If LNX-BBC's mkfs.ext2 chokes on the drive, then we have to wonder about
the drive itself.

In the latter case, I'd try the drive utilities you downloaded.  If that
doesn't make the problem go away, then RMA (return) the drive to the
manufacturer under warranty, and get a replacement.

(If anyone else on the mailing list thinks I'm talking through my hat,
or has other ideas, please do speak up.  Thanks.)

[1] In your shoes, I'd try it without badblocks checking, I guess:  20
hours _is_ a heck of a long time.

Cheers,                    Remember:  The day after tomorrow is the third day
Rick Moen                  of the rest of your life.
rick at linuxmafia.com

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