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#1 2012-10-09 12:37:36

Ertu
Member
Registered: 2009-03-10
Posts: 21

System can't access root partition

So I performed a system upgrade after a few weeks of inactivity, and all seemed fine. But when I rebooted, tragedy struck. My root partition (/dev/sda7) cannot be detected and I get booted to a shell. I can however see it just fine from Windows.

I forgot to disable some cpufreq related modules from rc.conf after the upgrade. Could this have anything to do with it?

Thank you for your help.

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#2 2012-10-09 12:44:49

xzy3186
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From: Japan
Registered: 2012-02-01
Posts: 52
Website

Re: System can't access root partition

More information is needed, such as the file system of your root partition, how you write your bootloader's config file. Also the exact error message during boot will be helpful.

Last edited by xzy3186 (2012-10-09 12:45:12)

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#3 2012-10-09 13:43:45

Ertu
Member
Registered: 2009-03-10
Posts: 21

Re: System can't access root partition

Root partition is ext2. Grub:

title  Arch Linux
root   (hd0,4)
kernel /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda7 ro
initrd /initramfs-linux.img

The error:

ERROR: device '/dev/sda7' not found. Skipping fsck.

Then it drops me to a recovery shell, but also spits this out:

sh: can't access tty; job control turned off.

Last edited by Ertu (2012-10-09 13:44:33)

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#4 2012-10-09 13:56:57

jdarnold
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From: Medford MA USA
Registered: 2009-12-15
Posts: 462
Website

Re: System can't access root partition

You shouldn't use /dev/sdxx format for picking your boot partition, as that can change. Try editing it at boot time ('e' from Grub) and changing it to a different letter or a different number, like /dev/sdb7 or /dev/sda5. Or boot from a Live CD and use the UUID of the partition instead.

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#5 2012-10-09 14:51:53

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 13,413

Re: System can't access root partition

As jdarnold points out, if you have multiple drives, the BIOS / Grub may may drives to /dev/sdx in a nondeterministic  manner.

Any chance you have recently added or removed a drive from your system?


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You assume people are rational and influenced by evidence.  You must not work with the public much. -- Trilby
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#6 2012-10-09 14:56:41

Ertu
Member
Registered: 2009-03-10
Posts: 21

Re: System can't access root partition

Tried a bunch of letters/numbers in Grub; none of them worked. How can I add the UUID instead? Just add it after root=?

And no, no hardware changes at all, just an arch system upgrade.

edit: it's not working with the UUID either. It seems it just can't see the device. Problem with udev?

Last edited by Ertu (2012-10-09 15:10:10)

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#7 2012-10-09 15:11:11

jdarnold
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From: Medford MA USA
Registered: 2009-12-15
Posts: 462
Website

Re: System can't access root partition

Yes. Here's an example I have:

title  ArchBang Linux
root   (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/258aeada-5e34-4f56-a438-0bee2526f332 loglevel=3 ro quiet resume=/dev/disk/by-uuid/3e48bf9b-ef11-496c-8335-985ab37cc2e9   nomodeset vga=773
initrd /initramfs-linux.img

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#8 2012-10-10 03:51:12

xzy3186
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From: Japan
Registered: 2012-02-01
Posts: 52
Website

Re: System can't access root partition

OK, so what is your result of running

ls /dev/sd*

under recovery shell?

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#9 2012-10-10 04:16:58

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: System can't access root partition

You know, I have always had more consistency with 'root=UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxx'

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#10 2012-10-10 11:20:39

Ertu
Member
Registered: 2009-03-10
Posts: 21

Re: System can't access root partition

xzy3186 wrote:

OK, so what is your result of running

ls /dev/sd*

under recovery shell?

It found nothing. But as I said, I can see the root partition and access its files using a Linux reader in Windows, so I know nothing horribly wrong happened.

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#11 2012-10-10 11:44:30

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: System can't access root partition

Post your fstab.


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#12 2012-10-10 14:19:09

Ertu
Member
Registered: 2009-03-10
Posts: 21

Re: System can't access root partition

In the recovery shell, fstab is empty. But on my root partition it has the following:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information
#
# <file system>        <dir>         <type>    <options>          <dump> <pass>
devpts                 /dev/pts      devpts    defaults            0      0
shm                    /dev/shm      tmpfs     nodev,nosuid        0      0
/dev/sda5 /boot ext2 defaults 0 1
/dev/sda6 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/sda7 / ext4 defaults 0 1
/dev/sda8 /home ext4 defaults 0 1

BTW, my root is ext4, not ext2. I was thinking of the boot partition.

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#13 2012-10-10 14:28:24

xzy3186
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From: Japan
Registered: 2012-02-01
Posts: 52
Website

Re: System can't access root partition

Ertu wrote:
xzy3186 wrote:

OK, so what is your result of running

ls /dev/sd*

under recovery shell?

It found nothing. But as I said, I can see the root partition and access its files using a Linux reader in Windows, so I know nothing horribly wrong happened.

Nothing?! Without a single device named sdxy under /dev? That sounds really strange to me. It seems that your initramfs.img can not recognize your harddrive any more. What did you do before your last normal reboot? Did you update your kernel? Did you see any error during the update?

Last edited by xzy3186 (2012-10-10 14:29:24)

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#14 2012-10-10 15:00:46

Ertu
Member
Registered: 2009-03-10
Posts: 21

Re: System can't access root partition

xzy3186, you are correct. It seems the /lib -> /usr/lib thing screwed me over (I thought I had sorted it out as pacman wouldn't even let me update at first), and I wasn't at the laptop while it was updating, so I never saw the errors. I just looked through my pacman.log and nearly had a coronary. Some highlights, for your enjoyment:

upgraded mkinitcpio (0.9.2-2 -> 0.10-1)
[2012-10-08 10:32] >>> Updating module dependencies. Please wait ...
[2012-10-08 10:32] ERROR: could not open directory /lib/modules/3.5.5-1-ARCH: No such file or directory
[2012-10-08 10:32] FATAL: could not search modules: No such file or directory
[2012-10-08 10:32] ==> WARNING: No modules were added to the image. This is probably not what you want.
[2012-10-08 10:32] ==> Creating gzip initcpio image: /boot/initramfs-linux.img
[2012-10-08 10:32] ==> WARNING: errors were encountered during the build. The image may not be complete.

At this juncture I'm considering just reinstalling the whole thing, as I no longer have any need for windows on my laptop. Don't think it's worth trying to salvage this train wreck.

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#15 2012-10-10 15:25:27

xzy3186
Member
From: Japan
Registered: 2012-02-01
Posts: 52
Website

Re: System can't access root partition

Yeah, I think your initramfs-linux.img was completely screwed up. Considering the glibc issue as well as the time your system has been out-of-update, reinstallation might be a little bit easier...

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#16 2012-10-10 18:22:47

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: System can't access root partition

That fstab is very old... /dev/pts and /dev/shm have moved to /etc/mbtab more than a year ago. Here's your new fstab:

tmpfs            /tmp     tmpfs     nodev,nosuid   0  0

/dev/sda5        /boot    ext2      defaults       0  2
/dev/sda6        swap     swap      defaults       0  0
/dev/sda7        /        ext4      defaults       0  1
/dev/sda8        /home    ext4      defaults       0  2

Notice that not everything needs "1" at the end. See "Field definitions" from the fstab wiki entry.

And see: http://www.archlinux.org/news/grub-lega … supported/


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#17 2012-10-10 19:06:31

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: System can't access root partition

Try this: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pa … onger_boot

Last edited by DSpider (2012-10-10 19:07:54)


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#18 2012-10-10 19:16:08

ackt1c
Member
From: Visalia, California
Registered: 2012-10-10
Posts: 215

Re: System can't access root partition

I had the same problem when I switched to systemd (not your case?) responded with could not find root by uuid, i ran live cd and chrooted device, checking everything was alright, as it was. rebooted a couple times and no problem.

Last edited by ackt1c (2012-10-10 19:16:38)

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#19 2012-10-10 20:04:56

derhamster
Member
Registered: 2012-07-08
Posts: 86

Re: System can't access root partition

Ertu wrote:

xzy3186, you are correct. It seems the /lib -> /usr/lib thing screwed me over (I thought I had sorted it out as pacman wouldn't even let me update at first), and I wasn't at the laptop while it was updating, so I never saw the errors. I just looked through my pacman.log and nearly had a coronary. Some highlights, for your enjoyment:

upgraded mkinitcpio (0.9.2-2 -> 0.10-1)
[2012-10-08 10:32] >>> Updating module dependencies. Please wait ...
[2012-10-08 10:32] ERROR: could not open directory /lib/modules/3.5.5-1-ARCH: No such file or directory
[2012-10-08 10:32] FATAL: could not search modules: No such file or directory
[2012-10-08 10:32] ==> WARNING: No modules were added to the image. This is probably not what you want.
[2012-10-08 10:32] ==> Creating gzip initcpio image: /boot/initramfs-linux.img
[2012-10-08 10:32] ==> WARNING: errors were encountered during the build. The image may not be complete.

At this juncture I'm considering just reinstalling the whole thing, as I no longer have any need for windows on my laptop. Don't think it's worth trying to salvage this train wreck.

If the lib move was really the problem, then how did you even update your system? pacman should recognize conflicts and abort. You didn't --force it, right?

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#20 2012-10-16 06:52:13

bobpaul
Member
Registered: 2012-02-11
Posts: 7

Re: System can't access root partition

Had the same problem as the Ertu, but this didn't work. (My system hadn't been updated since March...)

I used SystemRescueCD to "boot a linux os from the hard disk" or followed the wiki and re-installed mkinitcpio, linux, systemd, initscripts... mkinitcpio -p linux... nothing.

It seems, at least on my system, mkinitcpio is not properly including the SATA module needed for my device.

$ lspci | grep -i ata
00:12.0 IDE interface: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI IXP SB400 Serial ATA Controller (rev 80)
$ lspci -k -s00:12.0 
00:12.0 IDE interface: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI IXP SB400 Serial ATA Controller (rev 80)
	Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 010f
	Kernel driver in use: sata_sil

edited /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and set MODULES="sata_sil" to force it to include the module in the initramfs. A final "mkinitcpio -p linux" and everything was fine on the next boot.

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