Fri, 06 Mar 2009

Uh oh…. // at 18:00

It went clack, clack, clack, clack, CLACK. Then it stopped.

Part way through a very ordinary ubuntu package upgrade the hard disk in fafnir made an horrendous sound and the PC froze. It wouldn't respond to a soft restart, it wouldn't respond to a hard reset, it wouldn't even come back up after powering off and on. The hard disk has had it. A single consumer-grade IDE disk running almost continually in a desktop machine since about June 2004, what can I say, it was bound to fail eventually.

Now about those backups and my personal disaster recovery plans….

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Tue, 24 Feb 2009

Yahoo Ubuntu. // at 21:30

Yay, finally! After four months of battling “Ubuntu who knows best,” I've finally managed to convince it to reinstall a current NVidia driver that works on my PC and gives me back the 1280x1024 resolution that I'd been using for four or five years! For some reason the 8.10 upgrade had removed all traces of the NVidia packages and refused to recognise that I had hardware that could use them.

Now if only I can get it to fix my local cyrus IMAP installation that also went belly-up with the Ubuntu 8.10 “upgrade.”

Only two more months until the Ubuntu 9.04 “upgrade” happens and I find out what wonders it manages to break….

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Fri, 09 Jan 2009

Ubuntu upgraded itself into a hole // at 21:00

Back in October I upgraded my Ubuntu system from 8.04 to 8.10 and as seems to happen far too often, once again something went wrong. This time it removed the nvidia support that has been running for years and all of a sudden I can only run X at a resolution of 1152x864 instead of 1280x1024.

Far more important though, the LVM system that, once-again, I have been successfully using for a couple of years and a couple of upgrades has now been rendered unbootable. For some reason the new kernels that are installed keep on generating initrd images that will not support a root filesystem in LVM.

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure linux-image-2.6.28-4-generic
Running depmod.
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-4-generic
W:copy_exec: Not copying /sbin/lvm to $DESTDIR/sbin/lvm, which is already a copy of /lib/lvm-200/lvm
Not updating initrd symbolic links since we are being updated/reinstalled
(2.6.28-4.9 was configured last, according to dpkg)
Not updating image symbolic links since we are being updated/reinstalled
(2.6.28-4.9 was configured last, according to dpkg)
Running postinst hook script /sbin/update-grub.
Searching for GRUB installation directory ... found: /boot/grub
/usr/sbin/update-grub: line 297: /sbin/vol_id: No such file or directory
Searching for default file ... found: /boot/grub/default
Testing for an existing GRUB menu.lst file ... found: /boot/grub/menu.lst
Searching for splash image ... found: (hd0,0)/grub/splashimages/debsplash.xpm.gz

Found kernel: /vmlinuz-2.6.28-4-generic
Found kernel: /vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic
Found kernel: /memtest86+.bin
Updating /boot/grub/menu.lst ... done

Examining /etc/kernel/postinst.d.
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/dkms
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/nvidia-common

I finally worked around it by moving the root partition back out of LVM and onto /dev/sda2, which was still unused since my migration off physical partitions and into LVM back in May 2006!

Revisited 2009-Feb-24: Finally fixed the NVidia display after four months!

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