Roland Smith wrote: > On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 03:58:33PM -0400, PJ wrote: > >> Roland Smith wrote: >> >>> On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 09:53:06AM -0400, PJ wrote: >>> >>> >>>> I apologize for the lengthy explanation below, but perhaps it will give >>>> some insight on what is see from this end: >>>> >>>> Ok, I've had all night to (subliminally) think about all this and >>>> actually, I am tending more toward problems in FreeBSD... (this is not >>>> an apology or a defense of my lack of knowledge or capacities, just a >>>> clarification so you know what kind of a dummy you're dealing with) >>>> First, let me explain that everything that we have been talking about - >>>> the recovery methods, installation, hardware problems, etc. are all >>>> extremely, and I mean extremely, subject to an awful lot of variables. >>>> >>>> >>> I don't understand? >>> >>> I must confess that I find your explanations sometimes a bit vague. You're >>> sitting in front of the machine with the problems. We (on the mailing list) >>> see only what you say. It is difficult for me at least to piece together >>> what >>> exactly happened. >>> >>> If you are reporting errors, try to be as specific as possible. E.g. don't >>> say >>> "I updated the machine and it doesn't boot anymore". Start with something >>> like: >>> "After running freebsd-update with the options blabla" or "after updating >>> the >>> machine from the 7.2 CD making the following choices...". And then say "I >>> got >>> stuck in the FreeBSD logo screen", or "I got stuck on a screen showing the >>> lines 'Default: 0:ad(0,a)/boot/loader' and 'boot:'". That gives us at >>> least a chance to see what has gone wrong. >>> >>> I must say that I have never used the method of updating from CD. I tend to >>> update the system sources with csup(8), and then rebuild the kernel and >>> applications from source as explained in the Handbook. This hase never >>> failed >>> me yet. >>> >>> >>> >> 1. Reporting the errors is a little difficult because more often than >> not, the errors fly by too fast to be fully understandable. >> > > Error messages that have happened after the kernel has booted are still saved > inside the kernel message buffer. With the 'dmesg' command you can have a good > look at them. > > Additionally, a snapshot of this message buffer is written to > /var/run/dmesg.boot after the filesystems are mounted. > I'll note that and try to get to them. > >> 2. I usually and never (since way, way back) do not update from a CD, >> except to boot up; I do the rest over ftp from the main source at >> freebsd.org. and I use cvsup-without-gui. :-) >> > > I got the impression from one of your previous mails that you tried updating > from CD. > > You have to start somewhere... ;-) As I recall it, I was trying to see what was to be found on the disk and I did not want to change or commit before getting that information... but, likeOBSD, I think it decided to do some writing to the disk - and I even got out of there fast by turning off the computer thinking that would abort things... stopping is sometimes rather slow. :-[ >>> Insert a USB thumbdrive and mount it. Copy the files to it, unmount. The >>> GENERIC kernel on the CD should have all the necessary drivers for this to >>> work. >>> Assuming that you're logged in as root, and that your USB drive is >>> recognized >>> as /dev/da0s1: >>> >>> mkdir /usbdrive >>> mount_msdosfs -m 644 -M 755 -l -o noatime -o sync /dev/da0s1 /usbdrive >>> # copy the files you need... >>> umount /usbdrive >>> >>> >> I'll try that; oddly, I was able to use my SanDisk 4gb cruzer before. >> Chuck it into usb, mount /dev/cd0 to /mnt and go to it. But now, for >> some strange reason it just wont mount. I'm getting messages that it's >> not readable - "g_vfs_done input output error" and attempt to query >> device size failed, medium may have changed. But the stick is fully >> insertable, readable, removable from XP; as it was on FBSD. Weird. >> > > You shouldn't be using the /dev/cd0 device. It is a virtual CD and should be > read-only. > But that is what is shown when the memory stick is inserted. And I did try da0 (if I recall correctly). Ok, I just did your little mount suggestion above, and glory be, Massah, it shore did work. :-) I really don't know how I ever got this far... > > >>> I don't understand what you mean by that? What do you mean by "doesn't act >>> the >>> same"? >>> >>> >> When turning on the computer, hit del and the bios setup comes on almost >> immediately on the 3ghz machine. On the 2.4 machine it takes much, much >> longer to start up (the monitor is Hitachi superScan Elite 812 on the >> 3ghz machine, hitachi CM751 on the 2.4ghz) and when del is pressed the >> bios goes through the entire scanniing process and then restarts before >> finally going into the bios... and the versions of the bios and the >> setup are both identical in nubers but, if I recall correctly, there are >> some minor differences in some of the more arcane options that I never >> even look at. And in general it always ran a bit sluggish. >> > > If the battery keeping the CMOS memory of the 2.4ghz machine has run out, the > bios won remember its settings and e.g. has to scan for harddisks etc. > > And settings like boot sequence, memory timing etc. can have a lot of > influence on boot time. > Now that's an unexplored corner of the PC... I'll replace it and let's see... I did have that problem many, many years ago - I don't recall what exatly it was, but I think the computer had kind of gone "dead" had to replace the battery and it worked. Can't even remember how I found the problem or if someone pointed me to it. > >>> I don't want to be rude, but you could have made a mistake somewhere. If >>> you're futzing around with disks and partitions it is quite easy to screw >>> something up. Even for people with lots of experience it is sometimes a case >>> of PEBKAC. :-) >>> >>> >>> >> I understand what you are saying and I don't take it to be rude at >> all... actually, I don't screw around with the disks and the >> partitions... I only try to read them to recover any files I may have >> lost. So far, I have had 100% success on recovering lost data that was >> important. >> Up to now, when I had problems with crashes, I just reinstalled >> everything, the OS, the programs loaded up the files that were recoverd >> and whoopie... keep on chugging along. I did exactly that on this last >> great effort - actually, it took a great deal of patience and >> application to install the 64bit FBSD with flashplugin on the portable >> and it took extreme patience to wait for all the updates and upgrades >> and the searching and figuring out just how to configure and set up the >> i386 on the 2.4ghz machine - and it all worked beautifully; >> > > This is _exactly_ why you need good backups. So that you don't have to > reinstall > everything again if something goes wrong. Blindly reinstalling is a windows > solution. > True enough. If I have a Windows problem - it's crash & trash - reinstall & have a ball. > For your systems that are running well, get an external harddisk that is at > least as big as the one in the machine. On my website I have explained how to > prepare this disk in somewhat greater detail: > http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/freebsd/index.html#usb > > Then use the dump(8) command to make > backups of the internal harddisk partitions and write them to the external > harddisk. Say that you have mounted the external harddisk at /mnt/backups. The > following command makes a backup of the entire root partition, and compresses > it to save space: > > dump -0 -a -C 8 -L -u -f - / |gzip -1 >/mnt/backups/root-20090813.gz > > If you have /usr, /var or /home set up as seperate partitions (which is a good > idea), make dumps of those in the same way. Make new dumps regularly, so you > don't loose too much data if you have to restore a broken system. You can use > the restore(8) program to restore individual files or up to the whole nine > yards from the backup. > > >> I was really >> happy that my ordeal was over and now I could get on with it. Not a nice >> way to wake up in the morning with the box sputtering out ... >> No, do not "futz around" - I have been doing my updates with portupgrade >> - compilin the ports is long and terribly boring - that's usually when I >> can write long e-mails ;-) and now I'm trying portmaster - but it is >> giving me a bit of heartburn - it seems to stumble over itself - the >> updates dont work too well. It seems, that when the updates span several >> releases, portmaster does not know what it's doing - I caught it >> upgrading to an older version when it aborted; and the dependencies seem >> to suffer from the same kind of behavious. >> > > If you are switching between major versions of FreeBSD (like from 6.x->7.2), > the upgrade tools like portmaster and portupgrade don't always work perfectly, > for technical reasons that I won't go in to. The only foolproof method in that > case is to delete all ports and reinstall them. > > For normal port updates, even between minor versions of FreeBSD it works very > well, _provided_ that you read /usr/ports/UPDATING and follow any special > instructions given there pertaining to ports that you use. Ignore those at > your peril. > > >> Make deinstall, make reinstall seems to be the best way... and then sit >> there and watch the screen expecting to suddenly have the compiling be >> interrruptted by the configuration scree. And that is often a pain... there >> are so many options that mostly have no direct meaning for me of use, for >> that matter. For example, ghostscript - do I really need it? I'm only using >> 1 printer and that is a postscript Xerox Phaser 8200 that has no driver in >> the ghostscript files. >> > > Being a postscript printer it doesn't need a ghostscript driver... But > ghostscript is required by CUPS (the cups-base port, to be precise). Among > other things to convert PDF to postscript. Note that you can configure > cups-base not to use ghostscript. > > >> And the same for gutenberg... and other >> dependencies - I suppose that some are needed for various >> implementations of different programs that call them... but that should >> really be default settings. And who uses the the new ipv6 stuff? >> > > Nobody is forcing you to change them. You can use portmaster's -G option to > prevent 'make config' from running. > But I use the config as there are some tweaks that are needed.
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