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It always happens when you need to pee

Posted on | March 1, 2008 | No Comments

I’m in the process of trying to re-construct what’s left of my home directory. I did something extremely brainless today (I knew better) that went horribly wrong.

I noticed that I was rapidly running out of room on my root partition, when I did my initial install I just lumped everything into / , saved some room for LVM on both drives and figured I’d ‘deal with it later’. The biggest space hog was of course /home/tpost, so I figured I’d just move /home to another drive. No big deal. At this point, I kind of needed to pee, but not urgently, so I set out to move stuff. It was only 8 GB, not too bad.

All straight forward, <clickety click> lvcreate blah blah .. vgchange blah blah.. all set, ready to copy. Before I could stop myself, mv /home/* ./ had been issued. Stupid, stupid stupid. At this point I really needed to go to the bathroom.. but my inclination to start praying to every God that I could think of that my power was not interrupted while stuff moved kept me firmly in my chair.

Mid way through, you guessed it .. journal abort (read only FS), mv was in a tailspin and could not be killed, device mapper was throwing more printk’s than I could count and my bladder was really starting to complain. I was going to see a ton of uncommitted changes go to waste as well as many lengthy drafts that had not yet made their way into backup cycles. Not to mention some new public keys that were now in use on a few dozen machines. Crap.

I finally got mv to quit, it did its job and did not try to move stuff once jfs threw a journal abort. I tried issuing a umount which stuck in a tailspin that kill was not going to fix. Luckily, this was just spinning the secondary drive, I could still (sorda) use the first one. I moved everything I could find somewhere safe and pushed reset (my only choice). I was planning to just login as root, make a new /home, move all of my junk, remount it and all is well. At this time my back teeth were floating, I needed to see the thing boot, I could not leave it for long in a tailspin, so in my chair I was stuck.

Of course. gdm by default disables root login. Crap. I pushed re-set again, edited grub, single user, init right to bash (I really had to pee now, it was starting to hurt). CRAP, forgot to mount / rw, mount laughed at me since device mapper hadn’t started. O.k, reboot, do it again, edit gdm’s config, we’re good to go!

At this time, my eyes were starting to water. Ok, booting …. looking good.. CRAP! / has not been checked in 35 mounts, fsck forced … (I’m now in tears as this will take about 20 minutes, but its really needed and I needed to watch it).

Finally, three hours after my bladder was crying out in agony, I was able to go to the bathroom. I got most of my important files back, too :)

Moral of the story, pee first – then take your time :)

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