Category Archives: Linux

If a graphic designer comes up to you…

and it looks like somebody kicked his dog, don’t worry. Knoppix can fix it. I had said GD come up to me and tell me his flash drive wasn’t being recognized by windows on his machine and he had some photo’s on it from a trip last year he hadn’t backed up (lecture on that followed later). He wanted to know if there was anything I could do. I told him to leave the drive with me and I’d see what I could do.

So I popped our trusty friend, Knoppix 5.0.1, into the drive of my work laptop and rebooted. At the knoppix prompt:
knoppix: knoppix 2 dma

This will boot knoppix and dump you onto the console. I plugged the drive in and got a few errors about no partition table, but it was able to recognize the device info. It listed the device as /dev/sda. This led me to believe that the first section of the flash memory had finally died due to extended use (Flash memory does have a finite number of writes before it fails). So the first thing I did, being that it was only 256mb was take a raw dump of the drive to work on. The laptop has enough memory in it that the ramdrive is big enough to hold this. Other options are to the hard drive in the machine if it’s formatted with a FS that knoppix can write to or an external hard drive/flash drive. If you’re writing to a fat32 drive, anything over 2.0gb will be problematic.

root@knoppix# cd /home/knoppix
root@knoppix# dd_rescue /dev/sda rawdump

The first line moved our working directory to the ramdrive, the second one invokes the raw dump. During this time, you will most likely see errors scroll across the screen. Eventually, dd_rescue will get to a good part of the drive, and you will motor through. At this point, we can run photorec on the file.

root@knoppix# photorec rawdump

This will launch photorec and tell it to use the dump we’ve taken from the drive. Follow the onscreen prompts, and it will analyze the dump file looking for files that match the type you specified and put them in a recovery folder. At this point you can copy the recovery folder to a flash drive/hard drive/across the network.

At this point you burn the files to cd, have the graphic designer almost cry, then you lecture them about backing their shit up.

Day 2 of what I believe to be a 12 day break

I have spent all morning playing Wii Bowling.  I took my Mii, who’d never bowled before from 0 to pro.  I’ve now managed two 200+ games.

I fear I must actually do something with today or I will feel rather… unhappy with myself.  So that something is going to be installing working on a spam filter for my main mail server.  The time has come. Details to follow of what I do.

Sweet Jesus

After a few weeks of living without a 3d accelerated X server, I’ve finally got it resolved.

# m-a a-i nvidia-kernel
# depmod -ae
# apt-get install nvidia-glx

Then edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to use the nvidia driver inplace of nv.

I’ve also upgraded Carla’s machine to the new Ubuntu last night/this morning. At this rate, I might even fix my keymap too!

Edit: I should add that I’d pegged my kernel to 2.6.16 because I hadn’t found the newer releases of ivtv for my Tuner card, and as I was using a debian binary kernel, but had upgraded everything else, including gcc, it complained everytime I tried to fix it.  Apparently the solution was open my eyes, breath a little, relax, and let it do it’s thing properley.  The above really isn’t that magical.

Weekend Fun

So the datacenter is preparing to move from the 9th floor of the building to the basement, where they’ll have more space, better power infrastructure, better AC, etc etc etc. Part of the prep for that happened Friday evening.  They shut down between 2 and 5 to do god knows what. What I do know:

  1. Tank refused to boot due to a cooked CPU Fan
  2. Dozer came online without too much of an issue, but the suspended VMs didn’t.
  3. Apoc refused to boot the Xen-ified kernel.  This took the most amount of time to fix, and it ended up being due to a kernel update that came down with the same package name as what I’d installed before.  It is known to be broken, and apparently they’re not planning on fixing it.
  4. They moved two of the AC units to the basement where they will sit unused for the next month, while everything slow-cooks itself to death in the existing facility.

I guess for the full move in December I may need to plan some maintenance for my rigs. I just need to keep telling myself this is fun. It’s a fun hobby. It’s a fun hobby.