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Thread: Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    6

    Unhappy Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

    The computer has an old version of Ubuntu (11.04) that I need to upgrade, after I do a file backup. Previously, another Absolute Beginner (who's even more green) had been using the machine, and told me that it failed to boot up at some point.
    Instead of booting, it displayed this screen:
    * Starting MTA speech-dispatcher disabled; edit /etc/default/speech-dispatcher [OK]
    * Starting Bluetooth * PulseAudio configured for per-user sessions saned disabled; edit /etc/default/saned
    * Enabling additional executable binary formats binfmt-support [OK] Starting smfpd daemon…done Process smfpd [1511] is running [OK]
    Checking battery state... [OK]

    (It lags here and doesn't boot.)

    After that, there were several other malfunctions:
    I had to use Ctrl-Alt-Delete and do hard reboots to make it boot. I don't know if that might have damaged the filesystem.
    I couldn't save changes to files. For example, when I tried to edit and save a text file, it said that there wasn't enough disk space to save the file -- "Please free some disk space and try again."
    When I looked at the Disk Usage Analyzer, it showed that the directory /var was taking up 89% of total filesystem capacity.
    I looked at the System Monitor, and the System Status showed "Available disk space: 0 bytes".
    Whenever I looked at the Properties of files, there was a huge discrepancy between the total size of files Vs. "Size on disk". E.g. the directory /home had "Size on disk" listed as 35 GB, but Total size of files was only listed as 4.3 GB.
    I ran a Memory test, but after 4+ hours, it still wasn't complete.
    At the Recovery Menu, I tried "clean" to try to make free space, but nothing happened. Also, none of the other options on the menu were functional, including failsafeX.
    Now, the machine no longer boots. When I type Ctrl-Alt-F1 or -F2, I get a screen that allows me to log in and type commands, but I don't know what to type. If anyone can help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
    Last edited by comp3000; September 14th, 2012 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Scripting was disabled

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Oblivion
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

    Welcome to the forums.

    You may have more luck with this if you edit it for clarity (e.g. paragraphs) because currently nearly unreadable. Cheers and good luck.

    Code can be placed in code tags by clicking 'Go Advanced' and using the # icon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Beans
    6,024

    Re: Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

    Connect a external drive with free space to the pc, boot a livecd, backup all the files you need to the external drive, format & reinstall.

    You do not intent keeping the current OS so I see no point in trying to fix it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Beans
    6

    Re: Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

    Thanks for answering.
    To Bucky: I just realized I had scripting turned off...
    To mips: Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think my external flash drive has enough space, and I'd like to see if I can boot by entering some commands.
    Last edited by comp3000; September 14th, 2012 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Clarification

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Research Triangle, NC
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

    Can you run:

    df -a

    Perhaps that will show us where all the space is going? Oh, cut and paste the results to this thread.
    from nowhere, and yes it hurts
    ASUS M3A32MVP wifi, Thermalake BigO2/760i
    AMD Phenom 9850 (black) Quad 3.2GHz, full SSD
    4GB RAM, 4TB, APC, in Thermaltake Level 10 GT ATX

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    South Africa
    Beans
    2,098
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

    I suggest that you boot into recovery mode and drop to a root shell. Next run apt-get clean to clean the cache with updates and installed programs (this does not remove programs or updates, just cleans the cache)
    Next run fdisk -l (lower case L), df -h and du -h --max-depth=1 / and post the results (between [code] and [/code]).
    Last edited by Wim Sturkenboom; September 14th, 2012 at 12:19 PM.
    If you don't make backups of your important data, your data is obviously not important to you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Research Triangle, NC
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Can't boot anymore after a series of malfunctions

    Be aware, max-depth might not be available in your distro, not sure. However, df -a will give us more than enough.

    Code:
    ~$ df -h --max-depth=1
    df: Unbekannte Option »--max-depth=1«
    „df --help“ gibt weitere Informationen.
    The apt-get clean is a good idea, definitely try that.
    from nowhere, and yes it hurts
    ASUS M3A32MVP wifi, Thermalake BigO2/760i
    AMD Phenom 9850 (black) Quad 3.2GHz, full SSD
    4GB RAM, 4TB, APC, in Thermaltake Level 10 GT ATX

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