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Thread: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

  1. #1
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    Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    I accidentally copied files into my boot sector. It is 512 mb and is full. Will not let me boot Elementary. How can I fix the boot sector? How do I delete and replace if that is the best way?

  2. #2
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    Do you have the Elementary install DVD or USB or any other Linuxx?
    Do you know how to create a mount point for the partition and mount it using a 'live' system?
    If you simply copied files to the wrong partition, why not just remove them? Or did you overwrite some boot files?

  3. #3
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    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    The files are in the partition which holds the EFI boot loader. I cannot get permission to change anything. I tried to iu increase the size of the partition and could not do that. I do have Elementary on USB and DVD. I also have Ubuntu 18.04 on DVD. I have been a user of Linux for more than 10 years, but this problem has me stumped.

    I believe I did not overwrite any files. I can get Elementary to work on my Virtualbox VM. It simply will not load to my hard drive as the boot sector is "full" according to an alert which comes up each time I boot the Ubuntu 18.04.

    Any suggestions will be deeply appreciated. Not sure I can "create a mount point for the partition and mount it using a 'live' system?"

  4. #4
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    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    How did you manage to "accidentally" copy files into the EFI or boot partition?

    You could only have done that either by acting as root with a sudo command in terminal or perhaps by using a file manager as root; I hope you were not logged in as root.

    Does Elementary even allow logging in as root by default or is it like Ubuntu where the root account is disabled by default?

    Finally, how many kernels are installed in your system? If you have added many new kernels without any being removed either manually by you or automatically by the system, there may be too many for the size of the partition.
    Let's see the output of terminal command df -hT which may help us more, and sudo ls -la /boot
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 20.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  5. #5
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    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    ajgreeny:

    I did the deed when I was making a USB to load Elementary using unetbootin. Missed the boot sector was selected by unetbootin. Not being careful.

    Here are the results of the commands you asked for:

    Code:
    bob@robert-VivoBook-ASUS:~$ sudo df -hT
    Filesystem     Type      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    udev           devtmpfs  1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /dev
    tmpfs          tmpfs     376M  2.0M  374M   1% /run
    /dev/mmcblk0p2 ext4      110G   58G   47G  55% /
    tmpfs          tmpfs     1.9G  202M  1.7G  11% /dev/shm
    tmpfs          tmpfs     5.0M  4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
    tmpfs          tmpfs     1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
    /dev/loop0     squashfs  9.2M  9.2M     0 100% /snap/canonical-livepatch/94
    /dev/loop2     squashfs   90M   90M     0 100% /snap/core/8268
    /dev/loop3     squashfs  3.8M  3.8M     0 100% /snap/gnome-system-monitor/127
    /dev/loop1     squashfs  4.3M  4.3M     0 100% /snap/gnome-calculator/544
    /dev/loop6     squashfs   15M   15M     0 100% /snap/gnome-characters/399
    /dev/loop4     squashfs   45M   45M     0 100% /snap/gtk-common-themes/1440
    /dev/loop5     squashfs  1.0M  1.0M     0 100% /snap/gnome-logs/81
    /dev/loop7     squashfs  161M  161M     0 100% /snap/gnome-3-28-1804/116
    /dev/loop8     squashfs   92M   92M     0 100% /snap/core/8689
    /dev/loop9     squashfs   55M   55M     0 100% /snap/core18/1668
    /dev/mmcblk0p1 vfat      511M  511M     0 100% /boot/efi
    tmpfs          tmpfs     376M   20K  376M   1% /run/user/121
    tmpfs          tmpfs     376M   28K  376M   1% /run/user/1000
    /dev/mmcblk1p1 ext4      117G  7.2G  104G   7% /media/bob/Memory
    
    
    bob@robert-VivoBook-ASUS:~$ sudo ls -la /boot
    total 108632
    drwxr-xr-x  4 root root     4096 Mar 16 16:23 .
    drwxr-xr-x 24 root root     4096 Mar 16 16:23 ..
    -rw-r--r--  1 root root   235810 Feb  3 08:07 config-5.3.0-40-generic
    -rw-r--r--  1 root root   235831 Feb 28 07:40 config-5.3.0-42-generic
    drwx------ 10 root root     4096 Dec 31  1969 efi
    drwxr-xr-x  5 root root     4096 Mar 16 16:23 grub
    -rw-r--r--  1 root root 41462198 Mar 14 11:48 initrd.img-5.3.0-40-generic
    -rw-r--r--  1 root root 41456176 Mar 16 16:23 initrd.img-5.3.0-42-generic
    -rw-r--r--  1 root root   182704 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+.bin
    -rw-r--r--  1 root root   184380 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+.elf
    -rw-r--r--  1 root root   184840 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+_multiboot.bin
    -rw-------  1 root root  4483816 Feb  3 08:07 System.map-5.3.0-40-generic
    -rw-------  1 root root  4485514 Feb 28 07:40 System.map-5.3.0-42-generic
    -rw-------  1 root root  9138424 Feb  3 08:11 vmlinuz-5.3.0-40-generic
    -rw-------  1 root root  9142520 Feb 28 07:41 vmlinuz-5.3.0-42-generic
    Hope this helps. I am stumped. Thank you for your kind help.
    Last edited by ajgreeny; March 17th, 2020 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Code tags

  6. #6
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    /dev/mmcblk0p1 vfat 511M 511M 0 100% /boot/efi
    Above is the EFI partition which shows as 100% full so you can simply navigate to /boot/efi in a terminal (cd /boot/efi) and remove the incorrect files, you need to use sudo as the files are owned by root.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2008
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    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    Yahcek:

    Got into the sector by using sudo...now I am not sure what files to delete. Do I delete everything but the EFI? Not sure how to proceed after getting into the files. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help this far. Much appreciated.

  8. #8
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    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    Post back here the output of sudo ls -la /boot/efi/EFI and we are more likely to be ale to tell you what can be deleted.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 20.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  9. #9
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    Oct 2008
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    33

    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    ajgreeny:

    Here is the output:

    bob@robert-VivoBook-ASUS:~$ sudo ls -la /boot/efi/EFI
    [sudo] password for bob:
    total 16
    drwx------ 4 root root 4096 Mar 6 22:10 .
    drwx------ 10 root root 4096 Dec 31 1969 ..
    drwx------ 2 root root 4096 Mar 13 12:21 BOOT
    drwx------ 3 root root 4096 Mar 6 22:11 ubuntu

    Thanks for your help on this. Much appreciated. And next time I use unetbootin I will be much more careful...measure twice and cut once as they say.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    5,887

    Re: Accidentally copied files into my boot sector which is now full

    The directories you show from the /boot/efi/EFI output are all standard directories expected to be there so would need to look in the various directories to see what is there. If you don't know what is expected, you could run the same command but show what is in the directories BOOT and ubuntu.

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