Ubuntu Troubles: Lost write access to root filesystem

Recently, I was in class and, after a suspend, I lost write access to my root filesystem on my eeepc 1000h. This was a really pernicious problem, because I couldn’t do anything to save my notes. It was a very difficult problem to get help with in #ubuntu on IRC and I had to get my hands more dirty than I normally like. More confirmation that linux is amazing, but not really ready for the average desktop user.

After trying some websearch, I turned to #ubuntu on IRC for some help where I was helped by jrib, and RussM. After some discussion with them, it became clear that I needed to boot from a rescue CD and run fsck.

As I couldn’t even log on to the filesytem, the first thing I had to do was to make a boot disk using my usb drive.

Per the directions on, http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/node/21, I typed:

tim@Lincoln:~$ sudo apt-get install syslinux
/dev/sda1 on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
/dev/sdb1 on /media/disk type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=hal,shortname=mixed,uid=1000,utf8,umask=077,flush)
/dev/scd0 on /media/cdrom0 type udf (ro,nosuid,nodev,utf8,user=tim)

I noted that /dev/sdb1 seemed to be the usb drive so I typed:

tim@Lincoln:/dev$ sudo syslinux /dev/sdb1

Now I needed to get a copy of the “Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix disk” available at http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/

tim@Lincoln:~/tmp$ wget http://rescubuntu.info/files/iso/ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
--2009-02-22 11:31:27--  http://rescubuntu.info/files/iso/ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
Resolving rescubuntu.info...
Connecting to rescubuntu.info||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 164347904 (157M) [text/plain]
Saving to: `ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso'

100%[======================================>] 164,347,904  340K/s   in 8m 3s   

2009-02-22 11:39:31 (333 KB/s) - `ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso' saved [164347904/164347904]

tim@Lincoln:~/tmp$ md5sum ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
ef32541cb6f33dbe9840a9bc56e7cb27  ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
tim@Lincoln:~/tmp$ cd mnt/isolinux
tim@Lincoln:~/tmp/mnt/isolinux$ cp * /media/disk/
tim@Lincoln:~/tmp/mnt/isolinux$ cd /media/disk/
tim@Lincoln:/media/disk$ ls
boot.cat   isolinux.bin  isolinux.txt  ldlinux.sys  System
Documents  isolinux.cfg  LaunchU3.exe  splash.rle
tim@Lincoln:/media/disk$ mv isolinux.cfg syslinux.cfg

Now, I ejected the flash drive and placed it into my left (<– important) usb drive on my eeepc. By holding F2 during startup, I set my boot options to boot first off of the CD. After startup, however, I was presented with the normal grub menu and booting to ubuntu produced the previous error.

Please comment if you have any suggestions as I press forward with this problem. I’ll update and inform the world with what I find.

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