Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Architecture Consultant specializing in open source frameworks.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

How I recovered data from my failed Linux box

Yesterday, I decided to quit procrastinating and finish up my 2007 taxes once and for all. When I booted up QuickBooks on my XP box, it said it couldn't connect to drive Q. Drive Q is on my Linux box, which I discovered wasn't on. When I booted it, the screen showed an "Error 18" after the GRUB loading message. The resulted in several hours of grub-install and many other commands to no avail.

Since I hadn't messed with the box in almost a year, I didn't even know if it had Fedora or Suse installed on it. I had both disks lying around, so I tried the good ol' linux rescue with my Fedora disks. I was able to access the data, but had no luck in getting network connectivity or copying files to a USB drive.

Today I hoped for a different route: Live CDs. Yesterday, I discovered I was running Suse 10, so I downloaded a Suse 11 Live CD, burned it and booted. It worked, but I didn't have access to my hard drives and wasn't able to mount anything. Next up, I tried Knoppix, which allowed me to boot and access my hard drives. Unfortunately, I still didn't have any network access and my 2GB thumb drive didn't hold enough data.

Next, I pulled out a 250GB USB drive I had lying around. Knoppix recognized it, but was unable to format it for some reason. I plugged it into my XP box, used fat32format to format the drive as FAT32, and plugged it back into my Linux box. Success! I was able to copy all the data I needed and now I have the USB drive plugged into my Airport Extreme.

Hopefully if someone else runs into similar issues, they can use this post to find their path to success.

Posted in Open Source at Dec 11 2008, 02:02:29 PM MST 6 Comments