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Mint Linux, unable to unmount a disk as root!


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#1 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:39 PM

Ok, here's the story:
I found that Sabayon Linux Live. worked in this machine, so I installed it. As a short time progressed, I started getting popups that the 1TB HD had disk problems.  I wanted to verify this, so in an external DVD drive, I placed a 64-bit Mint live version in the machine, and I unplugged the external USB 1TB.  When I was sure Mint Linux had taken over, I re-plugged in the 1TB hard drive with Sabayon Linux in it's contents.

I then found where the Firefox was located and started it in one of the virtual desktops. Then I searched for "Konosole", and activated it. I went into the "Konsole" and tried to "unmount -f /dev/sdb1".  Mint told me that I wasn't root, so I couldn't unmount anything! Next, I used Firefox to go to the Mint web sited, and found out that there was no password involved and only mint as the user name. Went back to the "Konsole", and established myself as "root".  Again, I tried to unmount /dev/sdb1, and it kept on telling me that it can't do that because the "device is busy", and I couldn't un-busy it as root! I then tried to 'umount -f /media./*. again, I got the same response! No love there!

My goal:
I realize that my hair is getting gray, but things like this is accelerating the process! I simply want to unmount Sabayon Linux, and then run e2fsck on the hard drive to verify whether it is good or bad. Simple as that! Why are things getting so complicated as to make what used to be simple that much harder? Mint automatically mounts the hard drives that it recognizes. This time, I don't need that process. I don't want to clobber the integrity of the 1TB hard drive should it be okay, and that it might be Sabayon that's giving me false errors.

Another thing that bothers me. Now, when a hard drive is mounted in /media, instead of simply identifying it as "/dev/sdxx, we get hit with huge sets of numbers. With those large numbers, how can I identify what the numerical value of the hard drive that I'm dealing with? Where do I find where the value of /dev/sdx is? How do I identify one hard drive from another? It seems that I've had to do a lot more extensive research to find with hard drive that I'm dealing with now. And that's a waste of time.

In my setup, only Windows is in an internal hard drive. Linux, in an external USB port in a HD docking station. and occasionally, I use external DVD/BD drives in a USB port. No dual-booting from the same hard drive. And so, this sometimes complicates the act if identifying  which hard drive owns which identity.

Another question:
If MINT is "libre", and were I deciding to install it, how and where do I go/do to install the "proprietary" drivers that I need to function normally? Do I have to go way out of my way and bust my a.. to find and install them?

I hope that I can get the answers to this. I need aspirin, to take care of my headache. When this is over I'll know whether Sabayon is unstable, or the hard drive is deffective. I went through a  lot of OS"s to find one that works in this machine. Hope I don't have to start that process all over again.

Cheers!

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#2 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:35 PM

Just real quick...

You can't unmount a partition that you are accessing with ANY application. In other words, if you have that partition opened and viewing it within say Thunar or Nautilus, you won't be able to unmount because the app is using the mounted partition. Close all apps/windows accessing the partition, cd out of it if you're in the command line, then try umount.

All those numbers you're talking about are UUID numbers. That distro does not use the old /dev/sdx nomenclature. It's using drive UUIDs instead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universally_unique_identifier

I'll be back to check on you later...

~Eric
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#3 OFFLINE   burninbush

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:41 PM

I then found where the Firefox was located and started it in one of the virtual desktops. Then I searched for "Konosole", and activated it. I went into the "Konsole" and tried to "unmount -f /dev/sdb1". Mint told me that I wasn't root, so I couldn't unmount anything! >onederer

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ahhh ... I don't understand what you did there -- found Firefox on what distro?  If you have anything at all opened on the drive you want to unmount, then you can't umount it.  

I keep at hand a few livecds like SystemRescue and Pmagic and Puppy for problems like this -- when you boot those you will be root with no BS involved.   I frankly won't use a distro that makes me jump through hoops to become root.  That's more protection than I want.

And for the drive you want to fsck, just don't mount it at all.  I understand that maybe your live distro could have automounted it, but if you don't open any files on it then you should be able to umount it.

Edit:  yes, re UUID numbers -- you don't have to use those, in the situation you are in.  Issue an #fdisk -l command to see what is the /dev/sdxx drive name you just plugged in, then create your own new mount point and manually mount the partition.  

#mkdir /mnt/my-sdb1
#mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/my-sdb1

And then you will know where it is mounted without the hassle of UUID numbers.  

Edited by burninbush, 03 March 2012 - 10:45 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:54 PM

I agree with burninbush, use a Parted Magic LiveCD. When you run it the mount tool is on the taskbar. Click it and either mount or unmount to your heart's desire. GParted on the desktop to help find which drive is which, but you shouldn't need it, the mount tool is pretty clear and does use the /dev/sdx system.
The terminal is on the taskbar and ready for you to run your fsck command.
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#5 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:08 PM

Greetings!

Erick: I'm aware of not trying to access a mounted hard drive, and running an app from that location. Especially when I need it to be unmounted so I can run "e2fsck" on it from an external OS, in this case, namely, MINT. Otherwise I won't be able to determine whether it is the OS or  the hard drive that is defective.
As far as the UUID numbers, they are a real pain (your know where).  Let me see you remember that whole list of numbers. And I assume that the UUID number pertains to the entire hard drive?  And now, the drive is mounted in "/media/" as the UUID number.  Now, is that user friendly? So this requires another would-be unnecessary step, just to find out what is the /dev/sdb?? is.

To Mr. Burningbush: I went through all the MINT's files to find Firefox, so I could go on MINT's web site, to find out what passwords were needed to get along with the MINT's live version's requirements. I wanted to do this to ease my pain by becoming 'root' in Mint, and perhaps unmount /dev/sdb1's partition. This should have allowed me to run "e2fsck" (mint reported that it couldn't find "e4fsck") on the USB connected 1TB HD. But no matter what I did, MiNT had chains tied to that hard drive, and would not release it, even if I was root, was not using any files from Sabayon OS, and had automatically mounted it (with UUID#, yuck!).

Used the partition application provided in MINT, since it also has a unmount command, But it too, had a conspiracy with MINT. It wouldn't unmount Sabayon Linux OS (/dev/sdb1). I was frustrated, and it didn't occur to me to use fdisk to find the /dev/sd??.  Thank you for that.  But again, another useless layer that should not be there, so a simple command like "e2fsck" could be run.

I can understand using a rescue disk to possibly achieve my goal.  But AFIK, puppy is not a  rescue disk, is it? Does it automatically mount external partitions when it is started? Automounting is a nice feature for normal usage, but not for troubleshooting. Also I read so many praises about MINT on this web site, I thought that it could possibly be ideal for the simple task that I wanted to achieve. Guess that I was wrong!

BTW, if I ever get to find out if the Sabayon OS is defective, or if it's the hard drive, I was thinking of using MINT next to replace it.  After all, it works in live mode, why not in installation, perhaps? Anyway, if that comes to be the case, I'll have upcoming questions about MINT, before I make a final commitment.

Do you all agree with me? Should I dump MINT for testing out /dev/sdb1? And possibly use a rescue disk instead?  Can you promise me that the rescue disk will easily allow me to become 'root'? Will that rescue CDROM, NOT automatically mount external hard drives' partition?  Will it make me jump hoops because of UUID's, in order to find out what the /dev/sdb?? is for that particular rescue OS? Or will that rescue OS, simply use the /dev/sdb?? as the drive's designation  information?

Unless you know why MINT is treating me as if I was or have a file open on the Sabayon hard drive to be tested, and how to overcome that, I will have to look for other means for testing /dev/sdb.  Oh, and another question, if I issue the command "eject", which a USB hard drive can't be ejected, would that be the same as un-mounting unwanted partitions? And then, could I proceed with e2fsck?

Thanks!  Cheers!

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#6 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:26 PM

If you are having these kinds of problems using Mint for simple diagnostics and repair job, you should use a distro designed for the task.

I highly recommend PartedMagic, download the image and make a LiveUSB with Unetbootin (or burn a CD). You are golden. No handcuffs, no chains, no hoops. All the tools you need.
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#7 OFFLINE   burninbush

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

QUOTE (onederer @ Mar 4 2012, 07:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And possibly use a rescue disk instead?  Can you promise me that the rescue disk will easily allow me to become 'root'? Will that rescue CDROM, NOT automatically mount external hard drives' partition?  Will it make me jump hoops because of UUID's, in order to find out what the /dev/sdb?? is for that particular rescue OS? Or will that rescue OS, simply use the /dev/sdb?? as the drive's designation  information?

Thanks!  Cheers!

So ... I have just now booted both Puppy and Pmagic -- when those come up, and you open a terminal window, you are root, no foolishness required.  Neither distro mounts any partitions whatever, unless you specifically ask it to do that [both have nice gui utils to mount with, when you want to].  Neither distro uses UUID to name devices.  Both have a bunch of different fsck utils.  Pmagic includes Firefox, and is intended for partition work and rescue and backup work.  I would start with that one, about 180mb size.  It copies itself to memory and then ejects the cd-r so you can use the drive for other stuff.  Just go to www.distrowatch.org and get the latest one they offer.   http://sourceforge.net/projects/partedmagi...27.iso/download



#8 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:26 PM

Thanks, I guess that it will be my next step to use one of those rescue OS's, and then possibly be able to use "e2fsck"! Then maybe I can find out if the problem is the hard drive (1st time it is used), or if that Sabayon OS is defective.  If the drive is okay, and Sabayon's, bad, I don't look forward to again start shopping for an OS that works in this machine. Oh boy! Here's hoping!
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#9 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:14 AM

Hoping along with you onederer. Keep us posted. smile.gif
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#10 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:45 AM

+1 for using PartedMagic.

I've started using LABELS for partitions. It makes identifying them much easier, and you can even use the label in fstab. eg:
CODE
LABEL=HOME     /home                ext3    defaults        1 2
LABEL=green-media /mnt/media-wdgreen ext2 noauto,users,noatime  0 0
LABEL=backup-wdgreen /mnt/backup-wdgreen ext2 noauto,users,noatime  0 0

Much more info at http://tldp.org/HOWTO/html_single/Partition/ Section 6.
You can set the label when you make a partition in GParted, or do it later with e2label or tune2fs -L.

Another trick I use is to make all partitions a different size, so they are easily identifiable by size.
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#11 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:02 PM

Thanks guys!  Unfortunately, the whole Sabayon OS unravelled after I finished our conversation. I had already spent a lot of time at this, and the time came to move on. I had to capitulate, and make a decision.  Since MINT worked well as a LIVE version, I took the gamble of installng it. It seems to work ok so far, since I've finishd putting in the tweaks and upgrades that are needed. What I've found dis-concerning is that Firefox seems to have a dimentia problem. It's as if it has drifted off somewhere in the clouds, and is not paying attention to the job. Using "Ctrl +", doesn't reduce or increase the text, then all of a sudden, it will perform the task. By that time, I've probably typed on the buttons a few times, and then end up with elephant-size fonts, which are not visible on the screen.

Before giving up on Sabayon, I executed the command "eject". That was it, that Sabayon OS was gone, and no longer recognized by the rescue disk. At that stage, I didn't care anymore. I do know now that ejecting an OS, really kills the connection, even if the plug is still inserted. I thought of pulling the USB plug and re-inserting it in again, but then, I assumed that the external hard drive would be once more mounted.

So now I'm off to a different set of problems. Hope that I can somehow cure this Firefox dimentia thing. It is still happening as I'm typing this. It will stop typing, and suddenly start up again, or the chosen text size misses the bus, and eventually catches up.

Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

Cheers!
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#12 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

You have some weird issues going on with that system. If it were me, I'd...


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#13 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

Well, I nuked Sabayon, but I need a break! Hope I don't also have to nuke this MINT!

Found some problems with MINT's Firefox. Anytime that FF needs to access the server, or a website, the browser freezes up, until it gets a response. And we're not talking about mere seconds. Also I investigated some music sites. Got one running, and now I can't turn if off unless I shut-down the browser. I'm on other web sites at the moment, and that music is still blasting out!

I'm still trying out other features in this OS. It will take me a while to check out the whole thing.
I found out this morning that this MINT version  DEBIAN based, and it's supposed to be Gnome. I don't see anything that resembles GNOME.  I did find a lot of KDE files, but not KDE itself.

Cheers!
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#14 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:21 PM

You're slipping further and further into the Twilight Zone, Onederer.

Nuke it ALL. Install something new. Slackware, maybe. wink.gif
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#15 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:51 PM

QUOTE (V.T. Eric Layton @ Mar 6 2012, 07:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're slipping further and further into the Twilight Zone, Onederer.

Nuke it ALL. Install something new. Slackware, maybe. wink.gif


Hi,

I need time to recover.  I appreciate your suggestions. However, I don't think it will be Slackware. The last time I dealth wth that OS, I nearly got ulcers, chasing down missing dependencies. I really want to be a user, instead of being a Linux Mechanic.

Cheers!
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#16 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:57 PM

QUOTE (onederer @ Mar 6 2012, 07:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi,

I need time to recover.  I appreciate your suggestions. However, I don't think it will be Slackware. The last time I dealth wth that OS, I nearly got ulcers, chasing down missing dependencies. I really want to be a user, instead of being a Linux Mechanic.

Cheers!


FUDUNTU

QUOTE
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The Fuduntu Difference:

    The latest stable Linux Kernel (3.2.9)
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A few of the default packages found in Fuduntu:

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    VLC
    Adobe Flash (licensed)
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    Infinality Freetype
    Nautilus Elementary
    Jupiter


Might be worth a look.  cool.gif
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#17 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

QUOTE (onederer @ Mar 6 2012, 06:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi,

I need time to recover.  I appreciate your suggestions. However, I don't think it will be Slackware. The last time I dealth wth that OS, I nearly got ulcers, chasing down missing dependencies. I really want to be a user, instead of being a Linux Mechanic.

Cheers!


HAHA! Nothing wrong with that sentiment. There are lots and lots of great distributions out there.  As we've been suggesting to rpiz on another thread here, find the shoe that fits best and wear it.

Have FUN!

Keep us posted. smile.gif

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#18 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:41 PM

QUOTE (V.T. Eric Layton @ Mar 6 2012, 09:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
HAHA! Nothing wrong with that sentiment. There are lots and lots of great distributions out there.  As we've been suggesting to rpiz on another thread here, find the shoe that fits best and wear it.

Have FUN!

Keep us posted. smile.gif


My shoes are worn out from searching.  Still looking for  the best fit!

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#19 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:08 PM

Ah... longing for the simple good ol' days or MS Windows when you had NO choices available? wink.gif
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