I broke my debian

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Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:40 pm UTC

I broke my debian

Postby stickler » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:49 pm UTC

I have two SSDs: one for Windows and one for Debian. I was worried about them affecting, infecting or corrupting each other so I only have one plugged in at a time (to change I power down, unplug SATA1 and then plug in SATA2).

This was little cumbersome but it worked until one day Debian refused to boot. Left unattended the system displays the 'insert boot media' message.

Pressing F11 (the choose boot device button) shows the drive, but does not show the thing that had debian in the description which was the one to select before. Does that mean the boot partition has gone?

I have stuff on the debian drive with I would like back. I would also like to have my system working.

Does anyone know where to start?

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Re: I broke my debian

Postby hotaru » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:31 am UTC

a good first step would be to try booting some sort of linux live cd (or usb) and seeing if you can mount the drive from that. if you can, try reinstalling the bootloader on the drive and see if that gets it booting.

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Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:40 pm UTC

I fixed my debian!

Postby stickler » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:00 pm UTC

Dear Future Me,

You are reading this beause you have somehow broken your debian again. This is what you need to do to fix it:
- Get a working Debian install usb stick and enter rescue mode. Try opening a shell in every partition until it works. When you get the default shell type "bash" and it will start to look familiar.
- SFTP everything you care about to somewhere safe. This time consider that copying /home/ will also copy the Trash folder and your steam library .
- Put rEFInd on a usb stick using Win32 Disk Imager.
- Boot into rEFInd and use it to boot Debian (it did appear to find the original EFI instructions).
- Blindly trusting the instructions on this page, type sudo grub-install '(hd0)' into the shell.
- Unplug USB stick and reboot.
- Document your success.

PS: I have no idea how this happened in the first place

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