Recovering Superblocks.

The weekend started with a catastrophe. After the last crash of my workstation
the disklabel was messed up and it didn’t wanted to boot.
I tried to reinstall FreeBSD on the / partition, but that did’t help anything, fsck(8) threw out thousands of error messages and didn’t reconstruct the disklabel.
Being clueless what to do, I first started with my other Computer maintenance.
I extended huckfinn’s too small /var partition from 20MB to 500MB.
I exchanged the SCSI Controller for my CD Burner from the Dawicontrol UW Controller with a broken BIOS to a used Adaptec Controller that was built into Olga. Suprisingly the CD Burner was detected and I didn’t had to deal with Jumpers, Termination and SCSI IDs.
Now I plugged the Dawicontrol Controller into the last-but-one PCI Slot of Sauna and connected it with a spare 6GB UW Seagate HD. Again i jumpered everything right and I installed FreeBSD over an old Windows partition that was on the drive. After reading the fsck_ffs(8) manpage I tried fsck with the -b 32 option and that went well. So only the primary superblock was damaged. Now I just had to find a way to recover the original one. That was difficult, since most postings on the FreeBSD mailinglist said that fsck will do that automagically. But my fsck didn’t!
Since it was already late at night and I went to bed. After sleeping long and an extensive breakfast I tried some different search queries on Google.
And finally I found this thread.

dd if=<disk> skip=32 of=<disk> seek=16 bs=512 count=16

saved my life, everything is mountable again and most data was recovered.
Since I now have two disks in my workstation, I am going to share the diskload between the two drives and perhaps I should think about a better backup solution 🙂


Normally I don’t write about topics that are already mentioned in my favorite blogs, but today is an exception.
Yesterday evening when I went home I noticed that the rain feels quite snowy and today when I first looked out of the window everything is white and beautiful. Well at least when I look into the garden, the streets are brown and slushy.
I love the winter when i am wearing the appropriate clothing and the heating works.

New G4 iBooks

Apple announced new iBooks with a G4 Processor. Luckily I didn’t order a G3 iBook last week like i intended, since the new ones are in the same price category and hopefully faster. The new iBooks will be shipped with the new hyped Panther Mac OS X.
I also noticed that finally the ASUS AMD64 Mainboards are available in Vienna, so I could also buy a new Workstation. But actual I don’t have the time to setup 2 machines and to make the first steps with MacOS so i will have to wait some weeks….

Important Jubilee dates missed

I just noticed I missed two important dates:
Tuesday last week I completed my first year as a FreeBSD committer. It has been an impessing time. I spent a lot of time and learned a lot of stuff. Unfortunately at the moment I have to focus on university, so I doubt I can commit that much in the upcoming year…:-(
And yesterday I added my 40. blog entry. This is blog stuff is getting serious. I hope my english improves while writing the next 40 blog entries, so I don’t have to look up that many words on LEO.

Everybody has it.

Yeah I am a victim of group pressure. Because nearly every blog I am reading, has a GeoURL, I finally added the funky green button to this site.
Also I got my first Trackback URL, thanks Lauri. (No I still don’t understand the concept)

Laptop woes

Last week I dropped my Laptop from a table. Of course it fell on the WLAN card and the WLAN card nuked the PCMCIA Socket from the Mainboard. Luckily everything else still works. Now I can only communicate via the USB port.
So i bought an USB Ethernet adapter and an Wireless LAN adapter from Netgear. The Ethernet works with the FreeBSD axe(4) driver. To try Stuart Walshes atwi(4) driver with the WLAN adapter, I updated to CURRENT, which went suprisingly smooth. Unfortunately the Netgear MA111 doesn’t contain an Atmel Chipset like the MA101, so it doesn’t work. According to Google it uses a Intersil Prism chipset, so it should be possible to write a driver based on the wi(4) driver. Unfortunately I am bit short on time… (and lack any driver programming fu)

My gf got a new one!

Yesterday after I bought food for the weekend with my gf, I went to the local Computershop. While looking at the Laptops my gf fell in Love with an Acer Aspire.
I have to admit I like riccardo too. 2 GHz are really darn fast. Installing FreeBSD on it was a lot of fun…
As usual the modem didn’t work and additional X seems to require a CVS version. Someone please fix this bug, K THX :).

Mastering fdisk

I just fixed my filesystem problems on polly. The partition table was corrupted,
ad0s1 was moved to ad0s4 and three zerosized partitions were created before.
I moved my partion back to the start and now everything is fine again.
Now I just have to fix my broken cups on sauna to print various university stuff