Category Archives: Technology and Society

Strange Computer Problem

When I started using the machine this morning, it seemed to be running like molasses in January. I tried rebooting, and it took forever to boot, and then wouldn’t let me log in. I fired up a clean Fedora from a stick, and fscked my drives. The /home hard drive had a lot of errors on it, that got fixed, but there was no problem with the SSD where my OS resides. Then I rebooted. It took a long time, but finally came up. Everything continues to load and run slow. Nothing seems to be bogging down the CPU, and there is plenty of free memory. Any ideas what the problem could be?

[Update a while later]

OK, I rebooted without mounting the hard drive. It seems to be running fine now. So I guess I need a new drive.

[Update early afternoon]

Well, this is fun. It won’t boot with the drive mounted, so I’m back to the Fedora on a stick, but I can’t find the logical volume where my fstab is to tell it not to mount the drive.

[Evening update]

I got the new drive, and started to dd the data from the old drive to it. The process died after about 2.7G, with an “i/o error.” How screwed am I?

[Update a couple minutes later]

I’m trying again, with a conv=noerror flag. I may not get everything, but hopefully most of it.

[Friday-morning update]

Well, it’s copying at 11MB/s. At that rate, it’s about a third of the way through, and won’t be done until tomorrow. I’m glad it wasn’t bigger…

[Friday-afternoon update]

So, after moving about 833GB, the process ground to a slow crawl, so I gave up on it, and am going to try ddrescue. I bought another drive to write the image to, but when I try to partition it, I get this message:

(parted) mkpart
Partition name? []? gpt
File system type? [ext2]? ext4
Start? 1.048
End? 1800000
Warning: You requested a partition from 1048kB to 1800GB (sectors
2046..3515625000).
The closest location we can manage is 1048kB to 1048kB (sectors 2047..2047).
Is this still acceptable to you?

It’s a 2-terabyte drive. What’s going on? (And yes, I do have the correct drive selected, /dev/sde).

[Update a few minutes later]

Never mind, I found the problem.

[Update]

OK, WTF now?

[root@localhost-live /]

# lsblk
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
loop0 7:0 0 1.8G 1 loop /run/media/liveuser/disk
loop1 7:1 0 7.5G 1 loop
├─live-rw 253:0 0 7.5G 0 dm /
└─live-base 253:1 0 7.5G 1 dm
loop2 7:2 0 32G 0 loop
└─live-rw 253:0 0 7.5G 0 dm /
sda 8:0 0 232.9G 0 disk
├─sda1 8:1 0 600M 0 part
├─sda2 8:2 0 1G 0 part
└─sda3 8:3 0 230G 0 part
├─fedora_localhost–live-home00
│ 253:2 0 10G 0 lvm
└─fedora_localhost–live-root00
253:3 0 220G 0 lvm
sdb 8:16 0 1.8T 0 disk
└─sdb1 8:17 0 1.8T 0 part
sdc 8:32 0 55.9G 0 disk
sdd 8:48 0 1.8T 0 disk
└─sdd1 8:49 0 1.8T 0 part
sde 8:64 0 1.8T 0 disk
└─sde1 8:65 0 1.6T 0 part /mnt
sdf 8:80 1 14.9G 0 disk
├─sdf1 8:81 1 1.9G 0 part /run/initramfs/live
├─sdf2 8:82 1 10.9M 0 part
└─sdf3 8:83 1 22.9M 0 part
zram0 252:0 0 4G 0 disk [SWAP]

[root@localhost-live /]

# umount /mnt

[root@localhost-live /]

# lsblk
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
loop0 7:0 0 1.8G 1 loop /run/media/liveuser/disk
loop1 7:1 0 7.5G 1 loop
├─live-rw 253:0 0 7.5G 0 dm /
└─live-base 253:1 0 7.5G 1 dm
loop2 7:2 0 32G 0 loop
└─live-rw 253:0 0 7.5G 0 dm /
sda 8:0 0 232.9G 0 disk
├─sda1 8:1 0 600M 0 part
├─sda2 8:2 0 1G 0 part
└─sda3 8:3 0 230G 0 part
├─fedora_localhost–live-home00
│ 253:2 0 10G 0 lvm
└─fedora_localhost–live-root00
253:3 0 220G 0 lvm
sdb 8:16 0 1.8T 0 disk
└─sdb1 8:17 0 1.8T 0 part
sdc 8:32 0 55.9G 0 disk
sdd 8:48 0 1.8T 0 disk
└─sdd1 8:49 0 1.8T 0 part
sde 8:64 0 1.8T 0 disk
└─sde1 8:65 0 1.6T 0 part
sdf 8:80 1 14.9G 0 disk
├─sdf1 8:81 1 1.9G 0 part /run/initramfs/live
├─sdf2 8:82 1 10.9M 0 part
└─sdf3 8:83 1 22.9M 0 part
zram0 252:0 0 4G 0 disk [SWAP]

[root@localhost-live /]

# mount /dev/sde1 /mnt

[root@localhost-live /]

# ddrescue -d /dev/sdb1 /mnt/test.img /mnt/test.logfile
GNU ddrescue 1.25
Press Ctrl-C to interrupt
Initial status (read from mapfile)
rescued: 0 B, tried: 0 B, bad-sector: 0 B, bad areas: 0

Current status
ipos: 0 B, non-trimmed: 0 B, current rate: 0 B/s
opos: 0 B, non-scraped: 0 B, average rate: 0 B/s
non-tried: 2000 GB, bad-sector: 0 B, error rate: 0 B/s
rescued: 0 B, bad areas: 0, run time: 0s
pct rescued: 0.00%, read errors: 0, remaining time: n/a
time since last successful read: n/a
Copying non-tried blocks… Pass 1 (forwards)

ddrescue: Error writing mapfile ‘/mnt/test.logfile’: No space left on device
Fix the problem and press ENTER to retry,
or E+ENTER for an emergency save and exit,
or Q+ENTER to abort.

************************************************

lsblk says it’s got 1.6 Terabytes. I just partitioned it. How can there be no space left on the device?

[Update a while later]

Yes, I forgot to format after petitioning…

[Saturday-morning update]

OK, so what does this mean?

[root@localhost-live /]

# ddrescue -d /dev/sdb1 /mnt/test.img /mnt/test.logfile
GNU ddrescue 1.25
Press Ctrl-C to interrupt
ipos: 1784 GB, non-trimmed: 43778 kB, current rate: 14680 kB/s
opos: 1784 GB, non-scraped: 0 B, average rate: 46776 kB/s
non-tried: 229778 MB, bad-sector: 0 B, error rate: 0 B/s
rescued: 1770 GB, bad areas: 0, run time: 10h 30m 51s
pct rescued: 88.51%, read errors: 668, remaining time: 1h 10m
time since last successful read: n/a
Copying non-tried blocks… Pass 1 (forwards)
ddrescue: Write error: No space left on device

**************************************************

So it rescued 88.51%. What does that mean, in terms of actual data recovery? It says it rescued 1770 GB, but I’m sure I didn’t actually have that much data (it was probably less than a terabyte). And why is there “no space left on device”?

Acme To Take Over As SLS Prime Contractor

March 1st, 2021

WASHINGTON (Routers) In a move that most of the aerospace industry found shocking, the Biden administration today announced that the Boeing Corporation was to be removed from its role as Prime Contractor for the troubled Space Launch System (SLS) contract and replaced in that position by the Acme Corporation, a diversified manufacturing company based in the southwestern United States.  The move came as a shock, given that Acme has no aerospace experience per se, although it does have a vast catalog, including a Rocket Motor Division based in Albuquerque, NM, which makes small solid-rocket motors used in various Acme products, such as rocket-powered sleds and roller skates.

Acme will now assume the overall management of the program, although it is expected to rebadge a large percentage of Boeing technical employees, and will begin negotiations with Boeing for them to remain as subcontractors on substantial portions of the program.  

Anticipating critical comment, White House spokesmen pointed out that Acme had a long history of use of solid-fuel rockets for crewed applications, “without loss of human life or serious injury” despite some less-than-fatal mishaps.  Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) vigorously denounced the decision, pointing to Acme’s long history of damaging consumer litigation concerning injuries sustained by users of Acme’s rocket products. “Just Google the term ‘Acme v. Coyote‘ and you will see that the pleadings in the litigation over this company’s mistakes have become a classic of the legal profession.” 

An Acme spokesperson responded that there was only one such litigant on record, and he seemed to be a classic vexatious one.  “The litigant, Mr. Coyote, is well known as an endurance athlete who pushes the envelope and takes chances most runners would consider unacceptable. He has also been injured numerous times in instances in which no Acme product was involved. And despite what were undoubtedly uncomfortable incidents, we note that he has never suffered permanent disability as a result of any of them, and in fact continues to perform as a long-distance runner at a high level. In fact, despite his age, he continues to hold the title of second-fastest runner in the southwest United States.”

The spokesperson also added, “It should be noted that Acme’s products have never killed anybody. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Boeing.”

[Post by James Bennett, so I don’t get the blame]

Fry’s

RIP.

I’ve seen this coming for a couple years, with the empty shelves, and going to a consignment business model. I don’t think it would have survived anyway, but the pandemic was the last nail in the coffin. It’s the end of an era.

[Thursday-afternoon update]

Bryan Preston remembers Fry’s. Our Fry’s was Tahitian themed. It was probably also the smallest store in the chain, perhaps because of real-estate prices in Manhattan Beach. It never carried appliances. If I wanted to have more selection, I had to drive to the ones in Commerce, Canoga Park, or Fountain Valley.

[Bumped]