This document describes the steps I used to recover a disk crash on my laptop. My disc had some problems and most reiserfs filesystems were corrupted.
I hope this helps someone when recovering their system. It's not perfect but it worked for me so it can't be completely useless.
Try to boot the system in single user mode by typing
on the LILO prompt. Another way would be to pass LILO:
booting from a rescue disk or the Debian installer would also be a good idea if your root filesystem is corrupt.
Most of my partitions had problems so I had to run reiserfsck:
(substitute hda1 with the partition you want to check)
reiserfsck --check /dev/hda1
mount /dev/hda1 -o remount,ro
After you get your filesystems back in order you may be missing some files.
I was missing parts of apt and libc.
The tools you want working are apt and debsums.
I got the libc parts from the install cd (don't worry about correct versions, it just needs to be more or less compatible, we'll get to fixing that later).
If you are running from a rescue cd. you may want to do
to try out your system before you reboot.
Another useful thing I had was a backup of /etc and /var/lib (which of course I restored first).
cd / (or wherever your root filesystem is) ar x blah_i386.deb tar xvf data.tar.gz
First you need to know which packages are broken. This is where debsums comes in. First, you need to generate a list of packages debsums knows nothing about. To fetch all packages without stored md5sums and generate them do:
(for Ubuntu you need `debsums -l | grep -v dbgsym` instead) You can also configure debsums to automatically generate missing md5sums for newly installed packages (from version 2.0.7).
cd /var/cache/apt/archives apt-get --download-only --reinstall install `debsums -l` debsums --generate=keep,nocheck *.deb
This will run quite some time and produce all the packages that have modified or missing files. It should look something like:
debsums -s -a 2> /tmp/broken.log
You should probably review this list manually but you could also do:
... debsums: checksum mismatch zsh file bin/zsh4 debsums: no md5sums for kernel-headers-2.4.24-local debsums: can't open libglib1.2-dev file usr/lib/libglib.a (No such file or directory) ...
(all on one line)
sed -n 's/^.*\(checksum mismatch\|changed file\) \([^ ]*\) file.*$/\1/p;s/^.*t open \([^ ]*\) file.*$/\1/p' < /tmp/broken.log | sort -u > /tmp/broken.pkgs
apt-get --reinstall install `cat /tmp/broken.pkgs`
if you run into problems.
cat /tmp/broken.pkgs | xargs -n 10 apt-get --reinstall install