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I had my Ubuntu Server 12.04 running for a few weeks until today, when power cut happened.

Since then it's not starting, monitor is displaying unsupported resolution message (there is no GUI support installed on the server, it is supposed to boot into text mode). No services are started and therefore no remote connection is available.

HW seems to be undamaged, I can access BIOS, also live Ubuntu distribution is running well. Even the system drive looks fine, I can access all the files so I made a full backup. I tried to check syslog, but there are no new records.

Can you give me an advice how to get it running back? Drive partition is made through LVM.

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closed as too localized by TFM, Nifle, Renan, Dave M, wizlog Feb 22 '13 at 21:46

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backup /etc and ~, reinstall, put files back in place? –  twall Feb 22 '13 at 19:27
    
...and what if it will happen again next week? –  freex Feb 22 '13 at 19:31
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If you're experiencing power cuts too often, you could get an UPS. Then it won't happen again "next week". –  TFM Feb 22 '13 at 19:43
    
No I don't. And that's not the problem I'm trying to solve now... –  freex Feb 22 '13 at 19:47
    
@freex Then why are you worried about it happening again next week? –  Kazark Feb 22 '13 at 20:31

1 Answer 1

If you are able to boot a live CD, do the following:

  1. back up /etc, /var/backup, /var/log/dpkg.log, /home (if needed) and any data you may have in other places. No need to bother backing up the programs otherwise, unless you installed something not under package management (usually ends up in /opt).
  2. if you get the chance you can try to chroot into the existing system from a rescue CD (the installation media should work fine):
  3. run a stock installation of Ubuntu Server (same bitness!)
  4. Now two options exist to get back the original configuration
    • if you had a pretty much stock installation before, you may get away with completely overwriting /etc with your backup contents now.
    • otherwise you will have to merge your old configuration into the new configuration.

For the future I can also recommend that you install and activate the etckeeper package as it ensures through apt hooks that before installations and after installations the changes to /etc are committed to version control (by default bzr on Ubuntu). It has saved my neck many times over - if just to verify what change broke a certain function ...


One more thing would be sensible for your machine, to make it less dependent on a particular resolution (i.e. simply have it use the lowest one in GRUB). Adjust the file /etc/default/grub to uncomment the line (i.e. remove the #):

#GRUB_TERMINAL=console

and get the old 80x25 console resolution. The run sudo update-grub.

On some machines this was the only possibility to get any visible output. Other than that GRUB offers the ability to throw its output to the serial port, so does the kernel. Use it. Some BIOSes also do ...

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