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System wont boot

Posted on 2002-04-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
okay, I have a Solaris 8 system that won't boot anymore.
when attmepting to boot it says:

boot device: disk:a
/sbin/rcS:  /.tmp_proto: does not exist
/sbin/rcS: /sbin/mem: not found
/sbin/rcS: test: argument expected
INIT: Cannot create /var/adm/utmpx
INIT: failed write of utmpx entry:"  "
INIT: failed write of utmpx entry:"  "

The machine was rnning fine until I inadvertantly erased the contents of /var/sadm/pkg  
I replaced the /var/sadm/pkg with the data I found on the CD and now I cannot get it to boot.

Any suggestions on how to fix this without having to reload the OS?

Question by:carydb
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 6951601
My suspicion is that you did more than just delete the contents of /var/sadm/pkg or that your attempt to restore that directory has damaged other things. I don't believe you'd get those boot errors even if /var/sadm/pkg was completely missing.

What else did you do before/after the accident with the pkg dir?

Author Comment

ID: 6951611
I attempted to add Recommended patches.  That is how I ended up deleting that directory.  Nothing else was done.  When the system boots into single user mode, all file systems are read only.
I thought it was the unzipped directory of patches and I did an rm -rf before I realized I was in the wrong window.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 6951665
When you say that you attempted to install the Recommended Patch cluster does that mean that you invoked the installation and it aborted or had some other problem? If that's the case then more than likely you have a partial installation of patches and that may not have left the system in a state that it can run.

In what directory were you when you did the rm -rf?
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Author Comment

ID: 6951808
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 6951937
What about the other question in that comment? Did part of the patch installation start or complete?
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 6952622
I think you might end up have to reinstall or run an upgrade install to the system.

Expert Comment

ID: 6952875
Reinstall. You did not read how to patch your system and now have to pay the newbie toll :-)
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 6963194
it's interesting how one could react; I would personally just put in the cd, and reinstall.  But it's best to follow the thread, as what jlevie's is getting.  It's very interesting to know, what is actually happen that render the box unbootable.

I would have suspected that the "rm -rf" is done, at root (/), since that's where user root tend to be (homedir).  And personally, I did went into the same scenario.  Pulling hairs for a few hours, then reinstall.  It was Solaris 7 by the way.

no offense guys.
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

jlevie earned 800 total points
ID: 6963378
You can also wind up with a non-bootable system if you start the installation of a Recommended Patch Cluster and abort it part way through (like when you see that there's not enough free space). What can happen in that case is that part of the patches are installed, but not all. If something that has been patched needs something else to have been patched, that hasn't yet been bizarre things can happen. Most of the time this won't occur, but it is possible (you can guess how I know that).

Author Comment

ID: 6963652
It was during patching and I tried to run a patchadd and it was failing with strange return messages. It was saying that there is no space in /var/sadm/pkg.  df -k was not reporting so I found that the executable was 0 bytes. I am now wondering if patchadd was using df to assertain the free space, since it tried to say there was no space.
So the recommended patches went fine, but a second set of patches did not complete.

I have reinstalled the operating system.

All of you guys are a great source of help and I agree that it is good to understand what happened.  I have added this little thing to my book of No-No's and paid the "newbie" toll  

Thanks for all your comments.  Jlevie, i will award the points to you as you followed this all the way through for me.
Thanks much.  

LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 6963734
I believe that patchadd does use df as a free space check. So if something happened that prevented df from executing and reporting correct data then patchadd would fail.

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