black screens and fat32 and fsck, oh my...

Andrew B lightmoogle at
Fri Oct 31 23:25:55 PST 2003

Note1: my consoles (alt-F[1-8]) are currently black. By black, I mean they 
show nothing. The monitor shows no picture and after a few seconds it will 
go into power saving mode. Oddly, when in power saving mode, it doesn't give 
the normal on-off-on-off with the light that it steadily does. It's more of 
a tired person catching their head as soon as they start to fall. It is on, 
goes off and immediately comes back on for the normal time, goes off and 
quickly catches it, etc.

Note2: The USB hard drive is fat32, connected via USB1.1 host. Note that I 
said my _hard drive_ is fat32. I went into fdisk with every intent of 
creating a partition to format and saw a fourth partition. I deleted that, 
created a first, exited fdisk. Upon lsing /dev, I saw no partitions at all 
for the drive -- partition 4 was gone, 1 was nowhere to be found. Someone 
told me to use /dev/da0. So I did. This drive doesn't work on windows boxes, 
btw -- they say it's unallocated space.

[~]# mount /dev/da0 /mnt/USB
mount: /dev/da0 on /mnt/USB: incorrect super block

Hmm. Musta fergotten to umount before ripping out the cable again:
[~]# fdisk -s /dev/da0
/dev/da0: 7296 cyl 255 hd 63 sec
Part        Start        Size Type Flags

umass0: Myson Century, Inc. USB Mass Storage Device, rev 2.00/a0.01, addr 2
da0 at umass-sim0 bus 0 target 0 lun 0
da0: <HITACHI_ DK23FB-60 00M0> Fixed Direct Access SCSI-0 device
da0: 1.000MB/s transfers
da0: 57231MB (117210240 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 7296C)

/dev contains only da0. No da0xx. The umass is also gone, it seems.

kernel conf (seems ktrace is commented out; most likely no debug support):

FreeBSD DrkAthlon 5.1-RELEASE-p10 FreeBSD 5.1-RELEASE-p10 #0: Mon Oct 20 
20:30:08 MDT 2003     
root at DrkAthlon:/usr/home/obj/usr/home/src/sys/DrkAthlon  i386
I believe the world was built at the same time.

[~]$ XFree86 -version
XFree86 Version 4.3.0
Build Operating System: FreeBSD 5.1 i386 [ELF]
Build Date: 18 June 2003

Woot. New 60 gb USB drive, using a notebook hard drive. Portable, smallest 
notebook drive I have that fits, good external storage for this poor BSD box 
with about 3 gigs total on it. Course, I often rip out the USB cable of the 
poor fat32 drive without umounting it. I try one day:
[~]# mount /dev/da0 /mnt/USB
mount: /dev/da0 on /mnt/USB: incorrect super block
"Oh, no," I think. "I need to run fsck now." So I proceed to do so:
[~]# fsck /dev/da0
** /dev/da0
** Phase 1 - Read and Compare FATs
*drive read and write lights light up, stay as such for about 1 minute, at 
which time the hard drive in the BSD box starts crunching away, lagging 
top, a few tens of seconds in: Swap: 384M total, 281M used, 103M free, 73% 
in use...
*drive resumes reading/writing, top reports swap usage as 107M Free. The BSD 
box resumes crunching on the internal hard drive, I go, "Oh shit -- 
Mozilla's the first thing to go!" I quickly control-C fsck, it having no 
effect. It keeps going. In a mad rush, I copy this e-mail to vi before I 
lose it. Only lost notes 1 to half of 3.*

So, to recap, and after fsck died and took my mozilla with it:
[~]# fsck /dev/da0
** /dev/da0
** Phase 1 - Read and Compare FATs
fsck: /dev/da0: Killed

swap_pager_getswapspace: failed
swap_pager_getswapspace: failed
pid 81209 (fsck_msdosfs), uid 0, was killed: out of swap space

fsck ran out of swap space and killed mozilla along with it.

Now, that's the basis of what happened when I lost my consoles -- I couldn't 
get the drive to mount after I fsck'd, so what else to do but try it again? 
I do, and it killed X completely. Damn. Restart x, try mount, no go... so, I 
start fsck in a terminal (ctrl-alt-F3). It goes and goes, eventually it 
dies. Terminals still work, I believe, so I try it again, alt-F9 back into 
my X to play.. fsck fails with the usual great system lag and the death of 
X. But I'm thrown to a black console, not a text prompt with an error from X 
saying what went wrong. Alt-F[1-8], all black. Monitor turns off. Damn. 
Alt-F2 one more time, "startx" and here I am for the last week or so. I can 
use X just fine, but all my consoles are black.

Anyone know why this happened? Does anyone have a way to get my consoles 
back? rebooting isn't fun. But, I'm perfectly willing to help debug 
something -- it's a personal desktop machine, so I can easily tolerate 
downtime and spend a bit of time working with things, if any debugging 
suggestions are given (note, I have no idea how to use any debugging utils, 
so you'd have to give me very specific directions).

With that, this is perhaps the third or fourth time I've lost all my 
terminals in such a way. I've never experienced this on 4.7, and I don't 
remember if all times were related to this fsck and taking gobs of swap 
space. Also keep in mind my dmesg is full of swap_pager_getswapspace: 
failed, so I can't see if anything was given when the error happened.

Finally, for those who don't know, the proper way to mount the fat32 is 
"mount -t msdosfs /dev/da0 /mnt/USB"... else it says invalid superblock ;-) 
fsck was also using fsck_msdosfs, as I would expect.

Other questions:
_almost_ every time I hit my right (not my left) control key, I get a 
backslash: \\\\\\ <-- 14 hits. The control key then functions as normal. 
Also, holding it doesn't produce many backslashes -- only one, and not 
always. (I have the dvorak layout set, but I've changed it back to qwerty 
and it does the same thing.) ... I suppose it COULD be a bad keyboard.. 
but.. I don't see what'd cause it, really. Something I guess I need to look 
into. Hmm. After unplugging it from the KVM and plugging it back in, it's 
much, much worse. Heheh..

I guess another question could be related to xmms: when it's playing, it 
will occasionally, on a new track, pop up a box saying it couldn't open the 
output device (/dev/dsp0.5 -- I have no /dev/dsp). It takes a bit, but 
telling it to play (retry, basically) will get it playing again after a bit. 
No idea why it does it, completely random and happens with other audio stuff 
as well, with other dsp0.x devices.  device pcm is in the kernel,  cat 
FreeBSD Audio Driver (newpcm)
Installed devices:
pcm0: <Yamaha DS-1E (YMF724F)> at memory 0xda000000 irq 10 (4p/2r/0v 
channels duplex default)

/dev has dsp0.[0-5], dspW0.[0-5], audio0.[0-5], no pcm*


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