Mounting a RHLinux 7.1 partition

Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Wed Aug 31 16:44:16 GMT 2005

Isaac Grover wrote:

>Good morning everyone,
>Due to a hardware failure on my RHLinux 7.1 gateway, I have chosen to
>install FreeBSD 5.4 as my new gateway's operating system.  The hard
>drive didn't die fortunately, as I did test it on another system to
>make sure it booted, and aside from kudzu complaining about some new
>and missing hardware, everything was there.
>Once I had FreeBSD 5.4 set up, I put the RHLinux drive in the FreeBSD
>machine as primary slave.  Manually mounting the drive didn't seem to
>work since I could find which /dev/ entry the RHLinux drive ended up
>on, and of course fdisk wouldn't help for the same reason.  So I
>pulled the RHLinux drive from the FreeBSD machine, set it up as
>primary master on another machine, and was going to do the necessary
>file copies over the network.  However, now it boots up with the
>FreeBSD menu, giving me one option (F1) to boot FreeBSD, and pressing
>F1 yields a beep from the PC speaker, and no boot.
>What happened to my RHLinux MBR and how can I either: 1) restore the
>MBR or 2) retrieve my data?
>Thanks in advance,

Your drive, if set as primary slave, should have been /dev/ad(da)1
(ad = IDE da=SCSI).  AFAIK these are hard-coded unless something
has changed.  Check the handbook.

When you say "manually mounting the drive didn't seem to work"
I wonder if you tried hard enough?  FreeBSD can mount some
Linux filesystems.  What filesystem is on this HDD?  Perhaps one of:

     mount_cd9660(8), mount_devfs(8), mount_ext2fs(8), mount_fdescfs(8),
     mount_hpfs(8), mount_linprocfs(8), mount_msdosfs(8), mount_nfs(8),
     mount_ntfs(8), mount_nullfs(8), mount_nwfs(8), mount_portalfs(8),
     mount_procfs(8), mount_smbfs(8), mount_std(8), mount_udf(8),
     mount_umapfs(8), mount_unionfs(8).

Of those, of course, the only ones I know might help with Linux are ext2
and msdos.  The number of possible permutations is not so large that
you couldn't try them all, since you really want your data.  Note that the
list is a c/p from the manpage and not edited to reality.  AFAIK FreeBSD
doesn't do the reiser fs, which, if that's what you have, would explain
why you couldn't mount the drive.

As for what happened to your MBR, I can't say, as you ran sysinstall
and I dunno which togs you pushed....  Someone else may well know
how you might repair your RedHat MBR.  I suppose it's possible that
there are 3rd party programs to help.

It might also be possible to use dd to get the data, but that's a tad
over my head.

And, of course, the obvious question.  Where are your backups? ;-)


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