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I don't know what to do...I'm not a Linux guy. Even if I can get the data off the server that would help. It's a Ubuntu server running as a VM. The only data I need off of it would be mysql server databases and some various files.

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It seems like it cant find its boot device anymore. Did you change any configuration to its storage? What kind of virtualization product are you running on? – pauska Oct 5 '10 at 20:07
no change to storage...running on vspehere 4.1. The internal kernel was upgraded I'm told by the engineering dept...the kernel on the vm. – TheCleaner Oct 5 '10 at 20:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Any background info on what happened here? Server crash? Software upgrade? New parts installed? And which OS is this?

The error is complaining that it can't find a hard disk device. I think this has more to do with the bootloader (grub?) than Linux itself. You should easily be able to boot off the install CD in 'rescue' mode, that would give you a shell prompt, and allow you to mount the local hard disk. If this was caused by a configuration/upgrade issue, then you will hopefully be able to modify /boot/grub/menu.1st, and get your whole box up and running again. If you've got a hardware failure on your hands, then thing might be more difficult. But the rescue CD would at least help you figure that out.

On the best case scenario, thing might work out like this: 1) Mount the install .iso in your virtual machine as a CD 2) Boot off said disk. It will likely have an option for you to use it in rescue mode. (eg: RHEL disks have you type rescue at the anaconda prompt) 3) Once you have a shell, use fdisk -l to see what disks you have available. 4) Upon finding that your root partition isn't a smoldering ruin, mount it somewhere temporary, like /mnt/fubar/. 5) Edit /mnt/fubar/boot/grub/menu.1st, and see if the listing for your root partition is different than what fdisk reports. Change that, and reboot, and you may be in luck?

A hardware failure replaces step 4 with uncontrolled sobbing, followed by a desperate search for backup tapes.

EDIT: There seems to be a really old bug with Ubunto upgrades that would cause this problem.

--Christopher Karel

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OK, I can boot into "try ubuntu 10.04 LTS" and then I can click on Places, Computer, and it shows the 21GB filesystem and I can browse it what? – TheCleaner Oct 5 '10 at 20:40
Check the output of fdisk -l on a command prompt. See what the devices are named. Does it match what you find in /boot/grub/menu.1st? In fact, why not give us the contents of both files? – Christopher Karel Oct 5 '10 at 20:59
fdisk -l gives me: /dev/sda1 is boot device...that's the 21GB hard drive I'm looking for. there is no menu.1st file in the /boot/grub directory on that hdd...if I go to /media/UUID/boot/grub – TheCleaner Oct 5 '10 at 21:24
The only files in that grub directory that seem possible to edit for helping this situation are "grub.cfg" and "grubenv". We did change the file "" said "(hd0) /dev/sda" and we changed it to "(hd0) /dev/sda1"...should that file matter? – TheCleaner Oct 5 '10 at 21:29
OK, I've got ALL of the files in a tar.gz FTP'd to a remote server. The ONLY thing this server did was Bugzilla. I'm going to start a new question and ask about Bugzilla...but if there is any way to get this back operational it would be appreciated. – TheCleaner Oct 5 '10 at 22:26

use live cd then use e2fsck here its the reff

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