After kernel update, SD card won't mount at boot

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After kernel update, SD card won't mount at boot

Postby ravenshining » 2017-08-02 08:55

Minor problem, big explanation! Sorry if I'm a bit longwinded. If it's TL:DR: under kernel 3.16 sd card mounts at startup, under kernel 4.9, it broke the system and now that it's fixed I have to remove and reinsert my SD card before it will mount and it's driving me nuts.

I have an SD card that lives in my laptop's card slot, and I have scripts and symlinks and whatnot referencing the files thereon, so I had this line in fstab to make sure it mounts at boot:

/dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/mmcblk vfat user,noatime,quiet 0 0

Sometimes it would fail to mount during boot (claiming a bad superblock) and prompt me to open an emergency shell (but fsck.vfat finds no problems), and so I got into the habit of occasionally having to press control-d after hitting the power button without worrying about it, because the data on the SD card is not system data, there wasn't any real problem, and it would still be mounted even though it said it couldn't be. All was well, under Jessie and kernel 3.16.

Now that Stretch has been released and Jessie considered Oldstable, and I can't update to Stretch without changing DEs because Stretch "upgraded" KDE from 4 to the non-backward-compatible plasma 5 which happens to be missing or have messed up just about every feature I want to use, I felt compelled to stay as up-to-date as possible while remaining with KDE 4 and therefore Jessie. So, I updated a lot of stuff to jesssie-backports, including the kernel to 4.9.

After the update and a reboot, I couldn't even get into single-user mode. It would complain of the alleged bad superblock and ask to open a shell, but then print another [ ok ] line about something unrelated and not let me open the shell or continue. I had to do some weird grub stuff I can't remember to get into a crude prompt where I was able to add a "nofail" option to the SD card's line in fstab.

Now it boots just fine, never complaining about anything long enough for me to be able to read it as all the [ ok ]'s whiz by, but it never, ever mounts the SD card. Sometimes I notice this in Dolphin but more often it's when I click on a script or link referencing it, yielding a screenfull of errors and/or a hung process.

If I remove and reinsert the card, it mounts automatically, every time. But that's an awkward and time consuming manoeuvre that I don't want to be wearing out this old beast with. If leave it in, open a shell, and su mount -a, 50% of the time it mounts and fsck says it's clean, and 50% of the time it says "bad superblock," won't mount, I have to remove and reinsert, it automatically mounts, and fsck says the dirty bit is set, which makes no sense since ordinarily it would never get removed at all, nevermind while mounted.

Now I could try going back down to kernel 3.16, but that is going to be a huge time-consuming pain since there's a lot of stuff that'll have to come down with it. I can't get Aptitude to consider downgrading packages to fix breaks so that's hours of b, v, end, up, +, waaaaiiiit, q, repeat, all when I'll probably have to upgrade and fix this eventually anyway - I was already on backports for some things like Java 8, required by Minecraft. When I get even more time I'll look in to building a kernel from source, right now everything search comes up with is not helping.

Speaking of eventualities, eventually I'll have to upgrade and find a new desktop environment... plasma5 is atrocious at this point, and I don't like GNOME or XFCE, so I'm considering... e17 maybe? I was a Windows XP / Mac OS 9 person until KDE4 blew my mind as to what a modern desktop environment can do and look like, I'm sad to see it going.

The machine is a 10-year-old HP Compaq 8710w. The SD controller appears not to be a usb device (a lot of the things I found searching went down the usb issues path) it's part of the CardBus and FireWire device.
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Re: After kernel update, SD card won't mount at boot

Postby sunrat » 2017-08-02 23:37

Way too much writing, but I'll try a couple of ideas.
Have you tried commenting it out of fstab to see if udev will mount it automatically?
Have you considered the bad superblock messages may mean it is dying? SD cards can be a bit fragile.

BTW I use Plasma 5 currently and am very pleased with it. It is quite stable and I don't mind the look although I imagine some people may not agree. It definitely would not be suitable for a 10 year old system though.
“ computer users can be divided into 2 categories:
Those who have lost data
...and those who have not lost data YET ”
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Re: After kernel update, SD card won't mount at boot

Postby ravenshining » 2017-08-03 04:04

sunrat wrote:Way too much writing, but I'll try a couple of ideas.
Have you tried commenting it out of fstab to see if udev will mount it automatically?
Have you considered the bad superblock messages may mean it is dying? SD cards can be a bit fragile.

BTW I use Plasma 5 currently and am very pleased with it. It is quite stable and I don't mind the look although I imagine some people may not agree. It definitely would not be suitable for a 10 year old system though.


Hm, yeah, that works, but then it puts it in a different directory. I'll have to rewrite my scripts for that card, and won't know how to do that for when I *do* remove it and put in another card because the drive will have a unique directory name every time. I want to be able to reference the SD card slot consistently, regardless of what card is being read. In windows terms, if /root is C:\ and /media/cdrom is D:\, I was using /media/mmcblk as my A:\.

This SD card, although rarely written to, is just as old as this computer, so you may be right about the age. Strange fsck doesn't find any issue though.

This is a top-tier desktop replacement, more than capable of running Plasma 5. But, I don't like flat look and empty space. I like there to be a lot more skeumorphism, eye candy, not a pixel wasted, and the particular widgets I've come to love.
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