Starting Anew

I recently caused some significant trouble with our MythTV box. I thought it would be cool to install the xscreensaver to display photos while not watching TV. What a mistake.

I followed the instructions easily enough, installing the xscreensaver and it's parts by simply hitting "y" for yes after entering apt-get install xscreensaver. I got it working and rebooted the machine to be sure it kept working... and things failed miserably. X wouldn't start up, so of course MythTV wouldn't, either. I fooled around with it for a bit to try and figure out what happened, but couldn't make any headway. On the KnoppMyth forum I found somebody with the same problem as me.

It came down to the fact that using apt-get install in version R5B7 of KnoppMyth is known to break many things. Great. Nobody told me. No mention of it on the KnoppMyth Install wiki page. (Note to self: update wiki page.)

So, as suggested I ran MythBackup (to backup settings and the database), saved my XF86Config-4 file, and did an auto-upgrade. The auto-upgrade completed, but none of my settings were restored, the Myth database was not inserted and... well, it seemed like it failed pretty miserably.

More reading and a few tries later, I discovered that the mythconverg.sql database backup file was 0 bytes long. I swear it was 100-some MB at some point, but I'm not completely sure. I grabbed an older backup, reran the auto-upgrade, and was nearly back in business.

The big problem was that the older database backup is... older. It didn't have much of our updated recording schedule or similar things. Since this backup was about two weeks old, it meant we had a two-week-long hole in the database with several MPEG files from recordings, but no info about them. I was able to easily select these based on the date and move them over to the /myth/video/ directory where I figured we could easily play them back with MythVideo. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they aren't playing. I haven't investigated this at all.

All this from apt-get install. Beware. (Actually, it appears that being aware of what this is doing is the important part. If it's trying to remove some packages, that could cause the trouble.)

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