Ubuntu 10.10 crashed fatally when upgrading to 11.04, installation unusable

Asked by Vectorio on 2011-06-26

I was updating Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04 on a Toshiba laptop (32 bit). The status said it was 7 minutes until completion. Then it happened: black screen, mouse does not move, caps lock blinking. I use neither wireless LAN nor 3D screensaver. I attempted to reboot, mouse did not move. Now i have to reinstall the entire OS! A sobering experience :-(

Is this a know issue? Are there ways to ensure that this does not happen, especially during an OS update (that's particularly nasty)? Are there plans to make the OS update SW more robust, so that a crash would not necessitate an OS reinstallation?

Your answers will be appreciated.

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blicking caps lock means "kernel panic"

if the system doesnt boot anymore you can use a live-cd and chroot into your current system. there you can run "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" this should pull the rest from the missing upgrade, also you can run "sudo dpkg --configure -a"

for us, its very helpfull if we can see /var/log/syslog. maybe there is a hiint why there was a kernel-panic. you can access this file by using a live-cd and mounting your installed system

Vectorio (gprofos) said : #2

I had a hunch that the crash happened as the system was about to go into "screensaver" mode. In future I would surely disable screensavers during OS update...

Vectorio (gprofos) said : #3

Many thanks Michael,

unfortunately I have already started reinstalling the OS, because I am fairly dependent on having a running PC... (I am typing this on another PC, an old one), so I regret to be unable to provide any data at all...

However, I shall remember your instructions, hoping, of course, that I shall never need them. How do I "chroot into my current system"? I am a long time Linux user, but I'm not exactly a crash, so forgive my ignorance...


for chroot into an installed system you will start the pc with a live-cd. after that you are mounting the drive of your installed system. this step is normally done automaticly. then you open a shell and type "chroot /path/where/your/system-drive/is/mounted"

after that you are using the installed system and can e.g. repair broken installations with apt-get/dpkg

make sure that the live-cd and installed system are using the same architecture (i386 or amd64)

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