System crashed during upgrade from 11.04 to 12.04 -- need to recover disk files

Asked by Lloyd R. Prentice on 2012-11-05

Hello,

Despite many prompts to upgrade from 11.04 to 12.04, I deferred until, in a moment of weakness, I said yes. But then, my system froze mid-upgrade--- refused to reboot.

I've spent two days so far trying to recover my files. I thought I was OK since I had, so I believed,, daily backups on a TowerStor usb RAID box. But I wanted redundancy, comfort, and assurance, so I looked into what I could do to back up the files on my wounded box before doing anything drastic.

This is a tale of woe that I hope others can avoid. So, I'm hoping here, that some kind soul will come up with a much more elegant solution to the problem than what I've been going through.

Here's what I've done:

1) Downloaded 12.04 live onto a usb drive using unetbootin
2) Loaded but didn't install 12.04. onto Reliance, the dead box
3) With much hassle, steps too hit-or-miss and complicated to record, I was able to see my files on Reliance.
4) Tried to copy them onto an external usb hd, but ran into a sorry mess of problems ranging from recognition of the external drive to permissions.
5) Then, the thumb drive with the Ubuntu image decided to stop working.
6) Reformatted the thumb drive and downloaded another 12.04 live image
7) Using GParted, reformatted the external usb hd
8) Reliance and 12.04 live still wouldn't recognise the drive
9) Ah ha, I thought, time for the nuclear option. switched by TowerStor backup to another computer, took a look, grrrrr--- for some reason TowerStore has been neglecting it's duty for some months (lesson: check backups frequently).
10) Reformatted and partitioned the external hd drive on Reliance using fdisk and mkfs
11) Mounted the external drive on Reliance
12) Now I could see my files and the external drive.
13) Copied a few test files. Success.
14) Now I'm copying files to the external usb drive. It's soooo slowwww. I have lots of files

Here's what I'm planning next:

15) When I'm confident that I have all the files and config data from Reliance on the external drive I'll tear down Reliance and replace the HD with a drive somewhat less long in the tooth
15) Then, again using the unetbootin copy of 12.04, I"ll install a new instance of 12.04.
16) I expect it will take me another day at least to reconfigure the system to what I had before the world fell in.
17) Worst case, I'll have my files on the external usb hd and the hd that I extracted from Reliance

There's got to be a be a better way! And please don't say Windows. Can some clever guru point the way?

Thanks,

LRP

PS: Why did the upgrade fail? Perhaps it was my impatience. At one point during the reinstall the system just sat there and sat there and sat there with no indication that anything was happening. I waited some more. But the system just sat there. At this point I pulled the plug. Maybe it was doing its thing all along. Maybe my woe is due to my impatience. But one would think that with a system as mature as Ubuntu 12.04 the system would give me some small clue that it was diligently doing its job.

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu update-manager Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Lloyd R. Prentice
Solved:
2012-11-07
Last query:
2012-11-07
Last reply:
2012-11-06

Did you upgrade to 11.10 inbetween? or did you upgrade directly from Natty to Precise?

Lloyd R. Prentice (2-lloyd) said : #2

Hi,

Not sure. It's possible I was upgrading from 11.10. But, since I no longer have access to the system so I have no way to check.

But the upgrade was initiated by responding to Ubuntu's request to upgrade. So I would presume that it was a safe upgrade path.

Thanks,

LRP

-----Original Message-----
From: "actionparsnip" <email address hidden>
Sent: Monday, November 5, 2012 7:01pm
To: <email address hidden>
Subject: Re: [Question #213378]: System crashed during upgrade from 11.04 to 12.04 -- need to recover disk files

Your question #213378 on Ubuntu changed:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/213378

    Status: Open => Needs information

actionparsnip requested more information:
Did you upgrade to 11.10 inbetween? or did you upgrade directly from
Natty to Precise?

--
To answer this request for more information, you can either reply to
this email or enter your reply at the following page:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/213378

You received this question notification because you asked the question.

If you hold SHIFT at boot and select an older kernel, is it ok?

Lloyd R. Prentice (2-lloyd) said : #4

Hi,

In each case I get:

/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/lib.so.6 version GLIB_2.14 not found

I can then get maintenance shell, but don't know what to do from there.

Many thanks,

LRP

-----Original Message-----
From: "actionparsnip" <email address hidden>
Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 12:21pm
To: <email address hidden>
Subject: Re: [Question #213378]: System crashed during upgrade from 11.04 to 12.04 -- need to recover disk files

Your question #213378 on Ubuntu changed:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/213378

    Status: Open => Needs information

actionparsnip requested more information:
If you hold SHIFT at boot and select an older kernel, is it ok?

--
To answer this request for more information, you can either reply to
this email or enter your reply at the following page:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/213378

You received this question notification because you asked the question.

Lloyd R. Prentice (2-lloyd) said : #5

Hi,

Thanks actionparsnip. Your suggestion gave me a hint that pointed the way but didn't solve the problem.

I found rather obscure suggestion deep in Google:

- boot into recovery shell
- mount -o remount, rw /

The next step, apt-get install -g, didn't work for me. But...

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade did.

However, it took some four hours to complete the upgrade.

So, at this point, here's my take away:

1) Though it may have been a problem of my own doing, I won't trust Ubutu upgrades in the future.
- If it was my doing, e.g. bailing out of the upgrade prematurely, then Ubuntu shares culpability since it could have a) warned me how long the upgrade was likely to take
- Displayed better progress indication during the upgrade
2) I spent some three days backing out of the problem.
- I noted that many seemed to have similar problems. It would have been great if Ubuntu had provided a warning before I clicked on the upgrade button
3) As a small-press publisher, I rely heavily on pdf. I had Adobe Reader installed on my previous install. But Adobe Reader was missing from the upgrade. Took me an hour to install it. I'm still not sure how to make it the default pdf reader

I've been a faithful Linux user now for many years--- most with debian, flirtations with other distributions, a year or two now with Ubuntu. Never have I experience such difficulty and frustration with an install or upgrade. And, once I got the process started again, I fail to understand why it took so long.

I only hope that others don't have similar problems.

Thanks again,

LRP

Lloyd R. Prentice (2-lloyd) said : #6

Hi,

Thanks actionparsnip. Your suggestion gave me a hint that pointed the way but didn't solve the problem.

I found this rather obscure suggestion deep in Google:

- boot into recovery shell
- mount -o remount, rw /

The next step, apt-get install -g, didn't work for me. But...

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade did.

However, it took some four hours to complete the upgrade.

So, at this point, here's my take away:

1) Though it may have been a problem of my own doing, I won't trust Ubutu upgrades in the future.

- If it was my doing, e.g. bailing out of the upgrade prematurely, then Ubuntu
shares culpability since it could have:

a) warned me how long the upgrade was likely to take (I wouldn't have proceeded)

b) Displayed better progress indication during the upgrade

2) I spent some three days backing out of the problem.

- I noted that many seemed to have similar problems. It would have been great if Ubuntu had provided a warning before I clicked on the upgrade button

3) As a small-press publisher, I rely heavily on pdf. I had Adobe Reader installed on my previous install. But Adobe Reader was missing from the upgrade. Took me an hour to install it. I'm still not sure how to make it the default pdf reader

I'm still testing to see if there are other issues.

I've been a faithful Linux user now for many years--- most with Debian, flirtations with other distributions, a year or two now with Ubuntu. Never have I experience such difficulty and frustration with an install or upgrade. And, once I got the process started again, I fail to understand why it took so long.

I only hope that others don't have similar problems.

Thanks again,

LRP

-----Original Message-----
From: "actionparsnip" <email address hidden>
Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 12:21pm
To: <email address hidden>
Subject: Re: [Question #213378]: System crashed during upgrade from 11.04 to 12.04 -- need to recover disk files

Your question #213378 on Ubuntu changed:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/213378

    Status: Open => Needs information

actionparsnip requested more information:
If you hold SHIFT at boot and select an older kernel, is it ok?

--
To answer this request for more information, you can either reply to
this email or enter your reply at the following page:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/213378

You received this question notification because you asked the question.