sean finney on 16 Oct 2011 14:36:49 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Problem w/upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04 -> 11.10

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 04:33:43PM -0400, Adam Zion wrote:
> OK, I *thought* I was clever when I did a ps -aef|grep dropbox, killed
> the hung dropbox process, then allowed the upgrade to continue. I
> wasn't. The computer's a boat anchor, + I have to rebuild it.

I doubt you could have seriously destroyed anything doing that.  Of
course, the amount of effort/time involved in getting it back up on
its feet might be greater than what it'd take to reinstall the system,
but hey, it's one of the best ways to learn a bit more about system
recovery :)

if you boot the installer in rescue mode, it should set up all the
filesystems for you and start you a shell chrooted into your system.
then, assuming that it's just an interrupted upgrade, you ought to
be able to get things at least consistant enough so that the system
can boot on its own again (dpkg --configure -a / apt-get -f install etc).

> I *hope* that I can reinstall Ubuntu w/o destroying my home directory.
> Please tell me that I can do that...

You certainly can with the "alternate" (i.e. debian) installer.  if /home
is a seperate filesystem from /, then just don't use the filesystem during
installation and modify /etc/fstab later.  if it's the same filesystem
(or if you're using something like lvm/dm-crypt), you need to tread
a bit more carefully.  at least with the alternate installer (haven't
tried the desktop installer in a long, long time), you can choose to use
existing volume groups and filesystems without reformatting them.
just go into rescue mode on the installer, nuke out everything
else but /home on the old filesystems, reboot into the installer, and
make sure you choose the right "manual"/"advanced" option that doesn't
reformat the filesystem.

or, if you have some extra storage space around somewhere, you could always
boot up into the ubuntu live cd, copy all the important stuff off the system,
and then nuke it from orbit...

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