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View Full Version : Ubuntu upgrade (9.10 to 10.04) fails



argus
12-03-2011, 06:35 AM
And I don't just mean "fails to upgrade", of course (that I could live with). I mean "leaves me without any functioning Ubuntu at all".

I have a dual-boot setup (Windows XP/Ubuntu). The upgrade seemed to run fine, but when I rebooted into Ubuntu 10.04, I was faced with:

Error: you need to load the kernel first

Poking around the web, I think what I may have done was to click OK, Next or Forward at some point without reading the screen carefully enough and finished up with the wrong version of the kernel (31 when it should be 32).

The opening menu choices give the kernel version numbers (I can't remember the whole thing but they end ___31 and ___32) I was booting with the default option, 32. So I tried 31, and I separately tried booting in recovery mode. In either case, I eventually got to a prompt that asked for my username and password. I enter that and am faced with the bald prompt: [username]@ubuntu:~$

Is there something I can enter there to get back into the GUI?

Scanning the web again, I found an account of what sounds like the problem and a "solution" at:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1468156

However, this "solution"contains helpful phrases like:

"Now it gets tricky! You'll have to fish around looking for the Real (on your Hard Drive) Ubuntu Location. It will have a generic name, "Disk". It won't be called the same (File System) as when you view it in your real Ubuntu Build...."

Is there a way of recovering the system that doesn't involve guesswork? Or would it be quicker to reinstall 9.04 and all my Ubuntu applications (not many); then try the upgrade again?

And if I try the upgrade again, any hints as to what I did wrong the first time to finish up with the wrong kernel (if indeed that's what I did)?

Thanks.

Speedy Gonzales
12-03-2011, 08:10 AM
You might as well start again. And install 10.10

wainuitech
12-03-2011, 09:29 AM
You might as well start again. And install 10.10 X2 :thumbs:

May be a quicker, better outcome - sometimes getting help for ubuntu can be very frustrating.

Erayd
12-03-2011, 04:01 PM
This can be fixed, but doing so will be painful unless you have a local Linux guru to assist. I'd agree with WT & Speedy on this one - reloading is definitely likely to be the more expedient option here.

As an aside, Ubuntu often has issues with large updates - Canonical's QA isn't what I would call stellar; they seem to focus more on new features than on ensuring that the existing stuff continues to work.

Because of this, I don't usually recommend Ubuntu as a newbies' distro, unless somebody else is available to fix it when it inevitably turns to custard.

johnd
12-03-2011, 08:59 PM
As an aside, Ubuntu often has issues with large updates - Canonical's QA isn't what I would call stellar;
"Often"?? I have been using Ubuntu now for several years after coming from a Fedora/Mandriva/PCLinux background and have never had a problem with an upgrade as far as I can remember.

johnd
12-03-2011, 09:01 PM
Error: you need to load the kernel first
Just a thought that might get you going? Does your GRUB menu have multiple Kernels listed? If so try choosing a different one in the list.

Erayd
12-03-2011, 10:01 PM
"Often"?? I have been using Ubuntu now for several years after coming from a Fedora/Mandriva/PCLinux background and have never had a problem with an upgrade as far as I can remember.'Often' as in a significant percentage of installs have problems when upgrading, sometimes major ones like the OP's.

Most users are OK most of the time, but I've seen it go wrong far too often to feel comfortable recommending it to anybody who doesn't have the required knowledge to fix it (or has someone handy to help) if that turns out to be necessary.

Rod J
12-03-2011, 11:23 PM
I don't trust the upgrade process myself. Sad to say but I have seen quite a number of failed upgrade posts on the Ubuntu forums.

I have my 'home' on a separate partition and I prefer to do a clean install on my system partition. You get the best of both worlds this way, most of your program settings are intact and only minimal work required to get everything working the way it was before.

Also, I've decided to only upgrade to each LTS version, skipping the in-between versions as I value stability over 'bleeding edge' any day.

argus
13-03-2011, 12:03 PM
Just a thought that might get you going? Does your GRUB menu have multiple Kernels listed? If so try choosing a different one in the list.

Did that (as outlined in my original post). I got to a raw command-line prompt, but was unsure where to go from there to get back into the GUI.

This morning, downloaded 10.10 burned it to a DVD. Install hit problems, beginning with "there is no disk in the drive".

Where 9.10 asked you up front whether you wanted to set up a dual boot system, keeping your Windows, the 10.10 install defers that question and eventually asks it in the form "do you wish to a) wipe the whole hard drive or b) set up separate partitions [advanced]." That first phrase and the final word, especially, meant I chickened out and reinstalled 9.10 :) and my additional apps. Should a *.rar decompressor really have to be separately installed? Pretty basic utility these days, I would think.

At least I have a functioning Ubuntu environment back now. I still have the 10.10 image, but until something comes up that strongly persuades me I need to upgrade, I think I'll leave it.

Thanks for the advice, all.

Rod J
13-03-2011, 01:19 PM
BTW, if you do find yourself at a command prompt and need to start the X GUI environment try the command "startx".