System Update froze - UbuntuMATE 16-04

Sarunas Burdulis sarunas at
Thu Jun 21 12:19:21 UTC 2018

On 2018-06-21 05:40, Bret Busby wrote:
> On 21/06/2018, Colin Watson <cjwatson at> wrote:
>> ...
>> Investigating what's causing the sync hang would involve poking through
>> system logs.  /var/log/syslog is the first place I'd look if I saw this
>> on one of my systems, as there are multiple possible causes: as well as
>> things like stuck remote filesystem mounts or whatever, it could also be
>> due to incipient disk failures that would cause the kernel to produce
>> alarming log messages.
> Okay.
> In running less on that file in that path, I fing lots of errors
> relating to sdb1, which, from memory, is the HP USB external HDD. I
> note that I can not even check to what, sdb1 points.

If the errors point to sdb, which you know is an external drive, which
is misbehaving already and halting the rest (or most) of the system disk
IO to a grind, then it should be OK to simply unplug it from the USB
port. It won't do more damage to data, than it already had, but there is
a chance the system IO will recover as all other activities depending on
it, like initramfs...

> I can post a copy of an excerpt (possibly, tail) of the file syslog,
> if that helps.

There is a chance it will have some clues.

Sarunas Burdulis
Systems Administrator, Dartmouth Mathematics

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