System Update froze - UbuntuMATE 16-04

Bret Busby bret.busby at
Thu Jun 21 19:14:15 UTC 2018

On 22/06/2018, Gene Heskett <gheskett at> wrote:
> On Thursday 21 June 2018 13:37:53 Bret Busby wrote:
>> On 22/06/2018, Colin Law <clanlaw at> wrote:
>> > On 21 June 2018 at 16:46, Bret Busby <bret.busby at> wrote:
>> >> ...
>> >> So, this "feature" that was apparently included in 16.04.2, in all
>> >> of the circumstances, probably, instead of changing Ubuntu 16.04 to
>> >> the status of Debian sid, appears to have turned Ubuntu 16.04 and
>> >> 18.04, into the nature of Debian experimental, with all data at
>> >> risk.
>> >
>> > It is the disc causing the update to hang, not the update causing
>> > the disc problem.
>> > It is almost certainly a faulty disk.  What happens if you unmount
>> > it, or if you can't then just unplug it?
>> How can a device be unmounted, if the software can not identify it?
>> Without any usable system utilities to identify any device, and, no
>> file operations available, it is a bit like diving into shallow
>> rockpools from the top of a cliff, or, the famous test for voice
>> controlled operating systems, where the member of the audience yelled
>> out "Format C colon!".
>> Simply unplugging a mounted USB device, destroys it, from experiential
>> memory.
>> And, it is not your data that is at risk.
> Thats exactly why you make every effort of get the surviving data off
> that disk. Do you have sata ports open on that machine? Takeing USB out
> of the path is another recommendation, its not always perfect.
>> Simply reacting like saying "oops", if hundreds of GB of data is
>> destroyed, does not help.
> Agreed, which is why we all recommend copying it off to a new drive. You
> may not get it all, but thats better than losing it all.  One thing has
> not been mentioned that I recall, is the existence of backups, and I
> can't recommend anything but amanda for that.
> Complex to setup, yes, once setup, it Just Works(TM). I am currently
> backing up 6 machines here every night, and I can restore to any state
> that existed over the last 30 days, for any of those 6 machines.
> And if the system can be rebuilt so as _not_ to be using a USB path to
> get from sata controller to sata disk, I'd highly recommend it.
> --
> Cheers, Gene Heskett

The problem is that no file management operations can be performed on
the computer.

And, the computer is not capable of transferring about 200GB of data,
in less than about six months or so - for stable data transfer, if
still possible on the computer (given that I would not even be able to
mount another external HDD, at present), it is best to limit it to
abouty 1 GB per day, possibly, 1 GB per boot session.

Amnd, the computer is currently, apparently, not rebootable, due to
the confirmed initramfs bug.


Bret Busby
West Australia


"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992


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