Just spent a couple of days recovering from a meltdown that was for once, I think, not my fault.

Background -- PC is a Everex T2150 ($199 from Walmart). Comes with gOS debian based and uses apt-get. gOS has an Enlightenment desktop. It's gorgeous, but doesn't do stuff like deleting files properly. I got tired of having multiple trashbox icons that came and went at random and similar stuff. I started installing pieces of XFCE. After a few days I used apt-get to install all of Xfce. Friday, update asked me if I wanted to install 8.04 (and thanks for asking BTW, I really do want to control when updates occur). Without thinking too much, I said sure. Bad idea. Several hours and no error messages later. I rebooted and I ended up in memtest.

Oooopsie

Turns out that the following stuff was gone:

.The grub entry for Linux
.All kernels
.All modules
.dhcpcd
.the grub-update script

Do you have any idea how hard it is to boot Linux with no kernel and no modules? Thanks to knoppix and kunbutu CDs that I happened to have laying around, many hours and a lot of exasperation later, I've restored the kernel, module and dhcpcd packages and I'm finally back up and apparently running OK.

What I think might have happened is that the route I used to get to an installation where installing 8.04 looked like a good idea to update resulted in a system with a dubious grub-update script. And I think that perhaps failure of grub-update caused the kernel installation to abort.

I sure hope this is an isolated incident because frankly I'm not wild about the internals of Debian/Ubuntu and if I'm going to have to spend any time dealing with them, I'm going back to Slackware. Only reason I didn't install Slack in the first place is that installing third party applications in Slackware tends to be an ongoing series of adventures in computing and after 48 years of dealing with digital computers, I'm tired of adventures in computing.

Anyway, I gather from googling (using Windows 98 ) that the problems I encountered may not be unique, so perhaps my description will be useful to someone.

Does anyone have any idea what non-kernel packages other than dhcpcd might also turn up missing if the problem really was a quiet death of the update during kernel package install?