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Thread: 16.04 Consistently Crashing on Update

  1. #1
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    16.04 Consistently Crashing on Update

    I haven't been able to update Ubuntu for several weeks now. Every time I try, it crashes. I was thinking I would just upgrade to 18.04 to avoid dealing with it, but apparently updating 16.04 is a necessary step before I can upgrade? I suspect there's an issue with my NVIDIA drivers or something. Not sure what to do at all. Please help! P.S. I can't figure out how to attach a screenshot to this thread, but the last thing the computer says before crashing is "Building initial module for 4.15.0-60-generic."
    Last edited by arius88; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: 16.04 Consistently Crashing on Update

    A thing that might help is to remove the nvidia stuff before the update so that you can get that out of the way. If you're ultimately going to 18.04, those kernel modules would need to be rebuilt anyway because of the newer kernel and probably newer drivers.

    You'll possibly need to boot with the nomodeset parameter when you're using nouveau instead of nvidia.

  3. #3
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    Re: 16.04 Consistently Crashing on Update

    Thanks, CatKiller! I will have to google the nomodeset thing, cuz I don't know what that means. I just tried to purge nvidia and it took me back to the same error that keeps popping up all over the place: "dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run `sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem" If I do that, the computer will crash again.

  4. #4
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    Re: 16.04 Consistently Crashing on Update

    Quote Originally Posted by arius88 View Post
    Thanks, CatKiller! I will have to google the nomodeset thing, cuz I don't know what that means.
    It's just a kernel bootup option, like "quiet," which hides messages unless they're important, or "splash," which shows a splash screen if one's configured. You can either do it each time from the Grub menu, or persistently by editing Grub's config file. It just means to not attempt to set the resolution, since nouveau is often not great at that.

    I just tried to purge nvidia and it took me back to the same error that keeps popping up all over the place: "dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run `sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem" If I do that, the computer will crash again.
    That is a pain.

    One possibility is that building kernel modules does take a while, especially on a slow computer. It might not have crashed, it might just be thinking. Of course, rebooting mid-update - whether it's crashed or not - can cause issues. Running the dpkg --configure and waiting a while is pretty painless to rule it out. Running dpkg --remove <whichever package it is> might let you remove the package without doing whichever problematic configuration script step is causing the problem. Then you could use the higher-level apt stuff to remove the rest, then do the update.

    Another option that could conceivably help is to boot from live media and chroot into your install to do your package management. That way, you won't be building kernel modules for the kernel you're actually running, since you'll be using the support structure of the live environment instead. Doing it that way can sometimes help.
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  5. #5
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    Re: 16.04 Consistently Crashing on Update

    Thanks for explaining about nomodeset! When I say "crash," I mean the computer just suddenly turns itself off. It always does it at exactly the same spot, a couple minutes after saying "Building initial module for 4.15.0-60-generic." I power it up and it runs fine, but won't update. I will see if I can figure out how to do the alternative things you suggested, chroot and a live environment etc, and report back.
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  6. #6
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    Re: 16.04 Consistently Crashing on Update

    Quote Originally Posted by arius88 View Post
    I will see if I can figure out how to do the alternative things you suggested, chroot and a live environment etc, and report back.
    Chroot isn't as scary as it sounds, either. It's just "change root." It's setting some other directory as if it was the / (or root of the filesystem tree) directory. So your /mnt/mybrokenubuntuinstall/ or whatever mount point would be returned whenever something asks for /. It lets you keep things sandboxed when you're actually using something else.

    If using dpkg directly doesn't fix the package management system, though, I'm out of ideas other than backing up your data and doing a fresh install. Even if the issue is fixed for newer kernels and newer driver versions, that doesn't help you if you can't stop using the one that you already half have.

    In my experience sudden restarts are either power spikes or illegal memory access. Either of those can happily be triggered by software without necessarily having a hardware fault, but if you're running an overclock of any kind it would probably be prudent to not be doing that.
    Last edited by CatKiller; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:21 PM.

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