Update /boot or load kernel module

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Palancar, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I almost resurrected the kernel panic thread I had going back in Oct. Frankly it happened again on that same flash stick so I am disposing of the physical stick. I have never had another /boot stick "jam me" after an upgrade of the kernel. Debian stable came down with a new image on 2-29 and I updated my system. Went fine and the next day during boot --- bang kernel panic. I have no less than 5 Debian systems all running the 2-29 image without any issues at all.

    I keep a spare /boot flash that hasn't been "online" since Aug last year. Its a perfect copy of the original including UUID and everything. I insert that spare and Debian fires right up no problems. Of course when I do a uname -a in the terminal the image from months ago is what is loaded. I know the hard drive is current because I just updated it yesterday and all went well.

    Need some help or ideas here:

    Deciding to update the /boot I opened a terminal and ran a grub update/install on sdb (my flash). Reported full write and no errors at all. I watched the stick's blinking light while the write happened. Apparently it did nothing because I rebooted the OS and it still shows the old kernel/image in the terminal.

    How to solve this issue? Should I just strip this /boot stick down and start over? I have access to my optical tray with the Debian install DVR so I could do the restore.

    I am fairly convinced that had I thrown away that flash stick last year when this happened, I would not have experienced this again. Same exact everything on 5 systems and this one stick is the same culprit again. Little critter had to go.
     
  2. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    Updating GRUB shouldn't be enough, IMO. There's another thing that debian does to update the Kernel image, but I can't get a hold of that right now. I'll look on a few e-Mails that I exchanged with a Debian developer regarding an issue while booting, there's probably some help there. Hold on.

    Have you tried updating the initramfs?
     
  3. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Thanks and no hurry. The system in question is for my Debian family computer. Its generic and simple to rebuild if I need to. I have sector images so its like 20 minutes to restore on usb3. I want to learn not simply blow away the problem. In the meantime I have other systems to use.

    I don't want to short-circuit the learning curve or I'ld put in the Deb installer and use rescue mode. That may be the solution, but again I'll never really know what happened if I do that. Do I think to much? LOL!!


    No

    I have also considered using synaptic and removing all images down to the current one on the working flash. Then I would let Debian do the apt-get stuff to update everything to current. Might be a fun experiment. I have too much time on my hands.
     
  4. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    Might be a solution too. You could boot this debian with a working usb stick, then remove it, then insert the borked stick and mount it as /boot. Then do the synaptic procedure.

    Remember to have a backup of the working stick once you get it working. This way you can just restore it later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  5. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Why is junk like this considered fun by me? I mean it really is in a way. I am not using the borked stick because it did it to me already before. I am going to use a brand new stick and the borked one is physically suspect to me. No other stick I own has ever done this to me. I read around and physical issues on a flash do happen more than you might think.
     
  6. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    Sometimes they can behave strangely. Like when my DVD-RW's don't match the sha512sum for some Linux distros, but do for Windows ISO's o_O
     
  7. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    What I am going to post may be really obvious to many of you but it caught me off guard.

    First off I solved this issue easily be writing back a sector image from before 2-29 (latest Deb image sent down). After mounting the Deb OS with the older image I was able to apt-get all the updates and the bootflash updated courtesy of Deb and all is OK now.

    Lesson learned:

    Since I made the decision to operate Deb using a removable /boot flash stick I have now configured my backup strategy to include a dd of the bootflash being made at the same time I backup the OS. This way both will match and restore seamlessly and with little effort. I did a restore using this method to test it and of course it was smooth. I use small 1 GB bootflash sticks and a dd copy takes 90 seconds, which makes this a no brainer.

    While my stored bootflash backups (actual physical sticks) work, they obviously maintain only the update image available at the time they were created. After a few months they are way behind and not worth too much. So I learned something here about the inter-play between these and Debian. Writing the current bootflash image back to a stick takes about 10 minutes and that is easy too. I have done this a few times this weekend as a test and they all work fine.

    Lesson learned.
     
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