Perfect Debian setup broken :(

New to Debian (Or Linux in general)? Ask your questions here!

Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby Kevino » 2018-01-16 14:37

Hi all,
Very new here. So I installed Debian Stretch, set it up as I wanted, local server sorted, usb ports that weren't working and broken sound settings suddenly worked again. Got the non free wifi drivers and everything was working. Delighted!

Then I made a big mistake. I added Trisquel Repos into the sources list. A few days later I did sudo apt-get upgrade. That was the command that I believe ruined my computer. Don't ask me why I did it, I just did.

Now, network manager is broken. I tried to re-install a number of times by installing Network Manager 1.6.2 and Network Manager gnome 1.4.4. No luck at all. Network Manager just keeps failing on start up. All the USB ports, Ethernet port and memory card ports are suddenly broken. So I can't back up data. I can't add new software. I'm stuck at every turn the the computer is now useless!

Is there any way I can do a full reinstall by using the software already on the computer? I am at a complete loss. The next step is to get a new hard drive.

I'm using a HP Pavilion Intel i3. I did have Debian Stretch on it with Cinnamon desktop. Interesting to note that if I go into system settings, it shows that Trisquel is installed and not Debian Stretch. But only show that there.

Is there ANY way I can save my computer before I bin it?
Kevino
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-01-16 14:25

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby bw123 » 2018-01-16 14:47

...get a new hard drive? That sounds a little extreme.

I guess you can fix it if you are patient, restore to a plain debian only sources.list like in /usr/share/doc/apt/examples and purge and reinstall the things that got hosed from the other repo. It's not easy, and aptitude is better at this IMO than apt.
User avatar
bw123
 
Posts: 2759
Joined: 2011-05-09 06:02
Location: TN_USA

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby kopper » 2018-01-16 14:53

You don't need a new hard drive for installing Debian. If your USB ports are borked for good, hard drive won't fix a thing. Are you sure you can't boot from USB? If it turns out you can, use live distro to boot and backup your stuff. After that, reinstall.

You might have luck in restoring some operability with bw123's advise, but I'd do a reinstall as soon as you have the backups you need.
Debian 9.3 Stable with i3
Secure your stuff: Securing Debian Manual
Don't break your stuff: Source List Management DontBreakDebian
kopper
 
Posts: 99
Joined: 2016-09-30 14:30

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby Kevino » 2018-01-16 16:24

Thanks very much for the replies guys. So I've tried to boot from two different live USBs. It just says "No bootable software found" . I have updated the sources list already but as I have no network they won't update the system. Another issue is a lot of the software seems to be missing. Apt is working but no Aptitude. I suppose if I knew what drivers to get I might be able to Bluetooth them onto the machine as Bluetooth still works oddly enough. I think that's a feature of Cinnamon desktop. Is there any Debian backup that might be installed as standard that I could boot in recovery mode or anything? Thanks for any further help you can offer.
Kevino
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-01-16 14:25

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby kopper » 2018-01-17 06:11

What live OS are you trying to use? How did you prepare the live USBs?

One option is always to take the HDD out of the machine, attach it to another computer, do the backups and then reattach and reinstall. Last part may be a problem since you don't seem to be able to boot from USB, but that sounds more like BIOS/UEFI configuration issue than problems with your Debian installation. One possibility is also that you haven't prepared your live USBs correctly. Debian is especially picky about what you use to write image to USB. These instructions should be working fine.

Unless you have done something else you haven't described in your original post, I'd suggest you check your BIOS/UEFI settings for boot order and parameters. In addition, ensure that live USBs you've prepared are actually functional, try them in another machine if you can.
Debian 9.3 Stable with i3
Secure your stuff: Securing Debian Manual
Don't break your stuff: Source List Management DontBreakDebian
kopper
 
Posts: 99
Joined: 2016-09-30 14:30

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-01-17 06:14

An inability to boot USB sticks would indicate a motherboard failure rather than a software problem, IMO.
"Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education." — Bertrand Russell
User avatar
Head_on_a_Stick
 
Posts: 7184
Joined: 2014-06-01 17:46
Location: /dev/chair

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby Kevino » 2018-01-17 08:15

Okay, I have something now. I inserted the Debian Stretch USB which I used to install it originally. I was using a Linux Mint USB which i prepared using Linux USB image writer. But that wasn't being recognised. But the Debian USB is being recognised. Is there any way to reinstall it without losing all my files? I have backups of the files but only from December 2017. Ive done a lot of work this month but stupidly didnt back up. If I could keep the files as they are that would be perfect. Any advice on how to achieve this?
Kevino
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-01-16 14:25

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby Kevino » 2018-01-17 08:54

Okay, I just need to install network manager for now. Is there any way I can do this in rescue mode? I've already tried but failed. Are the correct drivers on the live CD?
Kevino
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-01-16 14:25

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby kopper » 2018-01-18 04:28

So USB works. If you have Debian USB without live running capability, I think the easiest way to go about it is to make one that has. See my link in previous post. At least it's way easier to walk you through installing network manager in rescue mode (which I've never done myself). What makes you think you need network manager to sort this out, anyway? I can't really comment on backing up in rescue mode either, somebody wiser would need to step in.

You really should do the re-install as soon as possible, there's no saving your system with packages from two different distros.
Debian 9.3 Stable with i3
Secure your stuff: Securing Debian Manual
Don't break your stuff: Source List Management DontBreakDebian
kopper
 
Posts: 99
Joined: 2016-09-30 14:30

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-01-18 17:16

Take one USB to a friend with Windows, ask friend to download Rufus and Xubuntu 16.04 iso. Put Xubuntu on USB using Rufus, boot it on your computer. Take another USB for backup purposes and back up all your data. Then use Debian installer to reinstall Stable.
Or just install Xubuntu, way less hassle for you.
User avatar
Wheelerof4te
 
Posts: 656
Joined: 2015-08-30 20:14

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby debiman » 2018-01-18 18:07

Kevino wrote:But the Debian USB is being recognised. Is there any way to reinstall it without losing all my files?

yes, boot from that.
if it doesn't give you a live environment, it should at least give you a root shell, i suppose.
from that, boot your internal hard drive, and some external storage, then copy the files over.
after that, re-install and i'm sure your hardware will be just fine.
User avatar
debiman
 
Posts: 1898
Joined: 2013-03-12 07:18

Re: Perfect Debian setup broken :(

Postby stevepusser » 2018-01-18 22:08

Before reinstalling, also think about separate data partitions that won't get overwritten by an OS reinstallation.
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Krita 3.3.3, Pale Moon 27.7.2, Yacreader 9.0rc1, Calligra 3.1, VLC 3.0.0, Firefox 58.0.2, QMPlay2 17.12.31
User avatar
stevepusser
 
Posts: 9219
Joined: 2009-10-06 05:53


Return to Beginners Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

fashionable