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#1 2021-11-21 18:11

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

Hi, noob here.

A few months ago, I installed Q4os via the Wubi method on the C drive of a netbook on which I'd previously installed Windows 10. I've been using it regularly ever since for a range of tasks, as it's a much better productivity fit for the hardware than Windows 10.

Today I tried to boot it and instead of booting it just goes straight to a Grub prompt. I have never seen this prompt in all my months of using Q4os. I have no idea how to progress beyond this point.

The Debian folder is still accessible via Windows and via an ls command from the Grub prompt. The boot/grub folder is empty but I don't know if it has always been like this.

I think last time I used the machine I suspended to RAM, and the battery must've run out at some point as I had to restart the machine rather than wake it up. This happens occasionally, however, and has never been an issue before.

Also, I don't know if this is relevant but since I first installed Q4os, every boot has been delayed for about 90 seconds as the screen just displays "wubildr not found" before proceeding to boot as normal (now just going to Grub).

Have I lost my install, and all the data I (foolishly) saved in it? Crucially is there any way to recover my data from the Wubi install? Any help is greatly appreciated!

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#2 2021-11-22 00:06

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

Does file c:\debian\disks\root.disk exist ? It's a loop file containing the complete root filesystem including data.

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#3 2021-11-22 00:36

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

q4osteam wrote:

Does file c:\debian\disks\root.disk exist ? It's a loop file containing the complete root filesystem including data.

OK, this doesn't look promising. When it first booted to grub I was able to see /disks, but trying to get an ls for it returned an error. Same thing happened first time I booted into W10 and tried to explore into it.

Now when I access the debian folder in either Grub or W10, there is no sign of the folder /disks at all.

I've never known a folder just disappear like that. So I guess that means everything is gone for good, right? sad

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#4 2021-11-22 11:39

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

Weirder and weirder. I ran two file undelete programs in Windows in the hope of finding the remains of the root file.

The first didn't find any hint of a deleted Disks folder. Nor did the second, but when I searched for any files on the drive over 20gb, it found a file called root.disk of the right size and with the right creation/modification details for when I first installed q4os and when I last used it - but no file path. A Windows file search couldn't find anything to match that filename.

So it looks like it might still be there, but where "there" is I have no way of finding out. Utterly bizarre. I've worked with computers for decades, and have never seen anything like this.

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#5 2021-11-22 12:22

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

It looks like Windows, or some security software, removed the root.disk file for some reason. It couldn't be done from inside Linux filesystem mounted active.

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#6 2021-11-22 23:39

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

q4osteam wrote:

It looks like Windows, or some security software, removed the root.disk file for some reason. It couldn't be done from inside Linux filesystem mounted active.

Windows hasn't run on the laptop since May, although I guess the booting does have to part load Windows.

Any thoughts on the root.disk file that is there yet isn't there, a file that has no path and the folder it was in no longer exists? How could that even be possible? I can't begin to imagine how I could retrieve this file if I can't even browse to it.

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#7 2021-12-01 01:38

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

Update: I managed to recover the root.disk file, and the recovery also found a swap.disk file. It looks like Windows lost track of both the files.

Next question is: What can I do with these? Is it a matter of repopulating the disks folder with these files and then hoping q4os boots again? Or is there a way to access the file system directly from the disk file to extract data and files?

Update 2: both of the above worked. Repopulating the folder with the files got q4os booting again, and I was also able to use 7zip to browse the file system.

Last edited by bretsim (2021-12-01 04:04)

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#8 2021-12-01 11:48

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

Thanks for the detailed reporting. We appreciate that you continue to report, this is great feedback for us for testing and investigating.

Once you restore the root.disk file, you can rename it so that you can back it up. You can continue with a clean installation and replace the backup file while you are in Windows, so you will then boot to the backup disk.

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#9 2021-12-06 13:10

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

q4osteam wrote:

Thanks for the detailed reporting. We appreciate that you continue to report, this is great feedback for us for testing and investigating.

Once you restore the root.disk file, you can rename it so that you can back it up. You can continue with a clean installation and replace the backup file while you are in Windows, so you will then boot to the backup disk.

That's useful, and thanks for replying. My pet hate is question threads where the OP doesn't update!

On a related note, if I ever decide to switch to Q4OS as the only OS on the laptop (it suits the hardware much better than W10 tbh), is there an easy way to transfer the way this WUBI install is set up (programs, files etc) to a full install?

Last edited by bretsim (2021-12-06 13:11)

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#10 2021-12-06 17:02

Midas
Member
Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 131

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

bretsim wrote:

If I ever decide to switch to Q4OS as the only OS on the laptop (it suits the hardware much better than W10 tbh), is there an easy way to transfer the way this WUBI install is set up (programs, files etc) to a full install?

Related question: would dd writing the image to a physical disk partition work -- after taking care of bootloader changes, ofc?

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#11 2021-12-07 09:31

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

bretsim wrote:

On a related note, if I ever decide to switch to Q4OS as the only OS on the laptop (it suits the hardware much better than W10 tbh), is there an easy way to transfer the way this WUBI install is set up (programs, files etc) to a full install?

Unfortunately, no easy way is available. We recommend you to perform a fresh installation and restore user data from backup. Nonetheless, you can make use of Desktop profiler to create a "snapshot profile" of your current system and apply it on a clean installation.

Midas wrote:

Related question: would dd writing the image to a physical disk partition work -- after taking care of bootloader changes, ofc?

"dd" could be usable, however we haven't tested it. Anyway, we don't recommend simple transfer of an installation to another hardware, restoring Desktop profiler snapshot would be much more proper and safe way.

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#12 2021-12-07 14:22

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

q4osteam wrote:
bretsim wrote:

On a related note, if I ever decide to switch to Q4OS as the only OS on the laptop (it suits the hardware much better than W10 tbh), is there an easy way to transfer the way this WUBI install is set up (programs, files etc) to a full install?

Unfortunately, no easy way is available. We recommend you to perform a fresh installation and restore user data from backup. Nonetheless, you can make use of Desktop profiler to create a "snapshot profile" of your current system and apply it on a clean installation.

Midas wrote:

Related question: would dd writing the image to a physical disk partition work -- after taking care of bootloader changes, ofc?

"dd" could be usable, however we haven't tested it. Anyway, we don't recommend simple transfer of an installation to another hardware, restoring Desktop profiler snapshot would be much more proper and safe way.

Interesting. So would a snapshot of a WUBI install be transferable to a full install?

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#13 2021-12-08 09:51

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

@bretsim
We haven't tested that, so cannot confirm, however it should work.

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#14 2022-05-07 06:40

bretsim
Member
Registered: 2021-11-21
Posts: 9

Re: Help! Q4os suddenly not booting

Sigh. It's happened again. This time, both disk files still seem to be in situ, but when I try to load Q4os, the boot process sits at the message saying wubildr not found for the usual 60 seconds, then an error message flashes up too quickly to read, and then I'm at the GRUB prompt.

Any suggestions?

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