Last Friday, I was using software updater to update some of my software, but halfway through, I realized I wouldn't have time to complete all of the updates. I unfortunately had to stop the updates halfway through, and then tried to shut down. However, when I tried to shut down, the dialog box for shut down wasn't able to be clicked, and after trying several things, I was forced to do a hard shut down.

Turning my computer on today, I was greeted with several "System Program Problem Detected" dialog boxes dancing around on the screen. They prompted me to report the problems, which I did. But now everything is messed up! There are no visible internet connections for me to connect to, the software updater closes automatically whenever I try to install updates, and I can't turn off my computer (whenever I click shut down, only the dialog box for logging out appears.) I don't know what happened, but I'm really concerned. Things I have tried so far:

sudo dpkg --configure -a

Which seemed to resolve some issues, but not all. Then I tried:

sudo apt-get install -f

Which tells me it it unable to fetch some archives, and I should try:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get update --fix-missing

Neither of which seem to resolve any issues.

Please, if you know anything about what might be going on, I would really appreciate the help.


I've interrupted an update (sudo apt-get dist-upgrade or an update during shut-down) multiple times by using Ctrl+C, but I've never tried doing a hard shut-down during an update, so I only see 2 solutions:

  1. This is the moment to get your system backup out of the closet and restore your system. I did this just yesterday and doing the restore and re-install of all the updates since the last restore took me under 40 minutes.

  2. The only other way of getting out of this mess, is to keep your /home and delete all other partitions and re-install your OS...

  3. You might try (no guarantees given) to boot into the previous kernel and try an update from there...

Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news

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  • Would you be able to provide me with information on how to do the second one? I'm still very, very new to all this and am kinda freaking out right now. – cadams Aug 17 '15 at 15:01
  • Also, if you don't mind, can I explain my current situation to you and would you be able to recommend the best course of action? – cadams Aug 17 '15 at 15:05
  • It has not worked quite yet. I'm trying to reinstall and I'm following the directions you provided. I'm being instructed to run the installer, but I don't know how to do this. – cadams Aug 17 '15 at 15:44
  • Best solution to avoid further problems – A.B. Aug 17 '15 at 15:50
  • 1
    @A.B. I'm sorry, still very new to this. What do you mean by "boot a live system"? – cadams Aug 17 '15 at 16:07

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