During my attempt to upgrade my Xubuntu 14.04 installation with

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

I made the mistake of interrupting the process by closing my laptop, which caused it to suspend to disk. After re-opening, the monitor remained black, so I was forced to reboot the system. I have since discovered many failures of drivers (wlan0 missing, USB memory stick cannot be mounted, USB mouse not recognised, and maybe more undiscovered problems with hardware).

My beginner's attempts to manually repair the single problems could have made it even worse. During the installation of the current distribution I chose to encrypt my whole hard disk.

  • Are you on Ubuntu, and what version are you using? Linux is not synonymous with Ubuntu. Mar 20, 2016 at 20:07
  • In the tag section I searched for ubuntu, and I could choose only "14.04", which stands for the version of ubuntu. But, ok I better edit the title.
    – gloschtla
    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:59
  • Other questions are starting to be nominated as a duplicate of your question. I'm wondering if the answer below worked for you two years ago (if you can remember). Thank you. May 10, 2018 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


Do this:

  • Switch on your computer.
  • Press and hold the Shift key, which will bring up the Grub menu.
  • Select the line which starts with Advanced options.
  • Select the line ending with (recovery mode)
  • Press Enter and your computer will begin the boot process.

Your computer should display a menu with a number of options.

One of the options will be Check all file systems:

  • Press Enter with this option highlighted.
  • One of the options will be Enable networking.
  • Press Enter with this option highlighted.

Next, other of the options will be Drop to root shell prompt.

  • Press Enter with this option highlighted.

Your computer should boot in a terminal enter the following commands there:

mount -o remount,rw /
mount --all
dpkg --configure -a
apt-get update
apt-get -f install
apt-get -m install
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
apt-get autoremove
apt-get clean
  • Thank you for this quick reply. It makes sense to me. But why should this not work without recovery mode? ... Now I have reinstalled xubuntu-desktop with Synaptic. We'll see what happened after the coming rebooting.
    – gloschtla
    Mar 21, 2016 at 20:02
  • It is safer not work with active graphics.
    – kyodake
    Mar 22, 2016 at 0:25
  • I did all that and a red flag was that I had 0 problems anywhere. but, my ubuntu desktop (especially ~/Desktop) has severe issues (which i can deal with). for example, i can't copy files directly to the desktop and i also cant see a desktop wallpaper. at least i can see the wallpaper in other desktop environments (cinnamon and ubuntu-gnome-desktop). i noticed something claiming something was being downgraded while installing the two extra desktops when i couldn't log into the system after an installation of downloaded NVIDIA drivers.
    – nyxee
    Aug 20, 2017 at 10:51
  • An edit and an upvote! ;-)
    – Fabby
    May 19, 2018 at 21:49
  • 2
    You've saved me twice in two days. First I had upgraded 14.04 -> 16.06 , laptop got shutdown in the middle of it, but with your steps I recovered. Then got the pop-up to update to 18.04, and the same thing happened lol. I love Linux, but sometimes it really shits the bed. Feb 14, 2019 at 15:00

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