An idiots guide to reinstalling qubes os 4.2 part 2

I thought it best to document my trials for the benefit of those who come later. However, let me stress that i am the idiot referred to in the title, not them.

My first post enquired about reconfiguring the kernal via something called modprobe. In thispost a user by the name of apparatus was kind enough to parse my waffle-filled OP and suggest some things that might lead to a successful resolution.

Although I didnt have a network card, it brought to mind a high speed USB card I had installed with the intention of using it for backup purposes before discovering that the blue and red usb ports on the back of my computer meant that I already had several usb 3.1 and 3.2 slots and so the pci card was superfluous at the point of installation. After removing the aforementioned card from the system I then rebooted and via the boot menu on the bios restarted the installation process. Feeling particularly reckless I clicked on the updated 6.2 kernal for good measure ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ I remember thinking as I dozed off watching the pc flicker away happily.

When I awoke this morning it was to a POST screen that has become increasingly familiar in recent days albeit with a different error than before. I have pasted this message below.

Warning: /dev/mapper/qubes_dom0-root does not exist
Warning: /dev/qubes_dom0/root does not exist

Generating “/run/initramfs/rdsosreport.txt”

Entering emergency mode. Exit the shell to continue.
Type “journalctl” to view system logs.
You might wanti to save “/run/initramfs/rdsosreport.txt” to a USB stick or /boot
after mounting them and attach it to a bug report.

Press ENTER form maintenance
(or press Control-D to continue)

Although I knew I should probably save the file and ask for advice here, I also knew that the contents of the file would be near incomprehensible to me; I also knew that with me not being at work today the chances of my waiting for someone to reply on here were close to nil. So, I held my breath and hit ctrl+d in the hope that the error would just magically go away. But almost immediately the response flashed up upon the screen:

Warning: Not all disks have been found.
Warning: You might want to regenerate your initramfs.

‘Bugger thr bastard thing’ I remember thinking to myself as I went to put the kettle on perform my morning abolutions, before recalling how my attempts to distrohop had left me without a dependable daily driver since my last qubes install went poof in the lead up to Christmas. ‘Qubes is like democracy’ I mused 'the worst form of (computer) government, ‘until you remember all the other ones.’

So anyway, I got to googling and within short order found the following discussion on this here site:

Although my system wasn’t working before the latest problem, I hoped that the thread might help me find a solution all the same. However. As I skimmed through the thread not only did I notice that nothing the assistor was suggesting seemed to work but also I understood very little of it anyway. Although ultimately the OP gave up on solving the issue, the final post by someone else (12 months later) talked of having solved the issue by means of mounting a debian live iso and using that to somehow mount qubes.

Having decided on a plan of action I plugged my ventoy usb into the system only to realise I didnt have a vanilla iso of debian already saved. Quickly plugging another usb into the system I then formatted it only to realise that in my haste I had formatted ventoy disk rather the new disk. ‘You f*****g dipshit’ I thought before putting another item on my list of computer related issues to sort out once my lack of a daily driver was resolved.

I plugged in the debian live distro and had a brief fiddle but nothing stood out and I needed to go out anyway so i removed the usb stick and hit rshutdown as I began to dress. Looking over at the machine I saw that I must have hit restart by mistake because the qubes installation screen had just timed out on the standard ‘install qubes/no review’ option and the installer so began. I don’t know if any of you remember a movie series by the name of Poltergeist? Well there’s one scene in one of them in which the protagonist walks into a room where there are a couple of kids watching TV, before noticing that the telly isn’t plugged in. Well. In a moment paralleling that scene, as I watched the qubes installer chirp excitedly away I looked down on the desk only to realise that usb stick with the qubes install iso wasn’t even plugged in!!

‘Good thing I’m not as superstitious as I once was’ I remember thinking, but there was still a bit of a spooky flutter in my stomach to begin with. Nevertheless, the installer continued at a tremendous pace, right through the debian part of the installer and on into the fedora install as well. To emphasise, at this point there were no usb sticks plugged in at all. About half way through the whonix part of the installer however it began to freeze and so, more in hope than anything else, I plugged the usb stick with the qubes iso on it back in and to my surprise after a few moments the install progression bar began to proceed once again.

A few minutes later the configuration screen - a screen in the install process I have reached only once in the past few attempts - appeared. I felt a temptation to not tick the option for a usb-sys given it was my attempts to appease this requirement that had not only nuked my original working install but also (seemingly) the one previous time i had reached this point in the install process since. But i held my nerve and selected a usb qube and the box to allow my usb mouse to work alongside my shitty ps2 mini keyboard whose arrival in the post preempted this whole reinstall saga.

As I typed my user password in I held my breath telling myself not to get my hopes up and to my astonishment the dom0 desktop not only appeared but my mouse and keyboard appeared to be functioning normally too!

However there have been a few issues and it is these that preficate this second forum post.

The first of these i appears to have resolved. Many of the templates were missing updates when I first logged in, and also there was some sort of problem with setting the time when I first tried to access the Internet. A splash screen appeared stating that a file called sdwupdate.exe could not be found in the whonix workstation files. Whenever I tried to Google for this file I would get answers about something else called swupdate.exe, these alternatives were so insistent it was sw and not sdw that writing it now i question if I remember right. But I know at the time I was positive I even did a google search for ’ “sdwupdate.exe” ’ and not a single thing came up. It was at this point that I manually changed the time as per the splash screens 3rd suggestion to try if the first two didn’t work (one of which was I think to do a root upgrade or upgrade from within dom0 but it didn’t work).

So anyway i had just managed to get the internet working again when I realised that all of the templates seemed to need updating. So I went through installing those and I noticed thatvthe only vms using tor was the whonix ones. Am I misremembering, or is it supposed to be all of them? And then the fedora template seemed to be missing its own file which sounds asvif it is something from a computer game called magenta. The file missing starts dnf something my googlefu revealed a repo called mageira and I assume it is that which is being referred to although I remain unclear about what the computer game has to do with it. But anyway after googling how to install that repo on the fedora template it seemed to refuse me because I didn’t have a root password (for fedora, not tge whole qubes install].

And, well anyway, all these post install problems in conjunction with my acceptance of the fact that this is all well outside my comfort zone (in terms of fixing installers and fixing linux Os), should’ve just bite the bullet and buy a new nvme drive? Cos I’ve noticed that the install process is a lot more straightforward on a virgin drive. Or perhaps maybe there is something I can run that tells me if my install is working as its creators intend? Cos I don’t know if my fixes are actually helping or making things worse. As I said earlier, I thought everything went through whonix for example, not just the workstation vm.

I mean.ideally I want to get the structure sorted with my usb BT dongle installed andvthen take a snapshot of it that I can keep elsewhere, so I can use it as a base in the future too for when I eventually bollix up this one. But if its buggered to begin with that feels a waste of time.

I also want to have a w10 qube this time for gaming purposes, rather than having it on a seperate hard disk. But it feels as though I need to stabilise this boat in the instance rathervthan worrying about passengers.

) (2.1 MB)

In case this is of use. I have also just noticed that dom0 time has not changed, even though the time on the desktop control panel has.

Please ignore. I just reinstalled the base 4.2 version over the top of the upgraded kernal edition without formatting it first (same passwords etc,) and I think the issues have resolved themselves. Certainly there was no issues with installation like the 2 previous times. Can only assume the rw with no format papered over whatever the original crack was.