Bricked / Crashes my Qubes :(

Hello to all!

So basically I wanted to add my SD card to the sys-usb qube to backup some qubes before doing a clean install. As I didn’t know which device was the SD card I stupidly added a lot of devices to the sys-usb qube and then Qubes just crashed.

Now I can only reach the password screen. If I insert the password it crashes again!

So I would just need to make Qubes don’t start the sys-usb qube automatically.

I searched in the forum, but I can’t access the GRUB to disable the autostart of sys-usb as written here Autostart troubleshooting | Qubes OS

Can anybody please help me?

I have many important data inside Qubes, I hope it’s not lost!

Thank you for anybody that may have a solution!


Qubes is… rather intolerant of that sort of thing, as you’ve now learned!

What are you trying to do, and what isn’t working to access grub?

Power your system on, and start pressing up/down/up/down… This will provide a key input to Grub, letting you then edit the command line as per the documentation you linked.

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Thank you for your answer!

But I’m in UEFI mode, not Legacy, so can’t access to the Grub!

Anyway I’ve got access with the liveUSB Tails to my Qubes partition

For whoever will have the same problem:
0. Have a USB key with Tails installed and boot it

  1. At the Tails bootscreen press the + and add admin password (if Qubes is encrypted)

  2. Go to the file app and unlock the Qubes drive (it will ask the Qubes encryption password + the Tails admin password of the point above)

  3. From the Tails terminal:
    sudo mkdir /mnt/qubes
    sudo mount /dev/mapper/qubes_dom0-root /mnt/qubes

  4. With the file app go to /mnt/qubes/var/lib/qubes/ and open the Qubes.xml file

  5. Ctrl+F , find “sys-usb” and I deleted the devices I added between (or something like that, I don’t remember)

Now Qubes boots up as normal!

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@QNewbie Generally, USB storage devices are not mounted into the sys-usb qube which is a service qube. Instead, just the useful block partitions are mounted into a regular app qube.

See and

To backup my system, I might create a “backup” app qube. To backup I would:

  1. Physically insert the storage device.
  2. Use the “Qubes Devices” (image) icon to attach only the block device into the “backup” app qube.
  3. Launch a file manager in “backup” such as “Files” and open the block device you attached.
  4. Launch the “Backup Qubes” utility and target the backup of all my qubes onto the storage device mounted in “backup.”
  5. After the “Backup Qubes” utility completes, unmount the storage device using “Files” in “backup.”
  6. Use the “Qubes Devices” (image) icon to detach the storage device from the “backup” app qube.
  7. Physically remove the storage device.
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GRUB is on UEFI boot as well (unless you’ve deleted it)

Did you try to add


kernel parameters on grub menu, after the word quiet and then tried to boot and resolve it?