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I installed an Ubuntu virtual machine on Vmware. However, one time the disk was full, the system was installing some updates, it quit without giving any message. Now the system is crashed, I can not even launch firefox to download data.

How can I recover this virtual machine to a previous state?

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What exactly is the problem? Does it just hang, does it complain about to less free space, or something different? – Bobby Mar 21 '10 at 21:23
the firefox does not appear, even though I clicked on it thousand times :-s – Hoang Pham Mar 21 '10 at 21:42
the synaptic package installer does not work :-s – Hoang Pham Mar 21 '10 at 21:43
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try running firefox from the commandline, what happens? If that fails, try running the following from the command line:

firefox -safe-mode

Try removing your profile (you will lose your bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, etc). Your profile is usually located in ~/.mozilla or ~/.firefox, it's a sub-directory in there, remove the subdir only.

This is a fixable problem (or at least should be). The issue is figuring out why firefox isn't starting. That said, it's possible that firefox not starting is the least of your problems. Who knows what else is busted. . . getting some idea as to why firefox is failing may help you figure out if anything else is broken.

If all else fails:

  1. Create a new VM
  2. Install OS on new VM
  3. Add disk image from the crashed VM to the new VM (add disk via vmware settings)
  4. Copy needed data from old disk, to new disk.
  5. Profit!
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in fact, I have removed that vm and install the new one. that solved the issue – Hoang Pham Mar 22 '10 at 13:20

I would try running the command-line version of synaptic to see what's going on with the package system. It may be that your install of firefox, or something it depends on, is halfway updated.


dpkg --configure -a

will tell it to pick up where it left off during program update/installation.

Also you may want to run

aptitude dist-upgrade

to continue the interrupted upgrade.

This approach may not just work, but should at least get you a semi-informative error message.

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