I have an SD card with Raspberry Pi OS, which is usually used for a Raspberry Pi 4B. I also have an old Pi Zero, and wanted to test something with it, but didn't have a spare SD card, so I turned my Pi 4 off and booted the Pi Zero with the 4's SD card. I didn't even need to login or anything, so I powered off in the middle of the boot sequence.

Now I've plugged it back in to the 4 and it's failing to boot. I had some peripherals/ethernet attached, so I stripped it down to just power and HDMI out, but still no joy.

It gets about as far as trying to start the Apache server (which fails as it has config that depends on an external hdd that I've disconnected), and checking for apt upgrades. Then, it starts to repeatedly show the following message, about every 10 seconds (with different timestamps obviously):

[   95.024390] rc.local[519]: Oct 21 25:35:20.791 [FATAL] get-iface-ip: ioctl failure: No such device
[   95.035976] rc.local[519]: ssh: no process found
[   95.038018] rc.local[519]: scp: no process found

Is there anything I can do here to save the system without a fresh install?

  • 1
    Restore from your backup. And NEVER power off while running.
    – Milliways
    Oct 21 '20 at 23:49

It seems you have learnt the hard way never to cut the power of a computer without a graceful shutdown. I'm not very hopeful that you are able to repair the installation on the SD Card with a reasonable effort. The best would be to restore from a backup. Do you have one? ;-)

It is always a good idea to take an image of the current SD Card before trying to recover it. Maybe you are able to repair the old installation with the help of The Boot Problems Sticky.

When you start a new installation, you can recover the data stored in the image you have made and copy it to the new installation. Or you are considering buying an additional SD card. Then you have the data still available on the old SD Card for recovering. And you do not risk to destroy a "productive" installation only for testing.

  • Not the answer I was hoping for, but not surprising either... And no, I don't have a backup... :( Thankfully there's not much to salvage on there, so it won't be too much to recover. Means that I learn this lesson without too much damage! Thanks for your advice!
    – murchu27
    Oct 22 '20 at 10:58
  • @MichaelMurphy Maybe you can repair the old installation? I have updated the answer.
    – Ingo
    Oct 22 '20 at 11:23
  • Thanks for the suggestion, I'll hopefully get to give that a go this evening
    – murchu27
    Oct 22 '20 at 11:27
  • No luck with that linked forum thread sadly. Most of the issues there are related to the SD card not being read at all, or issues with video not showing. Looks I'm stuck with trying to just recover the data and reinstall...
    – murchu27
    Oct 22 '20 at 18:42

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