Can't access http, ftp, ssh (...) after creating a snapshot

February 21, 2018 1.6k views
Ubuntu Backups


we were planning on updating php and wanted to create a snapshot of the droplet first as a backup.
We powered off the droploet via ssh, created the snapshot, turned it back on (via DO account) and we now can’t access the server anymore (http, ftp, ssh).
Everything gives a “timeout error”.

We contacted DO support and they said:
“This issue is related to the grub configuration being invalid on the Droplet when being picked up by the grub loader kernel the Droplet is currently set to.”.

They then suggested the following:
“The best solution where feasible is to re-deploy with a modern image and update any snapshots based on these. (…) if this still fails to boot, we will need to use the recovery environment to verify the situation on the Disk and see if we can work from there.”

This is pretty much all gibberish to us as our only plan for today was to create a backup and update php, but we’re now in a situation where we’re dealing with >4hrs of downtime and have a growing number of frustrated paying subscribers not being able to access our websites.

So our questions is - what exactly do we do to resolve this?
Any help is appreciated!
Thanks in advance.


4 Answers

Hello Andrej

I think your best bet is going to be to boot into the recovery kernel and fix your system grub loader or even backup your files you need and create a new server.

However, the process of fixing your system totally depends on your unique situation, so, unfortunately, I can’t offer much help.


Simon - SnapShooter DigitalOcean Backups

by Justin Ellingwood
Linux includes a filesystem checking utility called fsck that can be used to recover your system in cases of corruption. In this guide, we will discuss how to attempt to recover your filesystem if there are filesystem issues by using the fsck kernel and a recovery ISO.

Hire a competent sysadmin and keep your droplets up to date in the future.

Thank you very much for your prompt response!

We tried the fsck command now, still nothing.

It’s a bit of an irony that there’s potential we have to back up the data, when there’s no way to access the data, because all we wanted to do was create a snapshot (back up the data) which may have caused the data to be corrupted…

This is probably a good reason to reboot your droplet before you do the snapshot. This way you can find out if there are any issues and spend time troubleshooting those issues, instead of having to troubleshoot those issues after an already long downtime from doing a snapshot.

Keeping some backups of “/boot” might be a good idea as well, like “cp -a /boot /2018-08-23-boot”, especially before doing a kernel update.

Wayne Sallee

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