Last week I went to format a new 128 GB SD card using my USB card reader on my Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu. Turns out I (at some point) reformatted my main Linux drive, which happened to be on an identical SD card. I didn’t even realize what I had done until I went to reboot several days later.
I had decided to run off of a USB HDD drive, but this was more complicated than I expected. I figured I could just re-install Linux on the SD card and make the few mods to the boot root and all would be fine. Well, after many hours, I still couldn’t get back to where I was. So today I decided to do a clean install. I was originally using an old 32 GB SD card which seemed small but with my new 128 GB maybe it is best to run everything from the SD card and just mount the USB HDD for media (which is where all the disk space is used anyway). Then I could even do backups on the USB drive and not have to worry about all the complications of having two OS copies, one on the SD card and one on the HDD.
First step was to download Raspberry Pi 4 Ubuntu install disk. Good news is that 20.04 is now available, while I was on 18.04. An sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade got me a clean copy. Then a sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop got me the UI. Couldn’t be easier. Now all I have to do is set up my use account, move the files over and mount the USB HDD. And install things like Chrome and Plex. Oh, and set the timezone and hostname. Etc. Going to take a break first.
One lesson: I almost decommed my old x86 Shuttle PC. Turns out you need a second system when things go bad. I suppose if I had a good bootable SD flash card I would have a fighting chance, but it sure was easier having another machine to work from.
Oh, checked the WiFi. Still broken.