Laptop unusable after upgrading from Leap 42.3 to Leap 15

I decided to upgrade my work laptop, a Dell Precision M4400, so I followed System upgrade procedures.

All files were downloaded and installed, except one: The kernel. It complained that /boot was full. (This is a problem every time a new kernel is downloaded. I manually remove the oldest kernel and rerun the update. I don’t understand why it needs to have 15-20 kernels available). I tried to delete the oldest kernel but was unable to access the software application on YAST, Zypper must have been blocking it. So I ignored it.

Once zypper dup was done I went to YAST and deleted a bunch of old kernels, only leaving the latest 5.

Reran zypper dup and the kernel was installed.


Weird GRUB error. Can’t recall the exact error but I think it was that prompt you get when it can’t find something.


GRUB didn’t complain. Encryption password was entered and as it was trying to boot I got errors](


Now BIOS says there’s no hard drive. Run diagnostics and no hard drive is detected. I can hear the HD power up and then shut down after a few seconds. There’s no “click of death” either.

I’ve been searching around for information but this is too risky for me to do without handholding. I have a backup but substantial work was done after the backup. I don’t want to risk losing those files.

Thanks for your help.

A reasonably old laptop (based on a quick search I just did). There is always a chance that the HDD has failed, but you could try removing it and reinserting it again just incase it’s not seated properly. If the BIOS can’t see it there is a fundamental hardware issue to deal with. If not the HDD, perhaps the controller interface within the laptop. You might consider purchasing a USB HDD adapter cable to see if the drive can be accessed from another PC and for backup purposes, assuming that it hasn’t failed.

First power the machine right down. Remove the power cord and disconnect the battery if possible. Wait one minute before reconnecting and attempting to boot into BIOS. Hope that the HDD is detected. If not remove the HDD to check it further.

The preferred method of upgrading is to download and boot from an install image transferred to CD, DVD or USB device. The advantage for zypper cited in the quoted article (minimising number of files downloaded) can largely be achieved by using a NET install. Using a separate boot image also has advantages should something go wrong. For me the main advantage of a zypper upgrade is that it can be performed remotely, and it lends itself to being used in a script for mass deployment.

Using zypper places the responsibility for organising the repository list with the user. If you get the machine to boot please show the output of “zypper lr -Eu” within code tags.

The multiple kernels installed is probably the result of manually editing /etc/zypp/zypp.conf . The recommended value for the multiversion paremaeter is as:

multiversion.kernels = latest,latest-1,running

If this appears multiple times, it is the last definition that takes effect.

Reseating did nothing. I’l get the adapter. Thanks.

I also would like to add that Fedora Live boots fine. Just tested it

I bought an enclosure. It works fine with other drives but not with this one.

dmesg shows:

[15153.755211] usb 2-3: USB disconnect, device number 11
[15156.703160] usb 2-4: new SuperSpeed USB device number 12 using xhci_hcd
[15156.726541] usb 2-4: New USB device found, idVendor=1f75, idProduct=0621
[15156.726548] usb 2-4: New USB device strings: Mfr=4, Product=5, SerialNumber=6
[15156.726552] usb 2-4: SerialNumber: 1
[15156.945736] usb-storage 2-4:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[15156.946127] scsi host5: usb-storage 2-4:1.0

The drive is not showing up in /dev

The drive sounds normal though. Spins up and stays constant

Is it even possible to recover something from it if udev is not seeing it?

With that HDD unit attached, what is reported by the following?

sudo fdisk -l
sudo blkid

If the device is being enumerated (with it’s partitions) the next step will be to try using a rescue/recovery tool (eg GParted) to try and backup any data if possible.

fdisk -l reports sda, which is the local drive, and /dev/mapper entries (all on sda)

blkid: Same thing

If that is the case, then it is dead.

OK, I’ll have to replace that drive then. That’ll get me back to a useful computer but then there’s the data.

Any good forums on data recovery, hard drive repair, etc?


I don’t like your chances with this device. Professional data recovery services may have a raft of techniques available including swapping controller boards if necessary. The info you’ve shared so far indicates that the device is not functioning at all. At the very least a block device should show up (even if the underlying file-systems or partitions are damaged).

Oh, well. Thank you all for your help.