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STICKY: Manual updating NOOBS Recovery Partition?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:14 pm

When you install Raspbian using NOOBS it creates a Recovery Partition on the SD Card for NOOBS recovery.

Is it possible to replace the files in recovery Partition with a new version of NOOBS from the Download page by deleting the files in Recovery Parition and replacing them with the newest version? Thus updating NOOBS without having to reformat the memory card (along with my Raspbian install) with the latest version of NOOBS.

Keep in mind I already know that NOOBS is just a Recovery/Installer for your main OS. I just want to update the NOOBS part without having to purge my whole SD Card just to have the latest version of NOOBS 1.4 Offline updated from NOOBS 1.3.12.

Is it just not necessary to bother with updating NOOBS Recovery partition because it's just a installer for raspbian?

Should I just consider using the Raspbian Image rather than the NOOBS Installer so that I don't have to bother with NOOBS any more? I don't really use NOOBS for anything other than initial install. I tend to always reformat my card and install fresh.

PS. I apologize if this is in the wrong section but granted that I'm asking a very technical question and that the Raspberry Pi OS Forum section doesn't have a NOOBS section I figure this was more of a Advanced user question.

Update: I've decided to just image my SD Card with the latest version Raspbian and finally ditch NOOBS all together. :geek:

Update 2: I moved on from NOOBS entirely and now using the Raspbian image itself without NOOBS. It seems to relieve the issue all together regarding if I have to update NOOBS Recovery partition. If you're not a fan of NOOBS or don't find a use for having it other than initial setup you may want to just use the image, especially if you're not going to ever Dual boot your SD card:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/documentatio ... /README.md

Update 3:
The second post on this answers the questions. You can update noobs manually without having to do fresh install just follow the directions they are very clear and after reading them you should never have to reinstall an OS just because of a New NOOBS coming out. Just update your OSes with commandline and etc and read the directions below. Thanks jdunson :geek: viewtopic.php?p=700824#p700824

If somebody can make this a Sticky on the forums it could help a lot ;)

Update 4: Woah! I'm a Sticky post! Awesome-sauce! :ugeek: 8-)
Last edited by PuppetHoundZ on Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:08 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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Re: Manual upating NOOBS Recovery Partition?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:18 pm

Just in case anyone else is looking for this info, I have just gotten it to work. Inspired largely by: http://thepihut.com/blogs/raspberry-pi- ... berry-pi-2 but which is missing a few pieces of info for certain situations.

You will need another computer capable of mounting the microSD card (possibly with an adapter) to carry this process out as described; it may be technically possible to do this "bootstrap style" from a running Pi, but that's another layer of complexity I've not gotten sorted out yet. I personally just performed this on a Mac, although AFAIK it should work on most modern computers. Ideally both this and the Pi have network connections, although it's possible for them to share or to do it in other ways.

You will also need an existing Pi supported by the card image you have already. Presumably, if you have a card image you want to keep but upgrade, you have an existing Pi you were using it with in the first place. But if for example you had a Pi A+ in your birdhouse and a new Pi 2 indoors, you'd need to do some juggling or borrow another old Pi to get everything updated the first time.

* Strongly recommended: Back up your microSD card before starting.

* Boot the microSD card on a Pi that it already supports; if you need to update from pre-1.3.12 NOOBS to 1.3.12 NOOBS or greater for Pi 2 support, this will need to be a "version 1" (non-2) Pi.

* Log in normally

* Make sure you have a valid network connection

* If necessary, set the date & time or wait for it to update correctly from the network

* Update Raspbian (this can take quite a while, tens of minutes on an OK network connection and longer on a slow one):
** sudo apt-get update
** sudo apt-get upgrade
** sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
** sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods
(this is probably optional, but brings it much closer to what you'd get if you installed fresh)

* Recommended: reboot the Pi (sudo shutdown -r now) and make sure everything still works

* Cleanly shut down the Pi (sudo shutdown -h now)

* Remove the microSD card, place it in an adapter if applicable, and plug it into your actual PC (Mac, etc.)

* You should see N partitions called "BOOT", and 1 partition called "RECOVERY"; where N is the number of different operating systems you picked to install in your original NOOBS install. E.g. when I first set up this card using the NOOBS installer I set it up with Raspbian, RaspBMC, and a spare data partition (which doesn't count), so N=2; there were two partitions called BOOT along with one called RECOVERY.

Each operating system has a BOOT partition. You should be able to recognize the Raspbian one, because it has recent dates in it because you just updated it. It might be a good idea to create a text file in there "this_is_raspbian.txt" or some such for later reference.

* Download the "NOOBS Lite (Network Install Only)" version from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/ This should be a fairly small ZIP file (20-ish MB).

* Unzip this into a temp directory (making sure the software you use to do so preserves directory structures)

* You are going to "ignore" the helpful instructions (such as the file called RECOVERY_FILES_DO_NOT_EDIT) :) and overwrite *some* of the files in the RECOVERY partition as follows:
** Copy everything (files & folders) *EXCEPT* the file called "recovery.cmdline" from the unzipped temp directory, into the RECOVERY partition. These should directly overwrite similar files and folders already present in most cases. If your OS prompts you whether to overwrite, tell it yes.

* Dismount *ALL* the partitions (N x BOOT + RECOVERY) cleanly from the PC, remove the microSD card, and you should be done.

* You should now have a microSD card that works in either a version 1 or version 2 Pi; it should boot NOOBS normally and successfully boot into your updated Raspbian.

* Updating other OS images *probably* can be done in a similar fashion, if there are versions that support both version 1 and version 2 Pi; but I haven't tested the details.

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Re: Manual upating NOOBS Recovery Partition?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:41 pm

Thanks so much for posting this I searched so many place for this and couldn't find a answer and it's great to have an answer on forums. Now I know I can do this in the future in case I ever decide to dual boot OS on a single Pi or Pi2. I figured you probably could do this but it was unclear if I should have used NOOBS Offiline or NOOBS Lite (Now I know I should use Lite ;) ) or what files can or can't be copied.

So far I've managed to get everything I ever wanted to work on Raspbian OS. So thus far I have no need for Dual booting OSes which is why I transitioned from NOOBS (Offline) w/ Raspbian to Just Raspbian raw image.

Update: you're directions give me deja-vu. Maybe there was a post about this somewhere else on forums, but the article you mentioned I've never read before so it has to be the forums. :roll: :lol: :geek:

Update found my deja vu:
Reading up on GitHub it's not officially supported way to update but this way is where I must of heard of it before:https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs/issues/19

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Re: Manual upating NOOBS Recovery Partition?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:11 pm

jdunson wrote: * You should see N partitions called "BOOT", and 1 partition called "RECOVERY"; where N is the number of different operating systems you picked to install in your original NOOBS install. E.g. when I first set up this card using the NOOBS installer I set it up with Raspbian, RaspBMC, and a spare data partition (which doesn't count), so N=2; there were two partitions called BOOT along with one called RECOVERY.
I have NOOBS but no partition called RECOVERY. I have BOOT, SETTINGS, and root when I put the SD-card into Lubuntu. Still it hangs on the rainbow splash screen when I try this SD-card in Raspberry Pi 2 B. I have done all the updates in Raspberry Pi 1 B+. Which partition should I copy the NOOBS lite files to?

I succeeded to mount the RECOVERY-partition manually using:
sudo mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt

I extracted all files in NOOBS_lite except recovery.cmdline and copied using:
sudo cp -r Downloads/NOOBS_lite/* /mnt

Then I unmounted using:
sudo umount /mnt

I unmounted the rest using the GUI file manager.

I succeeded to boot, but when I startx I get an error in a dialog:
GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.PolicyKit1.Error.Failed: Cannot determine user of subject

I use the old ui, i.e. I uninstalled raspberrypi-ui-mods before in Raspberry Pi 1 B+. Maybe this causes the error.

Edit 2:
I fixed the PolicyKit-error following these instructions:
Last edited by mob-i-l on Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Manual upating NOOBS Recovery Partition? [Solved, Read4M

Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:28 pm

changed to sticky...

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Re: Manual upating NOOBS Recovery Partition? [Solved, Read4M

Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:20 am

I would like to post a big thanks to the idiot who added the logic of "relocating partitions" and wiping the existing partition table without any confirmation.

I copied the new NOOBS (upgraded from 1.3 to 1.4) and got my card wiped automatically upon first boot.

Fortunately, there was just a distribution with some custom mods I can do again, but it's just the matter of time.
I understand that "software is free and without any warranty", but this is a total disaster how the community let this crap go into public and merge it to mainstream without any questioning.

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