Kernel update to 6.2.9 leaving the system unbootable

I’m a regular user, not a power user, so please bear with me.

I’ve been using Fedora on my HP Laptop for quite a few months now.

I periodically run sudo dnf upgrade -y to update my packages.

However, after doing so today, my laptop hang for +4 hours on this:

It was completely frozen. I could not move the mouse around, and no shortcuts did anything. The laptop itself was also overheating.

I decided to force its shutdown and turn it on again, just to be greeted with this screen:

I did have the choice to select previous kernels from the GRUB menu, which had helped me before on similar situations; But this time every each one of them threw the same screen.

I managed to login to the terminal with CTRL + ALT + F3 and tried to sudo dnf reinstall kernel-core-6.2.9-etc but it only hang up and froze at the exact same point:

Is there any debugging left to try? Is there any way to at least recover my files, some of which are important and valuable?

Thanks in advance.

Don’t make more changes to the system drive until you have made backups of your important data.

Can you boot the Live Installer USB key? If so, you should be able to copy important data to safe storage.

The Live USB key has gnome-disks program which you can use to mount filesystems (be sure to use read-only mode). It provides information on the “health” of the disk and can also be used to copy data to another external drive.

Can you still boot an older kernel from grub menu? 6.2.9 or one older than that? Fedora normally keeps three kernels so can still boot if one fails to boot the system.

The kernel is probably not the problem here. At the time it was running some trigger script, but it is unclear what exactly it was running. If I may guess, the problem could be related to updating some gnome component, which did not fully complete.

Maybe dnf history info could give you some clue about what happened.

When the upgrade is stuck, switch to a different VT and look at the system journal with journalctl -b. Perhaps it will show something interesting. Or upload it somewhere and paste a link here.

In the future, never run live updates. It usually works fine, until it doesn’t, like in your case. There’s a good reason why GNOME Software in GNOME and Discover in KDE perform offline upgrades. If you want to use the command line, learn to use sudo dnf offline-upgrade download and sudo dnf offline-upgrade reboot. Also, never use -y. Always inspect the output whether it looks reasonable.