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A recent upgraded my header files (I believe) through Ubuntu's Update Manager and then restarted. On reboot, I get a kernel panic, below is the error right before it:

/sbin/init: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: Input/output error

The library above is not exact because I end up copying said file from a LiveCD into the corrupted system. However, now I have a different error, but same kernel panic:

/sbin/init: symbol lookup error: undefined symbol dbus_message_iter_abandon_container  

To be able to boot back into this Ubuntu install, could I simply copy over, say from a LiveCD, all the Linux files? Like the ones in lib? If so, which ones do I need to copy? Or maybe my chain of logic isn't sound?

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You need to reinstall the packages that provide the files. Maybe it's easier for you to start the Ubuntu install in expert mode and reinstall the system.

When you get to the "partitioning" part of the install, ask for the partitions not to be formatted, just make sure you are mounting then in the same places as of now. It will make the install run and overwrite your current files.

You can also mount the disk using a console from the LiveCD, and use dpkg to reinstall the packages, using the --root option. For example, suppose that your system is normally in /dev/sda1 so you mount it using the LiveCD at /mnt, you would do:

#dpkg --root=/mnt -i <package>.deb 

Also, that's a pretty ugly error, you should backup the data from that computer and reinstall it and get its disk checked.

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