Help needed -- various errors, tried to restore, now everything seems to be going wrong

I feel like I’ve created some sort of down spiral since yesterday. I had a few weird errors that popped up yesterday. I didn’t quite understand how they came about, but I decided (because I’m a noob) to just restore my backup from 2 days ago.

I let it “restore” all night, from a 285mb backup. I’m running my system on a Rpi4 SD card, and have never had any serious issues. Been running for about 6 months so far. This morning, I realized I was still not able to connect to HA. I could see that the Rpi was still connected to my router though. In what was either genius or pure self-destruction, I turned the Rpi off, then on again. HA booted up, with few small issues (like Smartthings integration not connecting, which I’ve read is common after a restore.) I removed and reconnected the integration. Things were good.

Then upon restart (since smartthings hadn’t fully loaded yet), I got a few configuration errors with my automations. I made sure all of my smartthings devices reloaded, restarted, then everything seemed to work, again!

Doing a little bit of tinkering and changing some of my media player automations, I also updated HACS, and restarted without any issue. I went to perform a full backup, and this is where my troubles began again. The backup failed. I checked around, and saw the following:

Error loading /config/configuration.yaml: unacceptable character #x0000: special characters are not allowedin “/config/automations.yaml”, position 0

My automations all still show up on the tab, but when I opened file editor on my phone, the automations.yaml appeared blank. So I went back to my computer, and this time I tried to run Studio Code Server, which gave me the following error:

Failed to start add-on

Can’t create container from addon_a0d7b954_vscode: 409 Client Error for http+docker://localhost/v1.42/containers/create?name=addon_a0d7b954_vscode: Conflict (“Conflict. The container name “/addon_a0d7b954_vscode” is already in use by container “87eeae6e7c1f18705974269c4ec2631bc4704d260d1d03f8774a218d196af0cc”. You have to remove (or rename) that container to be able to reuse that name.”)

Similarly, File Editor returns with:

Failed to start add-on

Can’t create container from addon_core_configurator: 409 Client Error for http+docker://localhost/v1.42/containers/create?name=addon_core_configurator: Conflict (“Conflict. The container name “/addon_core_configurator” is already in use by container “e26eaa4d1c0e10e6744aa293f0e79453994118857cbcc8cd734968a67230a395”. You have to remove (or rename) that container to be able to reuse that name.”)

At this point, I’m way beyond my depth. If the worst that happens is that I have to redo my automations, that will suck, but it would beat redoing everything.

I’m sure there is lots more info I need to provide for anyone to help, and I’m happy to provide anything else I can (I might need told how to find some things)

Both Add-Ons are not essential to your system, remove them, and reinstall them, and just for the sake of it, consider move over to an ssd
As for your automation.yaml, if it occurs again, something is wrong, copy/paste the text to another file

Last resort is a new install, as mention , best on ssd, then use your back-ups to restore as much you can.
But a backup from only 2 days ago, might not be your best choice, as u said, you don’t know how the “errors” started ( or when maybe ? ) … also “weird” errors is not much to go on , as a noob i can understand you choice of words, next time make a screenshot, and post it, to your description.

Thanks for your quick response!

I know I should be more diligent in screenshotting/copying these errors. My current concern is that I don’t have access to the automations.yaml file (that I know of) to try to copy it. I foolishly didn’t download/copy it earlier when I was having issues with automations. I can tell you that the original error was a storage corruption error for HACS, which I think I tried to update two days ago… So probably my downfall again when I did it today.

My automations give me a choice to migrate to the UI, which I’m not familiar with. Is that a good idea or a bad idea?

I have other backups from September 28, and September 25, so perhaps I could restore from one of those just to be safe. There weren’t any errors last week, I was in and out quite a bit and I usually check for errors. I’m worried about restoring again, I don’t want everything to go to shit again.

I will get an SSD and migrate to that, but I don’t have time for that for the next couple weeks. Just trying to get system working again.

Nevermind on the migrating automations…I get a 500 error.

With a monitor and keyboard connected to you PI, you can gain access through the ha-console, if it’s HA-OS you have running
There you can uninstall, install, update check logs etc

Ok, thank you!

This is “normal” if there are fault in the file, or some automations which are faulty
But the automations is still there, just the GUI wont/can’t show it

I was able to get everything working long enough to copy many of my important files (like my automations I’d redone this week), but if I try to perform a backup, it shuts off, and when I turn it back on, it again keeps reverting back to an earlier version every time it craps out. My backups from last week will suffice if I need to restore from scratch, and I can copy anything else in.

I did a bit of searching on this reverting and it seems that this is a common issue of a failing SD card, which explains a lot, and you were definitely right. I’m cloning my SD card as we speak, and getting a Samsung T7 SSD tomorrow. I didn’t think I had time to do that, but it sure beats wasting days just getting HA to work.