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I'm sticking to the 1.02.20 factory firmware (I've had the disable-ota package installed for some time as I saw the problems on here with later builds). Does the prepare_for_upgrade still apply in my case? Or is it just worth running as a matter of course. I presume I run it just before shutting down to perform the upgrade?
It wouldn't do any harm to run prepare_for_upgrade in any situation, but it is designed to prevent problems with redring, undelete, portal-xtra1, and ir , on upgrade. It should (as you say ) be run just before shutting down to perform the upgrade