Received a letter from the University dated 17th May, informing me that if I don't plan on submitting before 30th June, I need to apply for an extension 6 months in advance. Trouble is, this is all based on my original start date + 4 years, and fails to take into account the 6 month extension I was previously granted.
Looks like somebody couldn't be bothered with all the hassle the first time around and took shortcuts, so now I have to formally apply for an extension. It seems so futile having to chase your own institution to get permission to do something you are doing for their benefit as much as your own.
The problem turned out to be something to do with some kind of mismatch between the kernel module and the userland utils, although the error message was completely cryptic (as usual). Thankfully I happened to have the source code for the debian packages lying around, so I avoided the usual Catch-22 with getting network drivers.