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Ubuntu Startup Problem

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#1 cbrookhart

cbrookhart

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 07-February 06
  • Location: Miramar, FL

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:33

There is an Ubuntu computer at my workplace. It's usually always up and online, but right now it's down.

I'm not familiar with Ubuntu, so I'm going to try and describe what's on the screen.

There are several lines that are similiar to this: ubuntu scsi 4:0:0:1 Direct-Access

There are also lines about USB.

The startup process seems to hang at this point and there is a message that says to type help for a list of available commands. The problem is that it isn't possible to type help because nothing shows up on screen.

Any idea on what needs to be done to fix it?


#2 +Karl L.

Karl L.

    xorangekiller

  • Tech Issues Solved: 15
  • Joined: 24-January 09
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • OS: Debian Testing

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:52

It sounds like you have a failing hard disk in the machine. The startup process can't complete because some of the files necessary to boot the system are corrupt or inaccessible. From my experience it seems likely that initrd - the initial ramdisk that is responsible for mounting your root partition and kickstarting the boot process - can't mount the root partition because the hard disk it resides on is failing, therefore you're being dropped to a basic busybox prompt. I recommend booting from an Ubuntu live disc and using Disk Utility to check the SMART status of the hard disk. It will likely confirm my theory, in which case you should backup any important data ASAP (if you can mount the home partition).

#3 +bman

bman

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 03-January 03
  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario
  • OS: Windows 8.1 & Android

Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:22

Check to see if any USB drives are plugged into the system. Unplug them and try again.

#4 OP cbrookhart

cbrookhart

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 07-February 06
  • Location: Miramar, FL

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:00

It sounds like you have a failing hard disk in the machine. The startup process can't complete because some of the files necessary to boot the system are corrupt or inaccessible. From my experience it seems likely that initrd - the initial ramdisk that is responsible for mounting your root partition and kickstarting the boot process - can't mount the root partition because the hard disk it resides on is failing, therefore you're being dropped to a basic busybox prompt. I recommend booting from an Ubuntu live disc and using Disk Utility to check the SMART status of the hard disk. It will likely confirm my theory, in which case you should backup any important data ASAP (if you can mount the home partition).


Now that you mention the busybox prompt, I think I remember seeing something about busybox on the screen.

Check to see if any USB drives are plugged into the system. Unplug them and try again.


As USB devices were unplugged from the system, it seemed as though it was going to boot, but it didn't. The screen just showed USB devices being unplugged.



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