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Thread: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Exclamation [Solved] Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    If you run into the same (or similar) problem that I did, then follow these steps. These steps worked for me:
    - Open Windows or some operating system that will allow you to edit partitions.
    - Delete the Linux partition and reformat it.
    - Get another Linux distro (I used Linux Mint)
    - Install that distribution of Linux
    - (optional) If this works, then reinstall Ubuntu if you still want to use Ubuntu.



    Hi. I'm new to the forum, but I have been running Ubuntu for some time now, and this is the first time I've run into a problem I wasn't able to solve. I'm on a phone, so please excuse any typos.

    A bit less than a week ago, I got up one morning and turned on my two year old laptop computer, and when I tried to start Ubuntu 12.10, I got a black screen, which lasted a few hours of waiting until I force shut down the computer. After a few reboots, I managed to get to the loading screen which after a few seconds, froze, and forced me to force shut off the computer after I waited long enough to see that nothing was happening. I was able to use the "drop to root" option in the recovery mode, so that I can access the terminal. I googled the problem, but couldn't find anything that worked, so I tried to boot the computer using a USB Key that I had lying around. The same thing happened, where the booting up loading dots animation froze and the computer would not boot, even after waiting for a long time. I tried booting th computer up in failsafeX mode, and it started running fsck (filesystem check), which has been running for about 15 hours, with no sign of the computer doing anything.

    I can only think of a few things that could have caused this problem:
    - I installed Apache 2 and hadn't rebooted since that install. That may have caused the problem.
    - I recently installed windows 7 on a dual boot, but I have performed multiple reboots since the install, and there wasn't any problems.
    - I flew on an airplane right before the problem started. Not sure how this could cause a problem, but it's worth noting, I guess.

    To restate what I have tried:
    - Booting it up regularly many times
    - LinuxLive USB key
    - Booting it up in failsafeX mode

    Nothing seems to work, and the problem started somewhat randomly. If anyone could help, that would be great, if you need any information about anything, just tell me what you need and I will try to get it. Thanks!
    Last edited by 32Bit; December 30th, 2012 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Solved

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    Given the lack of recent changes to your OS, and the sudden onset of the problem, suspicion must first fall on the hardware. A two year old laptop should not experience hardware failures, but the reality is, it sometimes happens. You're going to have to test your hardware thoroughly before anyone is going to sink a lot of time into looking for software issues, IMO. Off the top of my, here are some troubleshooting things to do:

    - boot other Live CD/USB stick installations (there are tons of 'em). Does video work from a Live CD/USB stick?

    - from a Live CD/USB stick, run memtest overnight. Did it run error free?

    - from a Live CD/USB stick, fsck your hard drive.

    - from a Live CD/USB stick, run a smartmon check of the hard drive (an error in the boot sector could cause the problem you're seeing).

    One handy tool that I keep close by is a parted magic live USB stick.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by dabl; December 27th, 2012 at 11:08 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    I ran memtest while I was gone. When I came back the console was spamming me with errors. This may be the problem, and if it is, is there a way to solve it without buying new RAM sticks?

    The errors appeared to start at the 128 MB location exactly, as I saw when I quickly ran it again. That is 2 to the 7th power, if that means anything. After that location, the errors just keep going. I am going to leave it on overnight to see what happens.

    The one thing I'm suspicious about, is that I am able to run windows just fine. I am not able to access the Ubuntu partition in windows.

    Note: When running memtest, I just selected it from the boot options in grub, instead of using it from a liveCD. If this may affect something since Linux doesn't appear to work, let me know.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    The memory seems to be the problem. If you are lucky, cleaning the memory connectors and reinserting the memory card(s) will solve the problem. Your flight has been a bumpy one?

    The strange thing is that windows seems to be working. But both systems will allocate physical memory in different ways, so they could end up using different parts of your RAM.

    The Ubuntu partition cannot be seen by Windows, because Windows does not support the ext3/4 file system of Ubuntu. So that is normal.
    Last edited by BertN45; December 28th, 2012 at 07:18 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    Can't access the Ubuntu partition in Windows??? You have installed Wubi then and this is not a dual-boot?

    Dual-boot = Windows and Ubuntu on separate partitions. Wubi is intended to test out Ubuntu and see if you like, not a permanent solution. If Windows is running fine and you can't run the Wubi install inside it, then it could have more to do with a dodgy Wubi install than RAM.

    Not too many experts on Wubi about but someone might pop up.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky Ball View Post
    Can't access the Ubuntu partition in Windows??? You have installed Wubi then and this is not a dual-boot?

    Dual-boot = Windows and Ubuntu on separate partitions. Wubi is intended to test out Ubuntu and see if you like, not a permanent solution. If Windows is running fine and you can't run the Wubi install inside it, then it could have more to do with a dodgy Wubi install than RAM.

    Not too many experts on Wubi about but someone might pop up.
    I am running a dual boot, not Wubi. I have Windows and Ubuntu on separate partitions. As the post above states, Windows, apparently, doesn't support ext3 filesystems. Thanks though.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    try this and tell me if it works, when at the grub screen choose previous version of ubuntu and try booting using an older kernel.... will it boot then?

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    Would you post your hardware specs?
    Have you run any memory intensive (uses lots of) in Windows to see if it might crash then?
    Tried a small footprint Linux distro from USB or CD?
    PLEASE Don't leave those trying to help you hanging.
    Report Success, Failure or Giving up.
    MARK as SOLVED if it is.
    Help others help you by reading THIS THREAD first.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    the kernel seems unlikely to be the problem since the live usb is not running. I'd say it is an hardware fault if it wasn't for the fact that windows is working.

    My last thought would be the Ram like some ppl have said. Check your BIOS change the RAM (deactivate or Activate multicore- or watever you can change) and boot (do not boot into windows just to make sure). See how far you can go.Either way: Shutdown again and change the BIOS settings of the RAM back, as previously, and rebbot again. Any luck then?
    Last edited by fdrake; December 28th, 2012 at 10:19 AM.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu won't boot--no matter what

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bit View Post
    I ran memtest while I was gone. When I came back the console was spamming me with errors. ...
    Note: When running memtest, I just selected it from the boot options in grub, instead of using it from a liveCD. If this may affect something since Linux doesn't appear to work, let me know.
    Running memtest from there is fine.

    Memtest should give you zero errors. If you are getting any at all, there is something wrong.

    Do as suggested: take the RAM sticks out and plug them back in, then run memtest for a while again.

    I assume there is more than one stick of RAM in there. If you are still getting errors, try running memtest with only one RAM stick installed, and repeat this with both / all of them. You should be able to identify which one has a problem, and may well be able to run the machine without that one until you can manage to replace it.
    Michael

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