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Thread: Gave up waiting for root device

  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Gave up waiting for root device

    So ubuntu has been working fine on my Acer aspire S3 for around 2 weeks. One day when I tried to boot it up, it gave me this error.




    So I have no choice but to boot to Windows. Is there any way to fix this problem? I noticed that the ubuntu windows boot selection menu no longer has a 10 second time limit anymore. And when I boot to linux, my hard drive doesn't spin at all.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2011
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    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Bump

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Ubuntu tried to boot but it could not find your root partition - UUID ac5dblahblahblah. There are various reasons for this happening, but usually something like this would happen after a failed update or a manual change made incorrectly. It shouldn't simply happen if you've done nothing unusual.

    Did you do any updates or make changes right before this happened?

    I'd boot your Ubuntu live USB/live CD and try a few things. First, to be safe, I'd check your hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. status. Install GSmartControl from the live session, start it up, then look at the Attributes tab. Any Attributes highlighted in pink or red? If so, those may indicate serious problems on your disk.

    You should also check your /etc/fstab file (which tells Ubuntu what partitions to mount when you are booting up). Mount your main Ubuntu partition if you can and look for the etc/fstab file (note: it will be under /media/something... depends what version of Ubuntu you are using. But the file /etc/fstab is the one from the LIVE session - you want to find this file under /media....whatever/etc/fstab that's on the Ubuntu installation disk, not in the live session.

    Also, what's the output of this command (open a terminal with Ctrl Alt t):

    sudo blkid

    We'll want to compare that to the contents of your fstab file.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Well, before the problem occured, I went back onto windows to edit a video for my finals project, and all I installed/updated was the film editing software. When I tried booting back to Ubuntu, it gave me that error. I'll try what you suggested and then get post my results here.

  5. #5
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    ozarks, Arkansas, USA
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    hyudryu; Hi !

    Before getting too paniced... re-read the errors preamble ...maybe this one instance is but a race condition. It happens to me on occasion -particularly switching between installs - entering "exit' at the prompt and rebooting generally resolves it for me .

    Is booting to the initramfs prompt a frequent thing ?

    it is all a learning experience


    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubutu'n !

  6. #6
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    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Hi

    Besides the other good answers for you to check, i'm going to offer another.

    I'm interested in the modprobe timeout message you are getting along with dropping to the busybox prompt.

    The modprobe command is used to load drivers into the kernel to control your hardware. I have been doing some checking on my system.

    The error you are getting is (paraphrased)

    Code:
    ... timeout ... /sbin/modprobe pci:v00008086d00001c03sv00001025sd00000635......
    Code:
    v00008086d00001c03
    The 2 numbers i have bolded are the vendor id and the device id of the hardware that modprobe is trying to load the driver for.

    It's your sata ahci driver for your hard drive controller.

    From...

    http://cateee.net/lkddb/web-lkddb/SATA_AHCI.html

    vendor:
    8086
    ("
    Intel Corporation
    "), device:
    1c03
    ("
    6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family 6 port SATA AHCI Controller
    ")
    That's interesting because it's dropping you to the initramfs prompt because it cannot find the root filing system on your hard drive and the sata ahci controller talks to the hard drive where the root filing system resides.

    A search for the driver on my laptop using the device ids returns this
    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source/initramfs % grep -i "v00008086d00001c03" /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/modules.alias
    alias pci:v00008086d00001C03sv*sd*bc*sc*i* ahci
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source/initramfs %
    So the achi driver gets loaded when modprobe is called with that long string of characters.

    This driver is part of the initramfs filing system as well as on your root partition.

    The initial ram filing system (initramfs) is loaded at startup and is used to load drivers necessary to mount the root filing system.

    Extracting my initamfs and searching for the ahci driver..

    Code:
    mkdir initramfs && cd $_ && zcat /boot/initrd.img-3.9.0-3-generic | cpio -i && find . -name "*ahci*"
    returns this...

    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source % mkdir initramfs && cd $_ && zcat /boot/initrd.img-3.9.0-3-generic | cpio -i && find . -name "*ahci*"
    165362 blocks
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/libahci.ko
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/ahci_platform.ko
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/ahci.ko
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/acard-ahci.ko
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source/initramfs %
    My initramfs contains the ahci drivers and on my machine they are modprobed into the kernel. I am not sure if that happens during initramfs or after the root filing system is loaded though.

    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew % lsmod | grep ahci
    ahci                   25819  5 
    libahci                31898  1 ahci
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew %
    I wondering if this is why you are being dropped to the initramfs prompt; initramfs cannot load the ahci drivers to mount your root filing system.

    Have you had a kernel update and can you boot into that older kernel from the grub menu ?

    Can you manually modprobe the driver from the initramfs prompt and does that help if you continue the boot process ? Does you initramfs contain the ahci and libahci modules ?

    This is speculation on my part as i have never had a modprobe timeout during initramfs but it may be worth exploring further.

    Kind regards
    Last edited by matt_symes; June 3rd, 2013 at 12:03 AM.
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    11

    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashing-om View Post
    hyudryu; Hi !

    Before getting too paniced... re-read the errors preamble ...maybe this one instance is but a race condition. It happens to me on occasion -particularly switching between installs - entering "exit' at the prompt and rebooting generally resolves it for me .

    Is booting to the initramfs prompt a frequent thing ?

    it is all a learning experience


    Oh it's every time. I can't even boot into linux
    Edit: entering exit just makes it freeze at the error place. It doesn't let me boot in.
    Last edited by hyudryu; June 9th, 2013 at 11:50 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Beans
    11

    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Quote Originally Posted by ahallubuntu View Post
    Ubuntu tried to boot but it could not find your root partition - UUID ac5dblahblahblah. There are various reasons for this happening, but usually something like this would happen after a failed update or a manual change made incorrectly. It shouldn't simply happen if you've done nothing unusual.

    Did you do any updates or make changes right before this happened?

    I'd boot your Ubuntu live USB/live CD and try a few things. First, to be safe, I'd check your hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. status. Install GSmartControl from the live session, start it up, then look at the Attributes tab. Any Attributes highlighted in pink or red? If so, those may indicate serious problems on your disk.

    You should also check your /etc/fstab file (which tells Ubuntu what partitions to mount when you are booting up). Mount your main Ubuntu partition if you can and look for the etc/fstab file (note: it will be under /media/something... depends what version of Ubuntu you are using. But the file /etc/fstab is the one from the LIVE session - you want to find this file under /media....whatever/etc/fstab that's on the Ubuntu installation disk, not in the live session.

    Also, what's the output of this command (open a terminal with Ctrl Alt t):

    sudo blkid

    We'll want to compare that to the contents of your fstab file.
    I can't boot into linux in the first place. I'm using windows to try to find out my hard drive's SMART status.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Beans
    11

    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Quote Originally Posted by matt_symes View Post
    Hi

    Besides the other good answers for you to check, i'm going to offer another.

    I'm interested in the modprobe timeout message you are getting along with dropping to the busybox prompt.

    The modprobe command is used to load drivers into the kernel to control your hardware. I have been doing some checking on my system.

    The error you are getting is (paraphrased)

    Code:
    ... timeout ... /sbin/modprobe pci:v00008086d00001c03sv00001025sd00000635......
    Code:
    v00008086d00001c03
    The 2 numbers i have bolded are the vendor id and the device id of the hardware that modprobe is trying to load the driver for.

    It's your sata ahci driver for your hard drive controller.

    From...

    http://cateee.net/lkddb/web-lkddb/SATA_AHCI.html



    That's interesting because it's dropping you to the initramfs prompt because it cannot find the root filing system on your hard drive and the sata ahci controller talks to the hard drive where the root filing system resides.

    A search for the driver on my laptop using the device ids returns this
    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source/initramfs % grep -i "v00008086d00001c03" /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/modules.alias
    alias pci:v00008086d00001C03sv*sd*bc*sc*i* ahci
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source/initramfs %
    So the achi driver gets loaded when modprobe is called with that long string of characters.

    This driver is part of the initramfs filing system as well as on your root partition.

    The initial ram filing system (initramfs) is loaded at startup and is used to load drivers necessary to mount the root filing system.

    Extracting my initamfs and searching for the ahci driver..

    Code:
    mkdir initramfs && cd $_ && zcat /boot/initrd.img-3.9.0-3-generic | cpio -i && find . -name "*ahci*"
    returns this...

    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source % mkdir initramfs && cd $_ && zcat /boot/initrd.img-3.9.0-3-generic | cpio -i && find . -name "*ahci*"
    165362 blocks
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/libahci.ko
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/ahci_platform.ko
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/ahci.ko
    ./lib/modules/3.9.0-3-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/acard-ahci.ko
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew/storage/linux_source/initramfs %
    My initramfs contains the ahci drivers and on my machine they are modprobed into the kernel. I am not sure if that happens during initramfs or after the root filing system is loaded though.

    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew % lsmod | grep ahci
    ahci                   25819  5 
    libahci                31898  1 ahci
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew %
    I wondering if this is why you are being dropped to the initramfs prompt; initramfs cannot load the ahci drivers to mount your root filing system.

    Have you had a kernel update and can you boot into that older kernel from the grub menu ?

    Can you manually modprobe the driver from the initramfs prompt and does that help if you continue the boot process ? Does you initramfs contain the ahci and libahci modules ?

    This is speculation on my part as i have never had a modprobe timeout during initramfs but it may be worth exploring further.

    Kind regards
    I booted into Ubuntu using my USB, and I found fstab in etc.
    It seems to be able to find my hard drive and also the picture shows the blkid output from terminal
    What should I do next?



    Last edited by hyudryu; June 10th, 2013 at 09:34 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tewkesbury uk
    Beans
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    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Gave up waiting for root device

    Hi

    Firstly run fsck from the LiveUSB and try to boot into your installation.

    Secondly, can you boot into an older kernel from the grub menu on you installation ?

    If you can then try rebuilding you initramfs for the new kernel from the old kernel.

    If you cannot the try chrooting into your installation from the LiveUSB and rebuilding it from there.

    Kind regards
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

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