View Full Version : [SOLVED] Ubuntu 9.10 wont boot after patching

March 30th, 2010, 09:38 AM
Hi all

First time post and a n00b with linux, so might need some hand-holding.

Ubuntu 9.10 running as a guest on VMware esxi v4.0

I used the gui update manger and applied a whole lot of updates about 1 hour ago. During the update process it prompted me to use the "maintainer" version or "current", for what I have no idea, I wasn't paying much attention, and I guess thats where all the trouble began ;)

There were no other prompts, just the one above.

Anyway I said use the "maintainers" version. The Update then completed and I rebooted. Only to have the screen sitting blank and black.

I hit alt-f1 and the following appears:


Gave up waiting for root device. Common problems:
- Boot args (cat /proc/cmdline)
- Check rootdelay= (did the system wait long enough?)
- Check root= (did the system wait for the right device?)
- Missing modules (cat /proc/modules; ls /dev)
ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/blah blah blah does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

BusyBox v1.13.3 (Ubuntu 1:1.13.3-1ubuntu7) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in command.

(initramfs) _


Obviously its packed a sad with the disk/partition

I have no idea of where to start on this.

Thanks in advance!

March 30th, 2010, 10:44 AM
I've been doing some reading, and I dont seem to have a /mnt or fstab file/directory. So I guess I the o/s doesnt know the mount point?

Now I'm wondering that my choice to use "maintainers" version might have been something to do with one of the systyem config boot files huh....

March 30th, 2010, 11:16 AM
Ok yay me.

I typed:

Mount /dev/disk/by-uuid/<big long hex number> /

And now I have the my file system back.

This is like learning DOS for the first time, but trickier !!!

Still yet to get the o/s loaded, but time for some zzzzzzzzzzzzz's.

March 31st, 2010, 08:19 AM
Sorted !!!

After much shagging around with LiveCD, grub, busybox and toooo many reboots, the solution was a lot easier than I imagined.

The problem was as "busybox" cleary indicated:

"ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/blah blah blah does not exist. Dropping to a shell!"

Yes, the UUID was invalid !!! How it got changed I have no idea, perhaps was all my fault when I chose "maintainers" version, but how it chose some other device's UUID (and what is actually was) I have no idea.

By doing a ls /dev/disk/by-uuid/ it showed me what the UUID of my disk SHOULD be.

Whereas the system was trying boot from a totally different UUID

Solution: http://grumpymole.blogspot.com/2007/05/ubuntu-how-to-edit-grub-boot-parameters.html

So I followed the above, and it booted, I made permanent changes to /boot/grub/menu.lst (after shagging around with file permissions) for the first entry and put in the CORRECT UUID. Saved the file

What a trip !!! 8-)

March 31st, 2010, 08:44 AM
Ok, my fault !!!

Funny how once you've resolved a stuff up, you now know exactly what "key-words" to search upon.

This thread covered exaclty what I encountered, except the author did what I SHOULD of done ;)


I'm gonna have a pretty good guess at where the old UUID came from too. Originally my Ubuntu installation was on a stand-alone machine. Months back I used VMware's P2V utility and copied the physical machine over to my esxi server, say no more!!!