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Thread: "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    I installed Ubuntu 10.10 inside Windows 7 today, Ubuntu 10.10 finished installing and all just fine

    but when I try to boot into Ubuntu 10.10 from the boot menu I get this error

    "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    and it mentions something about BusyBox

    Help?
    Last edited by ChaosChris2009; October 10th, 2010 at 10:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    Same deal here, I freshly installed UNR 10.10 on my Lenovo S10-2 writing over Ubuntu 10.04, alongside Windows 7. The full message is:

    Code:
    Gave up waiting for root device. Common problems:
     - Boot args (cat /prov/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/sdb7 does not exist.  Dropping to a shell!
    
    
    BusyBox v1.15.3 (Ubuntu 1:1.15.3-1ubuntu5) built-in shell (ash)
    Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
    
    (initramfs)
    I was a bit wary during install because I created a logical partition ~200MB ext2 for /boot to sit on, followed by a ~70GB btrfs partition for /, then ~3GB for swap space.
    If I remember correctly these were /dev/sdb6 /dev/sdb7 and /dev/sdb5 respectively, so the alert in the message seems to refer to my swap space (though I will check this) - Edit: corrected; /boot / and swap are 6, 7 and 5, but are actually on /dev/sda
    Last edited by lukeaw; October 11th, 2010 at 01:24 AM. Reason: Correcting partitions

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    Update: I installed from a USB flash drive, which I assume was assigned /dev/sda during installation. However, now I've completed the installation and removed the flash drive my main hard disk is /dev/sda, which is why I was getting the above boot error. I've edited grub's config from the shell as follows and it's got me a step further:

    Code:
    $ mkdir -p /mnt/boot
    $ mount /dev/sda6 /mnt/boot
    $ grep -F /dev/sdb7 /mnt/boot/grub/*
    /mnt/boot/grub/grub.cfg:        linux   /vmlinuz-2.6.35-22-generic root=/dev/sdb7 ro   quiet splash
    /mnt/boot/grub/grub.cfg:        linux   /vmlinuz-2.6.35-22-generic root=/dev/sdb7 ro single
    $ sed -i -e 's#/dev/sdb#/dev/sda#g' /mnt/boot/grub/grub.cfg
    $ reboot
    I'm now staring at the more friendly graphical boot screen but not quite at the desktop yet; "The disk drive for /boot is not ready yet or not present", "Continue to wait; or Press S to skip mounting or M for manual recovery"

  4. #4
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    Re: "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    Final update: I'm sure the gurus out there were shouting the answer out loud at their screens

    I figured /boot wasn't being found so pressed M which dropped me to a shell. I corrected the fstab with the same sed command.

    Code:
    $ sed -i -e 's#/dev/sdb#/dev/sda#g' /etc/fstab
    $ reboot
    ...And I'm now playing with the shiny new Unity interface!

    @Chris: I hope you're able to get something out of my posts here, shout if you need anything clarifying. To summarise: find and mount your partition containing grub, see where it's looking for your root filesystem. If it's not correct you've found your problem

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    New York, NY
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    14
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    lukeaw, I am getting the same exact error except mine says "ALERT! /dev/sda1 does not exist. Dropping to a shell!"

    Could you walk me through the fix? (pretend you are talking to a 5 year old!)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Texas
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    29,399
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    Quote Originally Posted by ABitTooSpicy View Post
    lukeaw, I am getting the same exact error except mine says "ALERT! /dev/sda1 does not exist. Dropping to a shell!"

    Could you walk me through the fix? (pretend you are talking to a 5 year old!)
    Hi, did you install ubuntu with wubi like the orginal poster did? if so have a look at this link.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1639198

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: "gave up waiting for root device" while booting

    Quote Originally Posted by ABitTooSpicy View Post
    lukeaw, I am getting the same exact error except mine says "ALERT! /dev/sda1 does not exist. Dropping to a shell!"

    Could you walk me through the fix? (pretend you are talking to a 5 year old!)
    How did you install Ubuntu - from the live CD or from a USB flash drive?

    On a possibly related note I've noticed that even with 11.04 if you have an ISO image stored on a flash drive and boot from that, the installer still offers to unmount it before proceeding

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