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Thread: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

  1. #1
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    Feb 2008
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    Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    Hi! I recently upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04. Unfortunately I still can't boot the new kernel 2.6.38, I'm still using the old 2.6.35.

    The new version stops after writing:

    Loading initial ramdisk...

    and the screen is completely screwed up. I tried to look in /var/log/messages but the log is not created, it is not there.

    Anything I can do to investigate further?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    Does it freeze at the initramfs screen? If so:

    You could run the boot info script. It's possible that a path problem with Grub2 is causing the problem. To be honest though, the chances are much greater that it is a problem with the initrd image or kernel.

    If you want to run the boot info script, the link for the download is in my signature line (BIS). We would want to see the contents of RESULTS.txt

    Another thing you could try would be to boot the Natty LiveCD and chroot into your Ubuntu partition and reinstall the kernel or update the initrd.img

    If Natty was working correctly on the LiveCD (i.e. no hardware issues), experience says that it is often faster to reinstall the OS than troubleshoot the problem. But that's up to you of course.

    If it continues, after initramfs, you could try adding "nomodeset" to the end of the linux line in the grub menu. Press 'e' to edit the menuentry, then add nomodeset to the end of the 'linux' line and CTRL-x to boot. Add your video driver if it works.
    Last edited by drs305; May 12th, 2011 at 08:13 PM.
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    Thanks for your help!

    I run the script, and this is the output:

    Code:
                    Boot Info Script 0.55    dated February 15th, 2010                    
    
    ============================= Boot Info Summary: ==============================
    
     => Grub 2 is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda and looks for b2d.
    
    sda1: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       ntfs
        Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7
        Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
        Operating System:  
        Boot files/dirs:   
    
    sda2: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       ntfs
        Boot sector type:  Windows Vista/7
        Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
        Operating System:  Windows Vista
        Boot files/dirs:   /bootmgr /Boot/BCD /Windows/System32/winload.exe
    
    sda3: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       ext4
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info:  
        Operating System:  
        Boot files/dirs:   
    
    sda4: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       Extended Partition
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info:  
    
    sda5: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       swap
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info:  
    
    sda6: _________________________________________________________________________
    
        File system:       ext4
        Boot sector type:  -
        Boot sector info:  
        Operating System:  Ubuntu 11.04
        Boot files/dirs:   /boot/grub/grub.cfg /etc/fstab /boot/grub/core.img
    
    =========================== Drive/Partition Info: =============================
    
    Drive: sda ___________________ _____________________________________________________
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    
    Partition  Boot         Start           End          Size  Id System
    
    /dev/sda1               2,048     3,074,047     3,072,000  27 Hidden HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2    *      3,074,048   316,418,047   313,344,000   7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3         316,418,048   523,449,297   207,031,250   7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda4         523,450,366   625,141,759   101,691,394   5 Extended
    /dev/sda5         523,450,368   531,261,439     7,811,072  82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda6         531,263,488   625,141,759    93,878,272  83 Linux
    
    
    blkid -c /dev/null: ____________________________________________________________
    
    Device           UUID                                   TYPE       LABEL                         
    
    /dev/sda1        EC0244B802448A12                       ntfs       WinRE                         
    /dev/sda2        BE2C46CD2C46807F                       ntfs       Vista                         
    /dev/sda3        58fe66bf-1ca6-4536-9782-6cb6515bed0d   ext4       Data                          
    /dev/sda4: PTTYPE="dos" 
    /dev/sda5        e1ff528f-ec89-479d-9a4a-6e9d5458d36b   swap                                     
    /dev/sda6        4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8   ext4                                     
    /dev/sda: PTTYPE="dos" 
    
    ============================ "mount | grep ^/dev  output: ===========================
    
    Device           Mount_Point              Type       Options
    
    /dev/sda6        /                        ext4       (rw,errors=remount-ro,commit=0)
    
    
    =========================== sda6/boot/grub/grub.cfg: ===========================
    
    #
    # DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
    #
    # It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates
    # from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
    #
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
    if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
      set have_grubenv=true
      load_env
    fi
    set default="0"
    if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
      set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
      save_env saved_entry
      set prev_saved_entry=
      save_env prev_saved_entry
      set boot_once=true
    fi
    
    function savedefault {
      if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
        saved_entry="${chosen}"
        save_env saved_entry
      fi
    }
    
    function recordfail {
      set recordfail=1
      if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
    }
    
    function load_video {
      insmod vbe
      insmod vga
      insmod video_bochs
      insmod video_cirrus
    }
    
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
      set gfxmode=auto
      load_video
      insmod gfxterm
    fi
    terminal_output gfxterm
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
    set lang=en_US
    insmod gettext
    if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then
      set timeout=-1
    else
      set timeout=10
    fi
    ### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
    set menu_color_normal=white/black
    set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
    if background_color 44,0,30; then
      clear
    fi
    ### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
    if [ ${recordfail} != 1 ]; then
      if [ -e ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt ]; then
        if hwmatch ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt 3; then
          if [ ${match} = 0 ]; then
            set linux_gfx_mode=keep
          else
            set linux_gfx_mode=text
          fi
        else
          set linux_gfx_mode=text
        fi
      else
        set linux_gfx_mode=keep
      fi
    else
      set linux_gfx_mode=text
    fi
    export linux_gfx_mode
    if [ "$linux_gfx_mode" != "text" ]; then load_video; fi
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-8-generic-pae' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic-pae root=UUID=4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8 ro   quiet splash vt.handoff=7
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic-pae
    }
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-8-generic-pae (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	echo	'Loading Linux 2.6.38-8-generic-pae ...'
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic-pae root=UUID=4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8 ro single 
    	echo	'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic-pae
    }
    submenu "Previous Linux versions" {
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-8-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic root=UUID=4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8 ro   quiet splash vt.handoff=7
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic
    }
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-8-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	echo	'Loading Linux 2.6.38-8-generic ...'
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic root=UUID=4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8 ro single 
    	echo	'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic
    }
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.35-28-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-28-generic root=UUID=4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8 ro   quiet splash vt.handoff=7
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-28-generic
    }
    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.35-28-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    	recordfail
    	set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	echo	'Loading Linux 2.6.35-28-generic ...'
    	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-28-generic root=UUID=4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8 ro single 
    	echo	'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-28-generic
    }
    }
    ### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
    ### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	linux16	/boot/memtest86+.bin
    }
    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ext2
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos6)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8
    	linux16	/boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
    }
    ### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
    menuentry "Windows Vista (loader) (on /dev/sda2)" --class windows --class os {
    	insmod part_msdos
    	insmod ntfs
    	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos2)'
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root BE2C46CD2C46807F
    	chainloader +1
    }
    ### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
    # This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
    # menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
    # the 'exec tail' line above.
    ### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
    
    ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
    if [ -f  $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
      source $prefix/custom.cfg;
    fi
    ### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
    
    =============================== sda6/etc/fstab: ===============================
    
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
    # for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
    # devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
    proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
    # / was on /dev/sda6 during installation
    UUID=4635bd6c-8c24-4f5f-b2f6-02c1bd5d5ec8 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
    # swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
    UUID=e1ff528f-ec89-479d-9a4a-6e9d5458d36b none            swap    sw              0       0
    
    =================== sda6: Location of files loaded by Grub: ===================
    
    
     294.2GB: boot/grub/core.img
     278.6GB: boot/grub/grub.cfg
     304.7GB: boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-28-generic
     308.0GB: boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic
     315.5GB: boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic-pae
     294.3GB: boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-28-generic
     307.6GB: boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic
     276.7GB: boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic-pae
     308.0GB: initrd.img
     307.6GB: vmlinuz
    Is using a CD the same as using a USB? I created a USB pendrive with Ubuntu 11.04, but unfortunately I get absolutely nothing on the screen. I succeeded booting 10.10 with the same USB pendrive and system.

    As for the reinstalling the system I don't know. This is the system I work with. It would take much time to reconfigure it correctly. Moreover it would be really interesting to fix it to learn something useful.

    Thanks for your assistance!

  4. #4
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    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    I don't see any problems with your files. You could try booting from the grub prompt (press 'c' at the Grub menu). I don't think this is the issue but if you get an error message it might reveal something. In the example, I didn't use the PAE kernel - I'm assuming -pae is the default so I thought we'd try the other one.

    You should be able to use TAB completion to help write out the kernel and initrd filenames:
    Code:
    set prefix=(hd0,6)/boot/grub
    set root=(hd0,6)
    insmod (hd0,6)/boot/grub/linux.mod # May report already loaded
    linux (hd0,6)/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic root=/dev/sda6 ro nomodeset
    initrd (hd0,6)/boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic
    boot
    You said you tried a pendrive. The black screen - was it completely blank or was there a blinking cursor in the top left part of the screen? If there was, it's probably a video driver issue. Using 'nomodeset' as above should allow you to boot, after which you would need to install your video card's driver.
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    Booted correctly now! I'm logged in the system with the new kernel!
    Maybe a mistake with the grub configuration?

    Anyway, when I logged in a message stated that my hardware couldn't support Unity. I read about this message somewhere. My system can support Unity, it was running just fine before. So maybe there's still something wrong... maybe with the kernel?

    I currently have some other issues with the new 11.04, I suppose with the ATI drivers. Maybe something related to this again?

    Thanks again for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    Quote Originally Posted by Luc484 View Post
    I currently have some other issues with the new 11.04, I suppose with the ATI drivers. Maybe something related to this again?
    The message was probably generated because you used the 'nomodeset' option (if you did), which disables a lot of drivers. Some are needed by Unity.

    If you haven't already, try to install the ATI drivers.

    The way you booted from the grub prompt is non-persistent so you need to make the changes permanent. First, run the following two commands to help ensure things are as they should be:
    Code:
    sudo grub-install /dev/sda  # Do not include the partition number
    sudo update-grub
    Hopefully that will be all that is required. Remember that you booted the non-pae kernel, but the pae kernel may be the default Grub entry and it may be that kernel specifically that gave you the problem.

    If it fails to boot the next time, reboot via the grub prompt as before (if you installed the video driver you can omit 'nomodeset'). You will probably have to purge and reinstall grub. It's pretty simple from the command line of a running (non-LiveCD) system. Let us know if that becomes necessary.

    Once you are satisfied with the boot issue please mark the thread SOLVED via the 'Thread Tools' link at the top right of the first post. There is no rush to do so; you can change the status back if necessary.
    Last edited by drs305; May 12th, 2011 at 10:52 PM.
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    I went through all your indications but the problem remains.
    I reinstalled the drivers following this. Then I gave the two commands you reported. Boot failed.
    So I tried to purge grub and reinstall it. Boot failed again.

    I've never been able to run Ubuntu 11.04 from the USB pendrive as well, but now I am. It is sufficient to set the nomodeset and the system boots up just fine.

    Maybe I should set this nomodeset in my grub configuration? But I wouldn't be able to start Unity...

    Thanks for your help!

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
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    23

    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    I can confirm that the problem goes away when I set the nomodeset option. If I boot either the USB pendrive with Ubuntu 11.04 or my system without nomodeset I have nothing on the screen. If I set it, then the system is ok.
    Any idea why and how I can fix this problem?
    Thanks!

    EDIT: By using the new information I noticed this problem seems quite frequent and the solution is simply to add that parameter to the grub configuration. Unfortunately it seems I have to give up Unity...
    Last edited by Luc484; May 13th, 2011 at 11:14 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    Quote Originally Posted by Luc484 View Post
    I can confirm that the problem goes away when I set the nomodeset option. If I boot either the USB pendrive with Ubuntu 11.04 or my system without nomodeset I have nothing on the screen. If I set it, then the system is ok.
    Any idea why and how I can fix this problem?
    Thanks!

    EDIT: By using the new information I noticed this problem seems quite frequent and the solution is simply to add that parameter to the grub configuration. Unfortunately it seems I have to give up Unity...
    Did you try to add the video card driver for your system via 'Additional Drivers'? It is a pretty simple method if it detects your video card and can find a suitable driver. You can start the 'Additional Drivers' applet by clicking the 'home' button (the Ubuntu symbol at the top left of the panel) and typing 'Driver'. It should display the 'Additional Drivers' icon.
    GRUB2

    Retired.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    23

    Re: Boot stops at loading initial ramdisk

    Do you mean the proprietary ATI drivers? Those were working with 10.10 but now the installation fails. Anyway I switched back to the opensource drivers even with 10.10 because I noticed better performance.

    Is it mandatory to use the proprietary drivers to use Unity?

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