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Thread: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    Hello Ladies & Gents,

    Found myself in a soggy quagmire, I wonder if anyone would be kind enough to throw me a line?

    My Ubuntu 14.04 64bit system has been working perfectly well until yesterday morning when I tried to boot it up and these lines of horror greeted me..

    Code:
    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/efe24220-9569-4e7b-8fof does not exist. Dropping to a shell!
    
    BusyBox v1.21.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.21.0-1ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash)
    Enter 'help' for a lost of built-in commands.
    (initramfs)
    I tried the trick wherein one holds down the shift key and tries to boot into another kernel, but I tried them all and they don't work.
    There are two SATA hard drives, the second data drive just has user files on it, the first main one has Ubuntu.
    I tried unplugging the second data drive - no difference.

    I'm currently dancing naked around the machine trying to evoke the Gods Of Ubuntu, if that doesn't work, can you suggest anything?

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    captaingraviton; Hi ! Welcome to the forum .

    Most likely that the boot code has become corrupted - for who knows why or how. I have high doubts that any dance or incantations will prove effective to lead to a resolution; does not hurt to try, and a better frame of mind could result.

    Rather than relying on 'faith' let's do the 'scientific' method.
    Let's prepare to (re-)install grub, 1st let's make sure that all points to the correct places and designations. We want to look at what the files system is directing to be mounted.
    Boot the liveDVD and;
    Post back the outputs - between code tags - of terminal commands:
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    sudo parted -l
    sudo blkid
    code tag tutorial:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...8#post12776168
    once these are known we will take a look at the File System TABle ( /etc/fstab) file from that liveDVD and if all looks proper will proceed to (re-)install grub.

    We could take a wild stab at the heart of the matter, but I would, in this instance, make sure the file system knows what it is talking about.

    Booting, from point a to point b to point d
    it is all in the process
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubuntu'n !

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    This is good. I prefer the scientific method too!

    I had to go download and burn a current Ubuntu 14.04 LiveDVD because I had previously (about five weeks ago) upgraded from Ubuntu 11 to 12 to 14 via the terminal. Might this be why I'm having issues? Even still, it's been working just fine until now.

    Anyway, here's the output from the code you suggested...


    Code:
     sudo fdisk -lu
    
    (nothing)
    Code:
    sudo parted -l
    
    Warning: Unable to open /dev/sr0 (Read-only file system). /dev/sr0 has been opened read-only.
    Error: Can't have a partition outside the disk!
    Code:
    sudo blkid
    
    /dev/loop0: TYPE="squashfs"
    /dev/sr0: LABEL="Ubuntu 14.04 LTS amd64" TYPE="iso9660"
    What does that lot tell you?

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    Welcome. It tells us, quite eerily, nothing. There appears to be something drastically wrong if you have two hard drives in there ...

    The first command Bashing-om gave you to try should have listed all your partitions on both drives.

    * This might give some clues as it sounds similar to what's happening.

    http://www.rodsbooks.com/missing-parts/index.html

    I suggest booting from a LiveDisk/USB, get to a desktop and launch Gparted. If it shows 'unallocated space' then your issue is pretty close to the one on that thread, or at least in the ball park.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; June 12th, 2014 at 07:08 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    Gparted, via the liveDVD, had a little scan and says "No devices detected" at the bottom.

    Gulp. I've got that cold feeling creeping up to my neck from the back of my underpants...

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    captaingraviton; Yuk !

    That tells me that there is no file system on those hard drives ! Which I find very hard to believe ( a total lack of faith ).
    Something along these lines should have been the result:
    Code:
    sysop@1310mini:~$ sudo fdisk -lu
    [sudo] password for sysop: 
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00065f5e
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *        2048    10242047     5120000   83  Linux
    /dev/sda2        10244096    30724095    10240000   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3        34207742   976771071   471281665    5  Extended
    /dev/sda5       443795688   443811689        8001   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda6       443811753   597409154    76798701   83  Linux
    /dev/sda7       597409792   976771071   189680640   83  Linux
    /dev/sda8        34207744    44447743     5120000   83  Linux
    
    Partition table entries are not in disk order
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x502a9772
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdb1              63   976768064   488384001   83  Linux
    
    Disk /dev/sdc: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0002ea65
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdc1            2048   102402438    51200195+  83  Linux
    /dev/sdc2   *   102404096   204804095    51200000   83  Linux
    sysop@1310mini:~$
    where I have 3 disks and 4 'buntus installed.

    Humm .. OK, So what is going on here ?

    Boot the liveDVD, as soon as the bios screen clears depress and hold the right shift key -> language screen; escape key to accept the defaults -> boot options screen;

    Choose "check disk for defects", will take a while to make the checks and prompt for a re-boot.
    Upon that return from the re-boot -> boot options screen -> "try ubuntu" -> desk top
    ctl+alt+t to get a terminal. What now results from:
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    sudo parted -l
    sudo blkid
    still with no output ? Houston we have a problem !...
    from the dash ( top icon on the launcher at the left side of screen -> enter the term gparted -> partition editor. Provide us a screen shot of both the hard drives ( top right of the GParted screen to select) to have a picture of what is.

    boy oh boy
    what do we not have here
    Last edited by Bashing-om; June 12th, 2014 at 07:16 PM. Reason: typo
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubuntu'n !

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    I suggest following the fix on the link I provided and using fixparts to realign the partitions. It is a few scroll rolls down the page.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    @ Bucky Ball; Great resource - had completely slipped my mind !
    ( see that is why you get paid the big bucks ).

    @ captaingraviton; When you get done with all the aboves and "fixparts" as well... do not write anything to those disks - if you have data that needs to be saved !-
    Next in line is 'testdisk' to try and salvage the data.

    We are awaiting an update on your status/situation.

    Oh Boy, Time and effort !
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubuntu'n !

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    @Bashing-om: Okay, well I rebooted the LiveDVD and held the right shift key, chose "Check disks for defects" and after a while it said "No errors found" (!?) then, pressed a key to reboot again into the LiveDVD Ubuntu Desktop, opened terminal, same commands, same outputs as before, opened Gparted, same as before "no devices found".*screenshot below*

    @Bucky Ball: I'll see what Bashing-om has to say and I'l start reading through your link. Frankly all those words terrify me. I'll try and be brave...


  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu 14.04 not booting (Alert, dropping to shell (initramfs))

    captaingraviton; UnGood for the home team.

    OK, time to read Bucky Ball's link -> fixparts, see what it relates.
    Then IF there is data to be salvaged.. consider 'testdisk'......
    Else: see what results with a clean (RE-)install of ubuntu 14.04 in the default install - let the install wizard do it's thing.
    IF that default install goes well, we can think about getting creative with the disk(s) partitioning -> and (RE-)(RE-)install.

    Your call, only you know what was on those disk(s), and what needs salvaging.

    (re-)install: Windows prefers to be the 1st operating system installed - IF this is to be a dual boot with Windows situation on the same hard drive. Sure saves some effort and grieve with the boot code.
    I do recommend, though, as there are 2 hard disks; Windows only on the 1st hard drive, and ubuntu 14.04 on that second hard drive, boot to that second hard drive, and chainload Windows onto grub ( GRand Unified Bootloader).

    where there is a will there is a way
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubuntu'n !

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