Azimout's Linux weblog

gave up waiting for root device

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Had to resolve a very strange problem today: a pc (not mine) running Karmic, would fail to boot. I could see grub (1.98), choose an entry, then it would wait for 30 seconds and time out, complaining it had given up waiting for the root device, and drop me to a busybox “(initramfs)” prompt.

If I chose the “recovery” (single) option, it would boot the initrd and then drop me to the busybox prompt. Replacing root=UUID=blahblah (and removing the “search” line) didn’t help. I looked at /dev/disk, and it was empty except for a “by-path” entry. Booting from the LiveCD, the partition looked fine. I confirmed that the UUID was correct. Touching an empty file (in case this was bug #518582) didn’t solve this.

In the end, I booted from a LiveCD, mounted the root partition, devfs, procfs and sysfs, and did a full-upgrade. After that, the problem went away. Not sure if upgrading any packages did the trick (I saw that grub-pc was upgraded) or if such a big change of inodes deferred the problem.


Written by azimout

09/07/2010 at 13:35

Posted in Problems

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