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Old 04-08-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
fipi
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
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Unhappy boot partition not found, drops to shell


Hello, I am new to Linux. Overall it's awesome, but I run into a lot of problems. So far none have been major, and I've been able to get past pretty much all of them. However, this one problem is quite annoying and so far I haven't been able to fix it.

When booting up, after I select the default entry in Grub, sometimes I get this error after it tries to load for a bit:

Code:
Starting up...
Loading, please wait...
usplash: Setting mode 1152x864 failed
usplash: Using mode 1024x768
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/sda2 does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

BusyBox v1.10.2 (Ubuntu 1:1.10.2-1ubuntu7) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

(initramfs)_
The weird thing is that if I reboot a few times, it eventually starts normally with no error.

My setup is: Linux Mint 6 and Windows XP dual-boot on a SATA hard drive (XP in 1st partition, Mint in next 3). I also have an IDE hd I use for storage.

As I normally do with problems that come up in Linux, I googled it, but I didn't find a definite answer, just different possibilities about missing SATA driver modules, udev rules, and conflict between IDE and SATA drives. And honestly I didn't understand half of the stuff I found, so I'm a bit at a loss now. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Last edited by fipi; 04-08-2009 at 06:15 PM.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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What is the output of fdisk -l (you might have to be root or use sudo)?

I would guess that it's the "conflict between IDE and SATA drives" problem. If you get an output from the above command that lists /dev/sda and /dev/sdb, I would guess this is the problem. What may be happening is that the IDE drive is being labeled as a SATA drive. As such, your first drive may be booting up as the second drive (/dev/sdb) and vice versa. The every few reboots, it picks the correct order for the drives making your primary drive /dev/sda like it should be.

I think the new way to get around this is to specify UUID's for each drive. I haven't played with UUID's myself since my machine has so far (knock on wood) behaved correctly.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 07:34 PM   #3
jay73
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Ah, yes, old problem that is typical of debian based distros. The root of the problem is that you have two or more hard drive controllers and that the operating system gets confused every so often. The best solution is to use labels or UUIDs. I tend to prefer labels because they are a lot more informative and flexible than an UUID, which will typically look as informative as 465464-456413136-454646.

If you use ext2/ext3, you can set a label like so:
sudo tune2fs -L mint_root /dev/sda2
This would label the second partition "mint_root".
Once a partition has been labeled, you need to edit /etc/fstab something like this:
LABEL=mint_root / ext3 noatime,nodiratime 0 0
And then, obviously, you will also need to edit your grub menu.lst to make a real difference.

Last edited by jay73; 04-08-2009 at 07:35 PM.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 07:34 PM   #4
jschiwal
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I had a situation where the BIOS sees drive order one way and the kernel sees it another. So when grub boots, (hd0,0) is one disk, but after linux loads grub thinks that (hd0,0) is another drive. This makes it difficult to update grub in Linux. The solution for me was to edit the /boot/grub/device.map file to map the (hdX,X) style names to /dev/sdXX style.

Also look at using the drive IDs in grub and /etc/fstab.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 10:08 PM   #5
fipi
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Thumbs up solved

Wow I didn't expect replies so fast, thanks. I think I fixed it now, by using a label for my root partition and by changing the device.map file. Although, these changes only took effect after I reinstalled grub. I rebooted many times and so far no more error message, so I'm pretty sure it's problem solved. Thanks guys!

EDIT: Not solved, see below.

Last edited by fipi; 04-09-2009 at 08:25 AM. Reason: problem not solved
 
Old 04-09-2009, 07:27 AM   #6
Ritwick Chakraborty
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Hi everybody, this is my first post here. I am also new to Linux. I am facing the same problem. Though I am not able to understand most of the things you people said. I did as much to change the label of my boot partition, ie. /dev/sda9. cause it said that it couldn't find sda9.

this is the result of sudo blkid...
Code:
/dev/sda5: UUID="5CEC972DEC970086" LABEL="Personal" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sda6: UUID="761046E01046A6C9" LABEL="Hemanta" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sda7: UUID="6C0C48010C47C534" LABEL="Kishore" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sda8: UUID="3f14b258-30c0-4334-8f1d-d24cb9078ed0" TYPE="ext3" 
/dev/sda9: UUID="c2dc1069-e7b7-457c-a966-0c3466d09688" TYPE="ext3" LABEL="mint_root" 
/dev/sda10: TYPE="swap" UUID="ef2a66cf-baec-4aeb-80d6-c8632326a62c" 
/dev/sdb5: UUID="B60C152C0C14E95F" LABEL="Bangla" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sdb6: UUID="5EC01133C011133F" LABEL="Hindi" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sdb7: UUID="180C40B30C408DA6" LABEL="English" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sdb8: UUID="8AA45C3CA45C2D47" LABEL="Classical" TYPE="ntfs"
Most odd thing is, the secondary HDD is not connected at all.

If you need, here's my fstab

Code:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
# /dev/sda9
UUID=c2dc1069-e7b7-457c-a966-0c3466d09688 /               ext3    relatime,errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /dev/sda8
UUID=3f14b258-30c0-4334-8f1d-d24cb9078ed0 /boot           ext3    relatime        0       2
# /dev/sda10
UUID=ef2a66cf-baec-4aeb-80d6-c8632326a62c none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/scd0       /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0
Now what do I do? can somebody guide me through the steps? and I will need a step by step guide. cause obviously the posts above solved fipi's problems. But as I am a very newbie so, I can't understand half of what is being said....

Last edited by Ritwick Chakraborty; 04-09-2009 at 03:30 PM. Reason: coded the outputs...
 
Old 04-09-2009, 08:25 AM   #7
fipi
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
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Argh, apparently my problem is not fixed. I was writing a reply to Ritwick, when I noticed that I used the "mint_root" label in the wrong entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst, so I was actually still booting into /dev/sda2. So then I tried replacing root=/dev/sda2 with root=mint_root and then root="mint_root", but both times booting failed completely. So I decided it didn't matter since it was working anyways, but after I changed it back to /dev/sda2 I got that error again when booting up. How do I use a label (or a UUID) instead of /dev/sda2 in menu.lst? I'm guessing that will fix my problem, but if you have other ideas please post them.

More info, if you need it:
fdisk -l output:
Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 640.1 GB, 640135028736 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77825 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdac4a1d0

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1       19612   157533358+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2           19613       21358    14024745   83  Linux
/dev/sda3           21359       21622     2120580   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4           21623       77825   451450597+  83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 40.0 GB, 40020664320 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4865 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc06e7af3

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1        4865    39078081   83  Linux
fstab:
Code:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda2
# (below line commented out because using a label instead of UUID)
#UUID=c46fcce6-af26-49bd-92ee-5a917416431f / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
LABEL=mint_root / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
# /dev/sda4
UUID=7a82e4e0-ba38-4c85-a5d6-82e49fb70001 /home ext3 relatime 0 2
# /dev/sda3
UUID=bf0d77d4-650d-4575-9a17-72a1e8603b5b none swap sw 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
 
Old 04-09-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
Ritwick Chakraborty
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: Kolkata, India
Posts: 6

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Here is my fdisk -l output

Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 82.3 GB, 82348277760 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 10011 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x491e491d

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda2   *           1       10010    80405293+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5            2551        5100    20482843+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6            5101        7650    20482843+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda7            7651       10010    18956668+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda8               1         249     1999998   83  Linux
/dev/sda9             250        2316    16603146   83  Linux
/dev/sda10           2317        2550     1879573+  82  Linux swap / Solaris

Partition table entries are not in disk order
 
Old 04-09-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
jay73
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Quote:
Argh, apparently my problem is not fixed. I was writing a reply to Ritwick, when I noticed that I used the "mint_root" label in the wrong entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst, so I was actually still booting into /dev/sda2. So then I tried replacing root=/dev/sda2 with root=mint_root and then root="mint_root", but both times booting failed completely. So I decided it didn't matter since it was working anyways, but after I changed it back to /dev/sda2 I got that error again when booting up. How do I use a label (or a UUID) instead of /dev/sda2 in menu.lst? I'm guessing that will fix my problem, but if you have other ideas please post them.
Well yes, of course you need to edit grub as well (/boot/grub/menu.lst). Here is mine, zoom in on the "kernel" line, it's the only one that needs editing.
Quote:
title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic
root (hd3,1)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=LABEL=Ibex_sys ro vga=0x369 quiet splash
initrd /initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic
quiet
 
Old 04-09-2009, 06:05 PM   #10
Ritwick Chakraborty
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Location: Kolkata, India
Posts: 6

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Friends.. How do I solve this problem? Please guide me....
 
Old 04-09-2009, 06:35 PM   #11
fipi
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 6

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Awesome, it works now. I got some free time now (4 day weekend ), so here's a walkthrough of what I did, newbie-friendly format. I don't know if everything I did was necessary, but I'll just write it all down anyways. If you do all the steps in part A and that fixes your problem, awesome. Otherwise just try part B as well.

Here I use the label "linux_root", but you can use whatever you like.
Also, replace "/dev/sdax" with whichever partition is root. If you're not sure which is the root partition, open a partition editor (like Gparted) and the partition with a mountpoint of "/" is what you're looking for.


A) Setting up a label for the root partition
1) Run sudo tune2fs -L linux_root /dev/sdax
2) Open /etc/fstab. Under /dev/sdax replace "UUID=xxxxxx..." with "LABEL=linux_root". Remember to save your changes.
3) Open /boot/grub/menu.lst. In that file find your main bootloader entry. If you don't know where that is, it's probably the first place where a line begins with "title", next line "root", and the next one "kernel". The kernel line contains "root=/dev/sdax". Replace this with "root=LABEL=linux_root".


B) Mapping hard drive partitions
Open /boot/grub/device.map. It should contain hard drive mapping(s) like "(hd0) /dev/sda". If you have more than one hard drive, it will go on with /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, etc.
Add this in the file:
(hd0,0) /dev/sda1
(hd0,1) /dev/sda2
... and so on, one for each partition. (Check in a partition editor if you're not sure how many partitions your hard drive has.) Repeat for any additional hard drives, replacing hd0 with hd1, hd2, etc., and replacing sda with sdb, sdc, etc.
 
Old 04-09-2009, 07:44 PM   #12
jay73
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Quote:
Friends.. How do I solve this problem? Please guide me....
I would like to see your /boot/grub/menu.lst as well.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 02:57 AM   #13
Ritwick Chakraborty
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: Kolkata, India
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Code:
# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
#            grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
#            grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
#            and /usr/share/doc/grub-legacy-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
#
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not change this entry to 'saved' or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default		0

## Graphical boot menu location
gfxmenu=/boot/gfxmenu/default.message

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout		5

# Pretty colours
color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line)  and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
#      password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

#
# examples
#
# title		Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root		(hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader	+1
#
# title		Linux
# root		(hd0,1)
# kernel	/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro
#

#
# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

### BEGIN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/sda9 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=(hd0,7)

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
##      alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
##      lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=quiet splash

## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
## e.g. lockold=false
##      lockold=true
# lockold=false

## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenhopt=

## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenkopt=console=tty0

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
##      altoptions=(single-user) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
##      howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
##      memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
## can be true or false
# updatedefaultentry=false

## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
## can be true or false
# savedefault=false

## ## End Default Options ##

title		Linux Mint 6, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=/dev/sda9 ro quiet splash 
initrd		/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic
quiet

title		Linux Mint 6, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic (recovery mode)
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=/dev/sda9 ro single
initrd		/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic

title		Linux Mint 6, kernel Last successful boot
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/last-good-boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda9 ro quiet splash  last-good-boot
quiet

title		Linux Mint 6, memtest86+
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/memtest86+.bin
quiet

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
 
Old 04-10-2009, 04:01 AM   #14
Ritwick Chakraborty
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: Kolkata, India
Posts: 6

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fipi, I tried it out.. but I guess to no avail.
It shows
Code:
Starting up...
Loading, please wait...
usplash: Setting mode 1152x864 failed
usplash: Using mode 1024x768
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! LABEL=mint_root does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

BusyBox v1.10.2 (Ubuntu 1:1.10.2-1ubuntu7) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

(initramfs)_
Here are the relevant files.. just check whether I did them right or not?

fstab

Code:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
# /dev/sda9
LABEL=mint_root /               ext3    relatime,errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /dev/sda8
UUID=3f14b258-30c0-4334-8f1d-d24cb9078ed0 /boot           ext3    relatime        0       2
# /dev/sda10
UUID=ef2a66cf-baec-4aeb-80d6-c8632326a62c none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/scd0       /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0
menu.lst

Code:
# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
#            grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
#            grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
#            and /usr/share/doc/grub-legacy-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
#
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not change this entry to 'saved' or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default		0

## Graphical boot menu location
gfxmenu=/boot/gfxmenu/default.message

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout		5

# Pretty colours
color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line)  and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
#      password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

#
# examples
#
# title		Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root		(hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader	+1
#
# title		Linux
# root		(hd0,1)
# kernel	/vmlinuz root=LABEL=mint_root ro
#

#
# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

### BEGIN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/sda9 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=(hd0,7)

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
##      alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
##      lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=quiet splash

## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
## e.g. lockold=false
##      lockold=true
# lockold=false

## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenhopt=

## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenkopt=console=tty0

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
##      altoptions=(single-user) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
##      howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
##      memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
## can be true or false
# updatedefaultentry=false

## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
## can be true or false
# savedefault=false

## ## End Default Options ##

title		Linux Mint 6, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=LABEL=mint_root ro quiet splash 
initrd		/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic
quiet

title		Linux Mint 6, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic (recovery mode)
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=/dev/sda9 ro single
initrd		/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic

title		Linux Mint 6, kernel Last successful boot
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/last-good-boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda9 ro quiet splash  last-good-boot
quiet

title		Linux Mint 6, memtest86+
root		(hd0,7)
kernel		/memtest86+.bin
quiet

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
device.map

Code:
(hd0)	/dev/sda
(hd1)	/dev/sdb
(hd0,0) /dev/sda5
(hd0,1) /dev/sda6
(hd0,2) /dev/sda7
(hd0,3) /dev/sda8
(hd0,4) /dev/sda9
(hd0,5) /dev/sda10
(hd1,0) /dev/sdb5
(hd1,1) /dev/sdb6
(hd1,2) /dev/sdb7
(hd1,3) /dev/sdb8
Also the strangest thing is sudo blkid shows the secondary HDD even if it is not connected

Last edited by Ritwick Chakraborty; 04-10-2009 at 04:06 AM. Reason: added info
 
Old 04-10-2009, 05:52 AM   #15
jay73
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

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Quote:
Also the strangest thing is sudo blkid shows the secondary HDD even if it is not connected
That is normal, you can run sudo blkid -g to remove devices that are not longer connected.

But after looking at your files, I can't really tell what could be causing your boot issues.

Last edited by jay73; 04-10-2009 at 05:55 AM.
 
  


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