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boot hangs on "loading initial ramdisk"


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flytape8490's Avatar
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24-Nov-2011, 06:39 PM #1
boot hangs on "loading initial ramdisk"
so today I install fedora16 (after wiping fed15) and get it all updated, configure it as I need it to, and reboot successfully. Then I use it for a while, and then shut down to do some other things.
So then I come back and power on.
On the GRUB screen i go and pick my kernel and everything loads just fine (the progress thingy fills up all the way) and then it switches to a text-screen that says

loading initial ramdisk

and just sits there. I waited 5 minutes just in case it was a labor intensive or something. nope.

So i ctrlaltdelete to reboot and pick a different kernel. same case. I pick the recovery mode kernel, takes me to a command line. i don't know what to do with that. So i reboot again and pick the latest kernel and hit escape during load to watch all the actions scroll by, see if anything is screwed up. It shows "loading initial ramdisk" and then things scroll by with no anomalies. And then it clears the screen and shows the completed graphical loader, then clears again and shows "loading initial ramdisk"
and hangs.

Windows7 boots just fine and I've done some googling around.
It appears to be an issue with the new version of grub and not OS dependent (i've seen help threads for Ubuntu and Debian). None of the threads I found give a clear statement on how the problem is/was solved, so I'm kind-of in the lurch.

Any ideas?
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24-Nov-2011, 09:19 PM #2
Well, that problem has to be in your initrd. Wrong driver, perhaps. Or missing driver. Dunno. You can either take the initrd apart and try to diagnose it (which sometimes works) or you could try reconstructing the initrd to see if perhaps manually constructing it will fix the problem.
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26-Nov-2011, 02:42 PM #3
I have no idea what any of that means.
On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being brand new and 10 being grand master, I would say my linux skill is about 4
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26-Nov-2011, 02:47 PM #4
well i looked up what initrd is, so now i know a bit more about how linux boots. But this still doesn't really fix the issue.
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26-Nov-2011, 03:17 PM #5
Googling around how to take apart the initrd brought me here: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common_kernel_problems

so i tried doing what they said, only to discover that hitting "c" for a command line doesn't give me a proper command line- it's for grub only commands (which I guess makes sense but i'm learning!).
So I opt for the kernel with recovery mode because that takes me to a command line as well. I'm guessing it's actually getting me into the system before the GUI loads up or something and just drops me in as root? I don't know.

anyway, i try
Code:
mkdir initrd
cd initrd/
gzip -dc /boot/initramfs-blah blah blah long kernel name
I don't get past the first mkdir though- filesystem is loaded as read only. so now what?


also! my kernel options on grub are
  • Fedora kernel 1.1.1-2.fc16.i686.img
  • fedora kernel 1.something not as new
  • the same as the previous one but with '(Recovery Mode)' or something like that
  • Windows on sda3
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26-Nov-2011, 03:21 PM #6
i also tried to rebuild the mkinitrd command as per other things on the fedora kernel problems faq page, but every time I ran it it would just echo back the parameters for the command, no matter what parameters i used.
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26-Nov-2011, 03:25 PM #7
I have a brief howto in making a new initrd in my recent post on this forum titled "random tips". Might work for you.
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26-Nov-2011, 03:27 PM #8
further comment; you can't boot. You are never getting out of the initrd. So anything you do to repair that system has to be done from outside. Try a linux live CD and follow the instructions I gave in that initrd tip.

If you get through it successfully, your level of linux knowledge will have gone from a 4 to at least a 6.
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26-Nov-2011, 03:34 PM #9
probably closer to 4.2 :P
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26-Nov-2011, 04:06 PM #10
greetings from the land of livedisk! So i pulled up terminal and started trying to mount the system disk to /mnt/, doesn't work. Apparently sda1 doesn't exist or something in the eyes of a livedisk. So...
Code:
[root@localhost media]# fdisk -l
cannot open /proc/partitions
Hm... well i'm pretty sure my linux partition is sda1 so...
Code:
[root@localhost media]# mount /dev/sda1
warning: failed to read mtab
mount: can't find /dev/sda1 in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab
...wut. so I try and mount it manually through nautilus, and just use that filepath- sure it'd be easier to have it in mnt but whatever. IT gives me /media/_Fedora-16-i686/
Code:
[root@localhost media]# chroot /media/_Fedora-16-i686-
chroot: cannot change root directory to /media/_Fedora-16-i686-: No such file or directory
[root@localhost media]# chroot
chroot: missing operand
Try `chroot --help' for more information.
[root@localhost media]# man dir
[root@localhost media]# dir -a /media/
.  ..
so.... what?. ..
So... i can access files on that partition through nautilus just fine but in order to operate on them through a command line... it doesn't seem to think the device exists?

.... i think i might just reinstall fedora.
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26-Nov-2011, 04:08 PM #11
but i can access them just fine when i'm not root in terminal. .... yeah i'm just going to reinstall fedora before this gets any more confusing.
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