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I have a netbook (emachine e250 - equivalent to an acer aspire one) and I have Ubunutu NBR 9.10 installed on it. Every other cold boot freezes at the following error message:

fsck from util-linux-ng 2.16

There is no disk activity, no activity what so ever. I have left the machine sit for over an hour and nothing. It takes a couple of hard resets to be able to boot properly. Once it boots everything works great (wireless, suspend/resume, etc.)!

I have spent the last couple of weeks researching the problem and the only thing that seems to work is setting nolapic in the boot string in grub - it boots every time. Unfortunately, nolapic disables the second core and causes problems with suspend resume.

At first I thought it was an fsck problem with the first partition on the hard disk as it is a hidden ntfs partition containing the windows xp recover information. So in /etc/fstab I set the partition so that it would be ignored by fsck. This didn't seem to do anything.

I have these partitions:

  • /dev/sda1 - an ntfs recovery partition
  • /dev/sda2 - /boot
  • /dev/sda3 - swap
  • /dev/sda5 - /
  • /dev/sda6 - /home

I am running kernel version 2.6.31-19-generic and have all the patches (as indicated by update manager). I also have no splash screen so I can see the boot progress.

I have only been using NBR since January, I have been using Ubuntu on my desktop since last June (2009-06).

What logs should I be looking at? Is there a log for failed boots?

share|improve this question
It looks like fsck was a false lead. It was having trouble with the wireless adapter (bcom unit). Luckily, I had / and /home on separate partitions. A format of root and reinstall of karmic seemed to solve my problems. – Bluebill Mar 1 '10 at 13:06

Hm, hard to help without actually debugging your kernel, but if setting nolapic fixes it, there's a high likelyhood that the problem is related to APIC :-).

Then it would be some kind of problem (or incompatibility) with the BIOS/mobo, so you may not be able to do anything about it. Also, setting nolapic should not completely disable the 2nd core, it only changes IQ routing. Did you verify the 2nd core is really off?

If you want to debug this further:

Find the startup script that runs fsck on Ubuntu (on Debian it's , should be similar on Ubuntu), then put in some extra echos to narrow down where it hangs. Also, give the "-V" option to fsck for more verbose output. Then see where to go from there.

Good luck...

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the tip. I am currently searching for the boot script that fires fsck so that I can add the -V option to see what is going on. – Bluebill Feb 27 '10 at 13:10
You're welcome. To find the boot script, you can just grep for fsck: grep -r fsck /etc/. Might give a few false positives, but shouldn't be hard to get what you need. – sleske Mar 1 '10 at 10:29

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