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I've been playing aroung with a Ubuntu Server 10.04 installed through VMware (the host is Windows XP). For any reason (I suspect a power off of my host machine), the guest OS seems broken.

Every time I boot the virtual machine, I get stuck at an initramfs prompt, after what seems like a kernel panic trace and the following lines:

mount: mounting /dev on /root/dev failed: No such file or directory
mount: mounting /sys on /root/sys failed: No such file or directory
mount: mounting /proc on /root/proc failed: No such file or directory
Target filesystem doesn't have /sbin/init.
No init found. Try passing init= bootarg.

Busybox seems to allow entering commands, then the (initramfs) prompt is shown.

I booted with a Ubuntu Live CD and tried:

  1. Checking entries in /dev : I can see /dev/sda, /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda5
  2. Mounting /dev/sda1, but the mount command doesn't return (I waited for 10 seconds, I assume that's sufficient?)
  3. fsck -c /dev/sda1 - but fsck reports that /dev/sda1 is busy.
  4. Checking dmesg when using the Live CD:

    EXT4-fs (sda1): INFO: recovery required in readonly filesystem
    EXT4-fs (sda1): write access will be enabled during recovery
    EXT4-fs warning (device sda1): ext4 clear journal err: Filesystem error recorded from previous mount: IO failure
    EXT4-fs warning (device sda1): ext4_clear_journal_err: Marking fs in need of filesystem check.

What could I try next? The machine contains valuable source code so I'm hoping I can find a solution!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted


$ fsck -y /dev/sda1

From the LiveCD

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Hi Simon, tried a "last chance" Googling based on "IO failure" message from dmesg output. I found this So I used Slax to submit the fsck (basically, the Ubuntu Live CD automagically mount /dev/sda1, so it seems not to be possible to fsck it. Maybe with the -y flag, but your answer was too quick, sorry!). Thank you ! – SCO May 17 '11 at 20:51
Okay, Hopefully you get things worked out though! – Simon Sheehan May 17 '11 at 21:50

The live CD mounts the /dev/sda1 partition automatically. All you have to do is first run:

umount /dev/sda1

Then run:

fsck -y /dev/sda1

That did it for me.

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