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This is an installation of CentOS 6.3 in VirtualBox 4.2. I was able to install with no problems and have booted it up about 3-4 times previously and used it without any issues. Now, when I start it, loads the bar at the bottom of the screen, but then stops here:

enter image description here

then after about 5 minutes the screen goes completely blank. If I press a key it then switches back to the screen above. It never took this long to boot before.

I am not able to get to any prompt or anything, so it seems like I probably have to do a fresh installation. But I'd rather not if there is anything else to try.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You likely have recently updated CentOS and it has installed new X windows packages. Give your CentOS 6.x VM session mouse and keyboard focus by clicking on its terminal window. Now press Alt-F2 to get to a logon prompt. Logon as the superuser, root.

Now you need to re-install Virtual Box Guest Additions. Press the right Ctrl key to give the host system focus. From the Devices menu of your guest OS select the "Install Guest Additions..."

Restore focus to the guest by clicking on the console. Guest additions are on a virtual CDROM, so mount the CDROM manually by issuing the command:

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt

Install the guest additions as follows:

cd /mnt; ./

Give the system a few minutes to perform the installation, then issue these commands:

cd /; umount /mnt; reboot

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I forgot that you can switch to a terminal like that, thank you. – aearon Mar 16 '13 at 20:34

Try booting from a Rescue CD and doing a file system check on the partitions in your VM.

Past that, a fresh installation does seem like your only option to me.

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