I recently tried to install the Windows 10 developer preview on my laptop. The installer seemed to hang immediately after I selected my install partition, but I left it for about an hour to make sure it wasn't getting anywhere. I turned off the computer when it was clear that nothing was happening, but that seems to have been a mistake.

Now I can't boot from any source. Booting straight from my HDD gives me GRUB recovery with the message "error: unknown filesystem". I've tried following various tutorials online to boot from rescue, but I'm getting errors for either missing files or unknown commands. So I tried booting from various live CDs/USBs (both Windows and Linux), but they all hang during boot. (I tried them on another laptop, and they work fine.) Some of them gave me the option to do a text-based boot, which lets me see the following error (or something similar) while it is hanging: "kernel panic: out of memory and no killable processes..."

Ok... I've got 8GB of RAM, so there's no way it's actually out of memory. So hardware failure? I'm actually not sure, I've never seen anything like this. I'm running memtest right now but it hasn't found any errors yet.

Any ideas what to try next? I wouldn't be opposed to wiping everything and starting from scratch, but that might not be possible since I can't even run any installers.

  • Sounds like a hardware failure. If memtest86 doesn't report errors I would suspect the motherboard. You could also try removing the hard drive and booting in to the live environment but in my experience if a Linux live cd hangs its usually the memory or motherboard – Scandalist Dec 22 '14 at 21:37
  • It turned out to be a problem with the hard drive; I moved it from my laptop to my desktop, which allowed me to boot my laptop from USB, and my desktop is not even registering that it exists. I've seen a similar problem once before where a bad external hard drive caused my computer to take up to 15 minutes to boot normally, so I'm wondering if this is the same kind of problem. Now, is there any way for me to repair this drive? – 0x5453 Dec 22 '14 at 22:57

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