Solving the BusyBox black screen problem in grub2/Ubuntu9.10

Have you ever had a situation when Ubuntu was running perfectly fine moments ago and after restarting the system you are greeted with a black screen with white letters saying
‘Gave up waiting for device….
BusyBox v1.13.3(Ubuntu …….)

(initramfs)’??? I’ve had a few.

The screen is something like the one shown above. This is caused when the root drive is not available or not recognized while ubuntu is loading. Generally in grub 2 the drive is recognized by the UUID. This UUID does not match sometimes due to some inexplicable reason( atleast to me!). So there I was, with a laptop with a black screen. Google failed to find me a solution (for the first time!) or may be I didn’t search properly! Anyway, I had to play around with my system a little more and found out a simple solution.

For this workaround, you need to do two things.

1. Find out the root drive partition i.e. /dev/sdax or /dev/hday , where x and y are numbers. (If you know it then it becomes all the more easy.)
2. Replace the UUID with this /dev/sdax

Assuming you do not know/remember the root drive partition number, you would need to get hold of any live cd of Ubuntu or any linux OS.
Boot into the live cd and open a terminal
type this command
sudo fdisk -l
Then find the linux drive. It will be listed something like this
/dev/sda2 6 1918 15360000 83 Linux
So here /dev/sda2 is ur root drive.

In-case, you have two or more drives for linux and you are getting confused, go the GUI way! Open Gparted from System->Administration.
You will get something like the one shown below.

As you can see , it clearly tells the /home and / (root) partition. Once you make a note of this restart the system and bring you computer upto the grub menu.
Now here press e to edit the screen. The line you should be editing would look something like this

linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-16-generic root=UUID=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ro quiet splash

delete that part UUID=xxxx and enter your root drive partition. It should look like this

linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-16-generic root=/dev/sdax ro quiet splash

After editing, press TAB. You must press TAB. Else, it will not register. Then press ctrl+x to boot. You will be able to boot into Ubuntu 9.10 once again. Now, once you are in, open a terminal and run

sudo update-grub

This is to make the changes permanent. If you do not do this , every time you will have to make the manual changes. That’s it. Enjoy Ubuntu!

I hope this post will help a lot of new Ubuntu users.



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