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I've had Ubuntu for a while and it'd been working fine till now. Every time I try to boot I get this message and I can not go any further:

BusyBox v1.17.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.17.1-10ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands


My main worry are my files and pictures as I don't have a back-up.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

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You can always recover your files using a live cd or a live usb during boot. You can then mount your hard drive and find your folder (should be in the home folder). About the problem, do you remember what was the last thing you have done? Did you install a package from PPA repositories? – medigeek Jun 20 '12 at 21:56
Press ctrl+D to boot from there – K.K Patel Nov 7 '12 at 10:28
Check out this… – K.K Patel Nov 7 '12 at 10:30
have you dual boot system ? – K.K Patel Nov 7 '12 at 10:31

I have the same problem...I did some commands in the terminal after logging into the live cd

The following step is for removing the i-node

In the terminal I typed

sudo debugfs -w /dev/sda1
debugfs 1.41.11 (14-Mar-2010)
debugfs: clri <8>
debugfs: quit

After that restart the system and again boot into the live cd

In the terminal type

sudo fsck -yv /dev/sda1

It will work.....definitely

After logging into the desktop in the terminal type the following commands

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get check

For More Details visit the tutorial page

For More Visit details

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If you boot off a live cd you can retrieve your files from your hard drive.

At the command-line try:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure -a
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Normally there are some lines just before the line posted on the question. If the problem is about mounting failure then this may help. I had bad superblock problem on my /dev/sda3 and I fixed it by booting another Ubuntu located in another hard drive within the same box using the fsck command described in the link. You may have to wait for a running text on the screen. Let it finishes its job and your system will get back to work without losing any bit of your data.

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