Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So installed Ubuntu from a live cd with just standard setup so the partions are so:

sda1- ext4 filesystem with boot flag

sda2- extended partion containing sda5- SWAP space

Installed to clean HDD and the install seemed fine but upon reboot after bios POST only black screen with white flashing underscore appears and excepts no key strokes. Have tried all the obvious things reinstall GRUB add nomodeset parameter no success so any ideas

share|improve this question
Any particular reason why you chose a version which runs/ran out of support? Why not the latest LTS (12.04)? Maybe the issue you're having is already solved there. – Izzy Jul 3 '12 at 18:48
@Izzy Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is still fully supported until April 2013. – Eliah Kagan Jul 6 '12 at 20:46
@EliahKagan Oh, sure -- it's the previous LTS, missed that... Though I wonder why not using the newer LTS. As said, chances are that specific problem does no longer appear there. – Izzy Jul 7 '12 at 20:17

"The total data storage space of a PC hard disk can be divided into at most four primary partitions, or alternatively three primary partitions and an extended partition."


sda1    ext2      BOOT (Grub/Lilo)   1-8MiB                   boot flag
sda2    swap      SWAP               512MiB-2GiB
sda3    ext3/4    ROOT               rest of disk


  • Having a separate Grub or Lilo bootloader partition lets you install multiple operating systems on one disk and always be able to boot to another O/S if a new install fails like you've described. If used, you MUST SET THE 'boot' FLAG on this partition, not the ROOT partition. The bootloader menu will contain the commands to find and boot the Windows or Linux O/S you choose.
  • If you forgot to set the 'boot' flag on your sda1, that could be the cause of the blank screen... it doesn't know which partition to boot.
  • If you want to split off a top-level directory like /var, you could make sda3 smaller and add a fourth partition (sda4). I believe the partitioning software, (GPartEd), will automatically make sda4 an extended partition containing the 'logical' partition named sda5. /dev/sda5 is what would be mounted on the /var directory 'mountpoint'.
  • If you didn't use the whole remainder of the sda4 partition for sda5, you could split other parts off by adding additional logical partitions (sda6, sda7, etc) within sda4.
  • This item on the Unix & Linux StackExchange site may prove helpful.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.