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I did an system update on Ubuntu Server 12.04, which requested a reboot. Since that, the system never reaches the login. It hangs on:

mount: mounting /dev on /root/dev failed: No such file or directory
mount: mounting /sys on /root/sys failed: No such file or directory
mount: mounting /proc on /root/proc failed: No such file or directory
Target filesystem doesn't have requested /sbin/init.
No init found. Try passing init= bootarg.

BusyBox v1.18.5 (Ubuntu 1:1.18.5-1ubuntu4) build-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of build-in commands.


I tried already to repair it using a live system:

  • Mounting the filesystems (/boot ext, / btrfs)
  • fsck ran without problems.
  • /etc/fstab seems to be OK.
  • apt update/upgrade on chroot succeed.

Now, I have no more ideas.

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I had the same issue when I updated my system. The problem was that it updated the kernel from 3.2.0-48 to 3.5.0-34. I was able to boot using the new kernel by adding rootdelay=90 kernel option, but the system was unstable. So I uninstalled that kernel image and installed the linux-image-generic package, which in Ubuntu 12.04 is 3.2.0-48.

In the grub menu try selecting previous Linux versions if you can, and select the oldest kernel version, which might be 3.2.0-48. If you boot up successfully, open up a terminal and type in sudo apt-get remove --purge linux-image-3.5.0-34-generic this will also update grub.

If the above doesn't work, boot from a live CD or USB and install boot-repair. Once install, run boot-repair and select advanced options. Go over to the GRUB Options tab and check Purge kernels then reinstall last kernel.

If none of those work, then your probably have file system issues, and might need to risk fsck.ext3 -f /dev/(root partition) from a live CD, preferably alternate install.

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