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I have just installed ubuntu 12.04.1. To be honest I had to run installation several times until it was finished fine. When I finally managed to install it properly, I power on the laptop and the grub shoed up! I selected ubuntu generic. It takes some time to load and when it does I get an error message stating that

error: couldn't read file
Press any key to continue

If I press any button nothing happens. If a leave it there, in a short while there is a black screen loading which gives some weird messages

[0.946710] Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (0,0)
[0.946755] Pid: 1, comm: swapper/0 Not tainted 3.2.0-29-generic #46-Ubuntu 
[0.946792] Call Trace:
[0.946831] [<ffffffff81640ec8>] panic+0x91/0x1a4
[0.946869] [<ffffffff81cfc01e>] mount_block_root+0xdc/0x18e
[0.946909] [<ffffffff81002930>] ? populate_rootfs_wait+0x300/0x9d0
[0.946947] [<ffffffff81cfc257>] mount_root+0x54/0x59
[0.946982] [<ffffffff81cfcec9>] prepare_namespace+0x16d/0x1a6
[0.947019] [<ffffffff81cfbd63>] kernel_init+0x153/0x158
[0.947094] [<ffffffff81cfbc10>] ? start_kernel+0x3bd/0x3bd
[0.947129] [<ffffffff81664030>] ? gs_change+0x13/0x13

The thing is that the laptop isn't mine. A friend tried to dual boot ubuntu alongside windows 7 but he didn't succeed. Ubuntu option was in grub, but when you tried to boot it rebooted from the start. So from a Live CD I erased ubuntu, started windows to check if something went wrong, and fortunately everything was OK. Windows started normally!

So I tried to install ubuntu. Before installation was completed the installer crashed! I was afraid that he would lost windows, something that was true...

At that point I tried to install windows but whichever distro(XP, 7{home, proffessional, ultimate},8) I tried it could never reach the end.

So I tried to reinstall ubuntu but I was facing those weird messages. What can I do to move on?

______________________________________________________________________

EDIT1: I tried to check and fix(if possible) with GParted it took a lot of hours,although gparted displays only 01:14, I restarted the system and now I get not exactly the same messages.

Numbers in braces [ ] are different

[0.818189] Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block  (0,0)
[0.818235] Pid: 1, comm: swapper/0 Not tainted 3.2.0-29-generic #46-Ubuntu 
[0.818272] Call Trace:
[0.818312] [<ffffffff81640ec8>] panic+0x91/0x1a4
[0.818351] [<ffffffff81cfc01e>] mount_block_root+0xdc/0x18e
[0.818391] [<ffffffff81002930>] ? populate_rootfs_wait+0x300/0x9d0
[0.818428] [<ffffffff81cfc257>] mount_root+0x54/0x59
[0.818464] [<ffffffff81cfcec9>] prepare_namespace+0x16d/0x1a6
[0.818501] [<ffffffff81cfbd63>] kernel_init+0x153/0x158
[0.818574] [<ffffffff81cfbc10>] ? start_kernel+0x3bd/0x3bd
[0.818610] [<ffffffff81664030>] ? gs_change+0x13/0x13

What on earth is going on?

______________________________________________________________________

EDIT2: I forgot to mention that my friend gave a punch to his laptop during a game. After that his cooler became to make a weird noise so I checked and it is a bit tortuous but it is working. What I beleive must be wrong is that his HDD makes a weird noise while trying to load ubuntu, which means he might need a new HDD. Could that be true?

______________________________________________________________________

EDIT3: I tried something else:

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00059d92

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048   204802047   102400000   83  Linux
/dev/sda2       204802048   208898047     2048000   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3   *   208898048   488396799   139749376    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdb: 3909 MB, 3909091328 bytes
19 heads, 24 sectors/track, 16743 cylinders, total 7634944 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x6765e7ab

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *          64     1421911      710924   17  Hidden HPFS/NTFS

I did this and then I checked to see if there is something faulty and guess what.....

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda1
smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [x86_64-linux-3.2.0-29-generic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Toshiba 2.5" HDD MK..52GSX
Device Model:     TOSHIBA MK2552GSX
Serial Number:    X8AET3V2T
LU WWN Device Id: 5 000039 151683321
Firmware Version: LV010A
User Capacity:    250,059,350,016 bytes [250 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:    Sun Dec  2 17:24:29 2012 UTC
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x00)   Offline data collection activity
               was never started.
               Auto Offline Data Collection: Disabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0)   The previous self-test routine completed
               without error or no self-test has ever 
               been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection:       (  120) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:           (0x5b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
               Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
               Suspend Offline collection upon new
               command.
               Offline surface scan supported.
               Self-test supported.
               No Conveyance Self-test supported.
               Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003)   Saves SMART data before entering
               power-saving mode.
               Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01)   Error logging supported.
               General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time:     (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time:     ( 118) minutes.
SCT capabilities:           (0x0039)   SCT Status supported.
               SCT Error Recovery Control supported.
               SCT Feature Control supported.
               SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000b   100   100   050    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  2 Throughput_Performance  0x0005   100   100   050    Pre-fail  Offline      -       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   100   100   001    Pre-fail  Always       -       1554
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       3778
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   075   075   050    Pre-fail  Always       -       1898
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000b   100   100   050    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  8 Seek_Time_Performance   0x0005   100   100   050    Pre-fail  Offline      -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   078   078   000    Old_age   Always       -       8805
10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0033   175   100   030    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       3533
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       281
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   092   092   000    Old_age   Always       -       86093
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       32 (Min/Max 13/50)
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       140
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       149
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   100   100   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
220 Disk_Shift              0x0002   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       143
222 Loaded_Hours            0x0032   086   086   000    Old_age   Always       -       5667
223 Load_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
224 Load_Friction           0x0022   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
226 Load-in_Time            0x0026   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       338
240 Head_Flying_Hours       0x0001   100   100   001    Pre-fail  Offline      -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
ATA Error Count: 6226 (device log contains only the most recent five errors)
   CR = Command Register [HEX]
   FR = Features Register [HEX]
   SC = Sector Count Register [HEX]
   SN = Sector Number Register [HEX]
   CL = Cylinder Low Register [HEX]
   CH = Cylinder High Register [HEX]
   DH = Device/Head Register [HEX]
   DC = Device Command Register [HEX]
   ER = Error register [HEX]
   ST = Status register [HEX]
Powered_Up_Time is measured from power on, and printed as
DDd+hh:mm:SS.sss where DD=days, hh=hours, mm=minutes,
SS=sec, and sss=millisec. It "wraps" after 49.710 days.

Error 6226 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 8804 hours (366 days + 20 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  04 11 ff 11 08 90 e0  Error: ABRT 255 sectors at LBA = 0x00900811 = 9439249

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  35 00 00 10 08 90 e0 00      00:09:43.440  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 14 8c e0 00      00:09:43.436  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 10 8c e0 00      00:09:43.431  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 0c 8c e0 00      00:09:43.426  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 08 8c e0 00      00:09:43.404  WRITE DMA EXT

Error 6225 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 8804 hours (366 days + 20 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  04 11 ff 11 08 88 e0  Error: ABRT 255 sectors at LBA = 0x00880811 = 8914961

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  35 00 00 10 08 88 e0 00      00:09:36.808  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 14 84 e0 00      00:09:36.804  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 10 84 e0 00      00:09:36.781  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 08 08 e0 00      00:09:36.748  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 14 04 e0 00      00:09:36.743  WRITE DMA EXT

Error 6224 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 8804 hours (366 days + 20 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  04 11 ff 11 0c 04 e0  Error: ABRT 255 sectors at LBA = 0x00040c11 = 265233

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  35 00 00 10 0c 04 e0 00      00:09:31.808  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 0c 84 e0 00      00:09:31.803  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 08 84 e0 00      00:09:31.765  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 f8 18 14 80 e0 00      00:09:31.759  WRITE DMA EXT
  25 00 08 68 53 1c e0 00      00:09:31.740  READ DMA EXT

Error 6223 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 8804 hours (366 days + 20 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  04 11 ff 11 08 f0 e0  Error: ABRT 255 sectors at LBA = 0x00f00811 = 15730705

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  35 00 00 10 08 f0 e0 00      00:09:25.101  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 14 ec e0 00      00:09:25.096  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 10 ec e0 00      00:09:25.091  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 0c ec e0 00      00:09:25.087  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 08 ec e0 00      00:09:25.029  WRITE DMA EXT

Error 6222 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 8804 hours (366 days + 20 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  04 11 ff 11 08 e8 e0  Error: ABRT 255 sectors at LBA = 0x00e80811 = 15206417

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  35 00 00 10 08 e8 e0 00      00:09:16.662  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 14 e4 e0 00      00:09:16.658  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 10 e4 e0 00      00:09:16.653  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 0c e4 e0 00      00:09:16.649  WRITE DMA EXT
  35 00 00 10 08 e4 e0 00      00:09:16.605  WRITE DMA EXT

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
No self-tests have been logged.  [To run self-tests, use: smartctl -t]


SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
SPAN  MIN_LBA  MAX_LBA  CURRENT_TEST_STATUS
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.

From there it seems that there is something wrong...

5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   075   075   050    Pre-fail  Always       -       1898
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       140
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       149
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

aahm, that is indeed kinda complicated.

  • the ubuntu installation problem could indeed be a partitioning problem which i always solved by prepartinionig my HDD, and it worked then.
  • if it is your friends laptop, you got to rescue all date. which means you instantly get a extern harddrive and save the complete 'my data' folder, you can do that by booting into a livesystem with a stick, and then just copy everything. if he wants to, save his program folder as well.
  • then you open gParted (its preinstalled on the live version) and format the whole hard drive like this

  • 30gb for UBUNTU [ext4]

  • 2gb for LINUX-SWAP [swap]
  • 50gb for WINDOWS [ntfs]
  • * gb for personal DATA [ntfs || ext2]

if he wants to use ubuntu primarily, and windows just occasionally for programs he cant run with wine, i recommend using the ext2 format, and hard mounting the partition as his Home Folder in the ubuntu partition, and installing a ext2 driver on windows (it requires a bit of configuration, but works nice and stable). if he wants to use windows as his primary OS just merge it with the Windows partition.

after that is done, and gparted did not crash because of any HDD errors (which would mean it is broken) install windows first! which is easy, cause it only detects the ntfs partition, and no other, then take the ubuntu stick, and at the beginning of the process, when you're asked how you want to install it (alongside, replace, etc. ) choose 'something else' and define:

  • 30gb UBUNTU as ext4 and / (root || system partition, the system will be installed there)
  • 2gb SWAP as swap (no more needed)
  • * gb DATA as /home (which is where his complete personal data will be stored, and his complete system + program configuration.)
  • 50gb WINDOWS as windows (it will be mounted under /windows afterwards)

like that, you can always replace your ubuntu partition or delete and all his data will be unaffected, AND you're able to acces to it from both partitions. (setting up ext2 driver is described here FS-Driver

i really hope this helps, if i forgot something, or something did not work write back, me or some1 else is going to help for sure!

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Windows installation was completed!!! Now I should install ubuntu...One question though: What I did was 130GB NTFS, 2GB swap and 100GB ext4. You said that I should choose instead of alongside, something else. I think I missed something:I have already a linux swap there;should I repartition the ext4 partition? –  Thanos Dec 2 '12 at 12:35
    
I tried to install ubuntu again twice. The first time the installer crushed again so I tried once more. It took a lot of time to copy files(~1h) and after that it is stuk on "Installing System" for about 1h and the progress bar doesn't seem to be moving. It hasn't loaded yet... What can I do now? –  Thanos Dec 2 '12 at 15:20
    
it does not matter whet ever you repartition it or not, should work either way. you can let it rest for the night, and hope something will move, or klick "show more information" (or something like that) in the bottom right corner, maybe its saying whats wrong, or just asks you a question. :P if its still stuck after one night or so, try hardresetting it, and just boot ubuntu. maybe the core system is already installed, and just needs to update something. if that doesn't work, try redownloading the image (or even 12.10) –  spheniscida Dec 2 '12 at 19:05
    
I made some checkings using disk utility. The results are on my edited question. It seems that there are ~2000 bad sectors somewhere... What can be done now? –  Thanos Dec 3 '12 at 8:58
    
i'm kinda stuck right now as well, but you can try running fsck -A (which is the tool ubuntu runs during startup sometimes) and see if it spits some errors, and repairs them. if not, maybe his HDD is really broken somewhere and you need to replace it. (and sorry for leaving you stuck for 2 days, but i was kinda stressed with school) –  spheniscida Dec 5 '12 at 21:29
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