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I realize my question has been asked before, usually phrased as "sometimes Ubuntu doesn't boot", but after reading some of the other questions and answers, I think my situation is a bit more complicated.

The problem: About once every 5, maybe 10 times I turn on my computer and chose to boot Ubuntu, it doesn't boot, but the screen turns "purple" or perhaps more precisely: it's empty/black, but backlight is on as far as I can tell.

In this state, I can do absolutely nothing. Ctrl Alt F1 to switch to a terminal doesn't work, so in the end, I have to force a power-down by pressing the power button.

My setup: I dual boot Ubuntu 13.04, 64 bit, and Windows 7 SP1, on a Lenovo Ideapad U310. The U310 has both an SSD and a HDD. Ubuntu's root directory and swap partition are on the SSD, my home folder and Windows are on the HDD.

Some additional info: the grub menu appears always, and I can chose whether I want to boot Windows or Ubuntu. The problem appears (sometimes) after I chose to boot Ubuntu -- the screen becomes black/purple, nothing else on it, and it stays like that indefinitely.

Any idea what could be the cause for that? If necessary, I can read/attach log files that might help discovering what the problem is, but I didn't know which log file to look into.

Any help would be appreciated.

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I have the same laptop and the same problem (except instead of windows i have like 10 other distros). For me it's not really a big deal. I've found that if I always hit enter before the timeout finishes, I don't get the purple screen. When I let it timeout, it goes purple, and I must hold down the power to shut down, then on again. –  Novine Nov 6 '13 at 20:14
    
Also, I suggest you tag your question grub2 –  Novine Nov 6 '13 at 20:16
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1 Answer

You might want to switch off the splash screen and display those boot progress text messages. Edit /etc/default/grub .There should be a line that says:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

Change it to

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nosplash"

Run

sudo update-grub

This won't fix anything, but it will help you determine what goes wrong during the boot process. See also https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/Setup#Configuring_GRUB_2

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