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I want to be able to boot single user in order to repartition due to a failing raid array. (My boot loader and root partition is NOT on the raid array. However, my /var is which is what I need to move until I can rebuild the array.)

I'm running 12.04 and can boot to runlevel 2 no problem. When I try to boot to single user by selecting recovery in grub or by editing the command line for normal boot and adding "single" or "1" I just get a blank screen (even without the quiet and splash options) and all activity stops after a few seconds.

I've also tried to simply run ubuntu from usb, but the standard installation image fails with inotify_add_watch (which seems to be related to raid) while the alternate comes up but won't mount my non-RAID disk to /target in the shell.

Not being able to enter single user mode for maintenance makes me nervous....

Any advice on how to debug or figure out where the problem is?

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Try booting from usb using by passing grub the nodmraid flag –  virtualxtc Jan 7 at 7:07

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