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I just spent a day trying to work around my newly upgraded Ubuntu 14.04 booting into a black screen without success and becoming seriously desperate.

What I did: Upgrade to 14.04 LTS from 13.10 via command line. Everything proceeded without problems.

The status now: GRUB shows. After I select any Ubuntu starting option I still have on my system, the Ubuntu start screen with the dots appears, changes into a black screen with a white cursor in the upper front corner. At this stage nothing will get me out of this besides a manual restart (Alt + F1 or F2 does not work, no keyboard reactions otherwise). This effect also happens with the Ubuntu 13.10 kernel stilled imaged on the system. Graphics failsafe modes won't boot at all. I can get to a text mode boot via selecting recovery mode and from there return to normal boot --> login to 14.04 works, but no display is recognized.

My System:

Thinkpad X1, dualboot with Windows 7. Intel HD 4000 graphics card. There is no file /etc/X11/xorg/conf.

lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 vga Yields:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller [8086:0166] (rev 09)


Lenovo Device [17aa:21f9] Kernel driver in use: i915 00:14.0 USB controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller[8086:1e31] (rev 04)

/usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p yields:

No protocol specified
  Error: unable to open display

What I tried: Many suggested solutions from other forum threads, including Resetting unity, dpkg --reconfigure, several installations and re-installation of fglrx / nouveau / nvidia graphics drivers, reinstalling X, .......

Booting 14.04 from a live USB, which works great and enables me to write this post, but I don't manage to fix my local 14.04 installation

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generally speaking, when you have a problem with an upgrade, it takes longer to debug it then to do a fresh install. A fresh install will preserver your data in /home. My general policy, if I can not fix an upgrade within 20 min, fresh install. Support for failed upgrades is limited. With that in mind, check your logs for errors. – bodhi.zazen Jun 5 '14 at 19:53
Hi, @bodhi.zazen: Thanks for the link to the former thread. I already went through it, tried the suggested solutions with no success. How can I proceed to a fresh install without loosing my data? E.g. sudo apt-get dist-upgrade shows me everything is already perfectly up to-date .. – Alice Jun 5 '14 at 20:02
Your data in /home is preserved "Since Hardy it is possible to reinstall Ubuntu without losing the content of the /home folder (the folder that contains program settings, internet bookmarks, emails and all your documents, music, videos and other user files). This can be done even if /home is not on a separate partition" see . If you have data outside of /home it of course gets more interesting, but you have several back up strategies. – bodhi.zazen Jun 5 '14 at 20:06
I have a physical update of all my data on an external drive generated with ubuntu simple backup. I just went to the first screen of a reinstall of 14.04. from a life USB I generated today and my options were installing it alongside the broken 14.04 on my system or loosing all data. From my broken 14.04 I cant run ubuntu installer since i cant boot.. – Alice Jun 5 '14 at 20:09

I had the the same issue. I re-installed from scratch after backing up my home directory. After the fresh install of 14.04.1 I still got a black screen when booting. I then selected the advanced options in the grub boot loader, selected start networking, then went to a root shell and ran 'apt-get update' and 'apt-get upgrade' and the next reboot worked fine. Just thought I would share in case these easy steps help anyone else.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

As suggested by bodhi.zazen, a reinstall of 14.04. from a life USB following this link enabled me to boot into 14.04. without loosing my /home/ data.

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