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How can I boot into recovery mode if it hangs booting into single user mode?

I am trying to boot into "recovery mode" or any single user mode, but upstart is trying to start modem-manager no matter what. It says "modem-manager could not connect to system bus" and sits there retrying, forever.

Can I boot into single user mode and tell upstart to NOT try starting the modem?

Can I boot single user and tell upstart to start a shell after drives are mounted? Thanks for any help in advance...

UPDATE: I was able to use the grub init=/bin/bash trick to get a command prompt on booting. From there I was able to apt-get purge modemmanager. But I still get an error about can't connect to system bus and a hang. Is there a way to put upstart into extra verbose mode so I can see what is causing the hang?

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When you boot, remove the "quiet" from the boot options. When you get a shell, check the logs. If it will not boot at all, we can investigate from a live CD. –  bodhi.zazen Dec 21 '11 at 20:14
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

After a lot of Googling the different terms, I found a post that may solve your problem also.

For me that was a bug for Ubuntu 11.10. Take a look at this post for solution. And to repeat the solution here:

  1. Hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 at the blank screen to get you to a non-X terminal (tty1)
  2. Login in with your username and password
  3. Change to root with: sudo -i and enter your password
  4. mkdir -p /run /run/lock
  5. rm -rf /var/run /var/lock
  6. ln -s /run /var
  7. ln -s /run/lock /var
  8. Reboot
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TY! I had no idea /var/run and moved to /run and is symlinked and same goes for /var/lock and both are tmpfs. I googled a ton and never saw this blog post nor any detail that they are tmpfs. –  Jay _silly_evarlast_ Wren Jan 6 '12 at 22:20
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"Could not connect to the system bus" means dbus. Without dbus, you probably can't boot. I think you need to figure out why dbus isn't starting.

Are you using a standard kernel?

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yes, you are right, no dbus. yes standard kernel. when I init=/bin/sh and try service start, it says dbus is already running. I guess because /var/run/dbus/pid is there because of unclean shutdown. –  Jay _silly_evarlast_ Wren Jan 6 '12 at 22:19
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