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I've searched but don't find an answer to this exact problem.

Box: Dell OptiPlex 360 
Motherboard: SMBIOS
CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E7300 Rev 6.7.6 64-bit
Bridge: 82G33/G31/P35/P31 DRAM controller (says 32 bit width)
RAM: 2G
Disk partitioning: GPT
  ---     1M empty space
  sda1    1M unformatted (biosgrub) "use as reserved bios boot area"
  sda2  500M ext2  /boot
  sda3   15G ext2  /
  sda4   47G ext2  /home
  sda5   2G  swap
  sda6  10G  ext2  [not mounted]
  ---     15.95M   unallocated
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 64-bit iso verified by sha256sum and burned to DVD

This box has successfully run various flavors of Ubuntu 16 LTS 32-bit by installing the binary boot code to sda1, a practice that has been successful with several other BIOS based (non-uefi) desktops with disk formatted as GPT. There is no error message about 64 versus 32 bit, afaik it's a 64-bit capable box. I've tried it twice, once specifying as device for boot loader "sda", and then as "sda2." Each time, the install proceeds without interruption and says that it was successful.

However, when booting, it displays the familiar purple background, then the "ubuntu" letters in center with the tri circular symbol; there is disk activity for a few minutes. A mouse arrow appears in the middle of the screen but is frozen. Then, all activity stops and the machine is hung.

Afaik, it's successfully locating the binary in sda1 and begins the boot process (or we wouldn't see the initial ubuntu screen). Could it be confused by the swap partition? I know it uses a file now, but maybe it would just ignore the partition. Could the host bridge be a bottleneck? It says 32b but that's not for the word-width of the machine, just the DRAM transfer protocol, I thought.

I have tried a Linux Rescue CD (5.2.1) and choosing "boot an existing system," but it gives some error messages:

/newroot/sbin/init no such file
/sbin/init not found on root filesystem
/sbin/init on the root filesystem is an binary [sic]

Then removed rescue cd and restarted, [esc] to enter Ubuntu grub menu, "advanced options" to recovery mode:

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

I chose "update grup bootloader"

It replies,

will remount / and any others in /etc/fstab
cannot create /boot/grub/grub.cfg.new
directory non-existant

Back to the recovery menu and a root prompt; it does find all partitions sda1-sda6 under /dev

I also looked at /etc/fstab and it shows all 4 necessary partitions

sda2  /boot
sda3  /
sda4  /home
sda5  swap

were mounted during installation, and their associated UUID's are there in /etc/fstab, so I'd think these should get mounted during boot. Nevertheless, it hangs.

This is an older box that I normally use to test out new OS's before installing on the newer desktop.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

As this is my first question posted here, thank you for welcoming me to the forum, and please be patient with me, I am an experienced digital HW person from long back, but not as good at Software as some of you folks are.

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  • I have similar symptom as "when booting, it displays the familiar purple background, then the "ubuntu" letters in center with the tri circular symbol; there is disk activity for a few minutes. A mouse arrow appears in the middle of the screen but is frozen. Then, all activity stops and the machine is hung" except that disk activity continues, as if the machine is still booting. – heynnema May 14 '18 at 14:00
  • The exact content of /etc/fstab as well as the output of sudo lshw -C cpu would be useful to edit into your post. Thank you for helping us help you! – Elder Geek May 16 '18 at 17:19
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On Kubuntu 18.04, happened the equivalent of your problem. This because in /etc/fstab is a partition that could not be mounted. Verify and then correct your fstab and maybe the problem will be fixed.

protected by Thomas Ward May 19 '18 at 21:00

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