For some reason my Ubuntu UNE installed using wubi takes about 30 minutes to start up.

All I see is


with barely any harddrive activity

  • This has happened since the first install (this behaviour is not observed on the live usb)
  • The only thing installed previously was Windows 7 server edition
  • I seem to have grub 2, then windows boot up manager, then grub 1

Going into grub and manually loading the kernel, It gets stuck at:

[0.797171] kernel)thread_helper+0x6/0x10]

I'm assuming it's either this task or the task after it that is blocking.

I also get the following error:

VFS: open route device "(null)" ... please append a correct "root=" boot
kernel panic not syncing vfs unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(8,1)
PID 1, comm: swapper not trained 
call trace:
- ?printk
- panic
- mount_block_root
- ?sys_mknod
- mount_root
- prepare_namespace
- ? sys_access
- kernel_init
- ?kernel_init
- kernel_thread_helper
  • Try looking at the kernel debug messages in the file /var/log/dmesg if you can't find anything post it to pastebin.com and link to it here in a comment. Aug 9, 2010 at 7:44
  • 3
    Please try booting with quiet off in your boot parameters.
    – lfaraone
    Aug 10, 2010 at 21:31

4 Answers 4


Your best bet is to back up your files and re-install.

I'm not sure what's causing the problem, but the 3 separate boot loaders sounds definitely wrong to me.

I would also advise doing a full dual boot instead of a wubi install because:

What is the performance?

The performance is identical to a standard installation, except for hard-disk access which is slightly slower than an installation to a dedicated partition. If your hard disk is very fragmented the performance will degenerate.

Any gotcha?

Hibernation is not supported under Wubi, moreover Wubi filesystem is more vulnerable to hard-reboots (turning off the power) and power outages than a normal filesystem, so try to avoid unplugging the power. An Ubuntu installation to a dedicated partition provides a filesystem that is more robust and can better tolerate such events.

(from the wubi FAQ)

If you store the wubi image (normally: c:/ubuntu/disks/root.disk) somewhere safe then you can mount it from a normal Ubuntu install and access your files.


Maybe you need to defragment your windows ntfs system. If the Ubuntu partition created by wubi as a file in windows' ntfs filesystem is very fragmented (it is a quite large file), then it would take a lot of movements by the disk head and hence slow down the boot time.

Another issue to look for are timeouts that block other things. Networking used to be such a problem. If you don't have a DHCP server but you network connection expects one, there is quite a long time out. However, since this is now handled by upstart, it should have less an impact than it used to have. You an look this up in the logs in the /var/logs directory. dmesg gives you a lot of the hardware device messages, messages gives you a lot of the software log messages.


I would suspect that the NTFS-filesystem in which the loopback file is located is dirty or outright broken. Boot in Windows and repair it.

If that doesn't help, you need to go spelunking in /var/log to see if there is anything in a logfile (e.g. messages) that indicates that something is strange.


Check whether you have "ntfs-3g" or not. If its not installed, install this.

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