The problem occurred after I powered off my 10-year-old Ubuntu 10.04 Compaq PC while booting. Now all I get is the initramfs prompt and an error on mounting the root file system.

Below is the output of "mount", run from the Ubuntu Live CD. Interestingly, "mount -l" hangs and produces some strange lines in "dmsg", I'll post them tonight, when I'm in front of the PC.

"fsck" returns that the partition is exclusively used by another process, "lsof | grep sda3" show four unkillable processes.

aufs on / type aufs (rw)
none on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=0620)
/dev/sr0 on /cdrom type iso9660 (ro,noatime)
/dev/loop0 on /rofs type squashfs (ro,noatime)
none on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
none on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
none on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
none on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
gvfs-fuse-daemon on /home/ubuntu/.gvfs type fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon (rw,nosuid,nodev,user=ubuntu)


First of all repair your UNMOUNTED disk with a command started from your Live CD:

fsck.ext4 -cDfty -C 0 /dev/sd** (assuming ext4 partition)

If this succeeds, it should boot.

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  • Will post feedback by tonight. I posted the output of "mount", because I do not understand it. Is "sda3" mounted? – Vorac Sep 26 '12 at 12:43
  • Doesn't seem to be mounted. – Frantique Sep 26 '12 at 12:48
  • No luck (device exclusively used by another process). Next week I'll be getting a Live CD with a very light distribubion of linux and am going to try your command on it. I'll post if it works. – Vorac Sep 27 '12 at 13:54
  • This is why I said: UNMOUNTED. Meaning that use a Live CD or Recovery boot from Grub. – Frantique Sep 27 '12 at 14:00
  • Yup: from the LiveCD "sudo umount /dev/sda3" "device not mounted". But still fsck doesn't work (or anything) – Vorac Sep 27 '12 at 14:33

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