No idea what I've done, but I just started getting this error everytime I boot.

Running Ubuntu 12.04.

I was able to see more of the boot log by removing splash and quiet from grub. I believe this is the culprit:

init: mountall main process (306) terminated with status 1

I've done as NikTh suggested, however my fstab is present and has the correct UUID:

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/etc$ cat fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
# / was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=8f1d7319-7383-4151-bb2b-db84fd079d50 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# swap was on /dev/sda6 during installation
UUID=5dc94483-0bad-4afe-9b46-96ba0fb83b3c none            swap    sw              0       0


ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/etc$ sudo blkid
/dev/loop0: TYPE="squashfs" 
/dev/sda1: LABEL="System Reserved" UUID="005C1A835C1A741E" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sda2: UUID="4CFA26FDFA26E2C6" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sda5: UUID="8f1d7319-7383-4151-bb2b-db84fd079d50" TYPE="ext4" 
/dev/sda6: UUID="5dc94483-0bad-4afe-9b46-96ba0fb83b3c" TYPE="swap" 
/dev/sdb1: UUID="BE98191D9818D5AD" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sdc1: LABEL="MULTIBOOT" UUID="3226-D49A" TYPE="vfat" 

Also, fsck does not seem to find any problems:

ubuntu@ubuntu:/$ sudo fsck /dev/sda5
fsck from util-linux 2.20.1
e2fsck 1.42 (29-Nov-2011)
/dev/sda5: clean, 211250/8994816 files, 2044589/35973120 blocks

How can I fix this? If additional information is required, I can provide.

  • 1
    Try to run fsck again with 2 paramaters. -f -p . sudo e2fsck -f -p /dev/sda5 . Try this from a LiveCd/Usb. Another thing you can try is to force fsck in next reboot , but this must happen from the recovery mode. sudo touch /forcefsck
    – NickTux
    Oct 13, 2012 at 11:30
  • did that, immediately came back with "/dev/sda5: 211250/8994816 files (0.3% non-contiguous), 2044589/35973120 blocks"
    – csauve
    Oct 13, 2012 at 22:54
  • 1
    I believe that the solution is before the mountall ... terminated with status 1 message. Can't you see anything before that line? Aug 22, 2013 at 17:17
  • @csauve did you followed Andrea's comment? it is almost sure that the reason of all your problems is there. geeganza should compare against your result so he might apply the same solution.
    – Braiam
    Aug 25, 2013 at 0:08
  • To be honest, this was a temporary problem that happened to me almost a year ago - I don't even have the disk in question anymore. This question has simply been receiving a lot of attention lately due to geeganza's bounty.
    – csauve
    Aug 25, 2013 at 5:58

2 Answers 2


This error is usually related to a missing fstab file. Probably you delete it by accident or something.

Boot from a LiveCd/Usb and mount the partition with Ubuntu. The root partition (if you have separated /home and /root partitions). You can see in which partition Ubuntu is installed with this command

sudo fdisk -l

search for the Linux system with id: 83

Then connect and search for the fstab.

This is an example if your Ubuntu root partition is on /dev/sda2. Open a terminal and

sudo mount /dev/sda2 /mnt 
cd /mnt && cat etc/fstab

If the result is similar to "/etc/fstab: No such file or directory" then you must create another /etc/fstab file.

If the fstab file opens , then check there for mistakes (you made) in the UUID's... etc. You can see the current UUID's with the command sudo blkid

If you were prudent and you have a fstab.bak (backup) file then you can easily restore it with this command

sudo cp /mnt/etc/fstab.bak /mnt/etc/fstab

Good Luck.

EDIT due to new info

Boot from a Live CD/USB of Ubuntu. Same architecture (32bit or 64bit) as your corrupted system. Then follow this procedure to chroot to your corrupted system. The chroot procedure ends with sudo chroot /mnt command.

After chroot successfully full update your system with following commands

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade 

sudo not needed here, because you are already root.

  • I did that and posted my fstab, blkid and fsck in the question. fstab looks fine to me ..?
    – csauve
    Oct 13, 2012 at 1:08
  • 1
    Answer updated.
    – NickTux
    Aug 18, 2013 at 2:01
  • 1
    We cannot add many comments here. You have to know this. As for the errors from update;upgrade, probably something is wrong with your sources.list file (/etc/apt/sources.list). I think it has nothing to do with mountall. But the update;upgrade might help to overcome the problem.
    – NickTux
    Aug 21, 2013 at 2:16
  • 1
    I'm just saying if it's a server that's running your company's website is a greater risk than if it's your personal PC. I would 1) Move the stuff (if any) under /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ and then run apt-get update;apt-get dist-upgrade -f Aug 21, 2013 at 12:44
  • 1
    The "source" links in your "procedure to root" link are very informative and useful for understanding and using chroot.
    – geezanansa
    Aug 24, 2013 at 8:59

It looks like you may have a failing hard drive. I hope that you have your data backed up!

You have to fsck the drive manually, preferably from a LiveCD, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command(s) below:

sudo fsck -fv /dev/sdaX

Make sure that you replace the X with the partition number.

Note: When using fsck, or any other utility that deals with partition make sure that you hace an up-to-date backup.

-f Force checking of file systems, even when they are marked clean.

-v Causes more extensive messages to be displayed during the file system checks (verbose mode).

To answer geezanansa last comment, of a root-kit possibility. To check for possible root-kit, you can use rkhunter

  • 2
    Actually you can use sudo fsck -a /dev/sdaX to check for bad sectors, and automatically repair the file system without any questions. Just make sure to replace X with your drive number.
    – Mitch
    Aug 24, 2013 at 18:12
  • It may be bad sectors can not be re-written until i can boot Ubuntu!?
    – geezanansa
    Aug 25, 2013 at 19:59

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