yesterday I performed an automatic security update suggested by the update manager on my virtualized (with VirtualBox on a Windows 7 host) Ubuntu 10.10 installation.

The update somehow failed and left me with an unbootable system. When I try to boot, I am told that various folders, files, and what not are missing. Then the system drops into a busybox and leaves me with an (initramfs) prompt.

This happens with all kernels I get offered by GRUB, although the error messages are quite different from kernel to kernel.

Well, the short of it is this: I don't have the slightest idea on how to get back to a working system and this site is the final straw I'm willing to grab.

A complete disaster like this following an update initiated and executed by the system is unheard of in Windows-land; at least I haven't heard of it, yet, and therefore I am going to abandon Ubuntu and Linux altogeteher, if there is no remedy.

Regards, RSel

  • 3
    You know, it's nice to know that there lots of different error messages, but it'll be greater to know what exactly that messages are. Feb 4 '11 at 9:53
  • We have no way to help until we know what the problem actually is — in this case, until we know what error messages are appearing.
    – ændrük
    Feb 4 '11 at 14:43
  • 1
    Well, with such an attitude you should better abandon Linux. After all, if you run it in VirtualBox, why didn't you create a snapshot before upgrading? May 6 '11 at 9:00

I have had that problem before and I bit the bullet and re-installed it due to the fact that I needed Ubuntu for a project.

My advice is to download an up to date version of Ubuntu 10.10 ISO image and re-install it.

Just don't give up on Linux and Ubuntu so fast.


If you hold the shift key while Ubuntu is booting, grub should give you the option of recovery mode. You will see a stream of text for a short while and then a screen with several options in a list. Select repair broken packages and hit enter. Follow any prompts to download and install and then reboot. It is worth a try. Failing that you may want to reinstall.

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