I am running the up-to-date version of Ubuntu, set up on an Acer 64 bit machine with a Kingston solid state hard drive, with a set-up that allows me to boot into either Ubuntu (where I do about 95% of work) or Windows 7. I've been running it this way for months without problems, and Ubuntu started freezing up, so I had to cold-boot the system. While I can boot into the Windows partition with no problem, when I attempt to boot into Ubuntu, I get the following:

mount: mounting /dev/disk/by-uuid/d6bd2da2-d626-499789c8-64efbf5d2853 on/root
failed: invalid argument
mount: mounting /dev on/root/dev failed: No such file or directory
mount: mounting /sys on/root/sys failed: No such file or directory
mount: mounting /proc on/root/proc failed: No such file or directory
Target filesystem doesn't have requested /sbin/init
No init found. Try passing init= bootarg

Busyboxv1.21.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.210-1ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash)

Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.


I don't know what's wrong or what to do from this point, and please bear in mind, when you give instructions, that I am a bit old and very ignorant of anything beyond the basics of using Ubuntu. Also, while I can access the files on the Windows partition from Ubuntu, I was wondering if there is any way I can recover the files saved in Ubuntu, should I have to reinstall. Whoever responds, thank you very much for your time.

  • Do you have backups of any documents (or settings) on the Ubuntu (Kingston) drive? Do you have the skills/confidence to run Ubuntu from USB, to examine the solid-state drive (and/or recover any data)? EITHER of these elements is what is needed, to recover ..
    – david6
    Dec 27, 2014 at 21:17
  • I've never done it, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
    – Gregkay
    Dec 27, 2014 at 21:54
  • I just attempted running Ubuntu from the USB drive I originally used for installation, and it says it cannot access that partition, and that the partition is not mounted. Is there a way around this?
    – Gregkay
    Dec 27, 2014 at 22:07
  • First priority: Check out the device hardware, if necessary using a trained technician. This may be electrical, or device failure. Do not open the box unless you understand the risks, and likely damage you could cause.
    – david6
    Dec 28, 2014 at 0:58

1 Answer 1


It's probably not a hardware problem, considering Windows boots & runs fine on the same drive. There are some Windows and linux tools to check a drive's SMART data that are an option too. But just in case I'd try data recovery first before doing any write tests to the drive.

When you boot from a live iso (USB/CD) if you can paste the mount errors (from the terminal, or probably in /dev/log/syslog too) that should help a lot.

Mounting read-only (ro) might allow access to copy off your data files at least, if you don't have a backup already. This should work if you're booting live:

  1. Find out which drive partition you'd like to mount (the /dev/sdx# name). In a terminal, run (as root or with sudo) some of these to find out what device/partition (like /dev/sda1) you're after. The linux partitions are probably an ext3/4 format, windows usually NTFS:

    lsblk or blkid or fdisk -l or parted -l

  2. Make a mountpoint sudo mkdir /mountpoint (for example, often the're in /media/ somewhere, may work better in there).

  3. Try mounting it read-only with the device & mountpoint from earlier

    mount -o ro /dev/sdx# /mountpoint

    Watch for any error messages here. If it mounted ok you should be able to read & copy your data from /mountpoint

It may need a filesystem check before it wants to mount (see man fsck & the other tools like fsck.ext3, fsck.<morenames>). But those could write to the filesystem, possibly overwriting your data you'd like to recover first, so that wouldn't be a "best practice" of data recovery.

If it wouldn't mount, other tools like testdisk or photorec could be used to try & read the data anyway. See this Ubuntu Data recovery page, or the testdisk or photorec documentation/help for more info.

And with "mount: ... failed: invalid argument" you might want to take a look at your /etc/fstab file... maybe edit that into your Q?

Or a tool like Boot Repair could help for GRUB boot problems, but that may not be the problem here (could even mess up Windows booting which still works now).

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