Yesterday I downloaded the 10.10 update using the update manager. The download went normally, but I encountered numerous errors while the new packages were installing, which caused my upgrade to fail. I restarted my computer, and after the BIOS screen I began to consistently get the following error:

Kernel Panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)
Pid: 1, comm: swapper Not tainted 2.6.35-22-generic #33-Ubuntu

and then there is a 10 entry call trace.

I've been searching for a solution since this happened last night. Some forums recommended running a disk test, which I did from the live cd with no errors. I also tested the memory, and that showed a lot of errors (62). So maybe my RAM is toast, but I don't know why it would fail on the upgrade.

I also ran the boot info script found on sourceforge, and the RESULTS.TXT file is here: http://pastebin.com/MKc2tS9e

Thanks for the help.


What happened, as is evident from your grub.cfg, is that while your upgrade didn't succeed, it upgraded your kernel to the 10.10 kernel (2.6.35) anyway.

What you need to do is hold down Shift at system startup. Then, at the GRUB menu, pick the 2.6.32 kernel (which corresponds to 10.04).

I'm not promising that this will solve everything (or even anything), but booting into the new kernel when the upgrade has aborted is probably not going to fly. ;-)

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  • I can't bring up the GRUB menu by holding shift at startup. It just goes to the kernel panic screen immediately. Do I need to boot from the live cd? – tjlevine Oct 12 '10 at 5:58
  • You need to hold Shift at the POST screen (i.e., before anything with Ubuntu on it shows up). – Chris Jester-Young Oct 12 '10 at 6:00
  • OK well I booted from the live cd, held shift, then selected "Boot from first hard disk", then held shift immediately after that. That got me into the GRUB menu, and I selected the 2.6.32 kernel, which booted successfully into CLI mode. I tried to run startx to start the GUI, but it says "Fatal server error: no screens found" and it also complains about not having the nVidia module and drivers. How can I get these through the CLI? – tjlevine Oct 12 '10 at 6:02
  • Well, the nVidia modules probably disappeared because of the botched upgrade. :-( I don't actually know if you can roll back a botched upgrade, but if you can't, then you need to complete your upgrade first. What you can and should do, is to boot into the live CD and back up your hard drive, if you can. Then if things get further botched, you have something to go back to. – Chris Jester-Young Oct 12 '10 at 6:10
  • OK thanks for your help. I'm attempting to fix my upgrade (by running sudo apt-get install -f), but if that fails I guess I'll have to backup and reinstall :( Any idea if the memory test failure is something I should be worried about? – tjlevine Oct 12 '10 at 6:13

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