A few days ago, my relatively recently upgraded Ubuntu 16.04 suddently crashed and since then I am experiencing terrible problems to initialize it. Please let me describe what happens as well as I am able. I am 63, am NO geek, and feel very lost and confused, so I would really appreciate your help. When I turn on the computer, instead of initializing it gives me this message: Busy box v1.22.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.22.0-15ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash) Enter "help" for a list of built in commands (initramfs) -

And then It waits for me to write something. If I write help, as suggested, I get this long message: :[ alias break cd chdir command continue echo eval exec exit export false get opts hash help history let local printf pwd read readonly return set shift test times trap true time ulimit umask unalias unset wait [ [[ acpid ash awk basename blockdev cat chmod chroot chut clear cmp cp cut deallocut devmem df dnsdomainename du dumpkmap echo egrev env expr false fbset fdflush fgrep find fstrim grep gunzim gzip hostname hwdock ifconfig ip kill ln loafront loadkmap ls lzop lzopcat mkdir mkfifo mknod mkswap mktemp modinfo more mount mv openvt pidof printf ps pwd readlink reset rm rmdir sed seq setkeycodes sh sleep sort stat static-sh stty switch_root sync tail tee test touch tr true tty umount uname uniq unlzop wc wget which yes zcat

And then once again it says *inifrans) - and it waits for me to write something...I have tried to feed it the whole of the message , or part by part, and it keeps saying "not found"...so once again I turn off the computer (ASUS NOtebook) manually. Then I turn it on again and it brings me to a screen that gives me several options: Ubuntu with Linux generic (which brings me to the same set of long message and nothing) or recovery mode, which does lots of things but I end up in the same impasse..

or Previous Linux Versions...which is the option one I have used and been eventually able to login, though to a somewhat distorted page / it has all the elements that were there - thank goodness ! - but it is a different letter font, and everything looks sort of a bit widened to the sides...It says lots of things, no matter if I use linux 3....92 or 91 or 88. Basically it says ok, but there are two instances when it keeps saying FAILED > "Failed to activate swap Swap" and also somewhere else " Failed to Start Load Lernel Nodules'...these nodules seem to be in an ancient linux version I have n access to. Well, anyway, to cut a long story short, it eventually brings me to a menu with also several options, like fcsk, repair damaged files, etc, etc... and somehow at some point it allows me to continue, and then I am in...

But this means manually turning on and off the computer a lot, and I am afraid at how it can get damaged by this...and my computer is my basic tool for work I am an interpreter and get my very needed jobs via computer...) It has yet another option which says "return Ubuntu 12.04 to factory state@, which I have not used because it tells me that most of the files will be lost, so I always manage to initialize after a complex process by going to previous Ubuntu versions...

I sincerely hope and wish you can help, and I am grateful in advance for your much needed support. Best, Angelina

  • Angelina, is there any mention of fsck above or before the Busy box message you get at a "normal" boot? And does it indicate a failure of said fsck? – MicroParsec Aug 18 '16 at 21:22

I understand that Ubuntu won't boot into your usual desktop environment, but instead fails and goes into recovery mode. In the most likely case your computer was not shut down correctly, and now the computer remains in an "unsafe" state.

If anywhere above the "Busybox" and initramfs you see mention of fsck and /dev/sdXY (where the X and Y can be anything), you have an inconsistent hard drive that needs to be fixed.

Luckily, this is easy as 1 2 3. It's a shame you need to go through this, but with a push in the right direction I bet you can help yourself next time it happens.

Fixing the hard drive inconsistencies

  1. During a "normal" boot (the default, like how you would start the computer any day of the week), locate a line that says

    The root filesystem on /dev/sdXY requires a manual fsck

  2. When the computer is fully booted and you are presented with the (initramfs) line, type e2fsck -f /dev/sdXY (swap X and Y for the characters you actually need.)

  3. If e2fsck fails because /dev/sdXY is mounted, type umount -f /dev/sdXY and try step 2 again.
  4. When it succeeds, e2fsck will compute the problems in the filesystem and correct them when needed. You may be prompted with questions about proposed fixes, but just say yes (y) to all of them.
  5. After this process is done, you are safe to reboot by typing

    reboot or /sbin/shutdown -r now.

    (if that doesn't work, hold the power button or do an Alt-Sysrq R-E-I-S-U-B if you now what that is).

  6. Ubuntu should reboot normally.
  7. If it didn't, instead of plain e2fsck -f /dev/sda1 try the more elaborate e2fsck -C0 -p -f -v /dev/sda1 and e2fsck -f -y -v /dev/sda1

If I can in anyway help you further or if this did not solve you problem, don't hesitate to respond.

Source and more info: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2302095

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