I have a MSI GS70 with Ubuntu 16.04 installed for a while (dual boot with Windows 10). Everything was working fine until this morning after doing:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

The update finished without failing and I continued my work and suddenly my laptop rebooted. Now the boot process stops at:

Loading initial ramdisk

If I try to run in recovery mode, the kernel blocks at this line:


Thank you for your help.

4 Answers 4


Problem has been fixed by following this guide : https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCdRecovery#Update_Failure

Then I launched a disk check from live CD.

  • Please consider marking your answer as the solution. Oct 22, 2017 at 9:46
  • To clarify this answer a bit: the problem is that Grub is broken. You need to use a bootable device then run Boot-Repair to fix it
    – whossname
    Oct 22, 2019 at 3:10

I was having a combination of two problems here, Loading initial ramdisk or just a purple screen without Ubuntu or dot count.

I simply went into recovery mode at GRUB and then resumed into normal boot from here. The problem went away, but only temporarily. It comes back on reboot, but the system is up again.

A permanent fix is upgrading packages to their latest versions, while keeping the distro on LTS (mine was 18.04, but also works for 16.04), by trying the following:

  • Method 1

    sudo dpkg –configure -a
    sudo apt-get install -f
    sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Method 2

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    sudo apt-get upgrade 
  • Method 3

    Fix Broken Packages with Synaptic.

I managed to solve my problem with method 2. I also tried to install Xubuntu, as recommended by some people, because GNOME desktop is too heavy, but I don't think that this was the problem, because my system is decent.

Before the fix I also had issues with the NVIDIA driver. This pointed me to Software & Updates. Here I selected the nouveau Xorg, clicked Apply and rebooted.

A combination of the above worked fine. All packages got removed and installed nicely, fixing the problem.

PS. My GRUB had these kernel parameters: quiet splash nomodeset. Apply them using Grub Customizer → General settingskernel parameters or by editing GRUB by pressing e on the GRUB screen and add them in the linux=" ... " line.

That worked, so I then reverted back to the latest NVIDIA driver in Software & Updates.

I also added Xubuntu to ensure that all was fine both in GNOME and Xubuntu.


I had similar issue (but on my case NOTHING was printed on recovery mode, so my answer is very relative to the problem).

I fixed this problem by removing some drivers I was not using (that made my initrd humongously big):

$ ls -la /boot/initrd.img*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  98389658 May 16 14:25 /boot/initrd.img-5.11.0-16-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 125389406 Jun  2 15:25 /boot/initrd.img-5.11.0-17-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 100027050 Jun  6 18:35 /boot/initrd.img-5.11.0-18-generic

On that kernels, 5.11.0-16 boots ok (was build on the initial installation of the system upgrade from Ubuntu 20.10). 5.11.0-17 doesn't boot (I suppose the image is way to big to be loaded with Grub) and 5.11.0-18 loads ok because I run the following command that made it smaller:

sudo apt remove nvidia-driver-440 nvidia-driver-450 --purge
sudo apt autoremove --purge

I could also erase virtualbox that adds DKMS drivers inside of that ramdisk.


I had the same problem. I booted holding shift, selected 'recovery mode' and opened a 'root terminal'. There I typed df -h, which shows disk usage: The second-last column was at 100 %. The computer did not boot because it was full! Solution: Exit that terminal with 'Control+D' and then select 'clean' to free the APT Cache. Then it booted again.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.