Boot problem - 'Gave up waiting for a root device'

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Boot problem - 'Gave up waiting for a root device'

Postby milkfloat on Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:41 am

I can not boot Xfce from my hard drive. Instead, I receive an error message:

Gave up waiting for root device...

...ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid...does not exist. Dropping to a shell!


*EDIT*

Booting in recovery mode gives another error that repeats several times, then loads the Recovery Menu. Selecting 'Resuming Normal Boot' from the recovery menu produces errors:
ata1.00: status: {DRDY ERR}
atat.00: error: {UNC}


but operating system subsequently loaded when I pressed the power off button. It has taken about ten minutes to load, and the display resolution is distorted.

Is there a way to fix this without reinstalling from Live USB?

Thanks
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Re: Boot problem - 'Gave up waiting for a root device'

Postby austin.texas on Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:34 pm

I am fairly certain that you have a hardware problem, not an operating system problem.
I could be wrong, but take a look at a possible power supply or hard drive failure.
Test booting and running your usb.
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Re: Boot problem - 'Gave up waiting for a root device'

Postby milkfloat on Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:44 am

austin.texas wrote:I am fairly certain that you have a hardware problem, not an operating system problem.
I could be wrong, but take a look at a possible power supply or hard drive failure.
Test booting and running your usb.


Thanks, austin.texas. It looks like you may be correct, after I backed up my files in safe mode, I used a Live USB to reinstall XFCE.

The installer gets to the last stage of the process, then gives the error:
[Errno 30] Read-only file-system. 'target/boot/vmlinuz-32.0-23-generic


And then gives a message saying that the hard drive may be faulty.

Would a clean format solve the hard drive problem? If so, what is the best way to do this using the Live USB?

Thanks again

*edit*

I researched the above error and discovered this thread:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1918573

this suggests that the problem is actually the kernel, and that installing a distro with a different version of the kernel could solve the problem. Does anyone think that is a viable solution? In other words, will another version of Mint (Cinnamon/Mate etc) use a different version of the kernel? If the kernel version is the same in each current LTS version of Mint, I assume I that downloading another will be a waste of time.
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Re: Boot problem - 'Gave up waiting for a root device'

Postby austin.texas on Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:43 am

milkfloat wrote:Would a clean format solve the hard drive problem? If so, what is the best way to do this using the Live USB?

You can use fdisk from a terminal to check the partitions. While you are using the live USB, you can install the gsmartcontrol program (installs to ram) to check the integrity of the hard drive.

milkfloat wrote: will another version of Mint (Cinnamon/Mate etc) use a different version of the kernel? If the kernel version is the same in each current LTS version of Mint, I assume I that downloading another will be a waste of time.
If you have an older machine, a newer kernel will do you little good. If you have a newer machine, Mint 16 will have a newer kernel and may work much better than Mint 13's old kernel.
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