General Question

robdamel's avatar

Ubuntu failed to boot, how to solve?

Asked by robdamel (786points) August 14th, 2011

I have just installed ubuntu ( about the fifth time today actually) and I still get the same error: ‘Gave up waiting for root device”.

I`ve googled this and although it is all over the internet, surprisingly a solution could not be found ( at least nothing simple). Is there a practical solution to this?

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17 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Acronis the hard drive, then reinstall.

YoBob's avatar

Wow, sorry you are having trouble. I’ve never had this happen.

Are you using a distribution appropriate for your hardware? Distributions are compiled for a particular architecture. In other words, are you trying to install a 64 bit distribution on a 32 bit machine? Some distributions are even more specific to a particular processor architecture (AMD, Intel, etc…).

This is why those live CDs are so handy. You can test drive it on your particular system before committing to an install.

Blondesjon's avatar

@YoBob . . . Could you run a 32 bit distro on a 64 bit machine?

robdamel's avatar

yeah i am using wubi to install. This is was my sixth try, i`ve tried doing some solutions i read about, but nothing.

My OS right now is 64, and the ubuntu installed is 64 also. I read somewhere though that I should install the 32bit version, since my memory is only 2gb.

I`ve just about given up, i have no idea why people call it easy to install.

robdamel's avatar

@XOIIO What exactly will acronis do?

XOIIO's avatar

@robdamel Totally wipe the hard drive so it will be a totally clean slate.

Ivan's avatar


That’s not an option if he’s trying to dual-boot with Windows.

It might be a problem with Wubi. Find the .iso file in the Wubi folder, burn it as an image to a CD or flash drive (instructions on Ubuntu’s website), then boot into the live CD. If THAT doesn’t work, then there’s either something wrong with the .iso you downloaded or you’re using the wrong architecture. If it does, then it’s probably Wubi’s fault, and you should just install it on a separate partition.

Your problem is pretty rare, don’t get frustrated. Ubuntu is the easiest OS to install on Earth.

robdamel's avatar

okay, fail. I`m gonna try changing root delay to 90, which is something i read around the internet as well. Problem is, how do i change the root delay? ive been looking for it through google. but no success yet.

robdamel's avatar

no success :( I really want Ubuntu. Ive only tried wubi until now, but i dont try using a usb because i dont want to lose windows also.

prioritymail's avatar

Try asking on the ubuntu forums.

koanhead's avatar

Try installing from the liveCD. I’ve never had success with Wubi, and it just makes the install go more slowly than the normal method.

As for changing the root delay- hit ‘e’ at the Grub prompt. Choose the kernel you will boot and press ‘e’. At the end of the kernel options string enter ‘rootdelay=90’ and then hit ‘b’ for boot. I also usually remove the ‘quiet’ and ‘splash’ options when I do this so that I can see the boot messages.

robdamel's avatar

okay, i am about to install via flash drive.

YoBob's avatar

Yes, you can run a 32 bit distro on a 64 bit machine, but you can’t run a 64 bit distro on a 32 bit box.

I’m really sorry to hear about your install trouble. I have never had any difficulty installing Unbuntu from a live CD or from a flash drive, even on low end netbooks.

Ivan's avatar

You won’t lose Windows unless you tell it to lose Windows.

robdamel's avatar

damn, so now at least its not giving me the last problem- `gave up waiting for boot device`. Now it takes a while on a black screen, then goes straight to the shell. . Really, this is giving me a headache, but I want Ubuntu!

Ivan's avatar

Are you still trying Wubi? Try the Live CD/USB.

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