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Ubuntu Linux Live hangs during laptop boot

By Jay Garmon Contributor ·
I began toying with Ubuntu Linux 5.1 Live on my Compaq Armada M300 laptop. The problem is that when Ubuntu finishes its boot process and makes its cute little musical chime, all I'm left with is a strange, blank-white screen. I can force the screen to dissipate with a [CTRL]+[ALT]+[BACKSPACE] command, but I'm then presented with a text readout of the boot process that ends with this phrase:

xscreensaver-command: no screensaver is running on display :0.0

Now, when I try to [CTRL]+[ALT]+[BACKSPACE] earlier in the boot process, I get the same result for about one second, then the white screen reappears. Once I'm on the text screen, I can type anything I want, to no effect. No commands are effective, not even a simple clear command. All I can do from this position is [CTRL]+[ALT]+[DEL], which prompts a new series of declarations that ends with instructions to remove the live disk (the drive tray then pops open) and press enter. The machine then reboots as normal.

The last declaration before the boot process hangs and I can clear the white screen is this phrase:

* Checking battery state...

This is a hand-me-down laptop with an almost certainly useless battery, so I'm wondering if the bootstrap process is searching for some kind of hardware feedback from the battery, is unable to find it, and thus simply hangs during boot. If so, what boot parameter do I need to input to prevent this from happening? If it isn't the battery, what is the likely cause, and again, what boot parameters will solve it?

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to Ubuntu Linux Live hangs d ...

Keep up with the Trivia Geek's ongoing Wacky Linux Adventures with the wackylinux tag.
http://techrepublic.com.com/5261-1-0.html?query=wackylinux

If it doesn't say wackylinux, it's not really a wacky Linux adventure.

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by jmgarvin In reply to Ubuntu Linux Live hangs d ...

Steps to take:

1) <ctrl><alt><F1> (F1-F6 are termials, F7 is the GUI). This should drop you into a term so we can check X or your display manager (X11.org, right?)

2) Or edit your grub (you are using grub) loader. Let's start in run level 3. As your computer boots, stop the loader and press e,down arrow, e, insert the 3, enter, b. In the grub.conf you'll see a line that says:
kernel vmlinuz-2.<version> <maybe some stuff here>
At the end of all that mess put a 3.

You could also edit your inittab, but I think it is easier (and faster) to edit the grub.conf. (the grub.conf typically lives in /boot/grub/grub.conf)

Good luck!

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

I managed to get into the terminal--which produced a command prompt. That's as far as it goes, however, since I don't know anything about the live directory structure. The GUI is totally inaccessible.

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by stress junkie In reply to Ubuntu Linux Live hangs d ...

It's possible that you aren't waiting long enough. Those live cd distros take a long time to start even on my Athlon XP 2100 with 1 GB RAM. Try this. Start the boot process and take a shower. When you are finished with the shower, and a cup of coffee, then check to see if Ubuntu is running.

It might sound like I'm joking but I am serious.

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by stress junkie In reply to

jmgarvin, regarding your #2: He's booting off of a CD. How is he going to edit his grub config?

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by stress junkie In reply to

I just read this in your blog:

====
The last declaration before the boot process hangs and I can clear the white screen is this phrase:

* Checking battery state...
====

I think that Jaqui may be on the right track with his suggestion about removing the battery.

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

Great idea. Sadly, I'm not that hardware-savvy. I may try that option as a last resort. Like, "I can't get any distro to run" last resort.

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by Jaqui In reply to Ubuntu Linux Live hangs d ...

you could try passing as a boot parameter init3 to boot into console, but I doubt that would work.

try removing the battery from the unit completely, if it's toasted the system will still run off the charger / adapter and with no battery to query it may just ignore the fact that it's a laptop.

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

No luck on init3. Again, too scared to rip out the battery.

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Remove the battery and reboot with AC power and the situation should resolve.

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