{ 39 Intelligent Comments }

Initramfs Prompt When Ubuntu Boots

Ubuntu Linux LogoInitramfs Prompt Boot Problems

Ubuntu boots to a black screen with a (initramfs) prompt.


  • After selecting to boot into Ubuntu from your boot menu, the boot process halts at a black screen.
  • You are presented with only a prompt (initramfs)
  • You are presented with the BusyBox message
  • You have installed Ubuntu on an NTFS partition dual booting with Microsoft Windows


This can occur when you have installed Ubuntu on an NTFS Windows partition and Windows was incorrectly shutdown.


Step 1 – Run CHKDSK and Gracefully Shutdown Windows

  1. Restart your computer into Windows
  2. Open a CMD prompt and type:

    chkdsk c: /f

    Note: You may get a message that windows needs to schedule the chkdsk the next time the computer starts. Accept this frustrating reality and reboot.

  3. After the chkdsk has successfully completed, shutdown windows gracefully using the Start > Shutdown method
  4. When rebooting choose to go into Ubuntu from your startup menu. If you still land a the balck screen then co to Step 2 below.

Step 2 – Forcibly Mount The Ubuntu Volume

  1. If you are only booting to a prompt and can’t get any further and following Solution 1 above did not resolve the issue then you will need to forcibly mount the NTFS volume. This can be dangerous but is the only other way out of this problem as far as I know. Feel free to comment below if you know otherwise.
  2. At the (initranfs) prompt issue the following command:

    mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /root -o force


The mount command may be different for you.

To find out your exact command reboot, select Ubuntu and press Esc when you see the countdown.

Choose to enter in recovery mode.

You will be presented with the same prompt but there will be a whole lot of other lines of text.

You should be able to spot your mount command in there.


Wow, 39 Comments! We've got a conversation going now. Join the discussion below!

  1. Linnie says:

    Thanks!!! That really helped 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks that helped my disk is toast but I was still able to log on and clean up a bit before getting a new one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    wat is supposed to happen after mounting?? I got the (initramfs) prompt again…i rebooted but again got stuck at (initramfs)_

    1. Allan says:

      Yeah what happens after?

  4. Ruksana says:

    This works. Being a newbie to Ubuntu and Windows partitioning, this really helps.


  5. Adnan says:

    ThaNks man this helped me getting in the system, i need to fix it again.

  6. Epsi says:

    Hi there. I have the same issue after having passed DBAN to wipe hardrive. So I don’t have the alternative of going to Windows. There seems to be no partitions either. Any idea on what to do?

    Many thanks

  7. Epsi says:

    Ah, sorry, forgot to mention I am runnimg Ubuntu from CD and as I choose to install it the black screen comes in with the initramfs Prompt Boot issue featured above.

    Not much knowledge of Linux or computers either…

    1. Rosco says:

      Hi there Epsi…I haven’t heard of this happening during the install process…have you completely wiped the drive clean and started fresh?

      Here’s a link to Ubuntu Forums where they were having the same or similar issues. Give it a try.

      Hope this helps


      1. Epsi says:

        Hi there, thanks a lot for that. I read somewhere else that my iso copy of Ubuntu could be corrupted so I made a new copy downloaded from another computer and run it again on the problematic one from the cd unit. It worked!

  8. Swapnil says:

    Hey buddy. I tried the above repair but it was unsuccessful on my Laptop. It shows some commands over there and write at last that there are EVEN MORE commands… and finally, the problem did not got solved. 🙁 is there any other method? I need it back badly!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have Ubuntu 8.4 work fine but when i tried to install 10.4 or 11.4 it dosn’t work i have this problem (Initramfs) why

  10. toyin says:

    i tried to forcibly mount the NTFS volume this is the message it displayed “mounting /dev/sda1 on /root failed:success
    (initramfs) what do i do next?

  11. mete says:

    ubuntuyu winsowsun içine kurmayın bir başka partitiona kurun

  12. Al W says:

    Im unable to get beyondinitramfs.
    Conical, Ubuntu … Can someone please help. I presume this all happened after an upgrade to Ubuntu

    Please help. I’ve been down for quite some time- only have iPhone to check things out and even to write this plea.

    1. Santanu says:

      I get this frequently and I just press Crtl-Alt-Del to reboot. It runs fine second time. I am booting from a pen-drive.

  13. Angel Genchev says:

    This solution is not complete.
    When You fix problems, assemble raid arrays, etc and mount the /root, the boot process must be resumed. BUT nobody said how ?
    I tried to re-run it by typing “/init 3”, but this fails since the init in ubuntu requires /com/ubuntu/upstart socket.
    Another script has to be run.

  14. Angel Genchev says:

    1. At GRUB Menu Choose to enter in recovery mode.
    2. At iniramfs mount the root filesystem in /root
    3. type “exit”
    4. At the prompt resume booting (or so) choose to resume. The system will come up. Mine initialized at a strange graphics mode.

  15. Alan Peart says:

    I just wanted to add my non-expert voice here. I tried most of the solutions people had offered in this thread, without success. What finally worked for me was pressing ESC in the 5 seconds for the extra boot options, then choosing “ACPI Workarounds”. The installation proceeded without any further problems. Don’t ask me why.

    1. dent says:

      That worked for me. From one non-expert to another, I thank you.

    2. Sexybomber says:

      i was trying to dual boot ylfm os 3.0, frist i tried using the usb,, after going through the installationn procedures,, it says ” no root defined” i tried and read everything online for 3 days without sleeping trying to find solution to the rooting issue,, all failed,i read the jargons but where to type those commands i dont even know,,i used wubi to install to c driver NTFS format,, everything was installed .,,, time to boot,, only initramfs,, i press escape and tried all other options all initramfs,, what a hell on earth is this so called initramfs and no one can solve it? it’s time to quit obuntu and linx and conerntrate on windows,, all these shits are never found with windows,, meaning MSI is the chief divinity in IT,,all others are nothing but shit

  16. Sexybomber says:

    In fact, about 98% of all i have been reading in forums are senseless and so selfish,, why? 99.9% of contributors are weired,,why? someone is new to obuntu or linux or windows: meaning the person is technically naive,, he lacks the knowledge of every technical terms etc such kernel, bash,, mount etc,,, how can people just come in and say.. mount/………. where do we mount those things or characters? in word doc or pdf or txt files? please be a bit educational and start your explanaition very carefully and seriously,, do not bamboozle people with all the aristocratic jargons,, no one understands.. initrafms,, what is it? set command and mount/… at where? use pen and paper to mount or where? ohh shit

  17. Priya says:

    I had the same problem and I tries step2 after which I get

    Mount is denied because the NTFS volume is already exclusively opened.The volume may be already mounted, or another software may use it which could be identified for example by the help of the ‘fuser’ command.
    mount: mounting /dev/sda1 on /root failed:No such device

    How do I solve this?

  18. Priya says:

    I had the same problem and I tried step2 after which I get

    Mount is denied because the NTFS volume is already exclusively opened.The volume may be already mounted, or another software may use it which could be identified for example by the help of the ‘fuser’ command.
    mount: mounting /dev/sda1 on /root failed:No such device

    How do I solve this?

  19. Kat says:

    Almost same issu occured me, when I wanted to try Ubuntu LiveUSB.
    Some people in forums say, that make sudo that and this, but the sudo command isnt working in intframs.

    please help

  20. haynal says:

    I just want to say thank you, in my case with Initramfs Prompt your first step has already helped. I let run the windows tool chkdsk over the ubuntu partition and after a new start ubuntu was there! I am very happy. Bevor that I was reading in a forum 42 pages with the most complicated “solutions”, but they could not help, as I am a newbee in linux. (My English is also not the best 🙂 Many-many thanks! It is really great!

  21. Angela says:

    Thanks for posting, step 1 worked for me. Appreciated. Cheers.

  22. Angela says:

    I’d just like to mention too, that if users are removing the dvd when the drawer opens, after installing, you’ll return to black screen every time. Rather than follow the urge to remove the dvd (thinking ubuntu will install/run without it after it spits out) just push the drawer back in, THEN do the step 1. I still have a little confusion; I thought I’d be installing everything onto hard disk and only using dvd very rarely to repair. Maybe I downloaded the wrong version? (Dear Kat, I think ‘sudo’ work in ‘terminal’, not (initramfs).

  23. Asger says:

    The chkdsk solution worked like a charm for me, thank you so very much!

  24. Abhishek says:

    This happened to me too, but I am on chrome OS. Any help?

  25. Abhishek says:

    when I say chrome OS, I mean a chrome book with both chrome OS and linux 14.04

  26. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t work, after completing step 1 Ubuntu boots to gnu grub… O.o wat?

    1. Abhishek says:

      I actually found something else that works. I booted into GRUB by holding down shift while booting. Then I booted into an older kernel that worked just fine. I opened terminal and ran the command “sudo apt-get dist-update” (it might have been dist-upgrade). After re-booting the newer kernel worked just fine. dist update aparently corrects any inconsistencies with the UUID’s.

  27. Lazaros says:

    Ubuntu is the only OS in my old Acer, stuck at initramfs, won’t boot from a live CD nor live alternate CD and cannot afford a new laptop. I need help or a brave donation 🙂

  28. Ruben says:

    Excellent. It worked exactly as told.

  29. Ruben says:

    Well, it worked once. This morning I booted and again the same issue.
    After listing Boot args show Missing modules and right after and ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/96a7daf9-a19d-475e-a441-14dec558428b does not exist. Dropping to a shell!
    BusyBox v1.21.1 (Ubuntu 1;1.21.0-1ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash)
    How do I solve it before making it worst.
    I tried Abhishek option and I got just the logo and went back to what I wrote above.

  30. Thomas Naser says:

    The only real solution is rm -rf / and install Windows.
    To developers: quit scratching your own itch, buy some benedryl and just fix whats already there. wirelss is a pain in the ass for newbies to set up and bluetooth forget it. I tried a number of different Distros, both Debian and Redhat based and none of them let me out of the box, get bluetooth to work, in some cases, but not all, wireless wasnt such a problem.. In this day and age Broadcom chips are the standard in 95% of the commonly available laptops. And no I can’t afford the Linux tax on the “Open Source” systems, $500 US for a system with Windows for <$300 no way – Mama didn't raise no idiot.

    Return to Windows, at least there it works.

  31. Anonymous says:

    It really helped after the 1st solution

  32. Oo says:

    Yup, reading this thread leaves no doubt in my mind that 2016 is definitely going to be the year of the Linux desktop.

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