System broke, Target sbin/init not found

Derek Broughton news at
Wed Feb 21 18:51:29 UTC 2007

Vayu wrote:

> I shut down normally and upon the next boot my system was broken.  I get
> a root command line that has lost it's access to my hard disk.  I get
> the error message Target sbin/init not found.  I can't find sbin/init
> using ls, nor much of anything else like boot/grub or my home directory...
> If I boot from a live CD I can mount the linux partition /dev/sda4 and
> see everything is there and looks intact.  It doesn't appear to be a
> hard drive failure.  I can still boot into windows.  As a matter of fact
> I installed the ext2 driver in windows and I can now access my data from
> windows.  (From there I can see sbin/init as well.)
> I'm using Dapper, I did not do any kind of upgrades, it just happened
> out of the blue.
> Any ideas on what is corrupt, and how I can get my system back without a
> re-install?

One would assume that you don't have a mounted root partition, which
probably means it failed fsck.  So the best bet would be to boot from the
live CD and run fsck on /dev/sda4.

Before that, it's probably not a bad idea to check what the boot options
look like in grub - but I think that must be right or you wouldn't even get
to the point of looking for sbin/init.

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