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Due to a bug my computer has stopped in the middle of the boot sequence, just waiting. If I type anything, it prints stuff like ^[[B. I do not want to damage the files on the computer by pressing the power button.

Is there some way I can exit the boot sequence and go to a prompt so that I can type shutdown -h now or reboot to safely turn off or restart the system?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Use magic SysRq key combinations. Try pressing Alt+SysRq+K to kill the boot sequence. This might let the boot sequence progress until you get a login prompt, but it probably won't. If it doesn't, press the magic more-or-less-safe reboot combination: Alt+SysRq+S (sync), Alt+SysRq+U (unmount), Alt+SysRq+B (reBoot).

Once your computer reboots, at the boot prompt, edit the kernel command line (the one that contains /vmlinuz or something similar) to add the parameter init=/bin/sh and boot. The system will boot straight into a shell without starting the problematic ACPI script. Remount the root filesystem read-write and disable the problematic script. Then reboot, and this time boot normally.

mount -o remount,rw /
nano /etc/init.d/eeepc-acpi-scripts
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When you say you type things and get things back like "^[[B" I'm assuming that means you are in the terminal? If so, lots of time you can stop processes by typing control-X``control-C. See if that works for you.

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I am not at a terminal where one can type. I just see all of the text from the boot sequence. Typing CTRL+x or CTRL+c just prings ^X and ^C. – Village Aug 17 '12 at 23:18

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