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I use Grub to boot between Ubuntu and Windows. The options are somewhat like

  1. Ubuntu

  2. Ubuntu (Recovery Mode)

  3. Windows

If I choose 1, it shows the Ubuntu logo, the little balls under it flowing. Then just a blank screen. I can't even get into a text terminal by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1.

But if I choose 2, and then choose Ubuntu (systemd), everything works just fine. I log in, everything runs. I'm no Linux expert but I believe the only two differences is that Option 1 uses Upstart instead of Systemd and vice versa.

Personally, I don't care which my system uses. I'm just trying to get my default choice to work again. Any thoughts?

  • 1
    I don't use Ubuntu so I won't post this as an answer but it might help you until someone more knowledgeable comes along. If you can boot up Ubuntu in recovery mode, you should be able to access your files in one way or the other. Specifically, you should be able to access your log files (look in /var/log on your rootfs). While you might not be able to solve the issue with the information you find there, you are likely to get better replies here if you provide a copy of the error log. – vic Sep 6 '16 at 20:06
  • @vic I'm not sure which log file in particular I should be looking at. – JoshEmory Sep 6 '16 at 21:39
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The logs vic is referring to are probably /var/log/boot.log and /var/log/dmesg.

If you don't see something in them that jumps out at you, then have you tried disabling the splash screen? In the past I've had trouble with the splash screen on some computers.

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Remove quiet splash and leave the quotes there so that it looks something like

GRUB_DEFAULT=0
GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0
GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET=false
GRUB_TIMEOUT=10
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=""
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=""

Then issue the command to reconstruct the boot configuration (sudo update-grub) and reboot (reboot).

If that does not solve the problem, we're going to need way more information to help, so edit the configuration again so that you can boot into text mode:

GRUB_DEFAULT=0
GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0
GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET=false
GRUB_TIMEOUT=10
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=""

Then issue the command to reconstruct the boot configuration (sudo update-grub) and reboot (reboot).

This should get you to a text login (if it doesn't, you're going to have to use the recovery to extract the info we need to debug).

sudo bash
lshw > /var/log/usermade_hardware.log
exit

To help further, I would need that log (display/video card or another integral part to the standard boot might be UNCLAIMED) as well as the logs located at /var/log/boot.log and /var/log/dmesg.

If there's nothing in those logs, there might be a problem with upstart (have you updated it?).

PS. In the future, the best place for OS-specific help on ubuntu is probably ubuntuforums or askubuntu.

PPS. I don't have enough reputation to comment, so it's in an answer.

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