Gave up waiting for root device, Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Remix

A few weeks ago a friend bought a new Toshiba NB300 laptop running Windows 7 Starter. He had bought it mainly to run Windows but decided with there been so much hardrive space (250GB) he may as well install Ubuntu and Windows side by side. We decided to give the netbook remix of Ubunut 10.04 a test drive of a live USB drive and after a quick play we decided we liked the slick user interface and to go ahead with the installation.


When the laptop restarted after  the installation was complete I could see all the entries in Grub as expected but when I selected the Ubuntu installation I received  the error "Gave up waiting for root device" and then some suggestions about the root uuid been wrong. If this is your error and you don't want to read about the different things I tried and the different results I had just jump straight down to the solution.

The first thing I tried was to edit the entry in grub, I simply removed the line with the root=uuid for the disk and pressed ctrl  + x to boot the system, this didn't offer me any results. I should also mention at this point that I was unable to get the Windows installation to boot up either, it simply gave me the BSOD.

A bit of searching on the internet found a lot of different people having this issue and many different solutions, I next tried changing the SATA Controller setting in the bios from AHCI (Advanced Hardrive Controller Interface) to Compatibility mode. This was enough to get Ubuntu to boot and run but still not enough to get Windows to run. I then turned back the SATA Controller setting to AHCI and tried Windows again, this time I got offered the Windows repair so I let it run and Windows successfully booted up but because I had changed the SATA Controller I could no longer get back into Ubuntu. The final solution involved adding some extra flags to the entries in Grub. Below I have gone through each step by step.


  • Ensure that AHCI is selected for your Sata Controller in the BIOS
  • Update this line in /etc/default/grub to switch off nohz and highres

o   GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nohz=off highres=off"

  • Run "update-grub" in your terminal which will update grub.cfg
  • Reboot the netbook

I really like the Toshiba NB300 and running the Ubuntu netbook remix it is very fast. It can shutdown in less than 5 seconds and boot-up is also incredibly fast. Unfortunately I am not getting the advertised 9hrs battery life, sadly more like 3hrs. I did read some reports that the above settings would help battery life also but I have not seen any increase. I have also had a few problems with the sleep and hibernate functionality. I intend to dig further into these issues over the coming weeks and I will report back with any success I may have.

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