We have a problem with our laptop. My husband clicked on Ubuntu updater (I think that's what it was anyway) yesterday and something very odd has happened. All we have now is a screen that says "Ubuntu" beneath that there are dots that seem to indicate that something is happening, below them it says " The disk drive / is not ready yet or not present" and below that there are 3 options "Continue to wait, Press S to skip mounting or M for manual recovery".

We left it on all night to see if the first option Tried skipping but it asks for log in and password, no idea what they are. Tried M but that goes nowhere either.

All suggestions gratefully received!

Glad to hear all is working well again.

Excellent diagnosis Steve, having read the thread, my suspect would be something to do with the bootmanager - grub - but it might also be a failed disk check during the upgrade that got it stuck.

Wendy , if you could click on the Dash/Menu and select System settings and then Details, we can tell which version you are now on. As Steve rightly says , you can select the option in the software updates to specify that you only what/need security and bug fix upgrades , so you don't have to hit this issue again.


Excellent news Wendy - all we need to do now is work out exactly what went wrong - maybe you should take over the 'updating' !

It is possible to turn off the updating so that it will only alert you to 'critical' updates - up to you of course, but I can help guide you through that as well.

Hi Steve,

I just wanted to say thank-you for being so patient and helpful. Computer now working perfectly, have managed to connect to internet so everything in the garden is rosy!

I trust that you have now removed the CD from the drive so that we know for certain that you're booting from the HDD rather than the liveCD.

Don't worry about the messages on the 'black' screen whilst booting, this is just the OS doing its stuff setting itself up in readiness to run.

Just turned it off and on again and it looks OK...will see if i can access internet...

it finished installing i selected restart and then screen went black and multipel erroor messages appeared...

Yes, it

Ah, be it doing anything...?

The suspense is killing me....or shall I just kill husband....decisions, decisions...

**Sits back and waits for the cheers or screams...

Aha, I think we may have lift off...tried old CD that I originally used to load Ubuntu onto the laptop and it seems to be doing something...Thanks for the F12 tip...will let you know if it works...husband is climbing the walls with no computer to look at!!

OK, sounds like it is trying the HDD before trying the CD Drive.

Now what we need to do is power up the computer, straight away start pressing F12 (not continuously but frequently). This should bring up an option to choose where to boot from, if that comes up then please select the option for CD Drive.

If F12 does not bring up anything, then power off, and then start up again this time pressing F2 (again frequently until it goes into the BIOS setup screen). When in the BIOS setup you need to find a page that allows you to set the "Boot Order" (can't point you to exactly where it is, but it will BE somewhere in the BIOS Setup screens).

Setting the Boot Order to CD (or DVD) Drive BEFORE Hard-Disk Drive will mean that the Dell should next time go directly to the CD Drive and load from the Ubuntu liveCD.

Sorry it's all so complicated, to me it's easy but it's never easy trying to direct someone remotely to do it.

Hi Steve it peeped and whirred for a second or two then went back to the screen I described in first post...

I'd rather try the CD in the 'dead' Dell first, to see if the BIOS is set up to go to CD before HDD (which is the normal way of things).

Stick the new CD in the Dell's CD Drive, then power up. If you have any problems getting the CD drive open before powering up the computer (which we know won't work), there is normally a little pin-hole on (or near) the CD Drive door - insert the end of a straightened paperclip into the pin-hole and push, the drive should pop open.

When the CD is in the drive then power up the computer and let's see what happens.

You are a star Steve!! Well I think I did the first part ie downloaded ubuntu onto my windows 7 computer and burned it onto a CD can I test the CD on my computer without screwing mine up? The other computer is a Dell Inspiron 6400.

Hi Wendy, to be safe and sure that it will burn correctly you need to have downloaded the file to the computer that you'll be using to burn the CD.

In Win7 it's quite simple, put a blank CD (best is a CD-R type) into the drive - if any messages such as what do you want to do come up then cancel and ignore them.

Then using the Windows File Explorer, navigate to your download folder and locate the .ISO file you downloaded. Right click on the file and select "burn to CD" (or words to that effect).

This will then create your liveCD.

Next we need to make sure the boot order on the dead computer is correct - what make model computer is it, then I can look up the correct keystroke order necessary when booting to get into the BIOS.

Hi Steve, Mine is a Windows 7 computer, I downloaded the Ubuntu file and then transferred it to a CD ...but it looks from the first page you sent that i could burn it direct to the CD from the Ubuntu site.....

Wendy, what computer system are you using to do the correspondence here and where you have downloaded the ISO file, is it a Windows computer or another Ubuntu computer?

Ah, that's where I was yesterday and downloaded the stuff...but I can't see the little icon as illustrated on the first page you sent me .....