Boot hangs at the "starting system log" step

Posted on 2007-10-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hi :)

My server with Debian Eltch has been working non-stop for last six months, without any problems. I had made no software installation during this period, except a 2-3 updates.
Last night server slowed down extremely and finally it was unavailable. After the restart (via web control panel), the system hangs on "Starting system log..."
I'm not at the server, i'm about 2000km away, so i can now only login through rescue system (network boot). I have only hardware support and the tech guys said today that everything is ok with hardware (it was them who told me that system hangs at this point - "Starting system log")...

When i login through the rescue system, i can access all the data on disk, but i can't get it to reboot...

What can i do now? I have no idea :(

Question by:vukotic
    LVL 40

    Accepted Solution


    Did you check your disk space? It could be that you have disk full and the system can write to system partitions any more.

    Run df -k or df -m to see what is the current usage and if one of your filesystems is full.

    If you find some of the file systems full, then try to free some space by taking backup and deleting some files that are not needed or rotate some log files.


    Author Comment

    No, the disk is about 10% full i.e. i have about 90% free space... :(
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment


    Can you boot it to single user mode?

    What type of applications are you running on the server?

    You may see from the console at which startup script it hangs and then you may skip it while booting to multiuser mode and then look into the script.

    How big is your disk space? May be you had an earlier crash and the system is trying to do file system check for a big  partition that takes time.

    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    You mention that you are only using 10% of your diskspace, I assume that you have 2 partitions with your swap and filesystem?  If not, have you verified that all your filesystem partitions have enough space? (especially any /var/ or /var/log mounts).

    If all of this checks out, it sounds like a bad disk.  Run the vendor's disk checks on the drives (or have someone on site do it).  Make sure you scan for bad sectors.

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