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Can't boot into live disc on Sony Vaio VPCX113KG: initramfs error

When booting from either an Ubuntu 10.10 32-bit installation CD or a USB stick the Ubuntu splash screen displays but part way through the loading process I get this error:
(initramfs) unable to find a medium containing a live file system.

The Sony VPCX is a mini notebook (aka over-priced netbook) and has a 60GB SSD drive with a Windows 7 restoration partition. The installation media work on other machines including a Sony Vaio with a conventional HDD.

I've tried reducing the size of the main Windows partion leaving 30GB of free space but that didn't help.

I bought this machine for 1/2 price to run Linux. I don't wish to dual-boot Windows but I'm reluctant to wipe the whole drive if it still won't install Linux.

   1. Any idea what the problem might be?
   2. Would wiping the SSD completely help?
Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson
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2 Solutions
On earlier Ubuntu versions there have been reports that typing "exit" one or more times to the prompt appearing after the error might get it to continue.

Another alternative is that it is somehow missing the original mount point of the installation media and manually mounting it back could help.

Check these for more information:

Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for that AriMc, I'll give it a try.
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerAuthor Commented:
Following the advice in the first link:

Created a new USB install disc from within Ubuntu, tried it from both USB ports - apparently not all are created equal in this regard. No luck.
Tried with CD, tried mounting the CD in BusyBox. No luck.
Tried Mint 10 and Suse.
About to try Ubuntu 11.04.

Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerAuthor Commented:
The current build of Ubuntu 11.04 did the trick.
No problems at all. However, the information given by AriMc would have been useful in some cases.
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerAuthor Commented:
A lot of useful tips on the links found by AriMc. Didn't work for me however. The latest Alpha of Ubuntu didn't suffer from the same problem.
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