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Ubuntu 18.04 Boot freezes at "Started Hold until boot finishes up".

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello everyone,


I'm currently using my old windows computer to post, because I've caused a boot process issue on my ubuntu 18.04 computer. The problem started when I was trying to figure out how to remap my right control key (which I use often but was broken) onto my right alt key. I had read online that people recommended editing the xkb file to remap keys. After I edited the lines concerning control and alt, I restarted my computer and found that the boot process froze at the line "Started Hold until boot finishes up". I left it on overnight thinking it might finish, but nothing changed. 

I also tried restarting a few times, as well as using the grub menu options like repair and clean, but nothing helped. Lastly I tried some of the solutions from other topics with similar problems, but they didn't help either. One of the solutions was to remove snapd, which I did but that just made the boot process list longer.

I have access to the recovery mode, grub menu and F2/F3, but I'm new to linux so I don't know any troubleshooting commands that can help. If I caused this issue by messing with the xkb file, does anyone know any terminal commands to revert the file to its original script? I know windows had a recovery option to revert the system back to an earlier state (which I had used when I messed around with the registry and broke stuff on my win 7). Does ubuntu have any option or command that can do something similar? Attached below is the screen that my computer freezes on.


Thank you all very much for your time and any advice you can offer me to fix this issue. I will try to reply as soon as I can to any questions posted; though I might be delayed due to my job.



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Do you still have the boot media you used for installation? If you do, great. If you don't, create it again. Since this happened after the failed remapping attempt, let's undo those changes.


Boot off of that media again, but this time select "Try Ubuntu". Once it's booted, open a terminal. Then, run "lsblk" (without the quotes) to see a list of all of the drives and partitions accessible from the computer. /dev/sda will most likely be your internal drive (look at the size of the drives and see and see which one matches your internal drive). Of course, this is assuming that the only drives connected are the drive with the Ubuntu installation and the LiveUSB (I'm not sure how it works with a LiveDVD, but it doesn't really matter either way). If you have more than one internal or external drive (or both), then choose the one that looks like the right one. Next, type "sudo mount /dev/sd[correct drive letter][correct partition number] /mnt && cd /mnt". This will mount the partition in the /mnt folder, which will now be the temporary root of the partition (basically, it will be like / for when you are booted, which is the root of the partition, as there are no other folder to move back to, only folders to enter), and then change the working directory to /mnt, that is move you into /mnt. This is technically running two commands in one line by using "&&" to append commands to the same line. If mounting the partition fails for whatever reason (if it's not the right partition for example), it will not run the command after the one that failed (that's how appending commands works). Next, if you received no errors, list the files and folders in /mnt with "ls -a /mnt". This is to verify that it's the right partition. If you see something similar to ".  ..  bin  boot  dev  etc  home  lib  lib32  lib64  lost+found  media  mnt  opt  proc  root  run  sbin  srv  swapfile  sys  tmp  usr  var", then you're good to go. Now, run "chroot /mnt". This is so that you do not have to append "/mnt" to whatever commands you used to edit whatever you edited regarding xkb. Now, reverse whatever changes you made regarding xkb. Afterwards, restart the computer without the live media and see if it does the trick. If it doesn't, then try to provide further details regarding the boot process and the system prior to those customizations.


I hope this guide was not too confusing. I wish you good luck and feel free to ask for any clarification you would like!

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