How to fix Ubuntu Hardy and Intrepid boot hang on a Philips laptop

If you have a Philips laptop and you want to boot Ubuntu Hardy and Intrepid on it, the system might hang indefinitely while booting (not reacting to any keypress, not even the Num Lock key). The reason for the hang may be the non-working driver for the notebook's built-in memory card reader (MMC). This post describes the solution: how to disable the driver for the memory card reader and thus get Ubuntu boot. (But you won't be able to use the memory card in Ubuntu.)

If you have another Linux boot CD at hand (such as Knoppix) which boots, and you are familiar with it, then boot it, open file /etc/modprobe.d/local on your Linux root partition, and add the line blacklist mmc_core . Reboot the machine to Ubuntu. Now it should boot normally, without hanging. By doing this you ensure that that the memory card reader driver kernel module won't ever be loaded in the future at boot time. This is a long-term solution, it survives kernel and distribution upgrades.

If you don't have an alternative boot CD at hand, then do the fixing like this. Reboot the system (power-cycle it if necessary). In the GRUB boot menu (a list of long lines starting with Ubuntu 8, press key E, in the new menu, select the line starting with kernel, press key E, press key Space, type init=/bin/bash rw , press key Enter, press key B. This will start the system boot process, giving you a shell soon. In a minute, you'll get a prompt ending with #, and the cursor blinking after that. Type bash -c 'echo blacklist mmc_core >>/etc/modprobe.d/local', press Enter. Type sync , press Enter. Wait a few seconds. Reboot the machine by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del (or by any other means). Now Ubuntu should boot normally, without hanging.

If the instructions above don't work for you, here is a brute force, temporary fix, which won't survive some system upgrades. Do exactly as above, up to the # prompt. Then type rm -rf /lib/mmc , press Enter. Type mv -fT /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/mmc /lib/mmc , press Enter. Continue with sync etc.

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