Boot Error: Gave up waiting for root device

So today my computer threw this really strange error when I was booting it up.  Still don’t know what caused it but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m backing up that hard disk now that I recovered it.  While I was booting up I was confronted with the following error:

Gave up waiting for root device

I’d never seen this before and the screen looked like this (though this isn’t my image):


I booted to a live cd and found that my root file system (sda2) wouldn’t mount, nor could it be repaired by gparted.  After a lot of trial and error with other solutions, I gave fsck a try (with a little help from here) and it worked like a charm.  Below is what I did:

  1. entered sudo fsck /dev/sda2/
  2. This scanned my disk and immediately reported that there were problems.  It asked if I wanted to fix them.
  3. I entered y to signify that it should do so
  4. fsck came up with well over 100 block count errors, asking me each time if I wanted to fix it.  I kept entering y and finally threw caution to the wind and held the key down until it finished.
  5. I restarted and it worked.

Of course this isn’t guaranteed to fix everyone’s issue but if you’re out of ideas, give it a try.  I’m sure glad that I did!

Boot Error: Gave up waiting for root device