No longer able to boot after updating, stuck on loading initial ramdisk

Just noticed that there was an issue with my mirrors earlier today and I missed a lot of package updates. Updated the mirrors using the tool on the welcome app, ran pacman -Syu and now my system seems to be a broken state. Where would I even start trying to fix this?

Something just occurred to me, I rebooted my machine the moment I saw the “reboot reccomended” desktop notification, and im wondering if it maybe wasn’t done with updates when that happened.

You might need to use your live usb to chroot into your installed system for any attempt at rescuing.

Following info are essential in order to let forum members to have an idea about your system:

Filesystem: EXT4, Btrfs?

Bootloader: systemd-boot, Grub?

mkinitcpio or dracut?

You could also post the output of the following commands from the live session:

sudo parted -l


Filesystem is ext4, bootloader is grub, not sure what mkinitcpio or dracut are but from the chroot environment it seems like the first one is installed.

Output of sudo parted -l:

Error: /dev/sda: unrecognised disk label
Model: ATA CT1000MX500SSD1 (scsi)                                         
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: unknown
Disk Flags: 

Model: SanDisk Ultra (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 30.8GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size   Type     File system  Flags
 2      1835MB  1944MB  109MB  primary  fat16        esp

Model: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB (nvme)
Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system     Flags
 1      1049kB  982GB   982GB   primary  ext4            boot
 2      982GB   1000GB  18.4GB  primary  linux-swap(v1)  swap

Output of efibootmgr:

EFI variables are not supported on this system.

EDIT: wasn’t using the EFI version of the live USB, here’s the actual output of efibootmgr:

BootCurrent: 0006
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0005,0006,0004,0002
Boot0002* UEFI: Built-in EFI Shell 	VenMedia(5023b95c-db26-429b-a648-bd47664c8012)0000424f
Boot0004* Hard Drive 	BBS(HD,,0x0)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
Boot0005* Unknown Device 	BBS(11,,0x0)0000474f00004e4f8d000000010000006b00530061006e004400690073006b000000050109000b000000007fff040002010c00d041030a000000000101060000140305060013007fff040001043e00ef47642dc93ba041ac194d51d01b4ce63400430035003300310030003000310033003600300036003000340031003100360034003400310000007fff04000000424f
Boot0006* UEFI: (FAT) SanDisk	PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x14,0x0)/USB(19,0)/HD(1,MBR,0x1e784590,0x36ad80,0x34000)0000424f

If you are already in chroot, try the following:

Update your system: pacman -Syu

Rebuild the initrds: mkinitcpio -P

Exit chroot by typing exit followed by enter.

It wouldn’t hurt to run a filesystem check to look for and fix possible filesystem corruption/inconsistency:

Launch Gparted. Right-click (double-tap if touchpad) on /dev/nvme0n1p1. Unmount it first. Next choose “Check” in the same menu and apply the operation in the tool bar.

If you get any error message at any of the steps above, post it on the forum.

If everything has been fine, cross your fingers and reboot.


Your system is installed in Legacy/MBR mode so the output of efibootmgr is not relevant in this case.
Thanks for posting though!

Worked like a charm! Thank you so much.

1 Like

You are very welcome! Glad you got your system back up and running! :enos: :wave:t5:

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