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I am running Ubuntu 9.04 server edition. I have a monitor plugged into the box for occasional admin tasks. I pulled out a USB disk (without unmounting) and the screen is now full with this message:

Buffer I/O error on device sdc1, logical block 7778778

I can't seem to clear the screen or get a prompt back. Doesn't appear to be registering keyboard strokes. The box is still running fine (I can ssh in from elsewhere and evrything is running as normal).

Any ideas on how to clear screen and get my prompt back?

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Have you tried Ctrl + Alt + FX with 2<X<6 ? – Antoine Benkemoun May 23 '10 at 13:51
woo hoo! that did the trick! thanks. If you post as an answer I'll mark it correct. – Richard May 23 '10 at 14:23

Ctrl-Alt-F{2-6} will switch you to alternate virtual consoles that should have login: prompts on them.

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It may help to unmount the device which is not plugged in anymore. You may have to use the -l option with the umount command.

After that, I would try to get my prompt back again.

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hi yes i've done umount -l, however the issue remains – Richard May 23 '10 at 14:22

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