I was making daily backups with rdiff-backup. system and data partitions separately.

Now I restored the system from the backup, but it doens't boot. All I get is an (initramfs) prompt.

I typed echo $REASON and it says there was no init file found.

What's going on? Is my backup corrupted?

I excluded some system directories in the backup to avoid writing /dev/ /sys/ /run/ and /proc/ as well as /media/ and /data (where another partition is being mounted). This is the backup script I used:

mkdir /media/backup
mount /dev/sda4 /media/backup

time nice rdiff-backup -v9 --force --check-destination-dir /media/backup/root/
time nice rdiff-backup -v9 --force --check-destination-dir /media/backup/data/

mkdir /media/backup/root
time nice rdiff-backup -v9 --exclude /home/citron/.cache/ --exclude /media/ --exclude /mnt/ --exclude /dev/ --exclude /proc/ --exclude /sys/ --exclude /run/ --exclude /data/ / /media/backup/root/

mkdir /media/backup/data
time nice rdiff-backup -v9 --exclude /data/lost+found/ /data/ /media/backup/data/

umount /media/backup

1 Answer 1


Check if the system directories are present on the restored system partition:


The backup script looks like it could have omitted not only the contents of these directories, but the directories as well - in that case the system won't be able to boot properly, becasue there is no directory to mount the kernel interfaces into.

I guess you've used a LiveCD to restore from the backup. Go back to the LiveCD, mount the restored system partition, navigate to the root dir there and do

sudo mkdir dev run sys proc

This will make sure all the directories are in place. Reboot and see if it helps.

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