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SLES11SP1 server hangs at login prompt when booting to runlevel S

This document (7007690) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1
Dell PowerEdge R610 and R710 servers


On SLES11 SP1 after booting into single user mode the system no longer accepts any keyboard input. The grub command line contains the keyword "single" or "init S" in order to boot into single user mode.

Systems boot up but then appear to hang. There is no way to enter root password and even the CTRL-ALT-DEL key combo does not work. We experienced this issue on all servers with SLES11 installed.

Changing runlevel from any other runlevel allows single user mode to run fine.

Checking the /etc/init.d/rcS.d/ directory and comparing it's contents with those in /etc/init.d/rc1.d, the only one that was unique was S03boot.clock.

Since the login prompt was hung, we couldn't get any /var/log/boot.msg or module information for the system. 

By modifying the /etc/init.d/rcS.d/S03boot.clock script to run an lsmod command and a dmesg command and pipe the output to a file and then sync memory to disk we were able to get a list of the loaded modules, and the activity on boot.

The list of loaded modules on my working server had the usbhid modules loaded and the customer's non-working server did not.


By  adding the following to S03boot.clock (at the end, between esac and rc_exit) the system will boot and allow keyboard input:

echo "modprobing usbhid"
/sbin/modprobe usbhid


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  • Document ID:7007690
  • Creation Date: 26-Jan-2011
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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