Fixing boot problems after upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 on Linode

I recently upgraded an ancient Linode virtual server from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10. When I attempted a reboot it would fail – which wasn’t totally unexpected:

mount: mount point /dev/pts does not exist
mountall: mount /dev/pts [1070] terminated with status 32
mountall: Filesystem could not be mounted: /dev/pts
mount: mount point /dev/pts does not exist
mountall: mount /dev/pts [1074] terminated with status 32
mountall: Filesystem could not be mounted: /dev/pts
init: mountall main process (1065) terminated with status 4
Mount of root filesystem failed.

Fortunately Linode has a good set of rescue documentation. After messing around with various suggestions on how to fix this problem I ended up with the following /etc/fstab:

proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/sda / ext3 noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/sdb none swap sw 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0

This, however, did not seem to help. After an hour of random trial and error I finally decided to toggle the following option on the Linode configuration edit page to “no”:

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 16.32.10

For reasons that are still unclear to me, this mounted /dev/pts properly and the rest of the boot sequence ran without a hitch.

Reducing Virtualbox CPU usage on Windows 7 guest operating system

When running Windows 7 as a guest OS on Virtualbox 5.0.16, Virtualbox would after a short while run on maximum CPU load. Looking at the Windows Task Manager it turned out that svchost.exe was running at full speed, eating up a lot of memory as well. The solution was to go to the Services tab and stop wuauserv (the Windows Update server). This would immediately bring the load down on both the guest and the host (OS X 10.11.4) operating system.

Windows Task Manager, Services tab