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#1 2012-11-04 23:51:13
Registered: 2012-10-23
Posts: 13

[SOLVED] Failed to mount /boot/efi - Welcome to Emergency Mode!

Hello All,

I have a new installation on new hardware.  After some challenges, I had a desktop environment (E17) and some applications installed.  I had transferred some personal files from my old computer to an external hard drive.

When I connected the external drive to my new computer and booted, the process was interrupted by the message:

[Failed] Failed to mount /boot/efi.
See 'systemctl status boot-efi.mount' for details.

Followed by several dependency failures, and then "Welcome to emergency mode!"  Following instructions on screen, I logged in and looked through journalctl.  The point where everything goes bad is:

systemd[1]: Mounting /boot/efi...
mount[216]: mount: unknown filesystem type 'vfat'
systemd[1]: boot-efi.mount mount process exited, code=exited status=32
systemd[1]: Failed to mount /boot/efi.
systemd[1]: Depecdency failed for Local File Systems.

Here is some information about my setup:

# blkid
/dev/sda1: UUID="0A5B-2ADF" TYPE="vfat" PARTLABEL="ESD" PARTUUID="44b2fa13-82e9-4422-bad4-e1d4f81b64a1"
/dev/sda2: UUID="9e2ac679-ba66-471e-9d8d-b635c90fdfca" TYPE"ext4" PARTLABEL="main" PARTUUID="0395c091-a6d5-452a-ac30-ee73ca33c7eb"

#less /etc/fstab

UUID=9e2ac679-ba66-471e-9d8d-b635c90fdfca    /    ext4    re,relatime    0    1

UUID=0A5B-2ADF    /boot/efi    vfat    rw,relatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro    0    2

What I have already tried:

1. disconnect external hard drive and reboot - same result
2. in emergency mode, #mount /dev/sda1 /boot/efi produces "mount: unknown filesystem type 'vfat' "
3. booted with Arch CD - can mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot/efi

/dev/sda was partitioned with cgdisk, with /dev/sda1 being 512M, type EF00.
/dev/sda1 was formatted with mkfs.vfat -F32 /dev/sda1

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Last edited by (2012-11-05 02:16:51)


#2 2012-11-05 00:36:09

Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,370

Re: [SOLVED] Failed to mount /boot/efi - Welcome to Emergency Mode!

It sounds like your initramfs doesn't have the needed module for vfat.

Have you tried booting to the fallback entry and/or rebuilding the initramfs?

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#3 2012-11-05 01:16:03

From: New York, USA
Registered: 2009-10-22
Posts: 4,092

Re: [SOLVED] Failed to mount /boot/efi - Welcome to Emergency Mode!

initramfs would be irrelevant if they're getting dumped to a prompt by systemd...

Smells like a botched kernel upgrade if the vfat module doesn't exist.


#4 2012-11-05 02:14:25
Registered: 2012-10-23
Posts: 13

Re: [SOLVED] Failed to mount /boot/efi - Welcome to Emergency Mode!

Thanks for your replies.

I looked at my


and it had only the following uncommented

 HOOKS="base udev autodetect pata scsi sata filesystems usbinput fsck" 

, so I didn't see any problems there.

Then I booted from the CD, chrooted, rolled back my kernel to 3.6.3, and rebooted successfully!  After I updated the kernel again, I remembered to also update the files in


  I rebooted with the updated kernel and it was a success.  Then I followed the directions here to make sure this won't happen again.

Thanks again for your help.


#5 2012-11-25 06:01:08

Arch Linux f@h Team Member
From: Outside the matrix.
Registered: 2005-05-15
Posts: 1,110

Re: [SOLVED] Failed to mount /boot/efi - Welcome to Emergency Mode!

Thanks, This helped me realize I had done the same thing (forgetting to copy my updated kernel and initramfs img file to my special EFI boot partition).

As a result, I was getting a multitude of systemd "Dependency failed" errors.

Now that I've copied over my new 3.6.7 kernel and initramfs img to my EFI boot partition, everything is hunky-dory again.

Donate to Arch!

Tired? There's a nap for that. --anonymous


#6 2013-07-03 16:51:19

Registered: 2013-06-21
Posts: 11

Re: [SOLVED] Failed to mount /boot/efi - Welcome to Emergency Mode!

I just had the same error message which happened when I ran "pacman -Syu" to update the linux kernel and then reobot. I didn't have CD ROM at hand but USB sticks. Let me share my experience:

1. Make a UEFI-bootable USB stick installed with Archlinux ( … B_from_ISO)
If your linux system is booted in UEFI mode, please do refer to the hyperlink. DO NOT use 'dd' to create a bootable USB stick. Or you won't be able to set up UEFI to load Linux (Error message would pop up in step 5).
Some error/warning message may appear after "cp -a /mnt/iso/* /mnt/usb". That should be OK because the absence of owner/group information in VFAT filesystem.
2. Boot from the UEFI-bootable USB stick
3. Mount the necessary partitions and chroot. Take my system for example:

# mount -t ext4 /dev/sdb2 /mnt
# mount -t vfat /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot/efi
# mount -t ext4 /dev/sda5 /var (if you won't install packages using pacman, you may omit this line)
# arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash (If sh shell is OK for you, you can omit "/bin/bash")

4. Copy the newly installed kernel files to the EFI partition

# cd /boot
# cp vmlinuz-linux ./efi/EFI/arch/vmlinuz-arch.efi
# cp initramfs-linux.img ./efi/EFI/arch/initramfs-arch.img
# cp initramfs-linux-fallback.img ./efi/EFI/arch/initramfs-arch-fallback.img

5. Reset UEFI boot loader (for non-Mac user) (This step is necessary for me. In my case, I use rEFInd)

efibootmgr -c -w -d /dev/sdX -p Y -l '\EFI\refind\refind_<arch>.efi' -L "rEFInd" (in my case, the X=a, Y=2, "<arch>"=x64)

For more information regarding step 4. and 5., please refer to … ng_EFISTUB

Last edited by ddreamer (2013-07-03 17:03:25)


#7 2013-07-07 18:17:11

Registered: 2013-06-21
Posts: 11

Re: [SOLVED] Failed to mount /boot/efi - Welcome to Emergency Mode!

If the kernel is x64 and in the ext4 filesystem, one may run the following to load the filesystem driver for the rEFInd:

# mkdir -p /boot/efi/EFI/refind/drivers
# cp /usr/lib/refind/drivers_x64/ext4_x64.efi /boot/efi/EFI/refind/drivers



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