Ubuntu doesn’t always do as you think, this is the case when running ubuntu server 10.10 and a mount command fails to execute properly. The mounting will halt and wait for user confirmation about how to proceed with the problem (As the ssh daemon havn’t had the opportunity to start the server is completely locked from remote administration). The desired behavior when running a remote server is to just skip the mounting and solve the problem after the system have successfully booted (which will allow remote ssh access if enabled)
The above problem can be solved by forcing any prompts to a “yes” answer with the following fsck command:
sudo fsck -y /dev/sdXY
XY in the above case is the disk number (X) followed by the partition number (Y).