Ubuntu - FAT-fs (nvme0n1p1) - IO charset iso8859-1 not found

Twelve months ago, I switched my primary ultrabook over to Ubuntu from Windows. I have been using Windows non-stop since the first release of Windows 3.1. There were not many boot errors that occurred in Windows that I did not know how to resolve.

The past 12 months using Ubuntu have been fantastic. While there was a learning curve, Linux has come a long way since I toyed with it in University. The ultrabook has been rock solid for me that past 12 months.

Until this morning.

When I booted my ThinkPad, I was met with the following error and a command prompt:

FAT-fs (nvme0n1p1): IO charset iso8859-1 not found

I tried rebooting several times but was stuck in emergency mode.

I tried many of the suggestions that I found on askubuntu.com (like this one) but none of them solved the issue. After more Googling (and some panic), I was able to resolve the issue by:

  1. Selecting Advanced Options on the GRUB boot menu.
  2. Selecting recovery mode using the OLDEST version of the Linux kernel I had installed.
  3. This booted me to the recovery screen.

4. I selected dpkg from the menu. This ran for a few minutes and when it completed successfully, I rebooted.

All seems to be well with the ThinkPad. I do not know what caused the problem, but the solution was quick and painless.