See my response posted today in "Newbie."
To briefly answer here, this means that the init process (pid #1) died, or more likely, never started successfully. This user-land process is "hand crafted" by the kernel upon initialization and it is the progenitor of all other processes in the system. It is not allowed to die. The term, "attempted to kill" is a misnomer. The phrase, "(not syncing)" is unrelated and means that a disk-write was not occurring at the time.
Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-06-2012 at 08:02 AM.