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I've been running Debian Sarge for around 2 months now kernel version 2.2.20. Today I decided to update the kernel to 188.8.131.52, as it's difficult to get sound for my Vortex 1 card with my current kernel version. I've never updated the kernel before so I read a handy how-to specifically geared towards newbies. Everything appeared fine until I tried to load the new kernel from LILO. A couple of pages or so of text scrolled up the screen and I was pleased with the way things were looking but then I received the message
VFS: cannot open root device "303" or unknown-block(3,3)
please append a correct "root=" boot option
kernel panic- not syncing: VFS : Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(3,3)
I'm completely clueless as to what this means. As such I'm not sure what hardware specifications somebody willing to help would need to know. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Well, I wish you were running grub right now, instead of LILO.
What has happened is that Linux cannot find the root-filesystem. This is probably because of a parameter that was (incorrectly) given to Linux, by the boot-loader [LILO], viz:root=303.
Linux doesn't know what that means. And it doesn't mean anything. "303" is not a valid device-reference in Linux. It wants something like /dev/hdan...
Boot up the system with a CD-ROM drive, if you can't boot your old system. Check to find out where the root-filesystem is supposed to be. Let's say that it's /dev/hda2. Change lilo.conf and re-run LILO. (Grub doesn't require you to re-run anything, which is one of many reasons why I like that loader much better, but nevermind...)
If you do get a chance to edit boot-time parameters when you restart your machine, look at the parameters for Linux and I think you'll see the incorrect boot=. You might be able to re-type it on the fly.
Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-22-2005 at 04:31 PM.
ok first of all thanks for the speedy and helpful response
Luckily I can easily boot my old system so no trouble there. I have opened lilo.conf but can't see anything like root=303. In fact according to lilo.conf root=/dev/hda3. Which is exactly right... I think. However it also says: boot=/dev/hda, with no number on the end. Can I assume this is the problem (I'm fairly sure it should be /dev/hda1)? It seems strange as the error seemed more focussed on the root= option.
I think once this is sorted the first thing I'll do is install grub :S
Check to make sure what the location should be. It definitely needs to be (afaik), /dev/hdan ... You have to specify the partition. My assumption at this point is still that the problem is with the root= parameter.
Originally posted by sundialsvcs Check to make sure what the location should be. It definitely needs to be (afaik), /dev/hdan ... You have to specify the partition. My assumption at this point is still that the problem is with the root= parameter.
yup. root is /dev/hda3 and lilo.conf states root=/dev/hda3. I added a 1 to boot=hda but to no avail. Exactly the same error
Originally posted by bosewicht If you can boot up the computer using the rescue disc, typing lilo should fix ur prob. lol...i've actually updated my kernel too many times to mention and had to go back and run lilo again.
I can boot my old kernel through lilo easily enough... so no need for a rescue disk? Typing lilo at the terminal brings up the message:
Warning: boot record relocation beyond BPB is necessary: /dev/hda1
Added Linux *
(Note that all three boot options were already there). I'm not entirely sure what that warning means, but could it be part of the problem? It sounds promising...
Originally posted by shotwellj What filesystem are you using? Is supoprt for that filesystem compliled into the kernel, or as a module? If it is comiled as a module, you'll have to use mkinitrd to create an initial ramdisk.
On my old kernel I'm using ext2. In my new kernel I added support for ext2 and ext3. I'm fairly sure that I didn't compile either as a module... but not 100%. How do I go back and check? I've opened qconf but have no idea where the config file I saved might be. Also I don't have a manual for mkinitrd
will you please post the contents of your lilo.conf....
Originally posted by mstep How do I go back and check? I'm fairly sure that I didn't compile either as a module... but not 100%. I've opened qconf but have no idea where the config file I saved might be. Also I don't have a manual for mkinitrd
As far as "config" file is concerned it resides in /boot/ along with System.map, vmlinuz etc. ( i know about slackware and redhat only) moreover many times its a hidden file.
But its there until you don't do "mrproper"
Gah! I give up. I tried to edit lilo.conf to make LinuxOLD the default kernel as it kept loading the new non-functioning one by mistake, which was annoying. So I changed the line Default=Linux to Default=LinuxOLD, saved the file and ran lilo. I got exactly the same message as before and assumed it was fine. But now when I try to start up I just get the letter L followed by a multitude of "9A9A9A9A9A9A9A".
Once I broke LILO and it stopped at LI, but it was fairly easily fixed in Knoppix. I can't see any way to fix this. I can't find my rescue disk and I can't find an image for it on the net. I'm just going to download the netinst image for the current Debian testing distribution and start again from scratch.
I won't have access to my linux box for a few days after sometime today, so I won't be able to install the new OS until Friday. If there's any other way to fix this I'd love to know- but don't worry if you can't be bothered