Here is what happened and here is what that message means:
- A "kernel panic" is any condition from which the system cannot continue; it must stop immediately.
- The message "not syncing" is actually unrelated to what precedes it: it means that the system was not in the middle of doing a disk-write at the time that the failure occurred. (Which is a Good Thing.)
- The specific message, "attempted to kill 'init'," is a bit of a misnomer. What it actually means is that the init process died, or couldn't be started.
process (pid #1) is special: it is hand-made by the kernel during initialization, it must start successfully, and it must never, ever die. It's a privileged, user-land process that carries out very important duties without which system operation cannot continue.
Usually, when you see this message, it's at startup, and other messages immediately precede
it to show you why the process couldn't start.
The best solution usually is to boot a kernel DVD, use it to check the filesystems (if the vendor-provided scripts don't do this automagically), then use it to repeat the Linux install procedure. You only need to install the core system files: you should not, for example, reinitialize the disks. This is probably the most reasonable and easy-to-do process that is likely to succeed.
For the more adventurous, It can also be useful to boot up the DVD, enter the command line, cd
to the directory where this program is located, and type, init
. (It is
an ordinary program...) If an error-message pops up to the effect that the program doesn't start running, there probably is your answer.