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Old 01-13-2006, 10:24 AM   #1
rabalder321
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Kernel panic with SUSE linux


Hello

I've given up slackware, and am now trying something a little more user friendly (or so I have been told), SUSE linux. I've dowloaded SUSE 10 Eval DVD (the .iso), checked the md5sum (passed with no errors) and successfully burnt it to a disc (done on a computer running winXP and DVD Decrypter). I turn the power to the computer on, insert the DVD, choose to boot from it, and I am presented a screen with some options, from where I choose to install (by typing linux). Some code fly by, and then I get this:

Code:
RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0
invalid compressed format (err=2)
VFS: Cannot open root device "<NULL>" 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've tried these things:

* Using fdisk to create a swap partition and a linux partition (even though I believe this is usually done from within the SUSE setup program).

* Formatted the partitions (I've tried with reiserfs, ext2 and ext2)

* Passing different "root=" options such as /dev/hda, /dev/hda1 etc

* Tried installing with the other options (failsafe, noacpi)

* Googled my eyes out, with no luck.

When it says it cannot open the root device, does it mean the file located in the /boot directory on the DVD? Or is it something wrong with the way I have partitioned (and maybe formatted?) the root drive /? If it is the file located in the /boot dir on the DVD, can I just replace it with one from another CD (I've downloaded not only the eval DVD, but also all the cd's) because maybe this is corrupted? Or can I even take it from another distro (such as Slackware) or are these "root" files in /boot different?

Maybe theres something wrong with the kernel? When I googled the problem, I found someone who had gotten the same error message AFTER a successfull install. He recompiled the kernel, and everything worked out fine. But how do I use a different kernel in this stage of the installation? If it is possible, will it help? Can I get a precompiled kernel from somewhere, because I don't have Linux on any other computer so I can't compile my own from sources (or can I using a c++ compiler on windows, such as Borland)?

I don't have a floppy-drive, so I can't use an install diskette.

Thankful for any help!

Last edited by rabalder321; 01-13-2006 at 10:28 AM.
 
Old 01-13-2006, 01:05 PM   #2
bosewicht
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What did you do with the slack install? It looks like it is trying to boot up slack and slack is gone.

Please append a correct "root=" boot option <- is in lilo/grub

Are you sure you have it set to boot from dvd/cd or maybe redownload the Suse discs
 
Old 01-13-2006, 09:57 PM   #3
rabalder321
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I deleted the partitions with fdisk, then formatted them. I tried all of the filesystems. Then I installed WinXP so that the computer would be in the state it was when I first installed a working distro of linux (slackware).

I thought doing this would overwrite the MBR, thus giving me a "fresh start". Maybe some part of Lilo (which I used) still is to be found somewhere? In that case, how do I get rid of it? Can I flush the MBR without destroying anything, and if so, how?

I haven't tried to redownload the DVD file, but the md5 checksum was correct when I checked it so I don't think that is the problem.

Thanks for helping btw =)
 
Old 01-14-2006, 07:59 AM   #4
bibh_lnxq
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It is quite likely your lilo boot manager is still there, but cannot find anything suitable.
I would suggest the following:
Restore MBR with XPs CD (Restore console, not quite sure what the exact command is, I mean the equivalent of MSDOS/Win9x fdisk /mbr). Then you ought to be able to boot your Windows OS.
If so, check your partitons: from what I read here in this thread, you ought to have at least one NTFS partition, and one Linux Native and one Linux swap. So your reinstalling WinXP should not have formatted your HD completely, from end to end. If it has, shrink the NTFS partition(s) to make some room.
If it has not, I would suggest to do either of two things: delete and wipe the Linux partitions, boot records and all: chances are fair that when rebooting from the Linux install CD, the installler will find the empty space and suggest a partiton scheme. Or: create a Linux native and a Linux swap and let your Linux installer find those.
If the installer *still* balks, then indeed your Linux install CD/DVD may be (physically) damaged. Burn the ISO on a different CD/DVD disc. Of course, you can also start with the last ;-)
 
Old 01-14-2006, 09:23 AM   #5
rabalder321
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Right now I have only 1 partition with NTFS on, so the HD should be completely formatted.

I tried starting the installer on a different computer, and it worked fine, so there's nothing wrong with the DVD. It even showed me a nice GUI (a snowy landscape or something). Strange, cause when I started from the install DVD on the computer I want to actually install SUSE on, it just showed me a text-based installer.

I guess the most likely option left is that something's still left of lilo in the MBR. So I did

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=446 count=1

it didn't work, so I also tried

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1

But with no luck.

Really strange, and I'm running out of ideas now =)

Last edited by rabalder321; 01-14-2006 at 09:52 AM.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 06:51 AM   #6
rabalder321
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Should it even have something to do with the partition? On the same system (where SUSE says it can't mount the root fs), I can install slackware 10.1 without any problems.

I can even see the line where Slackware tries to mount vfs, and succeeds.

What makes SUSE's way of trying to mount the fs different than that of Slacks (besides that SUSE's doesn't work, and Slacks does)?
And why don't I get a nice GUI when trying to install on my laptop (Dell Inspiron 9100), but I do when trying to install on a different computer?

Last edited by rabalder321; 01-15-2006 at 06:54 AM.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 08:04 AM   #7
bibh_lnxq
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It is very odd that Slack does manage where SuSE doesn't. On my machine (Dell XPS T500) I have once succesfully installed Slackware (beside SuSE). So logically, there is at least one PC in the universe that works with both :-)
I am also running out of ideas, sorry, but at the moment I am just trying to understand what is causing your problem.
Re GUI: if you mean you can see the snowy (setup) screen with the walking Tuxes, it would mean that SuSE 10 setup doesn't recognise your video card on that one specific box properly, or not at all. That my nVidia video card was not recognised has indeed happened to me way back, under SuSE 6 or 7. With other versions of SuSE there was no problem at all.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 08:31 AM   #8
abisko00
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I guess the problem is not mounting a local filesystem, but having trouble to access initrd. Maybe there is a problem with the DMA mode (read-errors), so you could try booting with ide=nodma. However, this will slow down the installation significantly. Another option would be to run a memory check on that machine. Since a lot will be loaded into memory at that stage, the installation is very sensitive to memory errors.

I don't understand the GUI problem. If the root fs can't be mounted, you will not get to a stage where a GUI is offered. Once the 'mount root fs' problem is solved, you'll get a GUI.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
Ha1f
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i think i had a problem like this with fedora....

try typing in an invalid boot option (i.e. the word "invalid"), and then boot the "linux" option.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 10:10 AM   #10
sundialsvcs
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Waitaminute, guys ... read the message!

It says:
Code:
 RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0
invalid compressed format (err=2)
VFS: Cannot open root device "<NULL>" 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)
The RAMDISK, or initrd, is the first step of booting on many off-the-shelf distros. This step failed (err=2). It presumably was supposed to install some drivers, and because they were not there, Linux could not boot.

I suggest that you repeat the installation. Something went wrong, and this ought to be the simplest way to figure things out. Pay particular attention to how you organize the disks, and stop if you encounter any message or warning during the install. Stop, and post it here.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 11:21 AM   #11
rabalder321
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First of all, thanks for all the answers.

sundialsvcs - I'm not sure I understand your suggestion. What should I do? Repeat the installation of SuSE? There is no actual installation, since the error comes almost right away, just a few lines of code gets processed. What do you mean by paying attention to how I organize my disks? I'm not offered a chance to organize them from within the install program (I don't get that far), but do you mean how I organize them with fdisk? I've only got 1 primary partition. Maybe that's wrong?

Ha1f - I've tried that, but unfortunately it didn't work.
abisko00 - Tried ide=nodma (and even insmod=ide-generic), but with no luck. I also ran the memtest, with no errors returned.

I've also tried appending mem=511M (and 510M and 512M just to be sure =)), in case SuSE didn't realize that by itself, but of course, nothing interesting happened.

What more fun can be appended as a boot option to (maybe) make this work? =)
 
Old 01-15-2006, 02:43 PM   #12
rabalder321
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It's solved now. It seems as though there was something wrong with the DVD after all. I tried burning a second DVD, with no luck. Then I took the ISO and moved it to a different computer, and burned it there (at 2x speed), and now it works.

This must mean that the DVD reader of my laptop is really sensitive, cause the "error-producing" DVD actually worked on 3 other systems... Thats why I didn't think anything was wrong with it. Now I even get a nice GUI with penguins and snow =)

Thanks for all your help guys!
 
Old 01-15-2006, 04:11 PM   #13
jollyjoice
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yeh i noticed that gui on a laptop i installed on using the cds, it doesn't always show up tho...

Good to hear its solved, btw did you try cleaning the DVD?
 
  


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