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I have RedHat 6.1 installed and has been running normally. Out of the blue, it comes up with an error (listed at the end of this message). I am then prompted for the root password. It will then drop to a command line. X will not boot. I am a newbie (thus please give a fairly clear answer). Here is the boot sequence and error:
Linux version 2.2.12-20 (email@example.com) (gcc version egcs-2.91.66 19990314/Linux (egcs-1.1.2 release)) #1 Mon Sep 27 10:07:24 EDT 1999
Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
Calibrating delay loop... 49.87 BogoMIPS
Memory: 22144k/24576k available (1072k kernel code, 412k reserved, 604k data, 64k init)
Checking if this processor honours the WP bit even in supervisor mode... Ok.
DENTRY hash table entries: 262144 (order: 9, 2097152 bytes)
Buffer-cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
Page-cache hash table entries: 8192 (order: 3, 32768 bytes)
VFS: Diskquotas version dquot_6.4.0 initialized
CPU: AMD 486 DX/4-WB stepping 04
Checking 386/387 coupling... OK, FPU using exception 16 error reporting.
Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
Checking for popad bug... OK.
POSIX conformance testing by UNIFIX
PCI: PCI BIOS revision 2.10 entry at 0xf6f41
PCI: Using configuration type 1
PCI: Probing PCI hardware
PCI: 00:91 [1060/673a]: Working around UM8886BF bugs
Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.2
Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
NET4: Unix domain sockets 1.0 for Linux NET4.0.
NET4: Linux TCP/IP 1.0 for NET4.0
IP Protocols: ICMP, UDP, TCP, IGMP
TCP: Hash tables configured (ehash 32768 bhash 32768)
Initializing RT netlink socket
Starting kswapd v 1.5
Serial driver version 4.27 with MANY_PORTS MULTIPORT SHARE_IRQ enabled
ttyS00 at 0x03f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
ttyS01 at 0x02f8 (irq = 3) is a 16550A
pty: 256 Unix98 ptys configured
apm: BIOS not found.
Real Time Clock Driver v1.09
RAM disk driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 4096K size
UM8886A: IDE controller on PCI bus 00 dev 90
UM8886A: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
UM8886BF: IDE controller on PCI bus 00 dev 91
UM8886BF: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
UM8886BF: port 0x01f0 already claimed by ide0
UM8886BF: port 0x0170 already claimed by ide1
UM8886BF: neither IDE port enabled (BIOS)
hda: ST3491A D, ATA DISK drive
hdb: WDC AC21600H, ATA DISK drive
hdd: FX162T4, ATAPI CDROM drive
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
ide1 at 0x170-0x177,0x376 on irq 15
hda: ST3491A D, 408MB w/120kB Cache, CHS=899/15/62
hdb: WDC AC21600H, 1549MB w/128kB Cache, CHS=787/64/63
hdd: ATAPI 16X CD-ROM drive, 128kB Cache
Uniform CDROM driver Revision: 2.56
Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
FDC 0 is an 8272A
md driver 0.90.0 MAX_MD_DEVS=256, MAX_REAL=12
raid5: measuring checksumming speed
8regs : 49.530 MB/sec
32regs : 29.718 MB/sec
using fastest function: 8regs (49.530 MB/sec)
scsi : 0 hosts.
scsi : detected total.
md.c: sizeof(mdp_super_t) = 4096
hda: hda1 hda3
hdb: hdb1 hdb2 < hdb5 hdb6 >
RAMDISK: Couldn't find valid RAM disk image starting at 0.
autodetecting RAID arrays
... autorun DONE.
VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem).
Freeing unused kernel memory: 64k freed
Adding Swap: 66492k swap-space (priority -1)
INIT: version 2.77 booting
Welcome to Red Hat Linux
Mounting proc filesystem [OK]
Setting clock [OK]
Loading default keymap [OK]
Activating swap partitions [OK]
Setting hostname [OK]
Checking root filesystem
/dev/hdb5 is mounted. Cannot Continue, aborting. [FAILED]
*** An error has occured during the file system check.
*** Dropping you to shell; the system will reboot
*** when you leave the shell.
Give root password for maintenance
(or type Control-D for normal startup):
What happens after you login with root? Are there any errors? From the looks of it, you might have a problem iwth your filesystem. If you have access to the filesystem from logging in as root, this is when you want to check log files. It says checking root filesystem failed, You didn't happen to shutdown improperly, like just turn the machine off or lose power. If so, could have destroyed everything and you need to just reinstall. It could get to complicated trying to fix that if your new to Linux. You mention X isn't working, I wouldn't worry about that yet with this error your getting.
This has happened to me one time, I couldn't determined what happened, I think my father in law tried to access my machine and he knows nothing of Linux so it started boting into Linux, he has no password so he turned it off. But besides that, I ended up reinstalling since I didn't have to many imprtant things that I would lose.
When I login as root, it gives me a command line. No visable errors are apparent. Usual commands function normaly (excluding X). The root filesystem is mounted. When I run linuxconf, it shows that no other filesystems are mounted (but they will mount manually). What logs would I check to see what happened?