just to give a better picture, here's the last three messages during the kernel load and boot time:
VFS: cannot open root device "305" or hda5
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
kernel panic: VFS: cannot load root fs on hda5
here's the lilo entry for that particular image:
I used to have append="acpi=on" but I wanted to see if acpi was screwing it all up but it wasn't.