The reason this is happening is because the linux VM thinks its root partition is /dev/hda2 which is controlled by the "/" entry in /etc/fstab. I am thinking you are trying to boot an already existing dual boot partition which is after your primary windows partition, i.e, /dev/hda1. The thing is, if you told VMware to use an existing partition as it's drive, the VM probably considers it to be the first drive. You can check by looking at your vmware config and look at the listing for "Hard Disk 1" my guess is that is your root partition, making it /dev/hda1 to your VM.
When it boots, try typing:
Depending on whether you set up the drive as a scsi drive or ide. If this works, edit /etc/fstab and change any /dev/hda2 entries to /dev/hda1.
If this does not work, look at your vmware config. List all the entries here.