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Old 10-13-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
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Can't Boot Slack 12 From Fresh Install - Kernel Panic

I'm trying to install Slackware 12.0 to an external USB hard drive. (Windows XP is on my internal hard drive.) The USB drive is partitioned with sdb1 as the root partition, sdb2 is a swap partition, and sdb3 is another partition (for /home and stuff). Both data partitions are formatted with ReiserFS, and sdb1 has the boot flag set.

I installed Slackware using mostly the defaults, including using LILO as the bootloader. I installed it to the MBR of my primary hard drive, so now when the computer starts up I have to choose between Windows and Linux to boot into. So far, so good.

Booting into Windows works fine, luckily. But when I try to boot Slackware, I get the following error message:

vfs: cannot open root device "801" or unknown-block(8,1)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option.
Kernel Panic - not syncing: vfs: unable to mount rootfs on unknown-block(8,1)

How can I get it to boot to Slackware?
Old 10-13-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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You'll need something like this in /etc/lilo.conf

# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/sdb1
  label = Linux
# Linux bootable partition config ends
When you've put that in, run, as root:

# lilo

Last edited by brianL; 10-13-2007 at 01:21 PM.
Old 10-13-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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I can get in and change my lilo.conf settings to those using a different operating system (booting off a Slax disk I keep handy for emergencies.) But when I try to run the lilo script, or whatever, I get the message:

Fatal Error: Could not load /etc/lilo.conf

I think this is because I'm trying to use the lilo script from within Slax, not Slackware, and that it would work if I could boot into Slackware. But I can't boot into Slackware, which is the problem in the first place. Is there another way to run this script?
Old 10-14-2007, 02:04 AM   #4
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You must 'chroot' into there. So, run 'chroot <wherever the root directory of the install is>'. Then run '/sbin/lilo'.


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