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Old 09-17-2006, 09:38 PM   #1
RobF
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Can't boot Slack 11 - Kernel panic


I installed Slackware v.11 (-current from 9/11/06) on a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop with Intel Core Duo processor and an internal SATA hard disk drive. I picked the sata.i kernel both for the installation and for running the installed system; the kernel version is 2.4.33.3. I skipped installing LILO since booting on this drive is already managed by LILO installed by Xandros 4.

I added the following entry for Slackware to Xandros' lilo.conf:

image=/disks/welcome_2/boot/vmlinuz-ide-2.4.33.3
label=Slackware_11_on_sda8
vga=791
append="root=/dev/sda8 "

When I try to boot Slackware from the Xandros LILO menu, the system quickly crashes with a kernel panic: the kernel can't find the root filesystem. The root fs is on sda8 which is a logical partition underneath an extended primary partition.

The above LILO entry is completely analogous to a LILO entry for Zenwalk 3.0 installed on the same drive (on sda6) that allows me to boot Zenwalk just fine. The Zenwalk kernel is the default sata kernel; the version is 2.6.17.11.

The Slackware installation proceeded without error, and the files are all there on sda8; I can view them from Xandros. One thing that struck me as odd though during the installation was the fact that when inquiring which partition to choose for the / (root) partition and in the section on constructing the entries for fstab, the installer referred to all partitions on the SATA drive as hdaX, never as sdaX as would have been correct.

What went wrong and how can I fix it? Did I pick the wrong kernel, or does the 2.4.33 kernel have trouble with SATA drives?

Robert
 
Old 09-18-2006, 09:03 AM   #2
onebuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobF
I installed Slackware v.11 (-current from 9/11/06) on a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop with Intel Core Duo processor and an internal SATA hard disk drive. I picked the sata.i kernel both for the installation and for running the installed system; the kernel version is 2.4.33.3. I skipped installing LILO since booting on this drive is already managed by LILO installed by Xandros 4.

I added the following entry for Slackware to Xandros' lilo.conf:

image=/disks/welcome_2/boot/vmlinuz-ide-2.4.33.3
label=Slackware_11_on_sda8
vga=791
append="root=/dev/sda8 "

When I try to boot Slackware from the Xandros LILO menu, the system quickly crashes with a kernel panic: the kernel can't find the root filesystem. The root fs is on sda8 which is a logical partition underneath an extended primary partition.

The above LILO entry is completely analogous to a LILO entry for Zenwalk 3.0 installed on the same drive (on sda6) that allows me to boot Zenwalk just fine. The Zenwalk kernel is the default sata kernel; the version is 2.6.17.11.

The Slackware installation proceeded without error, and the files are all there on sda8; I can view them from Xandros. One thing that struck me as odd though during the installation was the fact that when inquiring which partition to choose for the / (root) partition and in the section on constructing the entries for fstab, the installer referred to all partitions on the SATA drive as hdaX, never as sdaX as would have been correct.

What went wrong and how can I fix it? Did I pick the wrong kernel, or does the 2.4.33 kernel have trouble with SATA drives?

Robert
Hi,

Why are you using the append in your stanza;
Quote:
added the following entry for Slackware to Xandros' lilo.conf:

image=/disks/welcome_2/boot/vmlinuz-ide-2.4.33.3
label=Slackware_11_on_sda8
vga=791
append="root=/dev/sda8 "
Code:
A good stanza example;

# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz-ide-2.4.31
  root = /dev/hda3
  label = Linux
  read-only
# Linux bootable partition config ends
#
I use the append to pass arguements to the kernel. Your append is not correct. Your getting the panic because of the 'root=' not being defined in the stanza.

The -current changelog uses;

Code:
Sat Aug 19 23:58:27 CDT 2006
This is mostly frozen now unless bugs (or irresistible upgrades) come up, so
I'll call this update Slackware 11.0 release candidate 2.  :-)
a/kernel-ide-2.4.33-i486-2.tgz:
  Switched to the sata.i kernel which supports both parallel and serial ATA.
a/kernel-modules-2.4.33-i486-2.tgz:  Recompiled.
  Upgraded to Linux 2.4.33 kernel modules.
So both type of drives have been include in this kernel 2.4.33.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 10:26 AM   #3
RobF
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Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 20

Original Poster
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Thanks, Gary, for your reply.

I'd first used the following stanza which is the same as the one you suggested:

image=/disks/welcome_2/boot/vmlinuz-ide-2.4.33.3
label=Slackware_11_on_sda8
root=/dev/sda8
read-only

I had the same problem with it: kernel panic. Then I switched to the stanza I'd posted because it's essentially identical to the stanza that works fine for the Zenwalk (a Slackware derivative) install on the same drive.

I can't help thinking that the problem revolves around the fact that the Slackware installer identified/labelled the partitions on the internal SATA drive as hdaX rather than sdaX. The default sata kernel v.2.6.17.11 used by the Zenwalk installer (which is a slightly streamlined Slackware installer) identified/labelled the partitions correctly as sdaX.

E.g. the fstab generated by the Slackware installer looks as follows:

/dev/hda7 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/hda8 / reiserfs defaults 1 1
/dev/hda5 /mnt/hda5 reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda6 /mnt/hda6 reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda2 /mnt/hda2 ntfs ro 1 0
/dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom auto noauto,owner,ro 0 0
/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto noauto,owner 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0

This looks wrong; there are no hdaX partitions (I'd entered the mount points as hdaX, simply to be consistent with this labeling scheme).

E.g. when I modify the line "root=/dev/sda8" in lilo.conf to "root=/dev/hda8", I get the error: "Fatal: Illegal 'root=' specification: /dev/hda8", when I run lilo.

Among the boot messages are the lines:

hda Hitachi ....... [that's the internal SATA drive]
Partition check:
hda: hda1 hda2 hda3 < hda5 hda6 hda7 hda8 > hda4

The last three boot messages before the crash are:

VFS: Cannot open root device "808" or 08:08
Please append a correct "root" boot option
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 08:08

Robert

Last edited by RobF; 09-18-2006 at 11:20 AM.
 
Old 09-19-2006, 07:30 PM   #4
Bruce Hill
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Distribution: Gentoo
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http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~mdek/contents/e1505/

You should always search TuxMobil and Linux-on-Laptops for
information on laptop computers.
 
Old 09-22-2006, 07:40 AM   #5
onebuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobF
Thanks, Gary, for your reply.

I'd first used the following stanza which is the same as the one you suggested:

image=/disks/welcome_2/boot/vmlinuz-ide-2.4.33.3
label=Slackware_11_on_sda8
root=/dev/sda8
read-only

I had the same problem with it: kernel panic. Then I switched to the stanza I'd posted because it's essentially identical to the stanza that works fine for the Zenwalk (a Slackware derivative) install on the same drive.

I can't help thinking that the problem revolves around the fact that the Slackware installer identified/labelled the partitions on the internal SATA drive as hdaX rather than sdaX. The default sata kernel v.2.6.17.11 used by the Zenwalk installer (which is a slightly streamlined Slackware installer) identified/labelled the partitions correctly as sdaX.

E.g. the fstab generated by the Slackware installer looks as follows:

/dev/hda7 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/hda8 / reiserfs defaults 1 1
/dev/hda5 /mnt/hda5 reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda6 /mnt/hda6 reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda2 /mnt/hda2 ntfs ro 1 0
/dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom auto noauto,owner,ro 0 0
/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto noauto,owner 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0

This looks wrong; there are no hdaX partitions (I'd entered the mount points as hdaX, simply to be consistent with this labeling scheme).

E.g. when I modify the line "root=/dev/sda8" in lilo.conf to "root=/dev/hda8", I get the error: "Fatal: Illegal 'root=' specification: /dev/hda8", when I run lilo.

Among the boot messages are the lines:

hda Hitachi ....... [that's the internal SATA drive]
Partition check:
hda: hda1 hda2 hda3 < hda5 hda6 hda7 hda8 > hda4

The last three boot messages before the crash are:

VFS: Cannot open root device "808" or 08:08
Please append a correct "root" boot option
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 08:08

Robert
Hi,

Please post the entire lilo.conf that was written to your MBR.

BTW, your fstab for the Slackware -current install is not correct for a sata. When you did the install which kernel image did you choose for boot?
 
Old 09-22-2006, 10:48 AM   #6
RobF
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Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 20

Original Poster
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At the very beginning of the installation I picked the "default" installation kernel which was called "sata.i". After all the packages were installed, I was asked to "Choose Linux Kernel", and here I picked the highlighted choice which was "/cdrom/kernels/sata.i/bzImage", assuming that this was the same kernel that I picked as the installation kernel.

There is only one "sata" kernel in the /cdrom/kernels/ directory, i.e. "sata.i", and the file /cdrom/kernels/SATA-SUPPORT.TXT says that this kernel has SATA support built into it. After making the above choices, the "vmlinuz-ide-2.4.33.3" kernel is what I found installed on my system. Obviously, this kernel was not working for me. It was misidentifying the SATA drive partitions as hdaX, rather than sdaX.

In another thread that I initiated on this problem (a.o.l.s.), one person replied that "there are two different sata modules used in 2.4.x series, one identifies the drives as hda and the other as sda."

Another person said: "If you have a very new mobo, you might need 2.6 kernel for SATA support, recent discussions on lkml concluded that there cannot be another merge of SATA code backported to 2.4 series as there's now too much divergence. Therefore the new mobos and chipsets will only be supported by 2.6 series kernel."

In the end, I decided to boot the install CD with the huge26.s kernel and then install kernel-generic-smp-2.6.17.13-i686-1.tgz and kernel-modules-smp-2.6.17.13-i686-1.tgz, since I have a dual core processor and would like to use that capability.

In the description of this generic SMP kernel v.2.6.17.13, PV says that it has no built-in reiserfs support, hence I had to build an initrd to insert the extra reiserfs module. Finally, in /etc/fstab I changed all the device names from /dev/hdaX to /dev/sdaX.

The final LILO stanza for Slackware is:

image=/disks/welcome_2/boot/vmlinuz-generic-smp-2.6.17.13
label=Slackware_11_on_sda8
root=/dev/sda8
initrd=/disks/welcome_2/boot/initrd.gz
vga=791
read-only

With all these changes, I was finally able to boot the install on my hard disk.

Robert
 
Old 09-22-2006, 07:03 PM   #7
Bruce Hill
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Tupelo, MS
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 6,926

Rep: Reputation: 124Reputation: 124
Your issue is the computer's ICH7 chipset. It's not supported in sata.i.
 
Old 09-22-2006, 10:18 PM   #8
RobF
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Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 20

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Hill
Your issue is the computer's ICH7 chipset. It's not supported in sata.i.
The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 6400 (same as e1505) with Intel Core Duo processor and a Hitachi SATA drive.

00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Controller IDE (rev 01) (prog-if m80 [Master])

Robert
 
Old 09-22-2006, 10:37 PM   #9
Bruce Hill
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Tupelo, MS
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 6,926

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Yes. See post #4 above ^^^ .
 
Old 09-23-2006, 10:04 AM   #10
RobF
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Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 20

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Hill
Yes. See post #4 above ^^^ .
Thanks, Bruce, for these useful links. I've been looking at them.

Robert
 
  


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