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Old 05-14-2004, 04:10 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Distribution: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Debian, CentOS
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new install: can't open root device hda3 on boot

just finished setting up my Gentoo system and when i boot I get this:

VFS: Cannot open root device "hda3" or hda3
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on hda3
I read the sticky thread about grub problems and the tips that it says about my error, but I have all that set up already. My fstab looks like:

/dev/hda1		/boot		ext2		noauto,noatime		1 2
/dev/hda3		/		ext3		noatime			0 1
/dev/hda2		none		swap		sw			0 0
/dev/cdroms/cdrom0      /mnt/cdrom	auto		ro,user			0 0
#/dev/fd0		/mnt/floppy	auto		noauto			0 0

# NOTE: The next line is critical for boot!
none			/proc		proc		defaults		0 0
My grub.conf looks like:

default 0
timeout 30
title=Gentoo Linux 2004.1
root (hd0,0)
kernel (hd0,0)/kernel-2.6.5-gentoo root=/dev/hda3

title=Windows XP
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1
There's something funny with how my HDs are set up:
My linux HD is Secondary Master and my windows drive is Primary Master, but I set BIOS up to boot from my Secondary Master first. So in the LiveCD the linux drive is hdc but when I boot to grub its hda. (I think) So when i set up grub from the livecd I had to do:

grub> root (hd1,0)
grub> setup (hd1)
but in grub.conf it's (hd0,0).

I do have support for ext2 and ext3 and all the other stuff it specifies in the install handbook. I don't really know how to tell if I have my IDE chipset compiled into my kernel, but I assume I do because it's pretty standard.

I have a Asus K8V Deluxe with chipsets VIA K8T800 &
VIA VT8237. I compiled the only VIA thing I saw menuconfig.

EDIT: OK I just tried compiling my kernel with a few different additional features and I get a slight variation to the error:

VFS: Cannot open root device "hda3" or unknown-block(0,0)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)
Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot!
Old 05-14-2004, 07:05 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Suse, Red Hat
Posts: 129

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I got the impression that your system doesn't boot. In your place I would try to change grub.conf by replacing
root (hd0,0)
kernel (hd0,0)/kernel-2.6.5-gentoo root=/dev/hda3
root (hd1,0)
kernel (hd1,0)/kernel-2.6.5-gentoo root=/dev/hda3
and anything else that might have somethin to do with hard drive number. And here is a link to grub documentation. I hope this can help you out. Make sure you post what you did if it all starts working again.[

Last edited by Xerop; 05-14-2004 at 07:08 AM.
Old 05-15-2004, 01:01 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Distribution: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Debian, CentOS
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Original Poster
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Thanks for the tip Xerop. I'm pretty sure (hd0,0) is correct because the Gentoo background image for grub works and the path for that in the grub file is:

anyone have any other ideas?

Old 06-07-2004, 04:42 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2001
Posts: 28

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I am having the EXACT same problem. I'm thinking I may not have setup file support for ext3 correctly in my kernel config. I'll check it out and let you guys know.

Old 12-31-2004, 12:06 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Aachen
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1

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Hey Guys,

I've got the same Problem, using Kernel 2.6.8 with Debian and Grub.

To everyone not sure about having compiled the root filesystem properbly, check out this link:

But please notice: It didn't solve the "Kernel Panic problem" as mentioned above for me!

Anyone new suggestions? Please let me know


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