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Old 10-08-2001, 10:47 PM   #1
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Question RH 7.1 install problem: kernel panic - unable to mount fs

Hi, I am a newbie with linux, and I need some suggestions or assistance.

I just got an old Compaq deskpro (p2-450) with ata IDE controllers from work to play with and having installation problems. I am try to install Red Hat 7.1. During the installation, I get "kernel panic: vfs: unable to mount fs. 08:41" error and basically stalls.

During the installation I believe it detects the hard drive fine. I don't know if its related to controller error.

Has anyone encountered similar problem with Compaq deskpro?

Do I need to use a different IDE driver?

I would appreciate the assistance.



Last edited by bhikkhu; 10-09-2001 at 10:43 PM.
Old 10-09-2001, 01:21 AM   #2
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kernel panic: vfs: unable to mount fs 08:41
If I'm reading that line correctly, something definitely went wrong during your installation. As far as I know, the "8" is the major device number for SCSI block devices, and the number following the colon should indicate the exact SCSI device in your system, but 41 doesn't look right. For IDE (ATA) drives, the major device number should be "3". Which drive (primary master, primary slave, etc.) are you trying to install Linux on?
If the installation went OK, but you can't boot into Linux normally after that, the answer might lie in your /etc/fstab file, which indicates which filesystems get mounted and what mount point they should use. The problem is that, since the hard drive won't mount, you'll have to boot with a floppy in order to try to access the /etc directory.

Sorry if this all sounds a little vague, but I'm on hour 12 at work with a few more to go.

Also- there used to be issues with the special (and hidden) "diagnostic" partition Compaq uses on their drives, but I thought that wasn't a problem anymore. If no one else has a better answer, you might consider doing a low-level format of the drive(not with a Compaq drive utility) before attempting a reinstall.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by DMR; 10-09-2001 at 01:27 AM.
Old 10-09-2001, 01:41 AM   #3
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It could also be the way the Compaq BIOS enumerates the PCI ATA controllers that were added. Things go OK for the boot, but when the PCI bus gets scanned the device that was root gets shifted up the chain. (hda becomes hde).

I had a similar problem on an ABIT board and add-on controllers in redhat. You might want to try and either disable the on-board controller or manually add the add-on boards in the PCI devices section in the Compaq setup. I would advise againt deleting the diagnotic/setup partition as you may need it at a future date and it's a major operation to create new space on the hd for it. Maybe as a last resort, but...

You could also just install the base system with the drive(s) connected to the on-board drive controller. THen make sure you have the correct devices loaded in the kernel or as a module for your add-on controllers. Post some more detailed information about the controllers so we can get a grip.

Old 10-09-2001, 12:58 PM   #4
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i think it may be back plane add on

The Compaq deskpro has a back plane add on which contains pci/isa slots and eide (UDMA) controllers. The install is being done on the primary ide controller (only single device set to single setting). Perhaps, the back plane is confusing linux to cause it to give error 8 rather than 3?

I don't even get far with the installation. During the install, I do see ide controllers as being detected for irq 14 and 15. The cd-rom and hard drive are also being detected. It is after this and then detecting Compaq 10/100-Tx ether card (Intel) that Linux fails to mount fs (I don't believe its network card related since compaq states that version higher than RH 6.2 would solve the problem).

I created a parted boot disk to see if the partition needed to set prior to installation. However, the parted boot disk give some error like vma_init? cannot alloc vm_??_?? cache. I am not at home to verify this. However, it appears to be hardware related perhaps with the back plane. Win2000 install runs fine.

There may be some driver missing that Linux RH does not like?

I'll have to check the pci scan and disable reset. I believe this is the case. I have seen the pci scan shift before, but I don't think this may be it since I can not enough get through the initial install.

By the way, do you need a special driver for compaq eide controller? I thought generic ide controller would work.

If anyone has encounter similar problem and willing to share work arounds, I would appreciate it.


If you need more info, please let me know. Thanks again.


Last edited by bhikkhu; 10-09-2001 at 10:52 PM.


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