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Old 10-13-2003, 04:22 PM   #16
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: USexIRL
Distribution: *nix
Posts: 849

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What I mean is - you can verify which loader you are using by telling us what the loading screen looks like -eg - what colors etc - if it is too fast to determine then I believe you can modify the time it gives you to pick it's options when loading.

just for giggles - try modifying the
timeout=10 [this looks like it is the setting which gives me 10 seconds to pick an option]
in the grub.conf file just to see if anything happens.
Old 10-13-2003, 04:32 PM   #17
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Red Hat Linux 9.0 (Shrike)
Posts: 28

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Re: unable to mount root

Originally posted by recon2
i have install rh7.1 on a amd 900 mhz with wd 40 gb drive, geforce2 mx ,256 mb mem,abit kt7a rid mobo. all of the install went fine and got everything configured. my kernal was 2.4.2-2. i ran it for a week to make sure no errors and everything work ok. then i registered with rh and got errata . then i went thru update and selected all the rpms that it showed to apply to my system. i went thru the upgrade and did not get any errors. so once it was done i figured i would reboot to see what kernal msg would show and if did upgrade kernal(2.4.9). when i rebooted i got this msg and it froze.
ext2-fs : unable to read superblock
isofs_read_super : bread failred dev=09:02 iso_blknum=16 block=32
kernal panic : vfs unable to mount root fs on 09:02

i figured it had something to do with the new kernal with ext3 and ext2 fs. i been reading about both systems. but cannot determine what i need to do.
patch the kernal or migrate ext 2 to 3 or what ??? any help would be greatly apprecaited.

ext3 support was introduced in 7.2 !


In Red Hat Linux 7.2, Red Hat provides its first officially supported journaling file system: ext3. The ext3 file system is a set of incremental enhancements to the robust ext2 file system that provide several advantages. This paper summarizes some of those advantages (first in general terms and then more specifically), explains what Red Hat has done to test the ext3 file system, and (for advanced users only) touches on tuning.

Hardware/Software Problems

This category includes a wide variety of different situations. Two examples include failing hard drives and forgetting to run LILO after building a new kernel. In both of these situations, you may be unable to boot Red Hat Linux. If you can get into rescue mode, you might be able to resolve the problem or at least get copies of your most important files.

To boot your system in rescue mode, enter the following command at the installation boot prompt:

boot: linux rescue

You can get to the installation boot prompt in one of these ways:


By booting your system from an installation boot diskette [1] or the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1.

Try to use the fsck command when you have booted from floppy or cdrom.
Old 10-13-2003, 04:46 PM   #18
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Red Hat Linux 9.0 (Shrike)
Posts: 28

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if you still have access to the internet at this moment (via windows or other computer)
you should take a look at this website:

there's an elaborate explanation on the 'rescue' mode of RH7.

To create an installation boot diskette use the images/boot.img file on the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1 with the command:

dd if=boot.img of=/dev/fd0 and a blank diskette.
Old 10-13-2003, 04:55 PM   #19
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Red Hat Linux 9.0 (Shrike)
Posts: 28

Rep: Reputation: 15
This is my last post and I have the information from
I hope this will help. Please read carefully:

Booting Rescue Mode

To boot your system in rescue mode, boot off of a Red Hat Linux boot disk or Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1, and enter the following command at the installation boot prompt:

boot: linux rescue

You can get to the installation boot prompt in one of these ways:


By booting your system from an installation boot diskette made from the boot.img image. This method requires that the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1 be inserted as the rescue image or that the rescue image be on the hard drive as an ISO image. [1]

By booting your system from the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1.

By booting from a network disk made from the bootnet.img or PCMCIA boot disk made from pcmcia.img. You can only do this if your network connection is working. You will need to identify the network host and transfer type. For an explanation of how to specify this information, see Installing over the Network in the Official Red Hat Linux Installation Guide.

After booting off a boot disk or Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1 and providing a valid rescue image, you will see the following message:

The rescue environment will now attempt to find your Red Hat
Linux installation and mount it under the directory
/mnt/sysimage. You can then make any changes required to your
system. If you want to proceed with this step choose
If for some reason this process fails you can choose 'Skip'
and this step will be skipped and you will go directly to a
command shell.

If you select Continue, it will attempt to mount your filesystem under the directory /mnt/sysimage. If it fails to mount a partition, it will notify you. If you select Skip, your filesystem will not be mounted. Choose Skip if you think your filesystem is corrupted.

Once you have your system in rescue mode, a prompt appears on VC (virtual console) 1 and VC 2 (use the [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F1] key combination to access VC 1 and [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F2] key combination to access VC 2):


If you selected Continue to mount your partitions automatically and they were mounted successfully, you are in single-user mode.

To mount a Linux partition manually inside rescue mode, create a directory such as /foo, and type the following command:

mount -t ext3 /dev/hda5 /foo

In the above command, /foo is a directory that you have created and /dev/hda5 is the partition you want to mount. If the partition is of type ext2, replace ext3 with ext2.

If you do not know the names of your partitions, use the following command to list them:

fdisk -l

If your filesystem is mounted and you want to make your system the root partition, use the command chroot /mnt/sysimage. This is useful if you need to run commands such as rpm that require your root partition to be mounted as /. To exit the chroot environment, type exit, and you will return to the bash# prompt.

Booting Single-User Mode Directly

You may be able to boot single-user mode directly. If your system boots, but does not allow you to log in when it has completed booting, try single-user mode.

If you are using GRUB, use the following steps to boot into single-user mode:

1. If you have a GRUB password configured, type p and enter the password.

2.Select Red Hat Linux with the version of the kernel that you wish to boot and type e for edit. You will be presented with a list of items in the configuration file for the title you just selected.

3.Select the line that starts with kernel and type e to edit the line.

4. Go to the end of the line and type single as a separate word (press the [Spacebar] and then type single). Press [Enter] to exit edit mode.

5. Back at the GRUB screen, type b to boot into single user mode.

If you are using LILO, specify one of these options at the LILO boot prompt (if you are using the graphical LILO, you must press [Ctrl]-[x] to exit the graphical screen and go to the boot: prompt):

boot: linux single
boot: linux emergency

In single-user mode, you computer boots to runlevel 1. Your local filesystems will be mounted, but your network will not be activated. You will have a usable system maintenance shell.

In emergency mode, you are booted into the most minimal environment possible. The root filesystem will be mounted read-only and almost nothing will be set up. The main advantage of emergency mode over linux single is that your init files are not loaded. If init is corrupted or not working, you can still mount filesystems to recover data that could be lost during a re-installation.

Have you ever rebuilt a kernel and, eager to try out your new handiwork, rebooted before running /sbin/lilo? If you did not have an entry for an older kernel in lilo.conf, you had a problem. If you would like to know a solution to this problem, read this section.

In many cases, you can boot your Red Hat Linux system from the Red Hat Linux boot disk [1] with your root filesystem mounted and ready to go. Here is how to do it:

Enter the following command at the boot disk's boot: prompt:

linux single root=/dev/hdXX initrd=

Replace the XX in /dev/hdXX with the appropriate letter and number for your root partition.

What does this command do? First, it starts the boot process in single-user mode, with the root partition set to your root partition. The empty initrd specification bypasses the installation-related image on the boot disk, which will cause you to enter single-user mode immediately.

Is there a negative side to using this technique? Unfortunately, yes. Because the kernel on the Red Hat Linux boot disk only has support for IDE built-in, if your system is SCSI-based, you will not be able to do this. In that case, you will have to access rescue mode using the linux rescue command mentioned above.


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