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Old 07-06-2002, 03:08 PM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2002
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kernel hangs/loops when booting

I'm using a Dell Latitude LM (P90, circa 1996), and trying to make ZipSlack 8.1 work. The floppy drive is sketchy at best, so I copied the files directly onto the hard drive. When I was copying the files, I had trouble copying the driectories in
so I just made the directories, left them empty, and hoped for the best.

Following the instructions in the readme.1st file, I restarted in ms-dos mode, went to the \linux directory, and ran "linux". When the kernel is loading, I get the following lines:

INIT: version 2.84 booting
INIT: cannot execute "etc/rc.d/rc.S"
INIT: Entering runlevel: 3
INIT: cannot execute "etc/rc.d/rc.M"

I get MANY lines saying:
INIT: cannot execute "/sbin/agetty"

INIT: ID "x" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
(where x={c1,c2,c3,c4,c5,c6})

These two lines (with different ID's in the respawning line) just keep on coming (after 5 minutes, of course). I'm using the default inittab that ZipSlack came with. Those entries set up agetty for the 6 virtual consoles. inittab says that these are used for multi-user mode, so it seems that maybe if I were able to boot in single-user mode I could avoid these problems. However, a) I don't know how to boot this in single-user mode, b) I would like multi-user mode available, and c) this is frustrating and I want to figure it out.

Any ideas? My floppy drive is on the fritz, so a boot floppy isn't an option (and I don't even know if that would work).
Old 07-06-2002, 09:41 PM   #2
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Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Northern VA, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
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I will try to provide a solution the best that I can. Perhaps someone else here has more experience with ZipSlack than I do.

First, ZipSlack 8.1 is 37.5 MBytes or 28 floppy disk images compressed. So I am not sure about what exactly you mean by simply copying from the diskette certain files and subdirectories.

It does sounds like you are booting a kernel and the Init system is starting. But the root file system either cannot locate or execute the startup scripts. I would think the most likely is corruption. I would suggest that you start over and download the file (37.5 MBytes) directly to the hard disk and unzip it. No floppy drive would be required.

But check the following items in any case.

Depending on how you decompressed the files, they needed to be handle with the complete directory structure. I think the DOS pkzip version required the "-d" option to be specified. Make sure you have directories like bin, etc, dev, usr with files and more directories below them. The rc.M and rc.S scripts are in the etc/rc.d directory I believe under the \linux directory. That is where init will look for them.

Edit the linux.bat file to verify that the proper root file system is being used. If your drive C:, then I would think it to be /dev/hda1 for the first IDE hard disk on the first partition. The first line of the IDE examples. Remove the "rem" statement in front of the line and be sure to "rem" out the /dev/sda4 line.

If it stills has problems then check your config.sys and autoexec.bat, you could try to rename them to something else. You didn't state what version DOS or Windows you were running or much RAM was installed so I am unable to comment on them.

Good luck!
Old 07-06-2002, 10:28 PM   #3
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I'm running Win95 on the computer I'm trying to make ZipSlack work on. I have 16M RAM.

To get ZipSlack, I did this: ftp'ed from, extracted, which created a directory "linux", and I burned that whole directory to a CD-R. I then went to the computer I'm now using, stuck in the CD-R, and copied the "linux" directory in the root directory of my c:\ drive (per the instructions in the readme.1st file). The only problems I had in copying the files were those directories mentioned in my first post.

What's confusing is that init is complaining about /etc/rc.d/rc.S and /etc/rc.d/rc.M, which seem to be intact. I browsed through them and they look fine. I mean, how can they be corrupted if I can read them?

Of course, maybe init itself is corrupted. That's one's binary, so if it were corrupted I'd never know it. But then again, init was the one that gave me those messages saying that it couldn't load rc.S or rc.M

Maybe I should just wait for the CD to be available at I was just hoping to do this sooner...
Old 07-06-2002, 11:29 PM   #4
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So where is the floppy drive used in the process you described?

Anyway, why not burn the Zip file to the CDR instead of the directory tree. Or did you include it on the CDR to begin with all the other stuff? Copy the zip file to the hard disk an unzip it.

I know I have had problems in the past with copying from CD's under Windows with the Read-Only attribute being set. Maybe that is causing a problem here.

It may also be because the burn was to a CDR (ISO9660) probably under DOS/WIN machine the file names may have all been in uppercase or something that the init system can't find it. Don't know, but I would think that extracting the zip file directly would correct it. Just delete the old linux tree first ( deltree c:\linux ).

The Win95 shouldn't be a problem, just check the config and autoexec. Also, 16 MByte RAM should be OK I would think. I don't know how you could setup swap without a partition for it though.

Old 07-08-2002, 11:38 PM   #5
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Registered: Jul 2002
Distribution: None as of right now... trying to use ZipSlack
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Finally, someone else who uses ZipSlack!

/sbin/agetty: error while loading shared open shared object file: no such file or directory
INIT: Id "c4" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
INIT:no more processes left in the run level

This message changes with some different options.

From what I understand, someone installed Slackware on their computer, then zipped it up. Something must have been wrong with their installation.

I am not going to re-download any distros of Linux, and I can't find Linux at any stores. I wouldn't mind a fix to this problem, or maybe that one file. I sent them an E-mail about the problem, and that was 2 weeks ago.
Old 07-09-2002, 07:06 PM   #6
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Location: Canada
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Why not install linux on its own partition. The results are much more usable.
Old 07-12-2002, 12:39 AM   #7
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Central US
Distribution: Libranet 1.9.1 & 2.0, tinyX (2dskxwin) & WinLinux 2001
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DOS/Win95 cannot read all the files on the CD. Because they have a filename that doesnt match its naming convention ! (read - to long or inappropriate symbols) . I have run into this before also (files/folders cannot be seen from dos or "...dont exist"). Burn another copy this time dont unzip it.
Copy the *.zip to the cd and unzip it locally to the machine you intend to install it in. As mentioned earlier by Excalibur.
This way the filenames dont have to be less than a certain # of characters to be read.

Linux is still Linux regardless of the filesystem used. After you get your feet wet with it, you will be ready to take better advantage of the Native Linux filesystems.


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