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Old 05-17-2004, 02:20 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2004
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Distribution: Debian stable on server; Ubuntu Edgy on laptop and at work
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"Kernel panic: no init found..."

Hello! I installed Slackware 8.something a while ago, and have been tinkering with it casually. I don't really know anything about Linux, so I was very confused when I turned the machine on a couple weeks ago and got several error messages. They were after it had successfully mounted IP, TCP, NET4 and VFS. After "Freeing up unused kernel memory: 228k freed", there were three or four messages which were mostly "Kernel panic: " followed by (seemingly) random sets of numbers, and then:
"Kernel panic: no init found. Try passing init= option to kernel."

I looked around online, and most of the relevant information echoed an article on LinuxQuestons entitled "what does "try passing init=\ option to kernel" mean?" (it won't let me post a URL), but the machine doesn't finish booting, so I don't have any idea how I might follow the advice given. I can't get it to shut down or anything. I just pull the plug for lack of a better idea. In searching the internet, I think it might be bad memory, but even if I knew for sure, I don't have any idea how I might go about fixing it.

Before getting the error message, I was trying to network the Linux box with the Windows boxes. I altered a config file (you probably want to know which one, but I've forgotten. Go me! It was a program file, not anything pertaining to the kernel, something.rc I think), then decided I didn't know what I was doing and put the file back as I'd found it. So I don't think that has anything to do with this problem, but I mention it because it's always possible I uncommented the wrong thing, or otherwise did not return the file to its proper state.

If anybody out there has any idea of what I should do, I could really use the help. As you probably guessed, I am extremely inept in this area, so please bear with me. I have the seemingly random numbers written down elsewhere, and I can post them if you like. and I appreciate any insight anyone could provide. Thanks!
Old 05-17-2004, 11:49 AM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Munich
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I think the best you could do is to boot from a CD-Linux (like KNOPPIX or any other Live-CD), mount your HDD and undo the changes.

This would require the follwing steps:

- download and burn KNOPPIX
- boot knoppix
- open the root-console
- make new folder (eg. mkdir /rescue)
- mount your root-fs on that mountpoint (mount -t fstype /dev/hdxy /rescue)
- chroot /rescue

I have not used these steps recently, so maybe something is missing, but now you should have access to your old system...but if you do not remember the changes you have made it will be difficult.

Good luck!
Old 05-22-2004, 05:10 AM   #3
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Distribution: Debian stable on server; Ubuntu Edgy on laptop and at work
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Thank you for your prompt reply!

I burned the Knoppix CD, and it said something indicating it was going to boot from the CD, but then proceeded to load Slackware with the usual error messages. I tried it on some Windows machines, but had even less success, even after chaning the boot sequence. I'm hoping to aquire a Knoppix CD that is known to work properly and try it with that, but in the mean time, I just thought I would thank you for your reply! I'm sure it will prove very helpful once I get past this stumbling block.


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