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Re: How to handle "problems checking root device"?

Bart Warmerdam <bartw@xs4all.nl> writes:

>   Hi all,
>   Can anyone help me on an installation problem on a 164SX?
>   I downloaded the resc and root disks from the Debian site. As
>   stated earlier (noticed problems with setup Falk) I downloaded the
>   sx164 kernel from RH5.0 and replaced the resc kernel with that
>   one.
>   Steps 1-3 go as described, but in step 4 of the README, my setup
>   stops. This means:
>   * Boot OK
>   * Root OK
>   * Then the installation should start, but instead, I get a dialog
>   "Problem" with the following msg:
>     "I had trouble checking the choice of root device. I don't know
>     what to use as the root fs"
>   entered at the milo prompt: boot fd0:linux root=/dev/fd0 rw \
>   ramdisk_size=5120 load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=1

We (Falk and me) couldn't get the diskdrive to read the root.bin (even
with the redhat kernel). It would stop there and removing the disk
would cause an read error on Sector 0 (so no sectors had been read in

We had the disk partitioned beforehand (because the stupid bios won't
let you select a boot device without a 50 MB FAT partition and thus we 
created all of them via the bios). We took out the disk and placed in
in another Linux system and did the folowing:

dd if=<alpha-disks>/root.bin | gunzip | \
dd of=/dev/<swap partition for the alpha>

After that we put the disk back into the alpha and used the following
boot options:

MILO> boot fd0:linux root=/dev/<swap partition> rw

>   The root floppy (in the drive when the check is being done) is
>   indead a non-readable format (no MSDOS, ext2 or minix). Doesn't
>   the root device be something like /dev/ram or /dev/hda or /dev/sda

The root.bin is actually a root.bin.gz and the kernel uncompresses it
while loading.

>   My drive is not yet partitioned. So there is no filesystem on
>   there.  On other virtual terminals the system is "useable", but I
>   like to install packages of course :)

Did you see the "Select Color or Monochrom" screen?
If so, its a problem with the dinstall script and not milo, kernel or
hardware. Maybe fdisk couldn't be run or crashed due to the lack of

Can you start "cfdisk" or "fdisk" on another console?
If you can, partition the harddisk and try again.

>   Can anyone give me a pointer where to start?

I hope that helps.

May the Source be with you.

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