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Re: net install , initrd, kernel 2.6.10 install woes

On Wednesday 02 February 2005 23:43, J.F.Gratton wrote:
>I'm kinda hoping someone came across the same problem and might be
> able to help me out ...
>I've installed a new system using the netinstall images (Debian-
>Installer rc2.. works real good, congratulations to all
> developpers).
>It comes with kernel Since previously I was using 2.6.10, I
>installed everything, downloaded the kernel tarball and proceeded
> from there tweaking this and that, just like I used to do before.
>Now.... once the kernel installed, the computer starts
> bootstrapping; it loads the kernel in memory, sees my IDE
> controller, my hard drives and then BANG ...
>VFS: Cannot open root device "34b" or unknown-block (3,75)
>Please append a correct "root=" boot option
>Kernel panic  - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on
> unknown- block (3,75).
>At first I thought it was because ext3fs was loaded as a module so I
>compiled it into the kernel; shouldn't matter anyway because it is a
>module with Debian-Installer's kernel To be safe I've put
> it into the kernel as well as my IDE controller module.
>Then I noticed that kervel from debian-installer uses an
> initial RAMDISK (initrd), which I don't use with 2.6.10.
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but 1- initrd are getting obsolete, and 2-
> you use that if you know that some devices wouldn't be usable with
> a "normal" boot sequence, otherwise (ie: say you're using some
> filesystem for / and you need its module before getting on with the
> rest of the boot sequence). For these two reasons I consider the
> use of initrd unappropriate on my system.
>So how do I get unstuck from this ? my system is actually unusable
> as it is, except with that came with Debian-Installer, and
> I don't want to stay stuck with that kernel forever :)
>Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated. I chose to reinstall
> my system with netinst/debian-installer because I thought I could
> do that if less time, and now I've spent almost 16hrs on that :(
>In attachment, if that can help, you'll find my kernel .config ,
> both for and 2.6.10

If you are not using an initrd, then you cannot use labels in 
grub.conf (aka menu.lst), but must specify the '/' partition as 
root=/dev/hdaX where X is the partition number on the disk that is 
the root of '/'  This is on the same line that specifies the vmlinuz 
file, and is supplied to this file as boot time arguments.  You must 
also build all the disk access drivers into the kernel, not as 

Note that this is a seperate specification from the line above the 
vmlinuz-version-etc and its arguments line.  That line is usually 
'root(hd0,0)' which indicates the /boot disk and partition on that 
disk thats used for /boot, this is so that the menu.lst or grub.conf 
can be found IF its not the one its actually reading.  Since most 
use /dev/hda1 for the /boot partition, then that line will always 
read 0,0 for fist drive, first partition on that drive.  If the /boot 
is a dir on /, then I believe those two will match, but I'm not 100% 
on that since I've never not used a /boot partition.  If thats 
incorrect, please, somebody correct me on that point.

>PS: If any of the DD involved in the system's bootstrap reads this,
> I'd like to know why you do use initrd ? If I'm wrong in assuming
> that there's no real gain with it, I'd gladly stand corrected.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
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Copyright 2005 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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