Re: kernel has null dereference during boot
OOPS. Forgot to identify the kernel.
This problem occurs with kernels
With kernel 2.2.20 I get the complaint about the invalid number of
physical heads, but not the crash.
It used to work properly before I did the forced reinstall (The machine
was rooted) When it worked, I believe I was using kernel 2.4.16-586.
I would be suspicious that something tried to change the bootloader (e.g. LILO or
GRUB) or the partition table (MBR) on the drive, in a possible (though unlikely)
effort to defeat the cleanup attempt.
First I would save copies of the partition table and bootloader for future forensic
Then I would try the fdisk "p" (print partition table) command to see if it indicates
anything wrong with the partition table. I would also run LILO on the drive with the
-v -v -v -t options to see if it finds anything wrong (or run the equivalent grub
diagnostic). If there are any remaining doubts I would follow up with an appropriate
disk editor to examine the drive more closely.
After locating and identifying any problem(s), I would rewrite the MBR and/or bootloader.