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Re: The sad demise of an etch.

On Mon, 2006-10-23 at 12:22 -0400, hendrik@topoi.pooq.com wrote:

> RAMDISK: Conplressed image found at block 0
> input: AT Translated Set 2 keyboard as /calss/input/input0
> invalid argument format (err=1)
> VFS: Cannot open root device "304" or unknown-block(3, 4)
> Pleas append a correct "root=" boot option
> Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 
> unknown-block(3, 4)

did you do any debugging in linuxrc on your initrd (such as echoing the
module name and value of $? as each was loaded, in particular anything
needed to access disks?)

You mentioned a udev upgrade, but not much about the disks / chipset.

> I am tempted to pronounce this etch installation dead and reinstall from 
> scratch.

Understandable. You have to take the shortest route to making your phone
stop ringing, but this would be a cool problem to pronounce fixed .. if
you can give it just a bit more effort? I'll propose a quick fix to make
the world happy below.

> I'm also reluctant to do this, becase of Debian's reputation 
> as being the system that never needs to be reinstalled.  Sarge, of 
> course, continues to soldier on without any problems at all (except for 
> application obsolescence -- but that's spec)

I think you ran into a bad case of Murphy's law. Can't speculate too
much without playing with your system which isn't very possible :)

> Or should I do something radical to get current software, such as 
> installing gentoo on the former etch partition?

I've had really good luck using AoE in my initrd's to boot off of all
kinds of goodies on a make shift nas to make userland a happy world
again, which may plug the crack in the dam for you while you figure this
one out.

My little nas has a few varaities of Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora as well as
slack and other stuff. I pieced it together to make a more versatile

While this doesn't fix your etch problem, it fixes the problem of people
being able to work.

here's a snip (from memory) from my linuxrc

modprobe e1000
while [ "$?" = 0 ]; do
	ifconfig eth${i} up
	let "i += 1"

modprobe aoe
echo 1 > /dev/etherd/discover
sleep 5

.... and later


aoeping -s 10 $major $minor
case "$?" in
		(code to continue boot and pivot_root)
		(this means /dev/etherd/ex.x (boot part) is there)
		(continue loading modules and go)
		(endless loop that says AoE bombed)
		(or re-define $root to be the sarge partition)

You'll just need to copy some aoe-tools to the initrd, this assumes the
AoE network containing the images can be found on eth0, but I brought
all nics up for future convenience. I'm typing more from memory, if you
want a copy of my linuxrc I'll send it along when I get back to the
office this weekend coming.

pass root=/dev/etherd/eX.Y (aoe major/minor) just as you'd specify
root=/dev/sda1 (etc). take hd x, y out of grub for that instance.

They can have whatever OS they want, you can keep plugging away at
whatever you want .. everyone is happy :) Maybe you could find an old p4
with a 40 gig drive to throw at it? 

When you get etch re-stabilized they can come back to the local boot
partitions. Hate to see you ditch Debian altogether, but understand your


> -- hendrik

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