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Kernel panic: initramfs problem?

Hi folks,

I have to compile a vanilla kernel 2.6.25 to access a new wireless
module and keep things as small as possible on this old laptop.

So far so good. Everything compiles and all but I can't reboot
with the new kernel. Everything is fine using the stock
kernel but the new one - no joy.

Google reveals plenty of similar error messages - but no 
solutions. Might it be some sort of mount or ramdisk problem?

Here's the output from the last boot screen:

Begin: running /scripts/local-premount
kinit: name_to_dev_t(/dev/hda5) = (dev3,5)
kinit: trying to resume from /dev/hda5 [aka swap, hda1 is /]
PM: starting manual resume from /dev/hda5
kinit: no resume image, doing normal boot
resume: libcrypt version 1.2.3
resume: could not read the image
ReiserFS: hda1: found ReiserFS format "3.6" with standard journal
ReiserFS: hda1: using ordered Data mode
ReiserFS: hda1: journal params: device hda1, size 8192, journal \
	first block 18, max. trans len 1024, max. batch 900, max. \
  	committ age 30, max. trans. age 30
ReiserFS: checking transactions log (hda1)
ReiserFS: using r5 hash to sort names
Begin: Running /scripts/local-bottom
Begin: Running /scripts/init-bottom
mount: mounting /dev on /root/dev failed: Invalid argument
run-init: making initramfs contents: Directory not empty
kernel-panic: not syncing : attempted to kill init!

Can anyone be of help diagnosing this problem. Any pointers 
links or suggestions as to the cause much appreciated. 



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