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Upgrading kernel on a system that won't boot

I have a system running etch.  I believe it has this kernel installed:

  linux-image-2.6.18-5-k7  2.6.18.dfsg.1-13etch2 

The motherboard failed a few days ago, and I've just got a new
motherboard and cpu.  However, the machine won't boot.

The new cpu is a Core2Duo, but even though the kernel is -k7, that
doesn't seem to be the problem.  Grub finds the kernel and it starts
fine, but it has trouble when trying to mount the real root filesystem.
This filesystem is raid 1 (md), and the kernel can't find either device.

The hard drives are SATA, and the BIOS lets me configure them as Legacy
ATA, RAID or AHCI.  I've tried Legacy ATA and AHCI, and neither works.

A recent live CD is able to see the drives without any trouble, so I
suspect I need a newer kernel.

Finally my question:  can someone explain how to boot from a live CD and
upgrade the kernel I have installed?  Do I just mount the various
filesystems into a subtree, chroot to the root of that subtree, 
adjust sources.list, and do the upgrade?

Secondary question: Will the dependencies allow this without essentially
upgrading to lenny?  Or is there an etch backport of a more recent
kernel?  Or maybe I should just compile one from source for now?

Or is there an alternative, manual way to drop a new pre-compiled kernel
onto the existing system?

Thanks for any help,


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