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Re: Debian won't boot

Vwaju wrote:

> For months, I have been booting Debian 3.1 every day and experimenting
> with networking tools.  Today I didn't do much except read man pages,
> and I'm not aware of doing anything to change any configuration, but
> when I rebooted my computer it stalled out at
> INIT: Entering runlevel 2
> After it hangs here, it starts printing out messages of the form:
> Out of Memory: Killed process 2253 (sysklogd)
> If I scroll back on the monitor, there are a number of messages like
> this:
> modprobe: FATAL: Error inserting pciehp
> modprobe: FATAL: Error inserting shpchp
> modprobe: FATAL: Error inserting hw_random
> modprobe: FATAL: Error inserting rtc
>  What is going on here?
>  ...

I have been running Debian testing for years, upgrading regularly and
rebooting very seldom.  Two days ago I rebooted for the first time in a
long while, and it failed with Out of Memory messages.  It proceeded to
kill processes until it killed everything but init, and then just
scrolled error messages until I had to pull the plug.

There were two different stock kernels installed, and the behavior was
exactly the same for both of them.

I tried booting from an OpenCD disk, which is a live Ubuntu system.  There
were no errors reported, and hardware detection and initialization all
seemed to go well.  But when it got starting up X, all I got was a brown
screen with a cursor, no menus, no response to the keyboard, and no way
to do anything (but pull the plug again).

The machine is now in the shop.  Because of failing with two different
kernels and the live CD, I guessed it was probably a hardware rather than
a software problem.  Now the shop has tested memory and disk and found no
problems.  They are Windows people and know very little about Linux. 
They don't know what to try next, and neither do I.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts about what may be going wrong, or
suggestions of things to try.  (I'm sending this from a very similar
machine which I don't dare reboot!)

TIA   cgm

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