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Kernel panic, hit reset button then all's OK

On my older machine, upon the first boot of each day I get

  cannot open /root/dev/console: no such file
  Kernel panic. not syncing: Attempted to kill init!

Then I hit the reset button, and it boots fine.

It seems to have started after I upgraded to linux-image-2.6.29-1-686
A web search lead me to http://moto.debian.org.tw/viewtopic.php?p=29346
suggesting one add DELAY=3 in /etc/mkinitrd/mkinitrd.conf
etc. to slow down the handoff after grub or something.

However it seems that I use initramfs-tools, so I need to know how to do
that with that instead, and hopefully getting not much deeper than

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