[Wolves] Ill Debian

david at codepoets.co.uk david at codepoets.co.uk
Mon Aug 16 20:09:12 BST 2004

Quoting Adam Sweet <drinky76 at yahoo.com>:

> Hi all, I installed a new kernel on my Debian box at
> work and now it won't boot any of the kernels,
> including the default one that came on the
> installation CD.
> I have a boot floppy at home and a Knoppix CD here to
> chroot to /dev/hda1 to do some rescue work if someone
> can tell me what went wrong and how I can save it.
> The error is:
> VFS: Cannot open root device "301" or unknown-block
> (3,1)
> Please append a correct "root=" boot option
> Kernel Panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on
> unknown-block (3,1)

Does the new kernel have support for the hardware (e.g. ide controller etc).?
Does the new kernel have support for the root filesystem built in? If not then
you'll need an appropriate initrd. Alternatively, as the error message says
you've perhaps moved the hard disk to a different controller, and the entry in
/etc/lilo.conf (or what ever) is not the same as the physical hardware has....
I had this problem the other day where I'd changed the chassis for a shuttle,
and had plugged the sole hdd into the secondary ide controller... strangely
windows 2000 booted without a problem, but linux didn't like it as it's
bootloader was looking for /dev/hda when it was infact /dev/hdc.. hence the
message above.

[/end rambling]


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