Panic@08:02

When I launch Linux, I get all the decompressed files and at the end, the last two lines read...
VFS:cannot open Root device 08:02
Kernal panic: VFS unable to mount root fs on 08:02
Could someone please help to get Linux up and running?
Thanks.
I am running a Dell PII400mhz. I don't believe I have a scsi disk. I am trying to load "The Complete Linux".When I type "rescue" i get an-0x10 error. I guess I must have missed some config settings. Any Ideas?
Octane27Asked:
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gruseCommented:
The error message tells you that the kernel searches for its root filesystem on the first SCSI disk, second primary partition. If it's not there, it can't mount it.

Tell us more about your system and the Linux distribution you want to install. In particular, tell us the drive layout of your system: SCSI or EIDE disks? If SCSI, which controller? The output of "fdisk -l" (if you get any rescue linux system to run) might be useful too.
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Octane27Author Commented:
Edited text of question.
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gruseCommented:
Did you do a install, and the freshly installed Linux doesn't work, or does this error occur after running Linux for a while?

"The complete Linux" is a Mandrake Linux sold by McMillan as an add-on to the book, isn't it?

If you didn't have a running Linux before, try a re-install. This time, you should choose to do a custom install. Then you get to partition your disks for yourself. If the disks displayed have names as hda or hdb, they are EIDE disks. If you see disk names sda or sdb, you have a SCSI system. Check them first if there are already partitions of type "Linux native" and "Linux swap". If they are there, you don't have to change your partitions and use these instead.

Beware: You should do a *complete* backup of your system before you do anything like that! In fact, you should already have that backup if you tried to install Linux in the first place. That is not about "Linux is hard to install", but about common sense.
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Octane27Author Commented:
I have disk names hda so I have EIDE disks. I thought that the complete linux is a complete system?
I have sone a complete re-install and chose custom install. I have both linux swap and native and I have set up the mount point for native with a "/" for root. I still get the kernal panic?
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gruseCommented:
I can only suggest a misconfiguration in /etc/lilo.conf, an configuration file for the bootload LILO. Try this:
Boot your computer. When it says LILO, type a Shift-Key. You should get a "boot:" prompt. Press the Tab key. YOu should see the names of the operating systems LILO can start. One should be "linux" or something like that. Then enter "linux root=/dev/hdxx", where you substitute xx with the partition you installed Linux on. (If /dev/hda6 is your Linux native partition, you'd have to use "linux root=/dev/hda6".) This forces Linux to use that partition as root filesystem. The system should come up now.

If it does B^), tell me so. Then I'll tell you what to do about /etc/lilo.conf. Bye 'till then...
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gruseCommented:
I can only suggest a misconfiguration in /etc/lilo.conf, an configuration file for the bootload LILO. Try this:
Boot your computer. When it says LILO, type a Shift-Key. You should get a "boot:" prompt. Press the Tab key. YOu should see the names of the operating systems LILO can start. One should be "linux" or something like that. Then enter "linux root=/dev/hdxx", where you substitute xx with the partition you installed Linux on. (If /dev/hda6 is your Linux native partition, you'd have to use "linux root=/dev/hda6".) This forces Linux to use that partition as root filesystem. The system should come up now.

If it does B^), tell me so. Then I'll tell you what to do about /etc/lilo.conf. Bye 'till then...
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dbenfellCommented:
Pray that it's nothing worse than a screwed up lilo configuration.  The alternatives are far worse and probably will mean lost data.

Were there any other error messages attached to the unable to root mount filesystem error?

You'll probably have to use a rescue disk to get around a messed up lilo configuration.  If you have an installation CD-ROM, boot off of that and then go to an alternate console (CTRL-ALT-F2 but check them all from F1 through F6) for a root prompt.  If you don't have an installation CD-ROM, get Tom's Root Boot (search for it under google.com).

Once you get the system booted, try the "fdisk -l" as originally suggested.  This will print out the partition table.

You should see at least one Linux partition and at least one Linux swap partition.  We aren't worried about the swap partition.  But we do need to figure out which of the other Linux partitions is your root partition.

To do this, look for the /etc directory.  This directory must be in the root partition.  It will be necessary to mount each Linux partition listed in the "fdisk -l" under /mnt.

For example:

mkdir /mnt/hda1
mount /dev/hda1 -t ext2 /mnt/hda1
ls /mnt/hda1/etc

If this succeeds, you've found the root partition.  For the rest of these instructions, I'm assuming hda1 is the root partition -- you should substitute appropriately.  Look at /mnt/hda1/etc/fstab to see if it's sensible.  You should see an entry for each disk partition to mounted normally plus, perhaps, some marked NOAUTO so they won't get mounted automatically.

Now do the following:

cd /mnt/hda1
chroot .
mount -a

and edit /etc/lilo.conf.  Find the line which says "root=" and change it to read "root=/dev/hda1".  Now do:

/sbin/lilo

This will write the boot record according to the contents of lilo.conf.  Type "exit" to exit the chroot environment.  Now type "sync" to write any pending buffers and "mount" to get a list of mounted partitions.  Unmount them all with a command like:

umount /mnt/hda1

It should now be safe to reboot normally.
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