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I've got an old linux server that failed to boot this morning. It's running Debian stable. I get the following on the console:

LILO 22.8 Loading Linux......................................................................................................................................................... ............

And it just sits there. Any idea what is going on or how I can fix this?

Update: I've tried loading the LinuxOLD config and I get a little further but I then get the following error:

VFS: Cannot open root device "302" or unknown-block(3,2) Please append a correct "root=" boot option Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(3,2)

Update2: I was able to boot my system using RIP Linux. In it's boot menu I chose to boot a specific partition (I chose /dev/hda2 where I have my root fs installed) and it booted no problem. However, if I boot try to boot using LILO that's installed on my hard drive I still have the same issue (even explicitly specifying /dev/hda2 as the root fs like I did with RIP). I looked in my lilo.conf and everything seemed valid. Any ideas what is wrong with my LILO setup? I don't know quite enough about the linux boot process to really diagnose things. I assume I'm using RIP linux's initrd when booting from the CD, so maybe my initrd is somehow messed up?

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3 Answers 3

Looks like it might be a hard disk issue. Use a boot disk (UBCD?) to run disk diagnostics. You could also use a Linux rescue disk to attempt to access the filesystem and verify the configuration.

System was working before, right? If so, have any changes been made to the system recently?

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Your kernel apparently can't find either its initrd, or the root filesystem. If you didn't update your kernel, then most probably your disk or filesystem is hosed. Boot using a live CD to check your root filesystem state.

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Try running LILO with the -v option to get verbose output. This may provide more insight into your problem.

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Thanks for the suggestion. How do I pass that flag to LILO? My only option is to get the LILO boot menu by pressing shift when LILO is starting... –  Jason Apr 22 '10 at 15:10
    
in lilo.conf. verbose=5 gives maximum output. –  fpmurphy1 Apr 22 '10 at 15:29

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