[kwlug-disc] kernel-upgraded etch system won't boot with new 2.6 kernel

Robert P. J. Day rpjday at crashcourse.ca
Thu Aug 20 13:23:40 EDT 2009

   another minor inconvenience, given that i can always boot to the  
earlier, working kernel.

   the scenario -- a fully-upgraded debian etch system, to which i've  
applied the subsequent upgrade of the original 2.4 kernel to a 2.6  
kernel, as documented here:


(the system was upgraded to etch while still running on the earlier  
2.4.27 kernel, the upgrade was done afterwards.)

   at this point, trying to boot to the newer 2.6.18 kernel gives me,  
well, this:


look down to the bottom of the output, it's exactly what i'm getting:


Begin: Running /scripts/init-bottom ...
mount: Mounting /root/dev on /dev/.static/dev failed: No such file or  
mount: Mounting /sys on /root/sys failed: No such file or directory
mount: Mounting /proc on /root/proc failed: No such file or directory
Target filesystem doesn't have /sbin/init

BusyBox v1.01 (Debian 1:1.01-4) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
/ #


   this is a fairly simple system: P4, no RAID, no LVM, single big  
root filesystem on /dev/sda1, etc.  google shows me that *lots* of  
folks have asked about that boot error over the years, and everyone  
has different advice.

   some people have suggested that that version of initramfs-tools is  
broken, and i should rebuild my initrd image with "yaird."  i'm  
thinking also that the disk naming conventions from 2.4 to 2.6  
changed, in that what used to be /dev/sda is, what, /dev/hda now?   
could it be that simple so that a quick tweak to the grub conf file is  
all i need?

   thoughts?  i'm sure it's a simple fix, everything else looks like  
it's in the right places.


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