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Re: Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!

On 10/27/06, Phil Meyer <pmeyer themeyerfarm com> wrote:
>> > Thanks, Lonni. Something really funny happens now: it boots, but it
>> > goes to the FC4 partition instead of going to the FC6 one. Grub
>> > activates the partition of FC6 and then mysteriously goes booting the
>> > FC4 partition. What magic is playing on my computer?
>> Check the labels. Probably grub is using the wrong labels to mount the
>> root filesystem (and other filesystems you may have). One way to test is
>> editing the grub entry at boot time (press any key when the grub menu
>> appears, choose the FC6 entry and press "a" to edit the kernel
>> parameters) and replacing root=LABEL=/ by root=/dev/hdaX , so it
>> explicitly points to the device where the FC6 filesystem resides. This
>> way , there's no chance the FC4 partition will be mounted by mistake.
> Excellent guess, Pedro! However, there is still a problem to overcome:
> I cannot boot in the FC6 partition:
> «ERROR opening /dev/console: No such file or directory
> WARNING: can't access (null)
> exec of init ((null)) failed!!!: Bad address
> kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!»
> Any ideas?
Same problem as stated by Pedro.

(In My Opinion)

Running two Fedora partitions on the same hard disk from grub is
difficult to impossible if BOTH sets of partitions receive the same
labels, and that does happen.

Let me explain it a bit.

You will notice in grub text like this: root=LABEL=/
Sometimes you will see: root=LABEL=/1
or: root=LABEL=/2

This is because anaconda is trying to make unique labels, and will try
to increment the counter.  This bit of anaconda does not always work

For example, my laptop got /1 with just a single disk drive, and no
other operating systems loaded.

These same labels are used in /etc/fstab to mount the root and boot

In your case, you probably have both grub and /etc/fstab referring to
the same labels for both versions of Fedora.  Boot from a rescue CD and
examine the grub.conf and fstab for both OSes.  You will find that they
are using the same labels. :(

Thus, when mount is asked to mount a partition whose label is / it sees
two that match and takes the first one it sees.

Recovering from this problem is tricky.  You MIGHT be able to specify
real devices in grub.conf and fstab and make it work.

You MIGHT be able to change the labels (expert only here) for one of the
OSes and change grub.conf for those slices.

Both of these options require some pretty advanced tinkering.

Sorry about that.  For most folks, reinstalling FC6 and hoping anaconda
will do the 'right thing' this time is probably more feasible.

Thanks, Phil! I have just been able to boot in FC6 with the following
grub.conf file:


title FC6
       root (hd0,1)
       kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6 ro
root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
       initrd /initrd-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6.img
title Windows
       rootnoverify (hd0,0)
       chainloader +1


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