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System keeps dropping into shell.

My original HD with Redhat Linux 9 which came with this
computer has a
big problem as it will 'drop into shell' at Checking root

It said something about fstab but fstab cannot be
repaired/edited. I
cannot do any chmod. vi also said something about swap not
available but
the system seemed to know the dev is used as swap dev.

Also stated something about e2fsck and superblock but I do
not know what
and how to do. What superblock? Important dev seemed to be
mounted when
I checked but when shutdown, it showed not mounted.

/boot, /usr and /var have nothing inside. /home has nothing
inside too.

This happened after I pressed Y when it said 'force ...
check' b'cos

window gets hung (when login as root but ok as other users.
Tried many
times, just let it boot and init by itself) when starting. I
left the
system immediately after entering it. Since then it keeps
dropping into
shell. Didn't know it could cause this. :-(

When did the window first get hung? I was half way preparing
to backup
my system. I was copying files to /mnt/cdrom when many
messages came out
saying not enough space. So I deleted those files from
/mnt/cdrom. Then
the system sort of hung and the trash was shown as a
document. I
couldn't do anything so I power-off it.

Why did the system get hung? I guess the system is not good
or not
stable. I definitely would not use this computer and the OS
as a server.
It's not a very good desktop system too.

Does it rely heavily on RAM? The memory usage is 210MB when
typing this
email and swap available is 376MB! Oh, yes it's Redhat 9,
2.4.20-9 or 2.4.20-9smp, using gnome (oops, don't know what

I do not have a rescue disks (don't know if they were of any
use). Do
not have installation CD of the kernel sub-version. The
sub-version was
given in Errata CD.

What can I do to 'rescue' the HD? Help!

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