Your Linux Data Center Experts

This weekend we are at BazCamp, and Roger is working on getting his laptop booting from a USB hard drive, so he doesn't have to mess with his internal hard drive and it's software. The FC4 install works just fine if you do “linux expert”. However, your options are to install the boot loader to /dev/hda (the internal hard drive) or /dev/sda1 (the partition on the USB). He removed his internal hard drive, and then did the install so it would put the MBR on /dev/sda. However, it required a bit more work…

However, the result was a kernel panic because it couldn't find the root file-system. It didn't load any of the modules necessary for USB on the root partition. After some mucking, I found that you had to do the following to get it up.

Boot on the CD/DVD with “linux rescue expert”. Don't enable networking, but do mount the file-systems. Then run the following:

chroot /mnt/sysimage
mount /boot     # His system didn't mount boot for some reason
ls /boot
#  Make note of the version in the initrd file-name
#  For example: /boot/initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.img 
#  is version "2.6.11-1.1369_FC4"
rm /boot/initrd*
mkinitrd --with-usb 2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 /boot/initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.img
umount /boot
exit
exit

At this point it should reboot and boot to the point where it no longer panics when trying to find the root file-system or LVM logical volumes.

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