Failure to mount root partition after major lenny dist-upgrade

2007-01-08 2-minute read

I’ve been very busy the last two months working on the US Social Forum. As a result - I’ve neglected liberace, my laptop. I went a full two months without even running apt-get update. Since liberace is running Lenny, the testing version of Debian, when I finally updating and then ran apt-get dist-upgrade, I had over 300 packages to upgrade, including a kernel upgrade.

I should know better, but in the interest of time I simply pulled them all in together.

When I rebooted, I got an error message:

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

Looking up the screen, I discovered the error message that was causing the problem:

mount: Mounting /dev/hda6 on /root failed: No such device

I was fortunately dropped into an Ash shell, giving me some tools to play with.

I tried:

cat /proc/partitions

And saw all my normal partitions, including /dev/hda6, which is my root partition.

I then tried:

mount /dev/hda6 /root

And I received the message:

mount: Mounting /dev/hda6 on /root failed: Invalid argument

For kicks I tried:

mount -t ext3 /dev/hda6 /root

And presto it worked. I then manually ran:

mount /sys /root/sys mount /proc /root/proc

Since those two commands failed before I was dropped into the ash shell.

Then, I typed:


And liberace booted up without a hitch.

In an effort to trouble shoot, I re-booted liberace (and got the same results). I also tried using previous kernels - also with the same results (so it doesn’t seem to be related to the kernel upgrade).

At one point, after getting dropped into the Ash shell, I tried:

mount -t ext3 /dev/hda6 /root umount /root mount /dev/hda6 /root

And that worked.

Ash doesn’t have fsck, so I re-booted into Recovery Is Possible and ran fsck on /dev/hda6. No problems.

So… I can boot if I run those manually commands. However, I have no idea why the kernel can’t mount the root partition.