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I just upgraded an old box from Debian Etch to Lenny, and then from Lenny to Squeeze. Upon getting the system up to Squeeze, I installed the latest 2.6 kernel, linux-image-2.6.32-5-486. When I rebooted the machine, it stopped working.

After GRUB does its magic, I see a message that states "Unpacking initramfs" followed immediately by a screen with the following messages:

[<c106e73d>] ? __generic_file_aio_write+0x263/0x28b
[<c10a2a1b>] ? alloc_inode+0x22/0x5e
[<c106e7b6>] ? generic_file_aio_write+0x51/0x94
[<c1093efb>] ? do_sync_write+0xbf/0x106
[<c1033a48>] ? autoremove_wake_function+0x0/0x2d
[<c10dfa2e>] ? security_file_permission+0xc/0xd
[<c1093e3c>] ? do_sync_write+0x0/0x106
[<c10947fb>] ? vfs_write+0x7e/0xd4
[<c10948e9>] ? sys_write+0x3c/0x63
[<c1369400>] ? do_copy+0xb6/0xeb
[<c1368e88>] ? flush_buffer+0x67/0x86
[<c13813cb>] ? gunzip+0x2aa/0x331
[<c110f8ac>] ? nofill+0x0/0x4
[<c1381121>] ? gunzip+0x0/0x331
[<c136921d>] ? unpack_to_rootfs+0x1f9/0x326
[<c1368e21>] ? flush_buffer+0x0/0x86
[<c1368c7a>] ? error+0x0/0xf
[<c1369a90>] ? populate_rootfs+0x0/0xf3
[<c1369adc>] ? populate_rootfs+0x4c/0xf3
[<c1369a90>] ? populate_rootfs+0x0/0xf3
[<c100113c>] ? do_one_initcall+0x54/0x154
[<c1368224>] ? kernel_init+0xa1/0xec
[<c1368183>] ? kernel_init+0x0/0xec
[<c1003997>] ? kernel_thread_helper+0x7/0x10

(In case it's not obvious, the boot process has been hanging long enough for me to be able to re-type all of that... so it would seem as though this is a permanent issue.)

Any idea what is causing this problem based on the output above? Is there any chance of fixing it?

I'd rather not have to reinstall, as the machine is old enough that it cannot boot from the CD-ROM drive; it can only boot from the hard disk or a floppy disk. The last Debian version that had boot floppies was Etch. I'd really rather not go through the Etch -> Lenny -> Squeeze upgrade process all over again if it can be avoided.

share|improve this question
You seriously retyped that by hand? I think the interesting part of the error is just above it. If it is hanging there for that long you should be able to do shift-pg-up and get the page before. I would recommend taking a photo and uploading rather than typing if you can get a good shot. These thing are always fixable without re-installing, provided we can figure out a boot mechanism. Does it have the facility to boot from anythng at all other than hard disk? – Paul Sep 30 '11 at 6:17
Shift+Page Up does nothing. – Christopher Parker Sep 30 '11 at 12:46
Maybe you will get lucky with alt-sysrq-R before the shift-page-up. What about the boot question - I sense you are considering giving up considering the short response? – Paul Sep 30 '11 at 14:53
I already answered the boot question in my question... last paragraph. – Christopher Parker Oct 1 '11 at 13:16
None of the Magic SysRq key combinations work... – Christopher Parker Oct 1 '11 at 13:24

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