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Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, I managed to hookup an 80GB IDE to a very old machine containing a 4-drive SCSI bay in a RAID5 for a total of 24GB usable diskspace.

With sweat pouring down my brows and a sigh of relief that the 80GB IDE HDD was detected, my next greatest challenge was to boot from a CD. Fortunately, I managed to boot from Ultimate Boot CD and used a tool to do a sector-by-sector clone of this server.

Months later, this server died hard with no spare parts available due to its age, lack of value, and lack of financial resources. 8-12 months later, one of the employees is requesting access to a piece of a software called SugarCRM that was on this server as they need to extract data despite being told to do it ahead of time.

Luckily (or not) I have this 80GB IDE HDD with a clone of the server's logical drive. So I make a sector-by-sector backup image using Acronis, and then I try to boot a virtual machine using this physical drive as its primary and only harddrive storage device. I get the following errors:

VFS: Cannot open root device "3003" or 30:03

Please append a correct "root=" boot option

Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 30:03

I also made sure that I used something compatible like 1 physical CPU with 1 vCore, 1GB of RAM (could have done something overkill, but considering the kernel and OS could be old enough, it would be wisest to use small compatible numbers).

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migrated from Oct 4 '12 at 21:59

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

I'm guessing here, but I think the root device name changed. If it was a RAID device, it would not have been /dev/sdaX it would have been some other device file. You could try adding the root= kernel parameter to the grub command line specifying the disk and partition which contains the root file system... guessing /dev/sda1. – Sean C. Oct 1 '12 at 19:05
Do you actually need to boot this machine or would it be sufficient if you can mount the disks to copy the data from it? – Sven Oct 1 '12 at 19:17
I need to boot the machine. – BlueToast Oct 2 '12 at 4:04
Sorry @BlueToast - I can't do anything about the votes on this question, but thanks for the revision, it helps a lot. – Mark Henderson Oct 2 '12 at 4:30
Anybody able to help me? :( I don't know what the root= kernel parameter is or what to do. – BlueToast Oct 4 '12 at 2:13

Is there any particular reason why you need this to be the first and only drive? i.e. do you actually need the original working OS, or do you just need the files on it?

In these situations, I generally boot from another disk or LiveCD so that I can access the entire filesystem on the disk as a separate volume.

If you must boot from it, may I suggest you either take a copy of the virtual disk first, or snapshot it, as you don't want to muck up all your hard work getting the copy in the first place.

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Original working OS, I need to access the system as it once was live - I have no bare hardware to actually use to boot from it. I have to use a StarTech external HDD dock to access it, and I have already made an Acronis sector-by-sector backup image just in case I do much up the drive itself, but it would certainly make it higher performing if I converted the physical drive to a virtual machine and used snapshots. ;o – BlueToast Oct 2 '12 at 4:47

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