Recovering from a bad initrd image

When Linux is booted by the boot loader, it will first load the kernel image (usually /boot/vmlinuz) into memory, followed by the initial boot ramdisk (usually /boot/initrd). If for some reason the initrd image has been corrupted, booting may fail. The following procedure can be used to re-generate the initrd image.

  1. Make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the optical drive
  2. Insert the OpenSUSE install DVD into the optical drive.
  3. Boot the machine
  4. Select the menu option “Rescue System”
  5. When prompted to login, type “root”
  6. Mount the Linux root partition, typically something like “mount -t ext3 /dev/sda1 /mnt”
  7. If the Linux /boot area is on a separate partition, also mount that into the root partition, f.ex. “mount -t ext3 /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot”
  8. Bind the rescue system’s /dev to the mounted root filesystem with “mount –bind /dev /mnt/dev” – this will make sure all your device nodes are correct
  9. Chroot to the mounted root filesystem with “chroot /mnt”
  10. Mount proc and sys: “mount /proc” and “mount /sys”
  11. Re-generate initrd image with “mkinitrd”
  12. Remove DVD and reboot
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