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After a nasty crash, my system keeps crashing during boot. After a little bit of investigation I have discovered that it crashes executing the following function (in /lib/inin/mount_functions):

mount -f -t tmpfs -onosuid,size=5242880,mode=755 tmpfs /lib/init/rw < /dev/null

called from /etc/init.d/mountkernfs.sh.

Can anyone suggest what sort of system corruption might cause this problem?

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Do you have any kind of error message/kernel panic? (I'm assuming this is some kind of Linux you have?) – Mat Dec 30 '11 at 12:13
Is there anything in the kernel logs (usually /var/log/kern.log)? Have you performed a memory test recently? – Gilles Dec 30 '11 at 22:09
Can you run fsck -p against your existing filesystems before it crashes? And, is this in initrd, or is your root filesystem mounted by this point? – penguin359 Jan 5 '12 at 7:15

It this happens before it switches to the real root (i.e., in the initramfs still), you can try booting an older kernel and reinstall the oldest one (to fix the broken instramfs).

If not the above, probably your best bet is to get rescue media (on Fedora, RHEL and clones it is intergrated in the installation DVD, and I thin also in the minimal install isos; I presume other distributions are similar), and fsck(8) your filesystems. Start in runlevel 1 later (add '1' to the kernel line) and take it from there.

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