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Kernel Panic - not syncing VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown block

Kernel Panic Error - not syncing VFS

If you see a textual message similar to the following on your screen at boot time:

1.068464 Panic - not syncing VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown block (0,0)
1.068499 Pid: 1 comm:swapper Not tainted 2.6.35-27-generic #48-Ubuntu
1.068530 Call Trace
     ?printk+0x2d/0x32
     panic+0x5a/0xd4
     mount-block-root+0x249/0x26c
     ?T.763+0x2e/0x40
     handle-initrd+0x48/0x2ee
     initrd-load+0x44/0x5b
     prepare-namespace+0xc3/0x192
     ?sys-access+0x25/0x30
     kernel-init+0x0/0x198
     ?kernel-init+0x0/0x198
     kernel-thread-helper+0x6/0x10

Then the solution is to update to the latest Linux kernel using the following:

  • Firstly, you need to get to a command line window. When we have experienced this error, it seems to occur every other boot - so a reboot works until the next time the PC boots. If this is not the case, try booting to a recovery console - or an older version of Linux - via the grub boot menu

  • Execute the following command to make sure your patch database is current:

    $ sudo apt-get update
  • Execute the following command to update the Linux kernel:

    $ sudo apt-get install linux-image-2.6.35-27-generic
  • Execute the following command to update the grub boot loader:

    $ sudo update grub
  • Reboot your machine to pick up the changes:

    $ sudo reboot

References and Further Reading:


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