From Bob Miller on Thu, 04 Feb 1999
This sounds more like the kernel is being told to use the wrong partition for root than a package problem.
That would be in the category of "There's no /dev/ directory with the proper tty* nodes available."
Either of these would cause the problem. As I recall I recommended booting from floppy, checking the filesystem that he was trying to mount as root. If that is inconsistent with his kernel's 'rdev' or his /etc/lilo.conf parameters --- it would explain the problem
Another, more convoluted possibility is that he has a problem with his 'initrd' image (if he's using an initial RAMDisk to store and load some of his critical device drivers).
Hopefully he's worked it out. I realize my response might not have been all that clear. Sometimes I have to beat it back and forth with a correspondent a couple of times before I "get it" --- sometimes that has more to do with sleep deprivation than with technical background or communications failures.