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VFS: cannot open root device

If you’re trying to install gentoo on VMWare (or on any machine with a SCSI-harddrive), you might get the following error after settup up grub and rebooting for the first time:

VFS: cannot open root device "sda3" on unknown-block(0,0) 
Please append a correct "root=" boot option 
Kernel-Panic not syncing: VFS: unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)

If this is the case don’t panic: You forgot to include SCSI-Drive-Support when you compiled the kernel (and VMWare uses such a driver). Just reboot from install-CD again, mount everything, chroot and configure your kernel again, this time loading the SCSI-Drive-Support stuff:

Device Drivers  --->
  Fusion MPT device support  --->
      Fusion MPT (base + ScsiHost) drivers
     OR
      Fusion MPT ScsiHost drivers for SPI [kernel 2.6.13]
Device Drivers  --->
  SCSI device support  --->
      SCSI device support
      SCSI disk support
         SCSI low-level drivers  --->
             SYM53C8XX Version 2 SCSI support
Device Drivers  --->
  SCSI device support  --->
      SCSI device support
        SCSI disk support
           SCSI low-level drivers  --->
               BusLogic SCSI support

(via)

Be sure not to include them as a Module (M), but completely (*). Compile your kernel, reboot and it should be fine.

Addendum: It is also advisable to include doscsi as a boot parameter in your grub config, e.g.

kernel /boot/kernel-3.4.9-gentoo root=/dev/sda3 doscsi
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