a friend of mine donated me a laptop recently, which he didn't want because it was almost completely broken. The harddrive controller as well as the dvd drive both don't work, but I fixed all the other problems though... I then wanted to get a simple linux system working on it, just to try out if it works.

Well, I'll get to the point now. I chose to make two system floppys, one for boot/kernel and one with a compressed filesystem on it to load into RAM. I compiled a linux kernel ( because it was included on the bootcd I created the disks with) including initrd and ramdrive support. Then I put the kernel on a newly formated ext2 floppy and installed grub on it.

I then created an initrd archieve using a zero'd out hard disk partition, putting a standard folder hierarchy and all needed devs/bins/sbins/configs on it and gzipping the whole filesystem. I copied that on a second ext2fs floppy.

When grub has loaded, I type
grub> kernel (fd0)/kernel root=/dev/ram0 init=/bin/sh ramdisk=16384
Then I switch the floppys and
grub> initrd (fd0)/initrd 
grub> boot
Grub loads the files correctly and boots the kernel.
The kernel mounts the ramdisk as root, recognizes an ext2 filesystem but then says it wouldn't find any init because whatever initfile i pass to if when loading, it doesn't seem to exist on the ramdisk.

I thought the problem was that the kernel didn't want to read a compressed filesystem (ramdisk says it found a compressed filesystem on block 0) but as i used
 kernel (fd0)/kernel root=/dev/fd0 init=/bin/sh ramdisk=16384
and inserted an empty floppy with ext2fs, the kernel also told me it wasn't able to initialize any console - which would be a hint that it did indeed find /dev/console on the ramdisk before.

I also tried dd'ing the initrd archieve on a floppy directly, using the ramdisk flags in the kernel to tell it to load rootfs from the second floppy, but that didn't work, either, although the kernel found an image file and uncompressed it.

Can someone help me?