I am new to Linux so bear with me.

I have installed Red Hat 9 and it won't boot up, what I get is:

"kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modprobe -s -k block-major-8, errno =2
VFS: Cannot open root device "sdb5" or 08:15
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel Panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 08:15"

I created a boot disk at installation and that is what I am trying to boot with.
Aso I am using Grub as a boot loader.

If it is needed to be known, I put the "/" and "swap" partitions on an external usb Maxtor hard drive. Also, when I went to install Red Hat, it only recognized the external drive and it didn't recognize the drive that came with the computer.
I have no problems booting to windows xp, it is just Linux that won't start.

If this is an unfixable thing, is there some kind of way I can boot into Linux another way?

Just shooting in the dark here but...
Are you dual booting...
Is Windows on the internal hard drive of the pc?

Have you tried going into cmos and disabling the internal hard drive to try and force it to boot to the usb drive with or without the boot disks

I assume that on power up it takes you into windows fine
I would think editing the grub menu to look at the usb drive is what is needed.

I am on a Lilo boot right now...
Look at the floppies you have and see if you can find a grub.lst or something like that

When you get to the grub menu you can enter E for edit and E again to edit each line of the grub menu.

If you could post those others here might be able to see where the problem is..

The Grub.lst should be a simple text file...

Sorry I cant be more help,