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Subjecthang at "bringing up interface lo:"

I am runing RH linux-2.4.7-10 on a Dell Optiplex GX110 box (with 256Mb RAM).
The system worked fine with networking support. I then added a virtual
network driver (similar to to the kernel. (There is
no change made to drivers/net/loopback.c). I compile the kernel in usual
steps (make dep, make clean, make bzImage, make modules, make
modules_install). The compilation works fine. However, when I am booting the
new kernel image, the system hangs at the prompt "bringing up interface
lo:". It does not echo "[OK]".
The system boots fine in single user mode. When I ran
"/etc/rc.d/init.d/network start", it got stuck at "./ifup ifcfg-lo".
Infact, in the ifup script, it is halting at "ip addr add
${BROADCAST:-+} dev ${REALDEVICE} .." called to add adrress for lo. I
checked that it is correctly using IPADDR=

Since the system works fine with old kernel image, I guess the problem is
with the new kernel image. I shall appreciate any pointer on what may go



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