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SubjectCan't mount USB partition as root

I tried to boot Linux 2.6.0 kernel with option root=/dev/sda1 using Grub.
The kernel otherwise works, mounts the sda1 partition (XFS) OK.
When I boot the kernel with root=/dev/sda1 instead of root=/dev/hda4,
I get "can't mount root VFS, kernel panic" or something like that.

Is it possible to boot kernel with root from /dev/sda1 (USB)?
partition table: whole /dev/sda is one partition (sda1), type 83 (Linux).
Tried also switching on and off hotplugging in kernel and it didn't help.

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