We ran across an interesting problem when using our trusty loadlin boot diskette to boot one of our machines when we had a grub freakout:
Uncompressing Linux... ran out of input data -- System halted_
It turns out that this happens when the kernel is over 1 meg. There are a couple of options. There is an update to Loadlin available here that can handle larger kernels. There is also an alternative loader called linld. You can get linld here. For information on creating a recovery diskette, see this article, and this article. In our case, the loadlin command changes to:
linld image=vmlinuz cl=root=/dev/hda3
Linld is smaller than loadlin, just a 5826 byte .com file. It handled our piggish 1.1 meg kernel swimmingly.