Here is at least a possibility to consider. Starting with version 9, Fedora started using file systems with 256-byte inodes. It all surfaced last summer
when people discovered that they could not always boot Fedora 9 from the GRUB menus of earlier versions. Anyway, it was a problem with the grub package which was eventually patched starting with grub-0.97-21. So when those people updated the grub package in the old system to a patched version and
also then re-installed its GRUB boot loader, they could then launch F9 from it.
You should check the grub package version in your old system...
If it's earlier than v0.97-21, then yum update it and then re-install the GRUB boot loader with it. If the grub package has already been updated, you still need to re-install the GRUB boot loader with it for it to make any difference for this 256-byte inode issue. If you have the new grub version and know that you have already re-installed the boot loader with it, then this is not the cause of your trouble.
Try booting other Linux systems with chainloader
. They're both "immune" to breakage by kernel updates. And the chainloader command doesn't even care about the 256-byte inode business.