I think this is the key:

> However, I then get an error message that the "root file system has
> wrong ufs type, default is ufs_old" and cannot be mounted. The final
> line is "Kernel panic: cannot mount root FS on 01:00".

The disk drive already has another filesystem on it. Linux cannot
mount this particular filesystem. Since you have to erase and replace
data on this disk anyway, I suggest you fdisk this disk and set it to
an MSDOS filesystem, then reset it to ext2 or ext3. The MS-DOS step
will erase "volume label" data in the first track/cylinder.

A typical Linux partitioning arrangement is much different from OSF/1
or Digital Unix---usually you have a small /boot partition of 20 to
100MB containing a kernel, which is particular to Linux. Other
partitions such as / (root), /usr, /var, will then follow in various
combinations. This is the biggest difference repartitioning a disk
for Linux from another Unix-like operating system.