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diskless systems forget how to go multiuser?

I've seen the following behavior on a couple of systems I netboot and
run disklessly:

Upon initial boot and mounting the freshly-populated NFS root directory,
all goes well and the machine operates normally.  Even after a few
post-installation tweaks, rebooting the machine goes normally and it
returns to multiuser operation.

Then after a few cycles of this, on some subsequent boot, 'init' takes
a very long time to decide what to do and then behaves as if it had
been told to run in single-user mode (prompt user for shell).  It then
does this for every boot thereafter.

At the single-user shell prompt, one can run 'sh /etc/rc' and have it
launch all the usual services, but it's still effectively in single-
user mode.  'exit'ing the single-user shell, 'init' again takes several
(10+?) seconds and then repeats the single-user shell query.

Even after updating with freshly-built install sets, the machine is
trapped in this state.  (I have not yet restarted from scratch on
either machine I've observed, but perhaps I'll do that soon.)

I first saw this on an -current/i386 machine about a month ago.  More
recently, I saw exactly the same behavior on an evbmips64-el machine
(Lemote Yeeloong).

I have a couple of other -current/i386 and -current/macppc machines that
I run disklessly, but have not booted/updated them in a couple of (in
some cases many) months, so I don't know if this behavior is more
widespread and/or introduced by some changes in the meantime.

I don't have any machines running 6.0-BETA disklessly right now, but
I suppose I should check that too.

Machines booting from local disk appear to have no problems.

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