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Old 01-04-2007, 10:01 AM   #1
ferao
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Does LILO need to access the root partition?


Hi,

I have LILO installed in MBR, then a FAT32 partition with WinXP and an EXT3 root partition with linux. The configuration files for LILO are in /boot, in my EXT3 partition. I don't have a copy of the original MBR saved anywhere.

I need to format my EXT3 partition, but, after this, I need to be able to boot WinXP. So I wonder: Does LILO need to access the linux root partition to boot WinXP? If I simply format my linux root partition, will then LILO be able to boot Windows again?

When I tried a similar thing with GRUB I had problems.

Thanks to all
 
Old 01-04-2007, 11:14 AM   #2
kilgoretrout
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Quote:
Does LILO need to access the linux root partition to boot WinXP?
Short answer - no. The lilo boot selection screen will come up and you should be able to boot windows.

Longer answer - unlike grub, lilo writes all the boot info it needs to the mbr; grub reads this info from its install directory, normally in /boot. That's why if you format your root partition, grub won't be able to find anything referenced in its configuration files in /boot and will refuse to automatically boot whereas lilo will boot fine. However, in grub, you can drop to a command line and enter the boot info you need manually even when its configuration files are gone. You can't do that with lilo if you have a booting problem so in that sense, grub has more flexibility.
 
Old 01-04-2007, 11:42 AM   #3
saikee
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I would pour all my money to bet on Lilo wouldn't boot.

If we destroy the home of a Linux then its boot loader is homesless and there is no kernel to boot to.

What you get from Lilo is a page starting with "L" then full of 99 99 99.

My way of thinking for a cure is

(1) Restore MS MBR (Task B1 & B2 of the last link of my signature refer) so that XP boots itself. This is the easiest.

(2) Make a boot Grub floppy or bootable Grub CD (Task A of the same link refers) and boot XP temporary until a Linux is installed again. If XP is in the first partition it will answer at a Grub prompt by commands
Code:
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
boot
This is a sure fire method because there is no PC system that cannot be booted manually by a Grub prompt. You take the matter iinto you own hand and Grub is a weapon to you against any system that refuses to boot.

(3) Make a small data-only partition and install Grub there to boot XP. It is same effect as (2) but with a resident Grub. (Section C of the second link in the siganture has enough details for this method).

You can forget Lilo as it can't boot systems manually. Lilo cannot exist without a Linux kernel.

Last edited by saikee; 01-04-2007 at 11:44 AM.
 
Old 01-04-2007, 01:30 PM   #4
ferao
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Thank you for the replies.

kilgoretrout's information was precisely what I needed, so, before reading saikee's post, I formatted my linux root partition. And, believe me or not, after this LILO booted WinXP without problems.

Probably saikee is more accostumed with GRUB than with LILO... Anyway his information on how to repair the bootsector will be very useful for me.

Thank you again to everybody.
 
Old 01-04-2007, 01:43 PM   #5
kilgoretrout
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saikee, when will you be sending me all your money?
Once written to the mbr, lilo can exist quite happily without a linux kernel as ferao's experience shows.
 
Old 01-04-2007, 02:29 PM   #6
saikee
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kilgoretrout,

The bad news is I am as poor as a church mouse.

But I do accept defeat as I didn't expect Lilo is small enough to live in the boot sector, as the formatting of the Linux partition will remove the entire Linux fling system. Also I was wrong in thinking of Lilo booting Linux when we are only needing Lilo to boot XP and not using the other booting choice.

To me Lilo is as good as dead as it cannot be amended. However this is also its strength because it is available in a compiled form and can survive alone at run time.

SO I learn something new today.
 
Old 01-04-2007, 03:17 PM   #7
kilgoretrout
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That's OK saikee, I'm sure your rich in spirit and that's the important thing.
 
  


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