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svar 10-30-2004 03:08 PM

LILO on system with BIOS boot options C,A,CDROM
I am installing SLAC on a system with hda =windows and hdc having a windws partition hdc1 and a swap, boot and root linux partions, root in /dev/hdc4

(hdb is for CDROM)
anyway, SLAC had a recommended option install on root , floppy or MBR, which it warned was not safe. But since this was an old PC with a presumably old BIOS, how do I tell BIOS
to boot from LILO, which is on hdc?

Joe Nayares 10-30-2004 07:36 PM

Usually as you reboot there is an opton to go to bios directly ( on my computer I press "delete" as it boots up)
Once in the bios setup select boot order such as :
floppy disk
Ide2 master, etc.

jschiwal 10-30-2004 10:48 PM

Which windows do you have. If it is win98, then make a windows rescue disk in case something happen and you need the old MBR back and then put Lilo on the MBR. Also create a linux rescue disk, or use the first install disk if you develop a problem.

I you can't load windows after doing this you just need to boot up with the rescue floppy and run the command FDISK /MBR. Problems seem to be had with Windows XP however.

svar 10-31-2004 12:58 AM

Right now I guess I really need to put LILO on MBR, I see no other way out

jschiwal:windows is 98. Have you tried this with problems on 98 or just XP?
Joe: the problem is that (probably becuase the bios is old) there is a set of bios boot combinations and I do not seem to be able to change them, i.e. page up/down has the following choices
there is nowhere a
D,A,.... choice which I guess is what I need, as LILO is on the
second hd.

Joe Nayares 10-31-2004 03:03 AM

Looks like your best bet is to go with the one that starts with "C" Later on you can change it back to start normally.

svar 10-31-2004 04:27 AM

Thanks, but not sure I understand:
C ( I guess this means windows C) is hda, which is all windows
hdc has both a windows (hdc1) and linux partitions. If root is in
/dev/hdc4, how does specifying C help me boot linux?
C will search the hda diska nd boot windows without going thru LILO, no??

n0xvb 10-31-2004 04:32 AM

No unfortunately you need something to start the Linux boot process. Lilo works very well. I have Win XP and Slackware 10.0 each residing on a different drive (windows on /dev/hde1 - still the C drive and Linux on /dev/hdf1). I ran liloconfig and chose the expert option, that way I could specify delay time to boot an OS and the order in which they show up. The LILO code is put on the MBR and that works fine.

As far as your BIOS setting, I would put A,CDROM,C if you have that option. Your computer will attempt to boot in that order and boot the first available.

Joe Nayares 10-31-2004 02:40 PM

Sorry for confusing you what I meant was choose the option
this will make your system try first all the options on drive hdc where lilo is installed
then when you get going again you can change the lilo.conf file to suit your needs
(don't forget torun lilo again)

svar 11-01-2004 12:38 AM

Thanks, one last question then: How do I make a windows rescue disk in case something goes wrong?(win 98)

Joe Nayares 11-01-2004 01:49 AM

A good place for that is ""

michaelk 11-01-2004 07:07 AM

You can create an emergency disk by going to the
system -> Add/Remove programs -> startup disk tab
Download a 98 boot disk from

jschiwal 11-01-2004 07:47 AM

You don't want to change the boot order. Leave it at A,CDROM,C.

The install put lilo ( Actually the 240 byte bootstrap loader ) on the MBR. A lilo menu will let you choose between Linux or Windows.

Reinstalling windows will replace the MBR so you need to produce a linux boot disk, just in case. Unfortunately there is a bit of a snag. If you have a 2.6 kernel, or a 2.4 kernel with several modules compiled in, the compressed kernel will not fit on a floppy.
There are two solutions to this.
1) Installing Lilo on a floppy
2) Producing a Boot or Rescue CD. I don't know which command slackware uses.
On redhat, you use 'mkbootdisk --iso'
On mandrake there isn't an --iso option, but another script 'mkrescue --iso' produces a cd image file you can use to boot up from the hard-drive.

You will need to check the manpage for 'mkbootdisk' to find out for sure. These programs are both scripts, written for the particular distribution.

You need to produce a new boot disk if you change the partitioning.

One thing that can go wrong is if one of the stanzas in the /etc/lilo.conf file is wrong, or if a partition is missing. Then Lilo will fail. When that happens, the MBR is not updated.

Relax though. I've always had luck with Windows 98/Linux dual boot installs. Sometimes XP on desktops have a problem though.

svar 11-01-2004 08:30 AM

Thanks. Well this is not actually my computer(since it had win98 on it)
and I actually was asked to install linux in addition to 98, so I don;t wast anything to go wrong. I always installed on MBR, but slac says this is very unsafe. I can install on MBR as far as linux goes(I have the
boot floppies made), but what if this messes up Win98?
This is my concern and I want to have a win98 rescue or something

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