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Old 12-22-2005, 02:05 AM   #1
hutyerah
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 39

Rep: Reputation: 16
LILO saga- did work, now doesn't


To make sure I get everything relevant here, it's gonna end up a long story. So here we go:

I had Slackware 10.2 installed, and everything was peachy until I discovered the hard way that reiserfs 3.6 only journals metadata, meaning that when I lost power I lost some data. So I decided to go back to trusty old ext3. To do this, I made some room on my NTFS backup drive using PartitionMagic (this may be important ), formatted an ext3 partition, copied everything over, formatted the original partition, copied it back, changed the fstab entry and then realised I forgot to copy the permissions as well. So now my linux install was permissioned as root, so I thought I may as well reinstall, seeing I still had a backup of all my stuff, even if the permissions were bung.

So I did the whole install, installed lilo to the MBR exactly the same way as I always do, and rebooted, and lo and behold, it printed a single L to the screen. I've tried pretty much everything to try and get lilo working- flashed to an old bios, then to the last non-beta bios (I was using a beta bios, but I'm pretty sure I was using it when I last installed too), tried putting lilo on the superblock, reinstalling again, checked checksums on both disks (which were fine), tried just about everything under the sun by booting off the install disk. Strange thing was, I could still set up a normal MBR using lilo -M /dev/hda mbr, and then boot my windows partition.

I also read some of the lilo man page, and apparently when it just sits there with an L like that I'm supposed to get an error code that will help me out, but nothing like that happens. Just sits there with that damn L.

I've considered that it might be something to do with disk geometry (e.g. (not) using LBA), but that doesn't seem likely as LBA has always been enabled on my drives and bios since I've had them. In addition, if LBA was the problem, it would have been a problem when I made my reiserfs installation, as I was using the same partition scheme. The only difference was that I used PartitionMagic to make the backup ext3 partition in between, and that *shouldn't* change anything.

If I ever get that working, I also want an easy way of determining what I need to install. I reckon the way to do this would be kind of like a directory diff, that went though directories, seeing what files were different, there, or not there, between two inputs (for example, my new linux installation and my backup). So scripts anyone?

Ok so here's my setup.

/proc/partitions
Code:
major minor  #blocks  name

   3     0   78150744 hda
   3     1   28876648 hda1
   3     2   47851776 hda2
   3     3    1422288 hda3
   3    64   39082680 hdb
   3    65   15671376 hdb1
   3    66   23406705 hdb2
hda1 is my windows xp ntfs partition, hda2 my linux / ext3, hda3 my linux swap.
hdb1 is a backup ntfs partition, hdb2 is the backup ext3 partition.

/etc/lilo.conf
Code:
# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
#
# Start LILO global section
append="hdc=ide-scsi"
boot = /dev/hda
#compact        # faster, but won't work on all systems.
prompt
timeout = 50
# Normal VGA console
vga = normal
# snipped other commented out video modes
# End LILO global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/hda2
  label = Linux
  read-only # Non-UMSDOS filesystems should be mounted read-only for checking
# Linux bootable partition config ends
# Windows bootable partition config begins
other = /dev/hda1
  label = Windows
  table = /dev/hda
# Windows bootable partition config ends
This was generated by liloconfig in expert mode while I was installing, same way as I always do.

Output of my latest run of lilo -v 5 can be found here- hutyerah.necrobation.org/lilo.log.bz2

My pc is an intel P4 Prescott 2.8GHz, with 1024MB ram, on a Asus P4P800 Deluxe, bios 1019 (was 1021 beta 6 and the one that came with it). Video card is Radeon 9800XT, one 80GB and one 40GB ATA hard drive split up as above, one Pioneer DVR-109 dvd burner.

Help, I want my linux back
 
Old 12-22-2005, 11:10 PM   #2
hutyerah
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 39

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I've got a kind of workaround working that's probably better in the long run anyway. First I tried to use PartitionMagic to create a 128MB boot partition before my windows partiton, but strange things happened cuz it somehow got assigned /dev/hda4 instead of /dev/hda1 and moving the rest. Also, PartitionMagic then started reporting that the whole drive was bad :-| I intend on avoiding it like the plague now.

So I destroyed all my partitions (nothing useful on windows partition, and my linux was already backed up) using cfdisk in case PartitionMagic had caused weirdness, which it certainly seemed to have. I have virtually the same thing as I did originally, but with a 128MB boot partition at the front, which is the only one set to bootable, and I've got lilo installed on its superblock.

For reference here's my new lilo.conf:
Code:
# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
#
# Start LILO global section
append="hdc=ide-scsi"
boot = /dev/hda1
compact        # faster, but won't work on all systems.
prompt
timeout = 50
# Normal VGA console
vga = normal
# snip
# End LILO global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/hda3
  label = Linux
  read-only # Non-UMSDOS filesystems should be mounted read-only for checking
# Linux bootable partition config ends
# Windows bootable partition config begins
other = /dev/hda2
  label = Windows
  table = /dev/hda
# Windows bootable partition config ends
I just copied my old one and edited the relevant entries.

And an easy solution to my second problem (the hassles of reconfiguration) is GNU diff, which will compare two files or two directories, optionally recursively
 
  


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