New distro, bootloader failed to install - now what?
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New distro, bootloader failed to install - now what?
Hi guys - first a little backstory:
I have the latest Whax live cd, which boots and runs fine. However, I found it to be rather slow as my laptop is old (Celeron 500) and the CD drive is not the best, so I thought I'd install it to the harddrive.
I used the Whax Installer utility provided, and it got to 100% and said all done, so I rebooted as prompted. This was when the problems started, as the laptop booted straight back to XP.
It seems that despite asking me which device I would like to install the boot loader on (I only have /dev/hda), the installer didn't actually install it. The live cd only has LILO (I'd prefer grub but I can always change later) so I've been trying to work with that having booted off the live cd again.
I've written out a lilo.conf and specified that it should apply it to /dev/hda but I'm getting "Fatal: creat /boot/boot.0300: Read-only file system". Obviously this is because the live cd is... well... a CD. I tried "chroot /mnt/hda6" but then all the important folders like /dev are missing so lilo still won't run.
Does anyone have any ideas at all?
My partition setup is as follows:
1: Windows (NTFS)
2: Extended partition containing
- 3: 256MB linux-swap
- 4: 1GB EXT3 WHAX
Please let me know if I'm doing something moronic here.
Any suggestions on how to get LILO to install (or where/why the installer may have failed) are much appreciated.
Last edited by meglamanaic; 12-30-2005 at 09:13 PM.
I should have mentioned I have used other distros before, I just like to experiment.
I can resize the XP partition down a bit. Unfortunately this is a REALLY old laptop so the HD is under about 3.5GB. Whax claims to need 550MB to install (the installer actually says that on the first screen) - I call bullshit on this as according to Konqueror there is 850MB on that 1GB partition. I got that by going into properties for hda6 and clicking calculate space. Strangely, on the meta-info tab of the properties sheet, it claims hda6 is 100% full so I'm not sure which to believe. That could certainly explain the seemingly incomplete installation.
There are literally 3 options in the installer:
Select installation destination (hda6)
Select MBR destination (hda)
Select installation source (can't remember what that was set to but I didn't change it)
Since my initial post I have found information on how to do a manual whax install from a google cache copy of the old site. It doesn't help that Whax seem to be in the middle of overhauling their site: there is very little information on the currently live version - not even a download link for Whax, and the user forums have gone for now.
As it happens, it looks like they ripped the installer straight out of SLAX (or more correctly, modified SLAX into WHAX) without bothering to check the new disk space requirements. Whoops.
I might, in the end, just install SLAX instead and install any additional .mo's I need from WHAX. I've got them on the Live CD i've burnt so it should be trivial.
PS. I would have posted links but apparently I need 5 posts.
I understand the need for security but that seems a little overkill. We set it to 2 on the boards I moderate. Oh well.
If you chroot into your installation, you can recreate the important files from /dev (you can copy them over or use mknod). You'll need to make sure that the ext3 partition you mounted is writeable (check the output of mount to be sure) before doing so. As far as I know, this ought to work. If it doesn't, can you please post the exact error message you receive?
If you want grub, you can download and compile it -- assuming the LiveCD has a compiler (or do it on another system and scp it over). GRUB has a nice routine called grub-install which should let you install it onto the hard drive.
Hi again guys.
Yes HD is definately hda, as I mounted hda1 just to check (my NTFS XP partition). The CD ROM has come up as hdc (presumably because writing support has been shoved in despite the fact it's ROM only).
I posted all of the above stuff just before I went to bed. Now it's a new day and I've got some time on my hands, I think the first thing I'll try is the manual install from the info I found on google. As I'll be literally cp-ing everything at least I'll be able to see if I run out of disk space.
Believe me I've considered a new laptop harddrive - unfortunately here in the UK the cheapest is about £40 (xe.com says thats $69 USD). I'm currently a poor student so that's money I don't have. Surprisingly, ebay isn't much use either.
You've given me plenty of options to think about anyway.
Last edited by meglamanaic; 12-31-2005 at 07:55 AM.
Hang on a minute. How about an opinion from a fellow Whax user?
I checked my Whax 3.0. Its installed foot print is 2.4Gb. Slax 5.0.6 is 2.7Gb. Both were housed in a 5Gb partition each.
With only 1Gb space you may consider Puppy, Damn Small Linux and Feather Linux. Their recorded footprints after installation are 0.5, 0.4 and 0.7 respectively.
From my installed distros I would say Whax is rather capable. It can mount any of the high partitions I have in the box and has been installed in hda55 self bootable without the need of any asistance . These features are outside the ability of Ubuntu that everybody seems to favour.
I don't think building Lilo with "liloconfig" will help in this case if part of the system hasn't been squeezed in.
Where (hdi,j)=partition j of disk i in Grub term and should correspond to hdax.
For example if Whax has been installed as claimed by Post #1 the swap will be in hda5 and Whax in hda6 (all logical partitions start at the 5th position, the first 4 are reserved for primaries) then use (hd0,5) and hda6 respectively, as Grub counts from 0.
Hmm. 550MB is definately wrong then! No surprise it didn't work. Some sort of "out of disk space" error would have been nice, rather than "Ok all done, you can reboot now".
Looks like i'm going to have to reshuffle some partitions.
I would go for the current size and install the Australia Puppy because I have no problem with it in playing MP3, surfing the Internet and watching DVD movies, unless of course you like to stick with the Israel Whax
I think you can only get the minimum size if you install a distro to work as a Live CD in a hard disk. If you expand it then it will be a different size. I periodically check the size of my distros using Qparted and am surprised by the >2Gb sizes too. You have to be aware that the installation screen may not have been updated in every release. I have over 100 systems in the box and both Slax and Whax would go crazy in mounting them. It is possible that these two are carrying a large overhead in my box.