LinuxQuestions.org
Support LQ: Use code LQ3 and save $3 on Domain Registration
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General
User Name
Password
Linux - General This Linux forum is for general Linux questions and discussion.
If it is Linux Related and doesn't seem to fit in any other forum then this is the place.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 12-30-2005, 08:12 PM   #1
meglamanaic
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
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.
Thanks.

Last edited by meglamanaic; 12-30-2005 at 08:13 PM.
 
Old 12-30-2005, 08:30 PM   #2
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728
This is a bit of a chicken way out, but I'd start with a more mainstream free distro like Ubuntu, Fedora, Open SUSE, etc.

If you want to tough it out with WHAX, then---rather than trash--I would simply start over. Watch for any options that it gives you. For example, is there an option to put LILO on a floppy?

I'm a little skeptical about only 1GB for the main Linux directory--Is that all the space you have?
 
Old 12-30-2005, 08:56 PM   #3
meglamanaic
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 10

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
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.
 
Old 12-30-2005, 10:19 PM   #4
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728Reputation: 728
You're way ahead of me on most of this.

One thing: I'm betting you can get a bigger drive for that laptop for very little money
 
Old 12-30-2005, 11:18 PM   #5
syg00
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Lots ...
Posts: 12,205

Rep: Reputation: 1015Reputation: 1015Reputation: 1015Reputation: 1015Reputation: 1015Reputation: 1015Reputation: 1015Reputation: 1015
You sure the HD is /dev/hda ???.
Stick in the LiveCD and do a "fdisk-l"; you might find the CD is hda, and the HD is on the second interface - i.e. /dev/hdc.
 
Old 12-31-2005, 12:06 AM   #6
btmiller
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: In the DC 'burbs
Distribution: Arch, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 4,078

Rep: Reputation: 297Reputation: 297Reputation: 297
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.
 
Old 12-31-2005, 06:50 AM   #7
meglamanaic
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 10

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
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.
Thanks!

Last edited by meglamanaic; 12-31-2005 at 06:55 AM.
 
Old 12-31-2005, 07:27 AM   #8
saikee
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Distribution: Any free distro.
Posts: 3,398
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 112Reputation: 112
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.

If you must have lilo.conf my copy of it is

boot=/dev/hda55
prompt
timeout=20
changes-rules
reset
vga=normal
image=/boot/vmlinuz
root=current
label=Slax
read-write

As with Slax or Slackware family this distro should be bootable with the following Grub commands if the full system has been installed

root(hdi,j)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz ro root=/dev/hdax
boot

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.

Last edited by saikee; 12-31-2005 at 07:53 AM.
 
Old 12-31-2005, 07:47 AM   #9
meglamanaic
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 10

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I wouldn't object to hearing one!

 
Old 12-31-2005, 08:19 AM   #10
meglamanaic
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 10

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 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.
 
Old 12-31-2005, 08:20 AM   #11
meglamanaic
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 10

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Oh seeing as I now have 5 posts, here is a link to the screenshot of the SLAX installer (which is identical to WHAX). Note the 550MB.

http://slax.linux-live.org/screenshot.php?url=/ss/2.jpg


And here is the link to the google cache of the WHAX manual install:

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:x...t+loader&hl=en
 
Old 12-31-2005, 08:31 AM   #12
saikee
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Distribution: Any free distro.
Posts: 3,398
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 112Reputation: 112
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.

Last edited by saikee; 12-31-2005 at 08:39 AM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
quick question about grub bootloader & installing another distro Ay-Karamba! Linux - Newbie 12 10-14-2005 09:00 AM
Mandrake 10.1 official bootloader failed mworden Mandriva 3 01-14-2005 01:48 PM
Failed semi attempt at making my own little distro begining Linux - Newbie 3 10-26-2004 06:21 PM
Install Bootloader alone Le_Petit_Lapin Linux - Newbie 8 09-02-2004 11:27 AM
bootloader failed jabberwock486 Linux - Software 0 06-26-2004 12:20 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:14 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration