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Old 12-04-2007, 01:21 PM   #1
Trako
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Unhappy Boot Disk Failure using Lilo and GRUB Abit KN9-SLI WD 200GB HD Slackware 12.0


I am somewhat new to Linux, and have a friend helping me with the software and operation end of it, but this seems to be a hardware issue beyond the scope of either of our expertise.

I had this problem with 2 different WD 200GB hard drives. I would install Slackware, run Lilo, choose to install to MBR because the write to root would always fail, take the DVD out, and bam, Boot Disk Failure. I can boot with the Slackware DVD, and apparently everything else is fine, since I am writing this from the Slacky installation on /dev/hda1.

I tried GRUB as well, same thing, for some reason the motherboard is unable to see the boot sector for either of the IDE drives.

There is no Lilo message, nor GRUB message, it spins the drive a bit, then checks the floppy, and then gives the Boot Disk Error.

fdisk -l results:
Disk /dev/hda: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 23811 191261826 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 23812 24321 4096575 82 Linux swap

Abit KN9-SLI Motherboard
WD 200GB IDE WD2000 Caviar and Caviar SE
nForce 500 series chipset

I have a SATA Raid array with WinXP, but I have those drives offline to concentrate on the Linux installation. My motherboard supports boot priority of hard drives and USB devices as well as a boot loader menu. Regardless of what I try, nothing seems to work. I want to keep Linux and WinXP separate and use the motherboard boot option to be able to switch between the two.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 01:32 PM   #2
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trako View Post
I had this problem with 2 different WD 200GB hard drives. I would install Slackware, run Lilo, choose to install to MBR because the write to root would always fail, take the DVD out, and bam, Boot Disk Failure. I can boot with the Slackware DVD, and apparently everything else is fine, since I am writing this from the Slacky installation on /dev/hda1.

I tried GRUB as well, same thing, for some reason the motherboard is unable to see the boot sector for either of the IDE drives.

There is no Lilo message, nor GRUB message, it spins the drive a bit, then checks the floppy, and then gives the Boot Disk Error.
This error often occurs when the hard drive is larger than the BIOS is capable of addressing. If the kernel happens to be on the hard drive beyond the reach of the BIOS then the bootloader doesn't work.

If that is your problem the the solution is to create a small /boot partition at the beginning of the hard drive.

--------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 12-04-2007, 05:37 PM   #3
Trako
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Thanks for the tip, but the situation persists.

I ended up having to redo the partition table. I made a 20GB boot, 6GB swap partition, and made the rest into a large partition.

Even after the more manageable boot partition size, I still get the Boot Disk Error.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 10:10 PM   #4
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trako View Post
Thanks for the tip, but the situation persists.

I ended up having to redo the partition table. I made a 20GB boot, 6GB swap partition, and made the rest into a large partition.

Even after the more manageable boot partition size, I still get the Boot Disk Error.
Try a 50M /boot partition.

------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 12-05-2007, 08:38 PM   #5
Trako
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jailbait View Post
Try a 50M /boot partition.
I redid the partitions to do that, put the 50MB to /boot, /root on the second partition, and I still get the dreaded Boot Disk Error.

Could it be an issue with the disks, BIOS, both? Is there a way to check the MBR in Linux? I'm thinking of trying yet another drive if this continues.

In comparison, I have Slackware on a 40GB disk booting up just fine on an ASUS M2N-E. I'm using most of the drive as one partition, with a swap partition.

As another measure I looked up the BIOS version and it's a version ahead of the compatibility fix.

I wonder if it's time to call MoBo support.

I'm wondering if there's an avenue I haven't tried...

-disconnected the SATA drives completely
-disabled SATA controller
-force boot to PATA drive
-removed all other devices, USB flash drive, just had the HD, mouse, keyboard, DVD drive and video connected.

I'd like to thank you for your quick responses, and my friend has been helping me despite my anger and frustration. I appreciate it!
 
Old 12-05-2007, 09:06 PM   #6
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trako View Post
I redid the partitions to do that, put the 50MB to /boot, /root on the second partition, and I still get the dreaded Boot Disk Error.

Could it be an issue with the disks, BIOS, both?

As another measure I looked up the BIOS version and it's a version ahead of the compatibility fix.

I wonder if it's time to call MoBo support.
I don't know what the problem is. I think that your error message is a BIOS error message so next I would check out the BIOS as being the most likely culprit. I don't think that the BIOS is complaining of a bad drive because you have had the problem on two different drives.

-------------------
Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 12-05-2007 at 09:07 PM.
 
Old 01-26-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
Trako
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Interesting fluke happened just the other day.

I had my Windows XP Bootable Install CD in the burner, and after the usual boot sequence of CD, USB, HD, the IDE actually went into boot mode. I updated the BIOS previous to this and that didn't work, so something is keeping the IDE from booting until the CD boot subsystem is activated but not engaged. I was pleasantly surprised that the GRUB loader finally initialized, but errored out with an 18 code. At least I know it's not a hardware issue, or a boot loader issue. It has to do with the board or chipset itself. I confirmed this with an install of Windows on the same hard drive, Boot Disk Failure until the CD is initialized but booting skipped.

I have decided to invert my system, putting Slack 12 on my SATA RAID array, and Windows on a 500GB IDE. I am pretty confident this will work for the bootup using SATA.

Anyway, I just wanted to post this as closure to the issue, and a thank you to all who tried helping. Thanks for your understanding!
 
  


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