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Old 11-19-2004, 09:13 PM   #1
zman26
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10
Posts: 6

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Unhappy Bootloader Issue


Ok guys, this is driving me nuts... I have used linux for about 4 years now, and i have never ran into something that has confused me as much as this. I recetly picked up a machine for free. PII 400mmx, 384Mb RAM, 30Gig, blah, blah... anyways, no matter what distro i install, i can't boot it unless i use a boot disk or boot from the CD. I've tried logging in and running lilo and it still won't put the loader in the MBR. (MBR bootloader install won't work, this is the problem) Tried with Grub as well, and the best i got was a grub boot error. I'm thinking this has to be a bios thing because i've had this same hard drive in another machine and it ran and booted great. I made sure in the BIOS that my drive is LBA and that the virus protection crap is off, and i still can't figure this out. If anyone has any ideas, i'm all ears. Oh and just for some more background this has failed with the following distro's:

Slackware 10 (about 15 installs failed)
Suse 9.1 (about 10 installs)
Fedora 3 (about 2 installs)

I've heard from a few people that if anyone can figure this out, the guys on this board can.

thanks

Last edited by zman26; 11-19-2004 at 09:14 PM.
 
Old 11-20-2004, 11:35 AM   #2
jailbait
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
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"PII 400mmx, 384Mb RAM, 30Gig, blah, blah... anyways, no matter what distro i install, i can't boot it unless i use a boot disk or boot from the CD. I've tried logging in and running lilo and it still won't put the loader in the MBR. (MBR bootloader install won't work, this is the problem) "

As a wild guess the distributions you tried may be using a CPU instruction that does not exist on a PII. Try using a distribution that was compiled for i386 to do the MBR installation. If that solves the problem you might consider using an i386 distribution for the entire installation.


----------------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 11-20-2004, 12:31 PM   #3
wrat
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is it a compaq by chance?? or in the bios you may need to allow changes to the mbr..some older compaqs are funny about writing to mbr
 
Old 11-20-2004, 12:39 PM   #4
zman26
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10
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If the i386 thing was a problem i would think that there would be more problems than just the bootloader. I mean, we're talking a completely functional install that won't boot because nothing ever gets put in the mbr. Boot disks and Cd bootables are the only things that get me into the system. I have win2k on a seperate hard drive in there, and it boots fine. Tried it both with and without a windows OS and got the same result. And no it's not an older compaq, the computer is actually an older Tangent. Here's the specs motherboard wise...

System Model: MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD MS-6119 1.X
Board: MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD MS-6119 (i440BX) 1.X
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
BIOS: Award Software International, Inc. 4.51 PG 06/16/98
400 megahertz Intel Pentium II
32 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache


Anything jump out at anyone?

Last edited by zman26; 11-20-2004 at 12:42 PM.
 
Old 11-20-2004, 08:51 PM   #5
zman26
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Distribution: Slackware 10
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figured it out. must have been something in the bios that was goofing up. I flashed it to a newer version and slack booted nicely from the MBR.
 
Old 11-20-2004, 10:27 PM   #6
vectordrake
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There you go! For the record (basically the google searches...) P-II would run fine on an i686 kernel, so the previous argument is a bit weak.
 
Old 11-21-2004, 01:29 AM   #7
zman26
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10
Posts: 6

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Quote:
Originally posted by vectordrake
There you go! For the record (basically the google searches...) P-II would run fine on an i686 kernel, so the previous argument is a bit weak.
i've had slack 10 on a celeron 333mhz machine before, so i know what you mean. I figured the BIOS was to blame since i pretty much ruled out HD problems. Just took me a bit of research to figure out what my system board was (thanks to Belarc advisor and a win2k pro drive) and find the BIOS flash update. I'm actually posting from it now, and i'm glad to have my slack back, can't wait till 10.1 when i get to play even more. Thanks for the input guys.
 
Old 11-21-2004, 06:53 AM   #8
vectordrake
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Yep, a lot of times, things like hard disk controllers will make an install go haywire. I have a VIA KTA133 chipset and it won't work properly when loading the generic ATA controller module - lotsa I/O errors. But, with the proper module loaded for my controller, the machine works great We still have to do it for ourselfs much of the time with Linux. That will change as time goes on.
 
  


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