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I got this same error myself. However, I simply reformatted my / and /usr partitions (Leave your /home partition), and reinstalled it and it went away... At this point, trying to start KDE (Haven't tried other desktops) may give you a 'no-write access' error. To fix this, restart with the first cd in the drive, and press F1 for more options. type rescue and press enter at the prompt. I did this and it fixed it back up for me.
Just had the same error. When installing Mandrake, I made bootloader a selection other than the MBR on the first disk. I overcame it by reinstalling but this time selecting the default bootloader option.
It sounds like the first stage of your LILO bootloader did not load properly. On my copy of Slackware Linux I typed "man lilo" and near the end it listed the various LILO error codes. It says that "99" is a LILO generated error code. This probably will not help you be here is what else it says about the "99" error code:
"99 invalid second stage index sector (LILO)"
"Errors 99 and 9A usually mean the map file (-m or map=) is not readable, likely because LILO was not re-run after some system change, or there is a geometry mis-match between what LILO used (lilo -v3 to display) and what is actually being used by the BIOS (one of the lilo diagnostic disks, available in the source distribution, may be needed to diagnose this problem)."
So anyway that is what the manual said, which probably does not help much. There is one thing that is unusual about how you have the hardware set up on your computer. Your CD is hda and your two hard drives are hde and hdf. That is backwards from how nearly all other computers are configured. Most people connect their two hard drives as master and slave on the first channel on their IDE controller and the CD-ROM as the master on the other channel of the IDE controller. You might want to try unplugging the two 80-pin IDE cables from the mother board and then switch which one is plugged into which connector. That should then result in your two hard drives becoming hda and hdb and your CD should then become hdc. Of course at that point you would probably need to reinstall Linux or at least reinstall your LILO bootloader. I do not use Mandrake but if it offers the GRUB bootloader as an alternative you could try it instead of LILO. I am kind of guessing here as to what your problem is.
Was Windows working properly on this computer before you tried to install Linux? As an experiment you might want to try using a Knoppix CD which runs Linux entirely from the CD without installing Linux on your hard drive. Once Knoppix is running you could try using fdisk to examine your two hard disks. You could also try mounting several of your partitions with the mount command if you know to properly use that command. It would be interesting as a test to see if Knoppix is able to mount the partitions.
I am not sure how old your computer is but does the BIOS in you computer support 250 GB hard drives? If not then you might possibly need to reflash your BIOS. Of course if it had already been woking with Windows then that probably would not be the problem. On some older computers LINUX would not boot up if large disks were used unless a seperate small /boot partition is created at the beginning of the hard drive below cylinder 1024. As I said, I am kind of guessing here as to exactly what your problem is. However, I am inclined to think that LILO is probably having trouble recognizing your hard disks properly. You could also try what Floydian and NomadABC have suggested. You could also try installing a different Linux distro as an experiment to see if it does a better job of installing LILO or GRUB.
hey this is what I did....If you want to believe a newbie, because I had the same error..
I tried everything and nothing worked. So i booted from winxp cd and formated with fat32 and right before it started intstalling windows I shut it off....Then I used fdisk to delte all partitions...then I booted with mandrake and used expert mode (as if I were)...then I removed all windows partitions and auto-allocated them...and I never got the error again....
You can try what drco or the others suggested but upon re-reading what you originally posted I see see something odd. You said that your hard drives were hdc and hde. Normally hdd would be the last IDE device on most computers. If you actually have a hard drive on hde then it sounds like you have more than the usual combination of two IDE channels for a total of 4 IDE devices. Do you have more than one IDE controller on your computer or is Linux just that confused? Do you have one of those motherboard that have two extra IDE connectors for RAID?