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Old 08-02-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
sweigold
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Lilo issue? Boots to startup floppy fine, not to HD


<newbie alert!>

I have a Toshiba Satellite Pro 410CDT laptop that I'm trying to get Slackware V11 working on. (Pentium 90) I installed a new 60G HD. Install went fine. Partitions are 4G Linux, 1G Linux Swap, and the rest another Linux partition (mounted to /home) if that matters. The 4G partition is set bootable and is where Slackware is installed.

I originally set up Lilo in the MBR with the vga mode at normal. When I try to boot the system, it goes through the memory test, and then puts out about 6 lines of "40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40" and then stops. Nothing else works at this point except ctrl-alt-delete. I created boot disks during installation, and using one of those and allowing it to boot the 4g linux partition seems to work fine to the extent that I tested it. Suspecting a video setting issue with Lilo, I've edited lilo.config and tried both vga=ask and vga=771 which I thought would give me 800x600x256 which is what the display is supposed to be capable of. Yes, I remembered to run lilo after editing the file. After running lilo I get "Added Linux *". Linux is what I called the partition, so I think this is kosher.

Thats all the details I can think of at this point. Ideas?

Steve
 
Old 08-02-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
jailbait
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"(Pentium 90) I installed a new 60G HD."

Your HD may be larger than your old BIOS can support. This makes no difference to Linux because Linux does not use the BIOS to access hard drives. The exception is LILO. LILO uses the BIOS to access the hard drive. If your kernel is beyond the limit of your BIOS's ability to address then you will get the LILO 40 40 error.

Assuming that this is the problem then the thing to do is creat a small /boot partition at the beginning of the drive and then put the rest of Slackware in a second partition.

-----------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 08-02-2007, 10:16 PM   #3
sweigold
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I thought about the bios limitation, which is why I just put a 4G partition at the start for Linux to reside in. Do you think even 4G is too big? I can't remember any more what the addressing limit was for those old systems, and I didn't have much luck with google.

Steve
 
Old 08-02-2007, 10:37 PM   #4
sweigold
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To add another thought on the partition size suggestion, the research I did with google suggested the two drive size limitations were 504 MB and 8G depending on "era" of the PC. This particular PC came with an 800MB drive standard, and was available with up to a 2G. The one I replaced was 1.3G so the 504MB limit doesn't apply, and my Linux partition is 4G which is below the 8G I found as another possible limit. Since the CD in the thing is a 1x, it takes hours to load Linux. I don't really want to do _another_ partition change unless there are no other suggestions.

Steve (the original Steve :-)
 
Old 08-03-2007, 01:23 PM   #5
jailbait
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"Do you think even 4G is too big?"

Yes. I recommend that the /boot partition be no larger than 500MB which is several times the size of the typical /boot contents.

-----------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 08-03-2007, 01:52 PM   #6
saikee
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I have in the past get over the problem of adding
Code:
lba32
inside the /etc/lilo.conf.
 
Old 08-05-2007, 05:17 PM   #7
sweigold
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Thanks Steve. In anticipation of your answer, I tried reinstalling (again) with a /boot partition of 1G but that still didn't work. Problem is, I'm not sure if I did the install correctly. When I went through the setup process, I made the 1G boot partition the first one, followed by a 4G partition which I chose for /root, next a 1G swap partition, and the rest a partition mounted to /home. I'm worried that I didn't do the /boot partition correctly. I formatted it reiserfs like the rest, and mounted it to /boot. Then Lilo to the MBR. Is this right, or do I need to install Lilo to hda1 which is the partition I intended for /boot. And.. if so, how do I clear out the MBR?

Last edited by sweigold; 08-05-2007 at 05:21 PM.
 
Old 08-05-2007, 05:28 PM   #8
saikee
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I have avoided the multiple partition installation. Every Linux I installed is always in a single partition where /boot, /home, /etc and everything else are just subdirectories to the single partition mounted as /.

In this way I have only one partition to boot to. It is a lot easier to maintain, to boot and ultimately to migrate.

If you want the Linux booted up automatically you put Lilo in the MBR.

You should only put Lilo in the root partition if there is another boot loader already in the MBR and you desire the new Linux to be "chainloaded".

With a Live CD you can put Lilo anywhere you want after the installation. Just take a look at the last link of my signature.
 
Old 08-05-2007, 11:11 PM   #9
sweigold
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Saikee, thanks for your thoughts. I did look over the booting tips link and theres lots of interesting information there. I hope to try to make sense of some of it. The problem I have is that I don't have the luxury of a single partition installation. I tried that initially. I have a 60G harddrive on a bios that evidently doesn't support it. I know that Linux doesn't access the hard drives through the bios, but evidently Lilo does, thus, I have to boot to a partition that is small enough for the bios in the old PC to handle... or so I'm told anyway (see the posts above)

Steve
 
Old 08-06-2007, 03:30 AM   #10
saikee
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I must admit the way you described it look like the 1024 cylinder limit well documented in the past. I never met it myself and believe that is history with the modern kernels.

To me if your hard disk can be read or use to the full capacity by an operating system then you should be able to boot to any position in the hard disk. The "lba32" is provided sometime in the past to assist older Lilo. I have Lilo 22.5.9 booted in hda55 and Lilo 22.7.2 booted hda62 at the end of a 300Gb disk.

Lilo is no different to Grub except that you must compile /etc/lilo.conf each time it has been amended, by command lilo -b /dev/hdxy.

What I am aware of the installation of Lilo is generally one of the most buggy part of any installation and I generally just restore Lilo after an installation. Many times I had to write my own lilo.conf because the installer failed miserably.

If your problem persists I would install Grub to take over Lilo. Post here the output of the terminal command
Code:
fdisk -l

Last edited by saikee; 08-06-2007 at 03:36 AM.
 
Old 08-06-2007, 11:02 AM   #11
sweigold
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From reading over the documentation I've found so far, it sounds like Grub doesn't use the bios to access the hard drives either. I'm going to try things one more time, and if I can't get it to fly, I think I'm going to try switching to Grub and see if I can get there that way. This is incredibly frustrating. I'm sure this is the 1024 cylinder limit problem, but I'm not sure if I'm configuring the boot partition properly to work around the bios limitation... arrrrrrg!
 
  


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