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Old 06-27-2003, 05:16 PM   #1
New_Linux_User
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Lilo Problem (Bootloader)


Hey all, (first post on this forum )

I recently installed Mandrake Linux 9.1 on an older system that has EasyBios (Drive overlay software to handle a bigger disk) installed.

The install went fine, but now the bootloader does not run properly.

I have installed it alongside Windows 98 on a seperate partition, so lilo should let me select which OS I want.

When I boot the computer, the drive overlay software loads properly, and then I get the following error:

LILO - Keytable read/checksum error

So, what's the problem?

I'm experienced with computers, just not the Linux operating system.

 
Old 06-27-2003, 09:11 PM   #2
jailbait
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My memories of EasyBios and like software is very old and probably distorted by time. But, anyway, here goes:

DOS always used the BIOS to access the disk. The size of new hard disks grew faster than Microsoft could reprogram the DOS disk addressing scheme. So disk manufacturers created EasyBios or the equivalent as a bridge until Microsoft could come up with a new disk addressing scheme.

Linux only uses the bios during the early phase of boot. Thereafter it ignores the bios.

Therefore I will take a wild stab and say that if you take EasyBios off the disk and place the Linux /boot partition right at the beginning of the disk that it might boot. LILO would use the bios which would see only the first part of the disk. Then the kernel would switch to an addressing scheme that sees the whole disk.

I have only a little faith in this theory. But if you can still install EasyBios back onto the disk after deleting it you might try deleting EasyBios and installing /boot at the beginning of the drive.

Similarly Windows 98 should be near enough to the beginning to be within the range of the "small" bios addresses. So I would lay out the partition order as /boot, Windows 98, /
 
Old 06-27-2003, 09:32 PM   #3
Flloyd
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I had the same problem, and "fixed" it by booting my system from the floppy drive. Unfortunately, i have found no other fix that worked. During the Mandrake install, you have a choice of where to place Lilo/where to boot from. Among the choices that include the MBR, hard disk, etc., is a choice for floppy drive. If you choose that option, Mandrake will create a LILO boot disk for booting straight into the Mandrake that is on your hard drive. All you have to do is put the disk in the drive and power on, and LILO will boot accordingly. This procedure bypasses EZ-Bios and allows you to boot linux. Unfortunately, it's the only solution i have found for my 20gig WD, EZ-BIOs-enabled drive. hope this helps!
 
Old 06-27-2003, 10:01 PM   #4
New_Linux_User
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Okay, I don't want to mess around with Easy Bios, partitions, etc to I'll just run through the install again and create a boot disk for linux.

But I have one question: If Linux boots without EZ Bios, how will it reconise my Linux partition without loading EZ Bios? I thought that the drive overlay software must start before the system can access a disk that has EZ Bios.

I thank both of you for your fast and helpful repleys. This forum is excellent, and I will come back based on how helpful people are around here.
 
Old 06-27-2003, 10:53 PM   #5
jailbait
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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If Linux boots without EZ Bios, how will it reconise my Linux partition without loading EZ Bios?

The bios on your motherboard has a size limitation as to how big a disk it can handle. EZ Bios allows the motherboard bios to address the entire disk. When you take EZ bios out then the motherboard bios only "sees" the first part of the disk.

LILO and the kernel only use the bios briefly during boot and then switch to addressing the disk directly with a modern addressing scheme. So as long as what LILO is looking for is close enough to the beginning of the disk to be addressable by the motherboard bios then LILO and the first part of the kernel boot work just fine. (I think. My confidence in my theory is growing the more I talk about it.)
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I thought that the drive overlay software must start before the system can access a disk that has EZ Bios.

EZ Bios must start before the software can access the ENTIRE disk through the bios.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The floppy solution described by Flloyd seems to work according to my theory. LILO comes off the floppy and uses the motherboard bios to access the hard disk without the aid of EZ Bios. Then it switches to direct addressing and can access the entire drive without the help of either the motherboard bios or EZ Bios. This might not work if the kernel is at the back of the drive, i.e. beyond the address range of the motherboard bios.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'll just run through the install again and create a boot disk for linux.

You should be able to create the boot floppy without reinstalling anything else.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Old 06-27-2003, 11:33 PM   #6
New_Linux_User
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Quote:
Originally posted by jailbait

The floppy solution described by Flloyd seems to work according to my theory. LILO comes off the floppy and uses the motherboard bios to access the hard disk without the aid of EZ Bios. Then it switches to direct addressing and can access the entire drive without the help of either the motherboard bios or EZ Bios. This might not work if the kernel is at the back of the drive, i.e. beyond the address range of the motherboard bios.
Well, the windows partition is first and is 14 or 15GB. The bios can handle only up to around 8GB. So I believe that the whole second partition is beyond the address range of the motherboard Bios.

I'll still try it.
 
Old 06-27-2003, 11:37 PM   #7
Flloyd
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I think what Jailbait said above is correct, though i'm not completely sure how the motherboard functions in a linux boot. Nonetheless, Linux actually doesn't need EZ-Bios. Windows, on the other hand, does. If linux is the only os used on a machine, I believe you could actually get rid of the EZ-Bios in the MBR and just write LILO and LILO only there and all would be ok. I however dual boot so that is not an option.
This EZ-Bios thing caused me some headaches before I went to the floppy solution, so i hope this works out for you. good luck.
 
  


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