LinuxQuestions.org
Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 08-15-2004, 02:56 AM   #1
Ebenonce
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 15

Rep: Reputation: 0
Need help with MBR


Hello, I'm not exactly new to computers, an' I have been able to successfully install Red Hat Linux 7 on a friends computer, yet for some reason, no matter what I try, I cannot do it with my home PC, which is far more powerful and compatible, let me explain what I'm attempting.

I salvaged an old HD from a 9 year old computer, it's size volume is 1.18 Gigs, or around 1,200 megs.

I want to install linux as a duel boot system, however I'm attempting to achieve this in a less than orthodox manner, however I kno it is possible.

Instead of playing around with my boot loader an' being unable to correct a problem with my MBR on my main Hard drive {60 windows XP partition}, I'm simply installing to one drive, having both hard drives with an MBR that boots into thier respective HD, I KNO this is possible, so don' anyone tell me it's not, besides that's not my problem .

Now due to the small size of the drive, I've had to find a distro that's both functional an' small. I ran out of space while installing Evil Entity Undead Linux, so that's Kaput. Then I attempted an install of Slackware 9.1, I was able to install it with no problem {while cutting out HUGE chunks of files}, minimal install, x windows, Kde, Basic inux, jus' none of the bells an' whistles of a server class install.

now this as I said installed, however, when I installed the boot loader, it came up with an error, and told me I should boot with floppies,

Now, ...

This would be AWESOME, if I had a working 3 1/2 A drive, meaning no floppies, no booting from A {but besides anyways, that is a pain in the ass}

I went with the last option I could think of, which was to install the bought Red Hat 7 {Outdated...majorly} Discs.

I performed a custom installation coming out to about 600 megs yay. Hoorah. Then I come back, an' retsart an' my screen is infected with fifty milliom "L"'s , jus' LLLLLLLLL all over the place, yeah, so lilo is fucked, an' I'm outta ideas like hell. It seems as tho I can install linux Both red hat an' Slackware, but there appears to be a constant recurring problem with the MBR, no matter what I try, I cannot boot from that drive. Windows 95 used to be there, but from what I understand, it was replaced by lilo.

Here is my problem, I want to install linux, but I get the impression that in order to get a succesful boot, I would need to totally erase all information on the MBR. Only methods I have seen for this either require DOS {something that win XP rapes the end user of}, or a utility that boots from the A drive.

I require a utility that I can either burn an' run from CD to format an' erase the MBR, or a program I can run from windows. I really hope that someone can help me with this
 
Old 08-15-2004, 03:07 AM   #2
Demonbane
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,796

Rep: Reputation: 47
Quote:

now this as I said installed, however, when I installed the boot loader, it came up with an error, and told me I should boot with floppies,

Whats the actual error message?
 
Old 08-15-2004, 03:18 AM   #3
Ebenonce
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
You mean whne I installed Slackware 9.1 an' it gave me an error about the boot loader? I'm not quite sure, an' I cannot take a print screen, which sucks, so I'm not sure how to tell you word for word, however I remember it telling me that it was "Unable to" an' that i would have to boot using a boot disk, but that's like...simply impossible for my problem.
 
Old 08-15-2004, 04:03 AM   #4
Demonbane
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,796

Rep: Reputation: 47
ok don't worry about the error message, get a distro like Knoppix, and try reinstalling the bootloader(try GRUB instead of LILO)
or you might as well just use Knoppix instead, using your 1 gig drive to store your files/settings etc.
 
Old 08-15-2004, 04:22 AM   #5
masand
LQ Guru
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: INDIA
Distribution: Ubuntu, Solaris,CentOS
Posts: 5,522

Rep: Reputation: 58
if u r getting alot of LLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
this implirs u have lilo problem
perhaps u should try reinstalling lilo again

also see if u require the lba 32 mode
it is related to ur harddisk
this entry in there in the lio.conf
when u reinstall lilo u will get an error if lba32 irequired informaing u about it


regards

gaurav
 
Old 08-15-2004, 04:36 AM   #6
Ebenonce
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
is Grub a better boot loader than lilo? I feel like Lilo is the cannon for boot loaders, however if it'll work, that'd be great, but I mean, can I actually use a boot oader from one linux to load up another linux? can it really work that way, or would I hafta change somethin'? Also I heard you cannot save to a hard drive with live linux CDs...also I attempted to use a live linux, but it never worked , I'm almost getting the impression linux cannot run on my PC...which wouldn' REALLY make sense...at all...but kepe back to me, also, I wanna totally wipe my MBR, I think thas what's causing problems, how can I accomplish this without DOS or an A drive? cause I have...well...nietrher.
 
Old 08-15-2004, 05:00 AM   #7
Demonbane
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,796

Rep: Reputation: 47
ok if you want to wipe the mbr anyway, boot with a livecd distro and enter the following command:
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdb bs=512 count=1
make sure /dev/hdb is the drive you want to wipe
 
Old 08-15-2004, 05:07 AM   #8
jomen
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: Leipzig/Germany
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,687

Rep: Reputation: 54
I don't want to interfere here with Demonbane...but:

Can you tell your current state - I mean what do you have installed where as of now?

It looks like you have a Working windows installation and a working linux installation - you just cannot boot because lilo is not installed correctly.
The drive from which you wanted to boot shows all these "LLLLL-s" which is a sign of lilo being installed to that drives mbr - but not correctly configured.

Can you boot to your linux-system using your install-CD? Or is there some kind of a rescue-system on that CD - then you could use this CD to fix the broken lilo-install

Or do you have Knoppix - than you can use it to fix the problem.

There are ways to boot linux via the windows-boot loader - I'd have to look that up - but this would not save you from installing lilo - just not in the mbr of the disk you are booting from...so this approach - while it may work also, would just be _more_ work and you end up installing a linux boot-loader anyway

for what you want to do - lilo is just as good as grub - and it might even be, that grub is not on the distro you installed - you said it was old...

I only know for sure, how to set up lilo - not grub

If you can get to your linux in any way and want to install lilo so it works - we would need these informations:

your current /etc/lilo.conf

--> cat /etc/lilo.conf

your current /etc/fstab

--> cat /etc/fstab

the layout of your disks and partitions on them

fdisk -l /dev/hda (and the other one ...)
 
Old 08-15-2004, 06:03 AM   #9
tinhat
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 22

Rep: Reputation: 15
Can you boot from a floppy disk?

If you are still open for suggestions on which distro to use you might look at VectorLinux.
I kept it on an old windows 95 box for several months using a floppy to boot into it.
 
Old 08-15-2004, 06:07 AM   #10
Ebenonce
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Is it normal to have a priblem with running a Linux Live CD? I can get it to boot up, I {I was using slax}, but it refuses to boot into Xwindows...making it pretty useless :|, well anyways, besides Knoppix, what other l;inux distros work good to boot with an' fix thing? an' the lats post...wow, if you could bvreak that down for me...that would be aweosme.
 
Old 08-15-2004, 06:16 AM   #11
jomen
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: Leipzig/Germany
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,687

Rep: Reputation: 54
o.k. - so you have Knoppix or not?

when you boot up - is it YOUR system (just without Xserver - but that can be fixed...) or is it just a rescue system you get up?


It's normal if some have some problems - but usually there are no problems using a live-CD

I'd help you out - if you posted what I was asking for - not much chance without information...
 
Old 08-15-2004, 07:49 AM   #12
Ebenonce
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I used the Slax CD, the Slackware Live CD, or attempted to us it, it never loader X windows, so all I had was the command line bash, it had a problem saying I had no monitor . I have a Knoppix CD, I have yet to try it tho. aNY idea why it would tell me I had no monitor?
 
Old 08-15-2004, 08:45 AM   #13
masand
LQ Guru
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: INDIA
Distribution: Ubuntu, Solaris,CentOS
Posts: 5,522

Rep: Reputation: 58
hi there
to see that ur X server works on ur live CD

may be u should try this on ur live CD

ctrl+del+(-,+) 3-4 times

this will try out other frequencies since ur monitor might be of different frequency

seee if ut X server starts

regards
gaurav
 
Old 08-15-2004, 09:14 AM   #14
jomen
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: Leipzig/Germany
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,687

Rep: Reputation: 54
No - I have no idea why it tells you that - probably something about XServer - you where on the console, I suppose - because otherwise it could not have told you anything...

anyway - this does not matter - I'd like to use Knoppix - not because it is better, but because I know it and know how to do it with its help.


so please:

boot up Knoppix: CD in the drive - bios set to boot from CD - and off you go - just with the defaults...

see if it works - if you are in KDE (probably) - open a terminal and get root (type: su)

If you know how to set up the internet-access from knoppix - good - do it and do the rest from there.

If not - look after your windows-partition and mount it read/write. This is so you can save the output of the commands I need to have to files on windows - so you can - when you are back there and on the net - still access those files (this way you will not have to write everyting down while in Knoppix and type it in again when you are in windows...)

to see what is mounted and where and with what permissions:

mount

in the terminal - or check via the icons on the desktop

check where your linux-partition is - probably under /mnt/hdb? or /dev/hdc?

eighter copy the files I asked for over to your windows-partition or:

give the full path to their location as seen from knoppix (else you will see the files on the knoppix CD - we don't want that):

the command:

cat /etc/lilo.conf would then be:
cat /mnt/hdb1/etc/lilo.conf !_IF_! your linux partition is mounted under /mnt/hdb1

to write the commads output to a file, give them like this:
(this will write the output to files in your current directory)


cat /mnt/hdb1/etc/lilo.conf > copy-of-lilo.conf

cat /mnt/hdb1/etc/fstab > copy-of-fstab



fdisk -l /dev/hdb > table-of-dev-hdb
fdisk -l /dev/hda > table-of-dev-hda
(I want all your disks, please...)


then copy these files over to windows...

good luck!
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MBR zeroed. Can I verify backup MBR? TomF Linux - General 7 06-20-2005 06:28 PM
by tring to fix the MBR i damage the MBR that was help... AKAKAK Fedora 4 03-21-2005 09:18 AM
GRUB MBR overwritten by WIN98 MBR TOuseef Linux - General 7 11-14-2004 05:25 PM
why won't my mbr fdisk /mbr? jamessp007 Mandriva 13 01-03-2004 02:41 AM
mbr had over write so lilo is gone how to rewrite lilo to mbr mch Linux - Software 4 10-25-2002 03:55 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:09 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration