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Old 03-13-2004, 09:23 AM   #1
Lgoat
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Registered: Feb 2004
Location: somewhere incredible
Distribution: slackware!
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Unhappy Problems installing slackware 9.1


I try to install slackware at a 80 gb hda with windows XP installed so im planning a dual boot. At the beginging everything go fine. Ive made a partition in cfdisk and written partition table to disk and i label the linux partition boot(ive tried to label the windows boot too). I use my old swap disk from redhat(ive heard it works) and it get mounted all fine. After ive installed slackware i choose the /bare.i/bzImage(ive tried with the default /boot/vmlinuz too). Then i make a boot disk on a formated flobby. After that i install Lilo at root. I chose expert and add my windows xp partion and linux partition and i also choose framebuffer. After that i restarted the computer as promted with ctrl-alt-del but when it boot i it throws an error in my face that says: Boot from cd: disk boot failure, please insert system disk and press enter. I use the bootdisk i created and syslinux appears and tells me that it will boot /dev/hda6 but when it loads the kernel /boot/vmlinuz(which i didnt choose) and error appears and it ask me to choose another disk. Ive also tried to type:
mount root=/dev/hda6 rw at the boot disk but nothing is changed

What have i done wrong? Please tell me! It must be something obvious that someone know how to handle


ps. can i install lilo at seperate partition? maybe it could solve something!

Last edited by Lgoat; 03-13-2004 at 09:43 AM.
 
Old 03-13-2004, 09:54 AM   #2
motub
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Aren't you supposed to be booting from the boot diskette (the floppy)? Wasn't that why you made one?

Also, boot from CD is failing-- Did you remove the CD? Is your BIOS set to boot from CD, then HDD, then floppy?

As I see it, what is supposed to be happening (or rather what you were trying to do) was to set it up so that if you have the floppy in, you get a menu allowing you to boot Linux, and if there is no floppy then Windows should boot normally from its own bootloader.

But.... you made a boot floppy before installing LiLO, so that can't work (insofar as LiLO isn't on the floppy, which it would need to be for that to work), and LiLO is installed to root, so it can't be found from the bootloader on the MBR. If in fact anything is installed to the MBR, which at this point is a good question.

Sorry, I'm working this out as I go along.

If I was you, I would boot from the Slack CD and either use a recovery tool (sorry, don't have my Slack CDs in front of me atm) or do a reinstall and install LiLO to the MBR, which would give you the menu to choose Windows or Slack on boot (which you already seem to know how to configure).

Are you certain that hda6 is the correct partition? That is the other possiblity.

Hope this helps to some degree, sorry it's not more .
 
Old 03-13-2004, 10:01 AM   #3
Lgoat
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Registered: Feb 2004
Location: somewhere incredible
Distribution: slackware!
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I just made the boot disk to be sure that i was able to boot linux or just to have one.
What i wanted it to do was just to boot up lilo and then i could choose wether i wanted to boot slackware or windows. Sorry if i made it sound like something else.

I will try to reinstall the way you said :9
 
Old 03-13-2004, 10:52 AM   #4
Lgoat
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Registered: Feb 2004
Location: somewhere incredible
Distribution: slackware!
Posts: 23

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Its working now! thx alot. Why is it working with MBR?
Thx again!
 
Old 03-13-2004, 11:42 AM   #5
motub
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The short answer is: because bootloaders come in two stages. One stage must always be on the MBR, and that must contain pointers to where the second stage (which contains any menus and the actual info required to boot any OSes availabe) is located.

Theoretically, one should be able to install LiLO to the Linux root partition and have any pre-existing bootloader on the MBR be undisturbed (although this is not a good idea if the pre-existing bootloader is the Windows bootloader, since it will not recognize any Linux boot partitions, making them unbootable without a floppy).

However, in practice I have seen this fail any number of times, under Slack and Debian Sid (and possibly others; I lose track).

Unquestionably, if you're making a simple dual boot between Windows and one Linux distribution, it is always best to install LiLO to the MBR-- both for your own ease-of-use (because you know that you will have access to both OSes) and for LiLO's peace-of-"mind" (because that's the way it works best).

Installing LiLO to the MBR is the default for a reason .
 
Old 03-13-2004, 12:42 PM   #6
Lgoat
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: somewhere incredible
Distribution: slackware!
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I didnt use MBR because the installation said it was unsafe
Thx for the info
 
Old 03-13-2004, 01:31 PM   #7
motub
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As you become more experienced with Linux, you will begin to learn when "unsafe" really means unsafe (as in "this function is buggy and may fry something you'll have to pay to replace"), and when it just means "if you are not careful or don't know what you're doing at all, you could lose access to your data until you figure out what you did, and in the worst case could overwrite data that you did not intend to overwrite and which is not backed up".

This "unsafe" was the latter. Basically, Linux is overwriting the Windows bootloader on the MBR with LiLO. Overwriting pre-existing settings is inherently unsafe. So is making or resizing a partition-- and so is the "Save" button when you've edited a text file full of addresses and phone numbers, if you've edited it wrong, because then you've lost whatever was in there before, having saved over it.

Linux just likes to let you know that you are about to do something important, and you should be very sure that you've got it all right before proceeding with major changes to your system.

It will be "a feature, not a bug" when you know more about how the system as a whole works together, especially in the case of a dual-boot .
 
  


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