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i'm not an expert, but here's how i think it works...
all the files for LILO should be stored under /boot on your linux native partition, when you run sbin/lilo from the command line, it simply tells whatever boot= in lilo.conf (in most cases the MBR) to look at the following images for a kernel or whatever. i guess it installs lilo at that location, but the lilo files are all still stored under /boot. that means that even if you re-install windows boot loader, your lilo.conf should be untouched, which means that once you get windows working again, you can boot linux from a disk, type lilo at the command line and it should reinstall LILO to the MBR.
if anyone else understands this a little better maybe they can add more detail. in the meantime, here's a link about lilo:
you sure you have a working boot disk? doesn't sound like it... but you should still have the mandrake cd's right? those will work if you use rescue instead of setup. i think you type F1 for more options or something like that.
if none of that works, boot into XP and download a bootdisk, they're readily available online.
i was sure. i know it isnt workin now, i'm gonna make another one. thanks - i read another thread and someone said the same thing you did... although there were some parts during boot, before lilo showed up, where it said something about some parts being mounted wrong... will try to write it down next time i restart. fortunately i had copied and pasted my /etc/lilo.conf file here, so i reset everything the way it was, with the exception of the timeout=100 to timeout=250.
i just went back and looked at your fdisk, it looks like your XP partition uses NTFS fs instead of FAT32. unfortunately all i know about NTFS is that for some reason people have a lot of trouble getting it to work in linux - if you type it into www.google.com/linux or search this site you should find a whole bunch of threads about getting it to mount properly. or you could use XP FAT32 converter to change it to FAT32, then edit /etc/fstab to reflect the difference (ie something like /dev/hda1 /mnt/windows vfat defaults,umask=000 0 0) (vfat = FAT32)
so does this mean your system is dual booting ok now?
yes it is dual-booting ok now... i just started up the computer just now, and i see:
LDM_validate_partition_table(): Disk Read Failed
Mounting Local filesystems: mount: wrong fs type, bad options, bad superblock on /dev/hda1, or too many mounted filesystems
this happens after i select linux at lilo... also it takes a while for it to check for new hardware. when i reinstalled XP, i made sure to make it FAT32. i never got this before when i first installed linux, it just happened for the first time after reinstalling XP.
i'll check into the /etc/fstab file
i really appreciate all the help everybody's given me... now i know for sure where to go if i need a problem!
i gotta get a book from mandrake about their linux os... whenever i have extra spending money, that's my first priority!
ok, first here's a good link if you can't afford to buy a good linux manual (although you should at some point just so the authors can afford to continue publishing) http://www.fokus.fhg.de/linux/LDP/rute/
second, if you know that hda1 is FAT32, then you should change the entry in fstab from ntfs to vfat.
i don't know what iocharset does, but if your floppy and cdrom are working then i guess it's ok, but if you want to be able to make changes to that partition, instead of ro i would set rw and users. which options you end up going with are largely a matter of personal preference though - do a quick search of mounting windows fs on this forum and you'll come up with dozens of different opinions.