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Old 01-19-2004, 03:12 PM   #1
Thrifty
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Running into problems with SuSe 8.2 Installation -- A bunch of 99's!




Hey all.

Newcomer here. Newcomer to the Linux world too.

Anyway, I just installed SuSe 8.2 on a server. The software SEEMS to work, at least in part. I can boot from the CD, start an install, and then tell the computer to boot the installed OS. Okay, so it looks like SuSe is on there. BUT, if I just try to boot up, sans CD, the thing won't boot.

The computer will go through the normal paces for a computer booting up. However, it eventually reaches the point where it'll say "Boot from ATAPI CD-ROM : Failure ..." (because there's no CD from which to boot in the drive). Then it will say "L 99 99 99 99 99 99 99...." and so on about 250 times (the 99's repeat, not the L).

What's going on, and how can I fix this so that it will boot normally without a CD?

---Thrifty---
 
Old 01-19-2004, 04:07 PM   #2
jailbait
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Welcome to LinuxQuestions.

When you boot lilo it prints LILO on the screen. Actually it prints each letter at different points in the logic so that how much of LILO is actually printed is a diagnostic tool. I think that L means that the lilo record on the MBR was successfuly read but then lilo was unable to access its information in /boot. The infinite 9s are a "I give up" message.

The way to fix this problem is to edit /etc/lilo.conf to where it is correct and then run the command line program lilo to create a new MBR lilo bootloader. Here is a lilo HOWTO:

http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LILO.html

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites


Last edited by jailbait; 01-19-2004 at 04:15 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2004, 04:53 PM   #3
jschiwal
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Looks like you selected the location for the CDROM as the boot device when you created the MBR. You need to use the rescue system to get back into linux and fix lilo.conf and then execute the lilo program to write your changes to the BMR and the partition loader area. The MBR contains partition information and a small bootstrap program to load in the main part of lilo from the first sector of the partition. I think the MBR got written, but is trying to load from the wrong partition.
By the way, are you using ATA RAID. If so, the /boot/initrd file may not contain the drivers you need.
 
Old 01-20-2004, 11:34 AM   #4
Thrifty
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Quote:
Originally posted by jschiwal
Looks like you selected the location for the CDROM as the boot device when you created the MBR. You need to use the rescue system to get back into linux and fix lilo.conf and then execute the lilo program to write your changes to the BMR and the partition loader area. The MBR contains partition information and a small bootstrap program to load in the main part of lilo from the first sector of the partition. I think the MBR got written, but is trying to load from the wrong partition.
That's not really very helpful. I don't know how to fix lilo.conf. I have no idea what it should look like.

---Thrifty---
 
Old 01-20-2004, 12:01 PM   #5
jailbait
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"I don't know how to fix lilo.conf. I have no idea what it should look like."

Please post your /etc/lilo.conf file. Also we need to know the path name to your kernel and what partition / is on.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 01-20-2004, 12:34 PM   #6
Thrifty
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Quote:
Originally posted by jailbait
"I don't know how to fix lilo.conf. I have no idea what it should look like."

Please post your /etc/lilo.conf file. Also we need to know the path name to your kernel and what partition / is on.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
Well, the lilo.conf files looks like this (between the lines):

--------

# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Mon Jan 19 11:58:58 2004


default = linux
prompt
timeout = 80
boot = /dev/hda

image = /boot/vmlinuz
label = linux
append = "splash=silent showopts"
initrd = /boot/initrd
optional
root = /dev/hda2
vga = 0x314

Image = /boot/vmlinuz.shipped
label = failsafe
append = "showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=off nosmp noapic maxcpus=0 3"
initrd = /boot/initrd.shipped
optional
root = /dev/hda2
vga = normal

-------

I believe / is partitioned on hda2. The kernel is, I think, at /boot/vmlinuz.


Last edited by Thrifty; 01-20-2004 at 01:56 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2004, 05:08 PM   #7
jailbait
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" the lilo.conf files looks like this"

Your lilo.conf file looks OK to me. I don't see anything wrong with it. So I think the next thing to check is whether lilo is installed correctly on your MBR. You can reinstall lilo with the lilo command:

Log in as root. Open a shell and at the command line prompt type in:
lilo
Lilo should give you messages like:
linux added
failsafe added

Then the next time you boot you should get a lilo screen which gives you 8 seconds to choose between linux and failsafe. The default is linux.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 01-21-2004, 08:21 AM   #8
Thrifty
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Quote:
Originally posted by jailbait
" the lilo.conf files looks like this"

Your lilo.conf file looks OK to me. I don't see anything wrong with it. So I think the next thing to check is whether lilo is installed correctly on your MBR. You can reinstall lilo with the lilo command:

Log in as root. Open a shell and at the command line prompt type in:
lilo
Lilo should give you messages like:
linux added
failsafe added
Hmmm....

I gave that a try. I also, however, got a message that said "WARNING: LBA32 addressing assumed." Could that be causing any trouble?

Quote:
Then the next time you boot you should get a lilo screen which gives you 8 seconds to choose between linux and failsafe. The default is linux.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a Lilo screen. As soon as the computer tries to boot from the hard drive, it immediately says L and then prints out all those 99's.

Oh, I wanted to thank you folks for your help. I'm sorry if I seemed a little rude in my first post. I was frustrated and tend to get grumpy when a technical problem is getting the best of me.

-----Thrifty-----
 
Old 01-21-2004, 03:47 PM   #9
jailbait
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'"WARNING: LBA32 addressing assumed." Could that be causing any trouble?'

Now that you mention it, it possibly could. LBA32 is a problem on old hardware. If you have reasonably modern hardware then the LBA32 message is simply a superflous warning. If you have older hardware it actually could be the problem.

There was a time when disk drives became bigger than the BIOS addressing could handle. This meant that only the beginning of the disk drive was accessible, up to the limit of the BIOS addressing capability. The only time that Linux uses BIOS disk addressing is during boot. Once the kernel is loaded then Linux no longer uses BIOS addressing. So in the days of LBA32 problems you had to make sure that /boot was at the beginning of the disk drive so that lilo could load the kernel using the BIOS.

The LBA32 warning message means that lilo is assuming that your BIOS can address the entire disk.

But if your BIOS cannot address the entire disk and if /boot happens to be located beyond the BIOS addressing range then what would happen is the symptoms that you are getting. Lilo would load from the MBR. It would print L. Then it would try to use the BIOS to access the kernel in /boot and would fail. Then lilo would give its universal failure message of a lot of 9s.

So if this is your problem then the standard way to fix it it to partition your drive into three partitions. The first partition is a small partition containing /boot. The second partition is swap. The third partition is everything else.

------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 01-22-2004, 02:05 PM   #10
Thrifty
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Quote:
Originally posted by jailbait
'"WARNING: LBA32 addressing assumed." Could that be causing any trouble?'

Now that you mention it, it possibly could. LBA32 is a problem on old hardware. If you have reasonably modern hardware then the LBA32 message is simply a superflous warning. If you have older hardware it actually could be the problem.

There was a time when disk drives became bigger than the BIOS addressing could handle. This meant that only the beginning of the disk drive was accessible, up to the limit of the BIOS addressing capability. The only time that Linux uses BIOS disk addressing is during boot. Once the kernel is loaded then Linux no longer uses BIOS addressing. So in the days of LBA32 problems you had to make sure that /boot was at the beginning of the disk drive so that lilo could load the kernel using the BIOS.

The LBA32 warning message means that lilo is assuming that your BIOS can address the entire disk.

But if your BIOS cannot address the entire disk and if /boot happens to be located beyond the BIOS addressing range then what would happen is the symptoms that you are getting. Lilo would load from the MBR. It would print L. Then it would try to use the BIOS to access the kernel in /boot and would fail. Then lilo would give its universal failure message of a lot of 9s.

So if this is your problem then the standard way to fix it it to partition your drive into three partitions. The first partition is a small partition containing /boot. The second partition is swap. The third partition is everything else.

------------------
Steve Stites
I'm sorry. I probably look real dumb right now, but I can't figure out how to do that. I've looked all over for information on how to partition and all, but I'm coming up with nothing. I don't know how to set those partitions.

I'm trying to use YaST2, which is usuallly pretty handy for these sorts of problems. I'm looking at the menu under System -> Partitioner. There's a table there that looks like this:

Device Size F Type Mount

/dev/hda 11.8 GB QUANTUM FIREBALL EX17.7A
/dev/hda1 421.3 MB Linux swap swap
/dev/hda2 11.4 GB Linux native /

I don't know if any of that information is at all useful to you. Any help you can give, or any ideas you have, are greatly appreciated.

-----Thrifty-----
 
Old 01-23-2004, 10:59 AM   #11
jailbait
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Sorry to take so long to get back to you.

"dev/hda 11.8 GB QUANTUM FIREBALL EX17.7A
/dev/hda1 421.3 MB Linux swap swap
/dev/hda2 11.4 GB Linux native /"

The easiest way for you to reconfigure your partitions is to reinstall SuSE. When you go through the partition part of the install set your partitions up this way:
/dev/hda1 20 MB /boot
/dev/hda2 512 MB swap
/dev/hda3 / rest of disk (about 11 GB)

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 02-02-2004, 10:27 AM   #12
Thrifty
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Quote:
Originally posted by jailbait
Sorry to take so long to get back to you.

"dev/hda 11.8 GB QUANTUM FIREBALL EX17.7A
/dev/hda1 421.3 MB Linux swap swap
/dev/hda2 11.4 GB Linux native /"

The easiest way for you to reconfigure your partitions is to reinstall SuSE. When you go through the partition part of the install set your partitions up this way:
/dev/hda1 20 MB /boot
/dev/hda2 512 MB swap
/dev/hda3 / rest of disk (about 11 GB)

Steve Stites
Your delay is nothing compared to my 10 day delay. I got sidetracked by a bunch of other tasks and didn't really get a chance to tackle this again until Friday.

I tried to make those partitions. I had to approximate. The computer was setting uip the partitions in terms of sectors instead of actual megabyte sizes. The /boot partition was about 19.8 M. I can't recall the sizes of the swap, but it was around 512 M.

However, the install program defaults to GRUB as the boot loader. When I try to install LILO, I get a new error message:

Warning: LBA32 Addressing assumed.
Added linux *
Fatal: /dev/null neither a regular file nor a block dev.

Could it have something to do with the file system selected during installation? I'd tried ext2, ext3, XFS and JFS, always with the same results. The installer had defaulted to Reiser, but the /boot partition was said to be too small to use it.

What really confuses me is that this worked at one point. This computer had an installation of some version of SuSE before, and it loaded up fine. I don't recall which one though. It might be prudent to try that.

----Thrifty----
 
Old 02-02-2004, 02:06 PM   #13
jailbait
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"Warning: LBA32 Addressing assumed.
Added linux *
Fatal: /dev/null neither a regular file nor a block dev."

This problem could have several causes. One possibility is that you do not have a line saying /boot=/dev/hda in /etc/lilo.conf.

Another possibility is that lilo is tripping over a minor hardware problem. You can check your hard drive cables, master/slave jumper settings, BIOS hard drive geometry settings, etc. or you can switch to grub which is much more tolerant of minor hardware glitches than lilo.

------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 02-02-2004, 02:34 PM   #14
Thrifty
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Distribution: SuSe
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Quote:
Originally posted by jailbait
"Warning: LBA32 Addressing assumed.
Added linux *
Fatal: /dev/null neither a regular file nor a block dev."

This problem could have several causes. One possibility is that you do not have a line saying /boot=/dev/hda in /etc/lilo.conf.

Another possibility is that lilo is tripping over a minor hardware problem. You can check your hard drive cables, master/slave jumper settings, BIOS hard drive geometry settings, etc. or you can switch to grub which is much more tolerant of minor hardware glitches than lilo.

------------------
Steve Stites
Thanks. I'll pursue those avenues tommorrow. The jumper settings I looked at already; I know those are okay. I tried GRUB, but it doesn't boot either. I just get a message saying GRUB.

Although to tell you the truth, I'm getting near the point where it isn't much worth the trouble. I have two other computers here available for my purposes. I might just bring out one of them.

Oh, and another thing just occurred to me! In a fit of absent minded irresponsibility, about three weeks ago before I tried to install SuSE, I was changing some wires around inside the computer without unplugging (STUPID ME). At some point, there was a spark, and for about an hour, the computer wouldn't power on at all. I may have fried some essential electronics inside there.

----Thrifty----
 
  


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