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I have been running MDK 10 Community successfully, booting from a floppy (default HDD boot is to Win 2000). Unfortunately the floppy has been corrupted and I can no longer boot Linux. I thought I could fix this by running repair/upgrade from the MDK installation CD but no dice. I get the error message -
/proc/partitions does not exist, disk scan bypassed
Fatal: Bios device code 0x81 is being used by two disks
/dev/hdc (0x1600) and /dev/hde (0x2100)
hdc is an IDE (NTFS) drive, hde is the Win 2000 boot SATA (NTFS) drive. Linux is on hda.
How can I create a boot disk to get me back into Linux?
Try booting up with the first install disk and enter the option 'rescue'. This should boot you up to the rescue system. Select the option to mount your linux partitions under /mnt. Then cd to /mnt and run the 'chroot /mnt' command to mount your partitions normally. It may be a good idea to then enter 'bash -l' so that PATH and normal bash startup scripts run.
Since you don't boot to windows from your linux boot disk, you could delete the windows stanzas from the lilo.conf and re-run lilo. I'm assuming that you have your boot= entry currently set to /dev/fd0.
The current size of the kernel is too large for making normal boot disks, so your boot disk probably just contained the lilo boot-strap loader.
I would recommend changing the boot= entry to your linux partition, and following the instructions from one of the many lilo-NT boot howto's. You would then use the NT loader program to select linux.
Also, after you can boot up to linux normally, run the 'mkrescue --iso' command to produce a rescue.iso file which you can burn to a rescue cd boot disk, which may come in handy in the future. If you change the partitions, you'll want to rerun the 'mkrescue --iso' and replace the rescue disk.
Many thanks for your helpful post. Unfortunately by the time I picked it up I had already decided that there was nothing else for it but to reinstall MDK10 - I had a quiet day yesterday and nothing better to do (sad or what?) But since it was a recent and experimental installation anyway I didn't lose anything ... apart from some self-esteem.
Don't feel bad. I recently had a problem with my network. I couldn't ping my cable router no matter what I tried. I gave up and re-installed. I didn't format the /home partition, so I didn't lose any documents or downloads. But, guess what! Still didn't work. It was the cable router! Oh well. I just had to chown in my home directory to put things back again.
When I would use windows, I would have to re-install every so often also. The registry files tend to grow too large with time which slows things down, and a lot of the garbage that builds up over time doesn't help either.
There a couple things you might want to do as you use linux. When you run an update, the RPMS are cached. I copy the RPMS to a directory and after a few build up, I back them up to CD. If you download a tar-ball to install a program from source, backing up the original tar-balls will save you from needing to find and re-download them.
I downloaded the files for Mandrake 10 from an ftp site rather than downloading the iso files. Then I burned the files to a DVD and installed to it. The ftp site also had a contrib section. I downloaded those also, and changed the 'Contrib CD 3' entry to a directory where I downloaded them.
You may still want to read through one of the NT Lilo Boot Howtos. This is done after an install and would save you from booting from floppy.
Please, use the 'mkrescue --iso' command to produce a rescue cd. It contains a diagnostic option which will come in handy if you change to a different computer, or change motherboards, etc. It also has an option just for booting you system.