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Old 02-22-2003, 02:37 PM   #1
gigs_42
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boot problems


Hello everyone,

Just downloaded the ISO image of slackware 8.1, but I'm having some problems. My machine is a dual-boot with WinXP with two hard drives; xp has the entire of the first one and a little on the second. I had SuSE 8.0 installed before, but was having some annoying troubles that shouldn't have been happening and I really didn't want to take the time to fix such knicky-knacky things, so I decided to switch to slack. Besides, I figured I'd probably learn a thing or two if I did.

Everything installed fine (at least it all seemed to) until I tried to start the computer. Two things occurred..

First, my BIOS would run through all of its POST routines, then get to the booting part, would find the MBR on the hard drive, then just hang, saying that it had found a boot record on the drive. Strange, and I had to turn off the power to get my comp running again. I am able to boot into linux using the boot floppies I made during startup. All of that works fine.

The second thing that has happened is a problem with X windows system, which I didn't take the time to write down (oops) Basically, it won't start, even after running xf86config again. I'm really more concerned about the booting problem; windows isn't cheap (but occaisionally it is nice to have it, much as I hate to admit it)

After looking into the booting problem, i ran liloconf, and now every time I run it it says that there was an error writing the MBR, and the same thing happens when trying to write to a superblock. After that, I decided to check my partition tables, so I ran cfdisk. It refuses to run now (I used it to delete my SuSE partitions and replace them with ext2 instead of Reiser fs) complaining about a bad partition table that ends before sector 0. fdisk, on the other hand, will run and lists all partitions correctly (at least as far as I can tell) except that under the boot column on hda1, it doesn't have an asterisk like it should; instead it has a question mark! I haven't repartitioned anything since the install, and I've tried liloconf a few times but nothing seems to work.

TIA
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:18 PM   #2
Allen614
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Are you running a virus program on XP that would prevent anything writing to the MBR?
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:23 PM   #3
gigs_42
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I do have Norton, but I don't think that would stop it; at least it didn't stop SuSE from doing so. I'm pretty sure that it's not even running while I'm under linux anyway
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:25 PM   #4
Allen614
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Oh yeah,when you boot off your floppy which partition does the kernel boot? It gives it in the first lines.
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:27 PM   #5
gigs_42
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It boots /dev/hdb3 which is where all of my slack distro is supposed to be installed
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:32 PM   #6
Allen614
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Check your /etc/lilo.conf and see what the line boot =/dev/hdb3 or hda1.
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:37 PM   #7
gigs_42
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it says /dev/hdb3; i assume that I want hda1 right?
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:40 PM   #8
Allen614
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To fix XP put your install CD in and go to the Recovery Console. At the prompt type "fixmbr" that should restore your XP. Then turn Norton off and try liloconfig again.
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:42 PM   #9
Allen614
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You could try changing it to hda1 and then in a root term type /sbin/lilo and see what errors you get.
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:49 PM   #10
gigs_42
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oops! now when I attempt to start up from the hd, instead of finding the mbr it says 'invalid partition table'
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:50 PM   #11
gigs_42
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that's after running the winxp recover console..I'll see if i can get into linux and change the lilo.conf
 
Old 02-22-2003, 03:55 PM   #12
gigs_42
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The error I get is this: boot sector not suitable for LILO
I also tried using the -M option: got this message: /dev/hda1 is not a master device with a primary partition table
 
Old 02-22-2003, 04:08 PM   #13
Allen614
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How are your harddrives pinned? and does your BIOS show them properly?
 
Old 02-22-2003, 04:12 PM   #14
gigs_42
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the bios shows them correctly; i did just notice something when I looked at fdisk's list of partitions (since I've been getting this invalid partition crap) hda1 starts at like 20000, and ends at 21000 (and some odd numbers, but that's besides the point) shouldn't it be starting at 1? It's the only partition I've got on that drive
 
Old 02-22-2003, 04:19 PM   #15
Allen614
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It should start at 0.
 
  


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