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Am using a Toshiba Satellite L500 laptop with a 120 GB sata hard disk as a replacement after the original failed. Memtest has found no issues, and there are no bad blocks on the hard disk. It had Windows 7 installed previously, and reinstalling this proved to be no problem.
So I tried installing both Slackware 14.0 RC3, and -current from mid-June. It proceeds normally, during fdisk, setup, configuration etc. Restart after installation and the system fails to boot.
I've varied the partition setup. Currently, I have sda1 as swap and sda2 as /, so lilo.conf has
boot = /dev/sda
root = /dev/sda2
I can get it to boot by making the second partition active and changing lilo.conf to
boot = /dev/sda2
root = /dev/sda2
So, it's not a big deal, but I don't recall having done anything differently from previous installs of 13.1, 13.37, etc. At this stage I haven't got as far as setting up an initrd, so am just using the huge.smp kernel.
Just wondered if there were anything obvious I'd missed.
I'm at work so I'll post the complete lilo.conf later.
If I don't have the active partition set, then I get a split-second message (IIRC) saying "[hard drive identifier] boot failure" then it jumps to the BIOS boot selection menu: DVD drive, hard drive, network, floppy. If I do have the active partition set with "boot = /dev/sda2" then the error msg still appears but it manages to then jump to the lilo menu, and boot normally.
Above works as long as partition 2 is set active. Turn the flag off, no boot.
My PC (Asus A8N5X motherboard) running Slack 13.37 also had the second partition set active (the first partition contained an XP install). Turning that flag off, made no difference: both Slack and Windows continue to start up normally on that machine.
So I think now it must be some BIOS peculiarity on the laptop.
And of course, I've now found someone who had a similar problem:
Yes, laptop BIOS problems are a royal headache: I can't boot up *ANY* of the BSD's without a kernel panic during early boot, and the only reason I can think of is the stupid Acer BIOS with all the "MSFT"isms all over the place inside the tables. Further, I think (but my memory is fuzzy) that I had trouble with Grub and Ubuntu a several years ago, but I don't remember well enough anymore.
Off-topic, you may want to add "resume=/dev/<swap_partition>" to your append line above so you can use hibernation. This discussion still applies even though we're at 14 now: