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Old 12-24-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
paulb2
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Evansville, IN USA
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1(multilib) and Win7
Posts: 24

Rep: Reputation: 5
Unable to boot Slackware64 14.1 after installation - 3 ways failed


I have read the similar problem recently posted by
trainee 12-04-13 09:24PM, and the reply by
aikempshall 12-19-13 10:39AM,
and the method reported by aikempshall did not work for me.

My setup:
HP Pavilion Slimline, 4 years old; 4GB ram
Motherboard: Pegatron M2N68-LA (= HP Narra6)
cpu: AMD ATHLON II x2 250 (Regor)
chipset: nVidia (MCP61) GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
hdd(1) Hitachi HDT721064SLA360 SATA II internal Win7
hdd(2) WDC WD5000AAKX-00ERMA0 SATA III external Slackware64 14.1
hdd(2) is attached directly to SATA II jack on m/b with a shielded SATA cable.

BIOS recognizes 5 drives as bootable: hdd(1), hdd(2), DVD, external USB floppy drive, USB flash drive.

Setup, installation and configuration from the Slackware64 14.1 DVD went smoothly and quickly.

1) When prompted, I had a USB bootstick made. When I then used the bootstick to boot the newly installed OS, I got "device is not bootable" error. [FWIW: When I tried Slackware v4.0 (kernel 2.2.6) about 14 years ago, I had a boot floppy made and it worked perfectly.] I checked the files on the bootstick and it seemed to me that everything needed was there. Unfortunately, I no longer have my old boot floppy for comparison.
Failure #1.

2) When promptd, I did the "expert" configuration of LILO, checked the lilo.conf file that was produced, then chose to write LILO to a floppy disk. [I did not write it to the superblock of sdb2, because - as I understood the instructions - that requires the use of an independent boot manager. Also, I did not want LILO on the MBR of sda1, because I did not want to take the chance of messing up Win 7.] Result: "Fatal: raid_setup: stat("/dev/fd0")". Nothing was written to the floppy disk. Remembering GIYF, I searched for that error and found quite a few posts; but, all that I read dealt with problems on systems with a RAID array. I just have two hdd's, NOT a RAID array. Where did that "raid-setup" come from?
Failure #2.

3) I then followed the instructions in the BOOTING.txt file on the installation disk (which is, admittedly, old, from around 1996). I tried several permutations of it. Result: "kernel image vmlinuz not found".
Failure #3.

I hope I have explained my problem adequately. I think I have done my homework. I will be very grateful for any tips, pointers or other help that will allow me to boot my new Slackware.

Many thanks in advance. I wish you, who celebrate them, Happy Holidays; and for those who do not celebrate them, the best of luck in all your endeavors.

paulb2
 
Old 12-25-2013, 09:54 AM   #2
saivinoba
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2007
Distribution: Gentoo, Gentoo ~amd64, Linux Mint 17
Posts: 48

Rep: Reputation: 9
If I understand correctly,
i) you have two harddisk drives, one internal where you have win7 and another external where you have installed (want to install) slackware.
ii) You don't want to install LILO on MBR of internal hard disk (sda).
iii) Hitherto you have not been able to boot into slackware (although it has finished installing properly?)

For second issue, you can safely install LILO on MBR of external HDD and choose that harddisk in BIOS as higher priority. That way windows bootloader on internal drive should not be affected.

The problem with installing slackware (may be to do with LILO actually) on external HDD is having proper initrd file. Don't complicate with bootable usb/floppy etc. Install to external HDD normally. Once installation is finished don't reboot yet. Chroot to your new installation. The mkinitrd_generator script provided will give you mkinitrd line with all options required. Use the output of that script as your full mkinitrd command and generate initrd.gz file. Use it in the /etc/lilo.conf with respective generic kernel and rerun /sbin/lilo. Refer to README.initrd
 
Old 12-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
paulb2
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Evansville, IN USA
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1(multilib) and Win7
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 5
[QUOTE=saivinoba;5086773]If I understand correctly,
i) you have two harddisk drives, one internal where you have win7 and another external where you have installed (want to install) slackware.
ii) You don't want to install LILO on MBR of internal hard disk (sda).
iii) Hitherto you have not been able to boot into slackware (although it has finished installing properly?)

@saivinoba: Yes, you understand correctly.

For second issue, you can safely install LILO on MBR of external HDD and choose that harddisk in BIOS as higher priority. That way windows bootloader on internal drive should not be affected.

No, this is incorrect. My message was getting long, and i did not mention everything I tried. I went through the installation many times, trying different methods in regard to LILO, and none worked. I always got the same error: Fatal: raid_setup: stat("/dev/fd0"). I do not understand why I get this error, because I do not have a raid array, just two hdd's attached to two SATA II jacks on the same m/b and thus controlled by the same SATA controller (nVidia). BIOS recognizes both hdd's as bootable.


I will try once again to install LILO to the superblock of /dev/sdb2, which is the root partition of my Slackware installation. As I read the instructions, this requires an additional boot manager, which I do not have, and there is none (that I am aware of) that is available on the installation disk. If I do not get the same Fatal Error the next time, I will be one happy person. I feel caught between a rock and a hard place: I can't boot Slackware in order to make the initrd that I need to boot Slackware.

I think what I really need is to learn exactly what I need to type at the boot: prompt during the installation process, in order to boot the already installed Slackware. This is what I tried the last time before I wrote my request for help:

boot: vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb2 noinitrd ro

The result was: "unable to find kernel image vmlinuz". I chose to use the default kernel huge.s for the installation process and chose the same kernel to be installed as the working kernel. I do not understand why vmlinuz could not be found. There must be an error in my boot command shown above.

Thank you, saivinoba, for your clear response. I will post the result after I go through the installation process yet again and try to install LILO to /dev/sdb2, as you suggested.

paulb2

Last edited by paulb2; 12-25-2013 at 01:39 PM.
 
Old 12-25-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
paulb2
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Evansville, IN USA
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1(multilib) and Win7
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 5
Well, I am one step closer, but still can not boot Slack64 14.1.

This time, when I got to LILO config during re-installation, I added a parameter to pass to the kernel: root=/dev/sdb2

I chose to install LILO on the superblock of /dev/sdb2 and, to my great surprise and pleasure, I did NOT get the Fatal error message about raid_setup. At this point, I assumed that LILO had been successfully written to disk.

However, when it came time to exit the installation process and reboot into the newly installed Slackware 14.1, I chose to boot my external hdd (= sdb) and got only a black screen. After waiting little more than a minute for somethng to happen, I re-booted to Win7.

I assume Slackware could not boot because there was no initrd, as I had no indication of any other kind of error. So, I am back to the familiar dead end: I need to boot Slackware in order to make the necessary initrd, but cannot, because I do not have the initrd in order to boot Linux.

Or, is there another explanation? Maybe I am confusing readers by referring to my Slackware hard-drive as "external". It is "external" only in objective reality: it is on a shelf above my computer, while Win7 is on a hard-drive that is mounted inside my computer. My Slackware drive is connected directly to a SATA jack on my m/b just as my Win7 hard-drive is connected. Since there is no master/slave relation with SATA, there is no way my computer or my SATA controller can "know" that one is inside the box and the other one is outside.

I would very much appreciate any tip that would get me out of this quandary.

paulb2
 
Old 12-25-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
colorpurple21859
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: florida
Distribution: slackware64-current, puppy, ubuntu
Posts: 1,390

Rep: Reputation: 187Reputation: 187
at the linux prompt hit the tab key and add nomodeset as a kernel option. It will be something like this
Code:
linux nomodeset
to get rid of the black screen.
 
Old 12-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
paulb2
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Evansville, IN USA
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1(multilib) and Win7
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by colorpurple21859 View Post
at the linux prompt hit the tab key and add nomodeset as a kernel option. It will be something like this
Code:
linux nomodeset
to get rid of the black screen.
@colorpurple21859

Ummm ... Please pardon my ignorance; but, what "linux prompt" do you mean?

I (re)boot my computer, press <ESC> during POST to get the Boot Menu, select my Slack hdd and immediately get a black screen; never see a linux prompt; never have an opportunity to enter a kernel option. I wait about one minute or a bit more and see nothing but a black screen. I would expect to see kernel messages flash across the screen. Or, is a minute or so not enough time to wait? Or should I have configured LILO to ask which OS to boot? Or should I have added "nomodeset" at the same time I added "root=/dev/sdb2"? It would take about a half hour to go through the installation process again and add both "nomodeset" and "root=/dev/sdb2" to the LILO configuration. Ought that to work?

It sounds like this could be a winner. I'll try it immediately and report back.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

paulb2
 
Old 12-25-2013, 10:09 PM   #7
colorpurple21859
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: florida
Distribution: slackware64-current, puppy, ubuntu
Posts: 1,390

Rep: Reputation: 187Reputation: 187
at the lilo prompt, it will be what your slack entry is named, maybe "slack nomodeset" here is where I had a similar problem a while back http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...urrent-860976/

Last edited by colorpurple21859; 12-25-2013 at 10:12 PM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-25-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
enorbet
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
Distribution: Slackware 14 is Main OpSys on Main PC, 2ndary are OpenSuSe 13 and SolydK
Posts: 732

Rep: Reputation: 339Reputation: 339Reputation: 339Reputation: 339
This is a few months old so I don't know if this will help but it seems important to clear up a few things.

1) When using the Install CD/DVD as a boot device to get access to an existing install, one cannot specify "vmlinuz" at the prompt because it does not exist on the DVD (or whatever boot media used) and it cannot be seen on the hard drive install yet. As stated in the instructions the proper syntax is

Code:
huge.s (or on 32bit versions hugesmp.s) root=/dev/sdb2 rdinit= ro
2) If Lilo is installed to the root partition it can be booted by any bootloader capable of "pointing to" that partition. Windows 7 bootloader can do this but it is a bit of a pita. It is some easier with EasyBCD. If your windows install is sacrosanct this may be a better option.

3) That said, if you install lilo to "/dev/sdb" NOT "dev/sdb2", then simply selecting boot order in bios will boot Linux or Windows according to which drive you choose. This is somewhat easier if "/dev/sdb" is an internal drive, but not a huge deal on most modern boxes that load external drives at POST time

It also may be helpful to see where Windows has it's /boot directory. Some installs create a hidden extra boot partition. In such cases lilo can easily boot windows by chainloading. This example assumes /boot is on /dev/sda1. It doesn't matter where Windows is as /boot already "knows".

It's as simple as

Code:
  Other = /dev/sda1
   label = Windows
Default Slackware lilo shouldn't have a nomodeset problem, but if it helps, so be it.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-27-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
paulb2
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Evansville, IN USA
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1(multilib) and Win7
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
As stated in the instructions the proper syntax is

Code:
huge.s (or on 32bit versions hugesmp.s) root=/dev/sdb2 rdinit= ro
Yes, I read this, and I could boot into the newly installed Slackware64 14.1 from the installation disk with this code. I didn't want to use the installation DVD every time, so I also made a USB bootstick according to instructions, which also worked; except that the bzImage and initrd were loaded very slowly from the bootstick. My problem was that I could not get LILO to install.

2) If Lilo is installed to the root partition it can be booted by any bootloader capable of "pointing to" that partition. Windows 7 bootloader can do this but it is a bit of a pita. It is some easier with EasyBCD. If your windows install is sacrosanct this may be a better option.

My Win7 install is "sacrosanct" only in the sense that I need it to get productive work done until I get Slackware working properly. I'm almost there now; but, I wanted to get LILO installed so I don't have to use the DVD or USB bootstick.

3) That said, if you install lilo to "/dev/sdb" NOT "dev/sdb2", then simply selecting boot order in bios will boot Linux or Windows according to which drive you choose. This is somewhat easier if "/dev/sdb" is an internal drive, but not a huge deal on most modern boxes that load external drives at POST time

I think THIS was the "magic bullet"! In a bit of desperation I made several changes to lilo.config. Then ran /sbin/lilo and got an error message. Went back and either corrected or deleted the error, then repeated this process until I got no error message. One of the changes was your suggestion (for which I thank you much).

FWIW: /dev/sdb IS, in fact, an "internal" drive. It only happens to be sitting on a shelf above my computer. It is attached directly to the m/b through an available SATA jack adjacent to the /dev/sda and /dev/sr0 (DVD) jacks. The computer can't tell and doesn't care about the drive's physical location.

After I finally successfully installed LILO on /dev/sdb, I rebooted, chose to boot the Linux drive, and LILO booted Slackware smoothly. Ironically, I can also choose to boot Win7 with LILO from my Linux drive.

It also may be helpful to see where Windows has it's /boot directory. Some installs create a hidden extra boot partition.
Yes, Win7 boots from a small, hidden "system" partition, which has no drive letter, but Linux recognizes it as /dev/sda1.

Now that I can use LILO to boot Slackware, the real fun can start:
1) Convert Salckware 64 to multilib;
2) Compile a custom generic kernel to use;
3) Write 3 or 4 custom keymap.map files.

This is "solved" now. One last time, my grateful thanks to all who replied.

paulb2
 
  


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