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Old 06-24-2002, 07:13 AM   #1
Registered: May 2002
Location: Orlando
Distribution: Linspire 5.0
Posts: 82

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Continued HD Problems

Weird problem with HD(s). Have always used two with one being for backup. I have had the main HD (with MDK on it - currently 8.2) set as Master and the backup (which has been smaller) as slave. Recently I received a second (larger) HD which had XP installed (was supposed to have been formatted). When XP was on it - I could go automatically to XP (other HD was not recognized by BIOS unless I put in back in each time), but could only access the MDK HD by a boot disk. Took off XP and installed Lindows. Installation went fine and at end re-booted back into Lindows. It was the last time. Now it asks me for a startup disk. So I switched jumper settings placing the larger HD as Master and the smaller (with MDK on it) as Slave. BIOS picked them up fine but cannot get into either HD. With Lindows - keeps asking for a disk and when using the boot disk (with MDK) it stops and tells me of a kernel panic. I must be doing/not doing something very obvious. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
Old 06-28-2002, 05:24 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2001
Posts: 24

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Your kernel needs to know what drive to mount as root, and you've swapped the drives around.

Try getting toms root boot from so you can boot into linux. (Other rescue floppys are available at in the Linux section under system, rescue, IIRC. Demolinux has worked for me too, but it's a whole cd to download.) You'll have to use "mount" to mount your hard drive partitions.

There are two places Linux needs to know what's on what disk. The kernel has to mount the root file system, and /etc/fstab says how to mount the rest of the filesystems. So...

Let's get mandrake working...

Easy way is to make the mandrake disk the Master again.

Hard way is...

Boot from tomsrootbt

go into mandrake's /boot directory, which will be something like /mnt/mydisk1/boot after you mount it over the directory /mnt/mydisk1.

mkdir /mnt/mydisk1
mount -t ext2 /dev/hdb1 /mnt/mydisk1
cd /mnt/mydisk1/boot

If you don't have any idea how your disk is partitioned, take care and
use fdisk to explore, being careful not to change anything.

copy your kernel onto a floppy. (your kernel might not be named vmlinuz)

cp vmlinuz /dev/fd0

check the copy

cmp vmlinuz /dev/fd0

(should say EOF on vmlinuz)

Tell your boot kernel that /dev/hdb1 is your root filesystem
(Or whatever your root filesystem is -- now on hdb, the slave.)

rdev /dev/fd0 /dev/hdb1

Boot readonly...

rdev -R /dev/fd0 1

Now, you can boot from the floppy, but the filesystems won't mount.

So, before using the floppy, copy the mandrake /etc/fstab file. (backup)
then change fstab to say "hdb" wherever it says "hda".

Now you should be able to boot from the floppy and run mandrake.

You will need to edit /etc/lilo.conf (and run lilo) or /etc/grub.conf so the bootloader knows to find your kernel on the slave, not the master (same change as with fstab) and can tell the kernel where the root filesystem is.
(Essentially what we did with rdev, only to the kernel on the harddisk.)

Fixing Lindows should be similar.

Vocabulary? See:
Old 06-28-2002, 05:26 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2001
Posts: 24

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Oh yeah,

Before you do the cmp, eject and reinsert the floppy. Sometimes the contents get cached and it never really reads the floppy.


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