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Old 02-21-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 96

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[solved] Blank Lilo

It's all gone a bit a bit chicken and egg.

I've installed DSL and lilo on an old PII. The install appears to have gone OK however theres a problem with Lilo

When I boot up I get a blank red screen with no OS options and nothing happens.

I've tried booting with the live CD again and editing lilo.conf but I need to run 'lilo' after the edit. Ive tried


With all 3 I get an un recognised token "! error because the live CD location of /etc/lilo has a ! without a comment.

So I cant boot into DSL to edit lilo and I cant run the lilo command from the live CD.

How can I even get to a command prompt if I cant edit lilo?

Last edited by SyCo123; 02-22-2008 at 12:08 PM. Reason: wrong path to lilo entered in error
Old 02-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Roc City (Rochester-NY)
Distribution: Slacker 4 Life
Posts: 125

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What I do when I foul up my lilo config (and I've been fairly successful at doing so a few times) is booting to the install cd of my favorite distro (Slackware). From there I'm able to mount the root partition, edit [mountpoint]/etc/lilo.conf, and run lilo using chroot. The most important part of this for you, I believe, is the necessity to use chroot to change root to the place where the partition was mounted. Example:

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
cd /mnt
vim /mnt/etc/lilo.conf
chroot /mnt lilo -v
cd /
umount /mnt
I'm not sure what your initial lilo troubles were, but this is how I go about editing and installing a new lilo config when the old one is roached. Good Luck!!

Old 02-21-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Slackware64 14.0
Posts: 4,138

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EDIT: Turns out I don't type very quickly with a coffee in one hand - oh well...

I don't have a box to test this on, but the process should be something like:
Boot with the live CD and at the command prompt type:
mkdir /mnt/hda && mount -t ext3 /dev/hda1 /mnt/hda
chroot /mnt/hda
vim /etc/lilo.conf     <= This should now be the lilo.conf for your installation
Once you've modified lilo.conf, save the changes, run lilo, exit out of the chroot and reboot. Hopefully all is well...

Last edited by gilead; 02-21-2008 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Too slow
Old 02-21-2008, 09:47 PM   #4
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 96

Original Poster
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thanks guys, yep that has got lilo to run. really thanks.

Now I am getting the error
Fatal: raid_setup: stat("/dev/hdas")

I have DSL on the entire 4gb drive and nothing in the USB port either.
Edit:I Should also mention this is on an old PII latptop with 32 MB of RAM. The live CD runs fine on it.

What is hdas? and any ideas how to configrue lilo to ignore it?

Last edited by SyCo123; 02-21-2008 at 09:54 PM.
Old 02-21-2008, 10:13 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Slackware64 14.0
Posts: 4,138

Rep: Reputation: 166Reputation: 166
I haven't seen the error before, at what point are you getting it? If it's during boot, does the boot process continue (and can you look in /var/log/messages for more info) or does it stop there?
Old 02-21-2008, 11:04 PM   #6
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 96

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I've not booted from the HDD yet I'm still running the Live CD and got this message after the lilo command.

sudo chroot /mnt/hda1

Root is now /mnt/hda1 and lilo runs with

sudo lilo -v

but fails with the fatal error message.

/mnt/hda1/var/log/messages is blank as is the live CD messages (predictably) /var/log/messages.

isnt hdas a sata drive? There nothing like that on my old POS PII!

Edit: I've drifted off my original request for help here and moved on to a new problem. I think I'll close this thread and open a new one regarding the hdas issue.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by SyCo123; 02-22-2008 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Closing thread without bumping


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